Copyright 2018 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The Truckee River In
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 and Nevada,
varies depending on the section of the river you're
fishing. It's generally divided into three sections that are
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.
Truckee River Fishing Report
February 21, 2018
(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
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
04/10/14 Still no reports. I guess they want
fishing in South American right now.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
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.
05/01/14 The low water levels are
hampering the fishing opportunities to some
extent. The cooler weather has the fish less
active but that will change fast as much
warmer weather is in the forecast this
05/08/14 One good report and one that
wasn't so good. These came from
customers ordering flies. At least the one
that's not doing so well isn't giving up.
05/15/14 One angler reported the stream
conditions are in excellent shape and that
he is catching plenty of trout. One
customer ordering flies reported his buddy
did well on small nymphs this past week.
05/22/14 Two more good fishing reports
from anglers fishing this past week.
Streamers early and late and BWO nymphs
are doing the trick.
05/29/14 We are still getting good reports
from customers ordering more flies. No big
hatches yet, but nymphing is producing.
06/05/14 More good fishing reports. Two
anglers ordering flies reports hatching of
BWOs. Most trout are being caught on
06/12/14 Conditions remain good with
plenty of trout being caught. Several
hatches are taking place. Two customers
06/19/14 Two more good reports in spite of
low water. There are plenty of insects and
some trout are being taken on the surface.
06/26/14 One report from an angler doing
well. Two ordering flies for future trips. Low
water is still a problem for some.
07/03/14 Stay low and fish early and late
as low water and hot weather continues.
One angler reported catching decent
numbers of trout but tough conditions.
07/17/14 There were a few days when the
action picked up but the river is back slow
and low. Some anglers are complaining
and others are catching some trout.
07/24/14 Slightly cooler weather and a little
rain helped the situation. Two good reports
came in this past week.
08/01/14 More hot weather is affecting the
anglers more than the trout. Tricos are
hatching in the slower sections of water.
08/14/14 The Truckee is fishing very good,
especially considering the dog days of
August. The water is low, wading easy and
trout can be taken with good presentations.
08/28/14 Not much change the past two
week. Two customers have been catching
some trout on the Trico hatch, mostly late in
the day on the male and female spinner
09/11/14 Conditions still rather poor but trout
are being caught in spite of that. Low, warm
water exist, so fish early and late in the day.
09/25/14 Low water levels are still a big
problem but the weather is looking much
better. Remember, barbless hooks (pinch the
barbs) from Trout Creek to the state line.
10/09/14 Low water levels is still a problem
but a few trout are being caught. There are
October Caddis hatching. Cooler water
temperatures have helped.
10/16/14 Not much change, low water
conditions, but cooler weather is in the
forecast and this should help.
10/23/14 Still very low water conditions.
10/30/14 A little rain helped but much mroe is
needed to improve this stream.
11/27/14 Low water levels are still a huge
problem. The stream isn't worth fishing at this
12/13/14 Some rain came but nothing
compared to what is needed. The fishing has
improved 100% but much snow is needed for
the coming year.
12/25/14 A little more rain/snow fell, but not
near enough. Much colder weather is forecast.
01/01/15 The flows from Boca Bridge
through Reno are decent but there are still
less than good conditions in California. .
Little Truckee River is much better.
01/15/15 Still no reports from the Truckee.
Conditions are not that bad.
01/22/15 Finally, a report from a local, loyal
customer who did catch a few trout this past
week. Conditions are not all that bad but could
01/29/15 Although the water can be frozen it
hasn't been recently. Midges and BWO's
The sections below Boca inlet is the better
place to fish at this time.
02/05/15 Conditions remain very good for this
time of the year. No reports from anyone
fishing this past week, so let us hear from you.
02/12/15 One good report from a customers
that is using our Brown Sculpin streamer. He
caught several nice trout recently.
02/19/15 No reports from anyone fishing this
02/26/15 Lots of snow in the forecast and
that is actually a good thing.
03/05/15 Great weather ahead with highs
in the fifties and good stream conditions.
Best so far the year.
03/19/15 Warmer weather has caused
some runoff problems with off color water.
Fishing was good week before last, not so
good the past week.
03/26/15 Good stream levels ( a little low)and
two good reports of catches this past week.
04/16/15 It has been cold but water levels
have remained good although a little dingy.
Two more good reports from customers.
05/07/15 Some releases from the lakes
has the river from the Boca Bridge to
Nevada producing some trout. Another
05/21/15 Rain and snow has helped but
levels are still low and conditions not very
05/28/15 Much better flows from recent
heavy rain. The water is still cloudy.
06/11/15 Water temp is in the low sixties
with lots of hatches but low water levels
above and below Boca outlet.
07/23/15 The water is still too warm to fish.
Please choose another location. Hopefully,
this will change soon.
08/03/15 Conditions still remain bad with
water temps to high to fish
08/13/15 No change. Choose another location.
08/20/15 It is sad to have to keep reporting
bad news about the Truckee but we have no
choice. Very low and warm water.
08/27/15 Same story, tenth verse. Please
do not fish the river.
09/03/15 There is no relief in the form of rain
but the much cooler weather and resulting
water temperature will certainly help the trout.
09/17/15 Same situation but the good news is
there is cooler weather in the forecast.
10/02/15 Conditions are a little better and it
shouldn't be long before it is safe to fish the
river but we are still suggesting you wait.
10/15/15 Great news for the Truckee. Rain is on
the way along with much cooler temperatures.
Things should get into much better shape soon.
10/22/15 The water level is still very low, at 7
cfs. The temperature of the water and daily
highs is much cooler and that helps.
10/29/15 There is a good chance of rain and
snow from Sunday through next Tuesday.
Hopefully, this will help the overall conditions.
11/05/15 Flows are back down to 23 cfs. The
only thing going for it and its trout is the water
is a little cooler.
11/12/15 The river did get up to 100 cfs and
that helped big time. The weather is cold and
that too, helps.
11/26/15 The stream is up a little more just
nothing like what is needed. It is cooler and that
helps. It can be fished at this time.
12/03/15 Levels are still low at this time. Trout
Creek to Stateline requires barbless flies only.
Catch and release only. The section 1000 FT
belpw Tahoe City to Trout Creek is closed.
12/10/15 There is a 100% chance of snow
through Monday. The levels went up yesterday
but back to normal. The big snow is going to
help a lot. This is what is badly needed.
12/24/15 Flows are at 86 cfs and 1.53 ft. There
is more snow in the forecast. Conditions are
looking much better.
12/31/15 Flows are back down to 50 cfs at
1.31 feet. At least there is some snowpack that
will help the flows later on.
01/07/16 There is a chance of snow every day
for the next week. This will help big time.
Melting snow will improve the flows now and the
snowpack will be the future salvation.
01/14/16 The flows are still very low but more
snow is on the ground and a lot more is coming
this next week. Conditions will improve.
01/21/16 It is looking better and better and we
think conditions are going to be much better
than they have been in a long time.
02/04/16 Melting snow has the water stained
badly but that's actually a help in keeping the
levels up some. Flows are at 88 cfs. There's no
rain or snow for the coming week.
02/18/16 Trout Creek to Stateline requires
barbless hooks. It is "catch and release" only.
A distance of 1000 FT below Tahoe City to
Trout Creek is closed at this time.
02/25/16 Midges, both cream and reds, or blood
midges and Winter stoneflies are hatching. The
Brown sculpin streamer is good to use early and
late, or under low light condtions.
03/03/16 Stream flows are at 137 cfs and 1.35
feet high, which is fairly good. There's a lot of
rain in the forecast and a winter storm warning
this coming weekend.
03/17/16 The flows are up and conditions
better than they have been with a good snow
pack and enough water to have decent fly
fishing opportunity for a change.
03/25/16 Flows are back down to normal but
remember, normal is low. It is in good shape
though, with little BWO, and a few March
04/07/16 The flows are up again at 319 cfs
and 2.19 feet. Good conditions exist with
Skwala Stoneflies hatching.
04/14/16 The flows are back to a normal 246
cfs and 2.08 feet, which is good. BWOs, little
Black Caddis and Skwala stones are hatching.
04/21/16 Flows are up just a little, Skwalas
are still hatching, BWOs, March Browns,
Midges and Little Black Caddis.
04/28/16 The river is flowing at 461 cfs at
5.72 ft. This is good flows and trout are being
caught in good numbers.
05/12/16 The levels are still up and we are
getting some good reports from anglers
fishing. Both this and the little Truckee have
improved due to better stream levels.
05/19/16 Stream levels are staying in good
shape and rain and snow is forecast every
day for the next 5 days starting tomorrow.
06/02/16 Stream levels are in good shape in
some sections and high in others, especially in
Nevada. Success depend on which section but
a good number of trout are being caught.
06/09/16 Two more good reports came in this
past week. The levels are in a little better
shape than they were most of the past week.
06/23/16 The flows are up and in very good
shape and lots of trout are being caught and
06/30/16 We are continuing to get some
good reports in spite of the heat. Morning
PMD hatches are good.
07/07/16 Much cooler weather is in store for
the coming week. Stream levels are good and
lots of hatches continue to take place.
07/14/16 Two good reports from the past
week, for a change. Pale Morning Duns are
hatching good and two species of caddis.
07/21/16 The Truckee continues to produce
for those who fish it. Good stream levels and
flows exist and lots of hatches are taking place.
07/28/16 We received one good report this
past week from a customer. Good Pale
Morning dun hatches and good stream levels.
08/04/16 The past week was extremely hot.
It will be a little cooler this week, but fish only
in the mornings please.
08/11/16 The flows and water temperatures
are better from Boca to the state line. Fish
early mornings and the egg laying caddis
activity the last two hours of daylight.
08/18/16 We didn't receive any reports from
anyone fishing. The weather will be a little
cooler near the end of the coming week.
08/25/16 The stream levels are very low and
the water too warm.
09/01/16 Stream levels are still low but the
much cooler air temperature will start making
a difference in the water temperature and
help the low water situation.
09/15/16 The flows from the lake to the Little
Truckee confluence are very low and not
worth fishing. Little Truckee flows are high and
keeping the flows high below the confluence.
09/22/16 Fish below the Little Truckee
confluence. Conditions are fair, but not good.
10/06/16 The same story, second verse
again. Fish the Little Truckee.
10/13/16 Great news! The rain is coming this
weekend and plenty of it. The higher
mountains should get a good snow pack. Right
now it is low it will soon be shaping up good.
10/20/16 The river was up for a few days but
already back down a little below normal.
There is a chance of rain again next Monday
10/27/17 The stream levels is up for a
change, flowing at 376 cfs. There is more rain
expected. Conditions should be good soon.
11/03/16 The stream levels have been high
but back down near normal and in good
condition. Blue-winged olives are hatching.
11/10/16 We finally received a good report this
past week. Sculpin streamers worked good for
some of the larger trout. BWOs are hatching.
11/17/16 More good reports from customers.
The weather is turning a little cooler. BWOs
are hatching good along with cream midges.
11/24/16 More good reports from customers
using the Brown and White Belly sculpin.
Midges and little BWOs are the only hatches.
12/01/16 We didn't receive any reports from
anyone fishing the past week but conditions
remain fairly good.
12/08/16 Lots of snow headed in. You can
expect rises in the stream levels. It is flowing at
200 cfs but will increase a lot.
12/22/16 The river has been very high but it is
back down to about 750 cfs. That's tough to
wade but better than low flows. Fish midges,
Creams and Reds, and Winter stonefly nymphs.
12/29/16 The stream levels are back below
normal and easy to wade. High sticking
midges, Creams and reds, should work good.
01/05/17 The stream levels are low again and
the water cold, averaging about 35. Midges
will catch trout under these conditions.
01/12/17 The stream levels are a little high,
but okay. Flows are at 330 cfs. Streamers, like
our Brown sculpin, would be a good choice.
01/19/17 The river is slowly clearing and
dropping. We don't recommend fishing at this
stream level and with the heavy snow forecast.
01/26/17 The river is getting into better shape
with clear weather after today. Levels and
stream clarity should be good very soon.
02/02/17 The flows are good and the water in
good shape. Two good reports came in from
the past week. Fish Midges, Creams and Reds.
02/09/17 The river is above its flood stage. It
is going to be a while before it drops back
down. What the levels and our report.
02/16/17 The stream levels are still too high.
02/23/17 The levels are still up too high. You
will just have to keep checking back.
03/02/17 The flows are still too high at 595
cfs at 2.75 feet. Check back with us soon.
03/09/17 No change - the stream is still too
high to fish.
03/16/17 There are no changes. Very high
levels and muddy to dingy water.
03/23/17 Same conditions, flowing very high
at 949 cfs at 3.21 ft. We don't see any
opportunity for the coming week.
03/30/17 Flows are still at 1090 cfs, or very
high. Check back with us in a week.
04/13/17 Flows are at 1570 cfs and 3.91 ft.
Normal flows for this time of the year are
about 235 cfs. In other words, it is very high
and not worth fishing.
04/20/ 17 Flows at 1660 cfs, far too high to
fish. Check back with us.
04/27/17 The stream levels are still very
high. No reports from anyone fishing this
05/04/17 The levels are still too high to
fish. All you can do is keep checking back
with us. We will keep you informed.
05/11/17No change - very high water
levels - too high to fish.
05/25/17 The stream levels are still very
high. Sorry. Check back with us.
06/01/17 No, my keyboard isn't stuck. The
stream is still high, too high to make it
worthwhile to fish.
06/22/17 Sorry, the flows are still very high
and the stream not worth fishing. Hopefully,
this will end soon but it will be into July.
07/06/17 Flows are down to 504 cfs at 2.62
ft, High but okay to fish. Lots of hatches
are taking place.
07/13/17 Still a little high but fishing good.
We received two good reports this past
week. Lots of hatches and clear water.
07/20/17 Good conditions exist. There are
several hatches taking place and we are
getting som good reports. Lots of PMDs.
07/27/17 Two good reports received from
this past week. Conditions remain good.
08/03/17 Conditions are stable with good
numbers of insects hatching. Tricos just
started to hatch among several others
08/10/17 Two good reports from customers
fishing this past week. Lots of hatches.
08/24/17 The river is still a little high but
trout are being caught in good numbers.
We had two good reports this past week.
09/07/17 The stream levels are still high
but trout are being caught. PMDs, spotted
sedges, Tricos, Western Ginger Quills,
Little Yellow stones and others.
09/14/17 The rain and much cooler
weather is a big help. We received a very
good report from this past. All sections of
the river is in decent shape.
09/28/17 The recent cold weather has the
water temperature down to about 59
degrees and trout are being caught in
good numbers. Conditions are good.
10/05/17 More good reports from
customers catching trout. Good conditions
and some decent hatches.
10/12/17 We continue to get good reports.
October caddis, lots of BWOs and
Mahogany duns are hatching.
10/27/17 We are getting more good reports
from customers. Conditions are great and
good numbers of trout are being caught.
11/10/17 More good reports coming in.
Some good size brown caught on the
Brown Sculplin. Midges, creams and reds,
and BWOs hatching good.
11/18/17 More good reports came in from
the past week. Our Sculpin streamers are
catching the larger size trout.
12/02/17 We received two good reports
from customers this past week. Midges,
creams and blood midges (red) are
hatching,Good numbers of trout caught.
12/09/17 Conditions remain good and
more good reports came in from this past
week. Fish the midges with the larva and
pupa rigged in tandem.
12/16/17 Stream levels are still good.
Midges, creams and blood midges or reds,
are hatching along with Winter stoneflies.
12/23/17 Winter stoneflies are hatching big
time. Fish areas with little to no current. Fish
won't hold in fast water at the current temps.
Fish midge larva and pupa in tandem.
12/30/17 Good conditions continue. We
are getting good reports daily. You will be
much better off with specific imitations
versus generic fly shop flies.
01/10/18 Cream and red or blood midges
and Winter stoneflies are hatching good.
Fish near the dams as legal.
01/17/18 Conditions remain good. Fish
the midge larva and pupa rigged in
tandem. Fish Winter stonefly nymphs near
01/24/17 Our customers are reporting
some good catches. We get questioned all
the time, but yes, you can squeeze the
barbs down to comply with the barbless
02/14/18 Good numbers of trout are
being caught on little BWO nymphs,
Winter stoneflies, Cream and Red midges.
02/21/18 The weather is much colder but
conditions still good in the tailwater.