Fly fishing on the Truckee River has been great over the last week. Water clarity has been in the three to five foot range. Most days, the river has had a slight green tint which seems to improve fishing. With the warming trend over the last few days, water temperatures have crept up on a daily basis and are now peaking between 45 and 50 degrees fahrenheit at the Sparks gauge. Hatches of midges, Blue Winged Olives, and Skwala Stoneflies have occurred through the warmer part of the day. This emergence mixed with rising water temperatures has trout in the Truckee River hungry and looking for lots of food.
While trout were previously holding in deep buckets in the winter, they have begun to move into slightly faster water. This movement has opened up a lot of fishable water as the trout begin to spread out. When nymphing, both the European Style Nymphing (ESN) and indicator setup have been effective. When paired with a heavy Skwala Stonefly like the TJ Hooker, the ESN rig can put flies down on the bottom for an effective drift. On the indicator setup, attractor patterns such as Squirmy Worms, Pat’s Rubber Legs, or Trout Beads are all great choices right now.
Along with an attractor nymph, try fishing smaller mayflies, midges, or caddis. Flies such as the Spanish Bullet in a #16 are great when paired with an attractor nymph. With rising water temperatures, it won’t be long until we see other mayflies such as March Browns become active. March Browns tend to be bigger and are best fished in sizes 12 and 14. The Jigged CDC Pheasant Tail in a size 14 is a great imitation for this mayfly and is a tried and true pattern. Additionally, heavy nymphs such as the Thread Quill or the Neon Jig in a size 14 will represent a variety of insects well.
With the Truckee River forecasted to increase in flow, we could see Spring runoff conditions sooner rather than later. While these conditions can be challenging, the reward can be well worth it. Big fish get pushed out of their normal holding areas during high water conditions. This makes them a bit easier to target in most cases. When the water is high and off color, nymphing along the banks can produce spectacular results. Additionally, fish are more keen to eat streamers along the bank in these conditions.
Pyramid Lake has fished well through the first part of April. The our extended winter has kept fish close to......