The Truckee has been seeing steadily increasing flows this week, and while the flows may “yo-yo” daily, the overall trajectory is up. The water has remained off color and in the canyon section near the Nevada border, we wouldn’t necessarily call it blown out, but fishing here is more challenging than normal, and in general, it isn’t easy. As you head up the system the water will get progressively clearer, but it won’t be until you get to the stretches along 89 South that it looks like the Truckee River that we all know and love, with defined runs, riffles, pocket water and buckets, and clear water to boot. Unfortunately, the fish populations will be fewer up in this area, due to this section running dry last fall. While there may be fewer fish, there have been a few decent reports this week, with a couple of those finding some bigger trout.
Your fly selection for the river this week may vary a bit depending on what section you end up on, and upriver where clear water is present, using size 16-18 baetis nymphs or midge pupa below a larger attractor such as a stonefly, worm, egg or crawdad will be a great way to go to cover fishing to the pickier fish as well as the less selective fish. When fishing here in town or along Glenshire Road, up your dropper bug size to something like a size 12-14 duracell, blowtorch or rainbow warrior. If down in the canyon, fishing 2 junk flies can be the best way to grab their attention. The name of the game over the next few months will be finding suitable water for the trout. While they may be holding in atypical runs along 89 South, by the time you reach Glenshire, you are looking for soft water along the banks.
Remember, right now these fish are looking for water that is something like walking speed or less and ideally provides some cover, so boulders near the bank in 2-4 feet of water, or deep undercuts will provide that cover that makes them comfortable and allows them to hunker down and feed while the water is high.