Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Truckee River California
The 120 mile long Truckee River flows from Lake Tahoe
in California, through a section of the High Sierra
Nevada, to terminate in Pyramid Lake. Strategies for fly
fishing the Truckee River in California, varies depending
on the section of the river your fishing. It's generally
divided into three sections that are quite different.
The first section runs from Lake Tahoe to Trout Creek. It
is heavily stocked and follows the California general trout
fishing season. This section also receives water from
several tributary streams. The upper section generally
stays clear when the lower sections of the river are
muddy. It's also a popular white-water rafting area and in
the Summer you have to fish early in the day to prevent
being constantly interrupted by rafters. The lower end of
this section is easily accessible from highway #89 and
more moderate in decline.
Section two runs from Trout Creek to the discharge from
Boca Reservoir, or the Little Truckee River. Most of this
section is a designated Wild Trout stream. Fly fishing the
Truckee River in this section is considered the best
choice by most serious anglers. The river has a good
population of both rainbows and browns. Except for two
fish over 15 inches that may be taken, regulation are
"Catch and Release" and "Barbless hooks only". The
lower end of this section, from Prosser Creek to the Little
Truckee River confluence, has cooler water during the
hot Summer and is preferred over the upper part during
the warm part of the season.
The third section runs from the Boca tailwater
confluence to the Nevada state line. This section
generally has larger trout but it's more difficult to fish.
The water is deeper and ranges from difficult to
impossible to wade. Access is also limited.
The Truckee River was once the home of the Lahontan
Cutthroat. The state has started a program to
reintroduce these trout and hopefully there will be a
viable fishery for them in the future.
The Truckee River has excellent hatches of mayflies,
caddisflies and stoneflies. Dry fly fishing can be great in
some areas but much of the river is best fished with
nymphs and streamers.
Beginning in May you will find Brown duns and March
Browns. Different species of Blue-winged olives, mostly
baetis, hatch just about every month of the season.
Mahogany Duns hatch from May into July. Small Western
Green drakes, or Flavs, hatch in June and July. Pale
Morning Duns hatch from May through July. Green
Drakes hatch from May into the first of July. Dark Red
Quills hatch from May into July.
Caddisflies consist of Spotted Sedges and Green
Sedges that hatch from May into September.
Short-horned caddis hatch from May through July. Little
Black Caddis hatch from June into August and October
Caddis in September and October.
You will also find scuds which are available for the trout
year-round. Sculpin are very plentiful and you will need
streamers imitating them year-round.
During the summer months you should have imitations of
ants, beetles and grasshoppers.
The general trout season is from the last Saturday in
April through November 15.
Springtime is usually tough fishing conditions but it
depends on the discharges of the associated tailwaters
Summertime is the best time to fish the high Sierras. Just
after runoff ends through the Summer is the best period
Fly fishing the Truckee River during the early Fall can
also be productive.
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Photo Courtesy of Stephen Lamb
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 &12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 71/2
ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rod:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five or
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Loon Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Truckee River Fly Fishing Report:
12/04/13 Local contact reporting snow and
ice and extremely cold water. No one fishing
or catching trout.
01/02/13 A reminder. All the streams and
creeks closed on November 15th except for
the Truckee River from Trout Creek to the
State line and the Little Truckee River
between stampede and Boca.
04/24/14 Updated Fishing Report
(bottom of page)
02/20/14 We are resuming this report on a
weekly basis, so check back. Recent rain
helped warm the water some but it is still in
the high thirties. Customer order our Perfect
Fly Blue-winged olive nymphs, emergers and
duns and has caught a few trout using them.
02/27/14 No reports from anyone fishing.
Plenty of rain/snow is in the forecast and
this should improve the fishing overall.
The water temperature should come up
03/06/14 Still no reports from anglers
this past week. The water is much
warmer and conditions should begin to
03/13/14 Water levels are in good shape
and the weather is warm. Fishing
conditions are as good as it gets during the
late winter months.
03/15/14 All of the streams except the
Truckee from trout creek to the state line
are closed after the 15th.
03/27/14 No reports received this past two
weeks but rain is forecast almost every day
and conditions should improve.
04/03/14 We don't understand it. Sure, only
a small part of the water is open to fishing
but it should be good. Let us hear from you.
04/10/14 Still no reports. I guess they want
to keep things a secrete. Our local contact is
fishing in South American right now.
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with the dates you will be fishing this
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fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
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with a budget for flies and we will select
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you in time for your fly fishing trip.
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04/17/14 Compared to what's normally the
case, low flows exist. Hatches are taking
place. Blue-winged Olives and March
Browns, Little Black Caddis are emerging.
04/24/14 The stream is still flowing low but
the catching continues to be good. The
weather will be a little cooler should have
little effect on the hatches.