The Truckee River received a flush at the beginning of the week. Flows in Reno increased significantly on December 27th and have begun to decrease at a slow rate over the last two days. At the time of this writing, the Truckee River at Reno gauge shows 310 cfs.
As of Thursday (12/29), river clarity has improved dramatically and flows have dropped into an ideal level. While the water still has a tint to it, smaller flies have continued to fish well. The high flows have a tendency to reorganize fish and freshen the river. Streamer fishing is a great option for anglers looking to target large rainbows and browns as clarity improves. When fishing a streamer this time of year, it is important to present the fly near the bottom and at a slightly slower speed than other times of year. With water temperatures being as low as they are, fish tend to move a bit slower.
Nymphing the Truckee River is an effective option when flows are in flux during a storm system. On days of improving water clarity, a two-fly rig with one bright nymph and one dark nymph will find a few fish. The Neon Jig is an effective attractor nymph that gets down quick with a heavy tungsten bead. The Duracell is a go-to fly for many anglers fishing the Truckee River in the winter. Behind a Neon Jig, Duracell, or Fire Starter, try fishing a smaller nymph that represents either a small mayfly or a midge. The Micro Mayfly and Hot Butt both work great in this scenario.
Dry fly fishing has suffered as a result of the increased flows and diminished water clarity. Hatches may not build the way they would in more normal water conditions; so it will be best to wait for the storm to pass. After the storm settles down and water clarity improves, trout will continue feeding on midge and Blue Winged Olive hatches throughout the Nevada side of the Truckee River.
The Truckee River will likely rise over the weekend to an unfishable level by Saturday. The river will more than likely appear blown out with little to no visibility. Following the weekend, river levels should decrease at a moderate pace- returning to a fishable flow at the beginning of the week. With the anticipated increase in flow, anglers should adjust their rigging to match depth and flow. You can increase your effectiveness by adding more weight to the presentation or lengthening the distance between your indicator and fly. Below is a flow prediction from NOAA for the Truckee River at Reno NV gauge with an expected flow of around 4,000 cfs!
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