The Truckee River has an unusual characteristic in that despite high cold flows, it produces some quality athletes of the trout world who must endure the strength and stamina to be able to survive the strong hydraulics of the river. It’s been an eye opening experience for my guests who first look at the river as we approach it for the day, and simply cannot believe it can be done until the rod is bent, with a large trout on the end of their line. Every watershed is different, some produce good fishing during high flows, while others do not. It all depends on each unique trout populations of those rivers. The Truckee River trout are just plain badass, and all business. It’s been beautiful on the river, warblers are singing in the swaying willows, sporadic hatches of BWO’s, March browns, and a few skwalas late to the party. As a naturalist, I find great joy in educating my guests about the local flora and fauna, and to truly understand Mother Nature and “The Gift”.
It’s still about finding the slower, deeper side water, and more importantly the areas of the current that must have a “lazy walking” speed to it. Northern California American tight lining has been the go to technique. Keep in mind some of these slower zones extend out quite a ways from the bank and a bobber rig will help in these types of situations. The fish are hanging onto the flies a little longer than normal which is of an advantage to anglers, especially those with less experience. The same big water flies have been the standard; worms, stoneflies, crayfish, and eggs. Many fish have been eating a pegged bead in mottled natural roe, and peachy king colors. A bit of advice, use 10mm eggs in high off color water. Speaking of which, the color of the water is of an emerald green, and I swear it seems we have been fishing on a steelhead river of northern California. 14 to 10 pound fluoro has been key while fighting these toads in the heavy current, and we have yet to break any off so far. Oh, bring lots of flies as you will be losing them on new subsurface woody debris and willows.
Releases were increased on the 21st from Lake Tahoe and are now at 1,600 cubes, Glenshire has increased to 2,580, and the canyon is pounding at 4,800. As flows increase it will be harder to find the right water that is productive, walking and searching for these areas will be of the most importance as the flows continue to increase. A good tip is to mentally record the conditions where you have caught fish, and then duplicating those exact conditions while covering different areas of the river. It’s been very rewarding to teach my guests about the productive techniques when it comes to fishing big water. If you’re truly interested, give me a call at 530.228.0487 to arrange your date. Spring is upon us, don’t delay, and enjoy the great outdoors…
Nevada City, CA
Visit my Fly Fishing blog;
The Premier Fly Fishing Guide Service for the Northern Sierra;