Matthew Koles reports on 12.15.2016
The picture below is at about 2,400 cfs on Saturday afternoon. Saturday night the Truckee River rose to almost 4,000 cfs here in the Hirsch-which is flood stage. Crazy, the river rose to flood stage in less than 24 hours. It’s dropping fast now, and under 1,000 cubes here. Looks like we have another AR type event, Tuesday-Friday. Snow levels look to be high again, the river should get pumping.
We haven’t seen water like this since the 2011 winter. New Years 2005 the river rose to over 14,000 cfs in Reno and water came just under the Arlington St bright. That was a good one. Of course, New Years 1997 was the last big one when the dam at Floriston got taken out. Reno got pummeled. This was a good event, but minor compared to some others.
So under 1000 K is cool, 1000-1500 cfs is tough, you can catch some fish, but you have to know exactly where to go. Over 1,500 forget about it. You’re probably wasting your time. High flow fishing requires a way different approach. Streamers are good. Big nymphs are good. Give the fish something they can see, and look for soft water where fish can get out of current. Fish one fly sometimes. If you’re wading up past your shins, you’ve probably waded too far. I love it, fishing in high flows. My favorite time to fish the river. Challenging and fun, and when you get one, it’s usually a real banger.
After the flood of 2005, I remember going out and finding fish in the same exact spots they were a few weeks before. It took a while for the water to come down, but they were there, doing the same damn thing they were before.
So right now the river is good to go in places. It will come up again this week. Might even get back to flood stage again. It will drop almost as quick as it comes up. Check the flows and obviously be safe. With good high flows we will have some truly great winter fishing going on.