Fishing has been good recently on the Truckee and its surrounding rivers and lakes! We’ve had a few smokeless days of clear skies, but the smoke has returned (this weekend should be good though). Although it may suck for us, the bugs couldn’t be happier. Smoke is making a good substitute for cloud cover, and the baetis are loving it. We are seeing a few Mahogany Dun and October Caddis coming off, and the hatches should only increase as we roll further into fall.
Tahoe City to Truckee: 74 (these should pick up this week)
Truckee to Boca: 90
Boca to Farad: 450
Farad to Stateline: 503
Tip: if the bugs are loving the weather, the fish are too! The smoke cover has been a substantial factor regarding fishing, and it has been good lately! We are starting to get fish on streamers, which should pick up significantly after we get some rain or snow. Impressively, fish are still eating hoppers and most likely will until some weather rolls in and daytime temperatures drop. As usual, indicator and tightline nymphing has been the main game. Fish have keyed in more on midges and baetis now, but they’re still eating some big bugs. Downsizing tippet is always a good move, especially with smaller flies.
Our friends at RepYourWater have teamed up with big name brands in the fly fishing industry to bring us one heck of a giveaway! They have items from Thomas & Thomas fly rods, Nautilus reels, Umpqua, Scientific Anglers, and Backcountry Hunter’s and Anglers. That’s over $2500 in prizes! The giveaway ends at the month and signup couldn’t be easier! Head on over to RepYourWater’s website or click here to enter the giveaway.
In fly fishing, your cast is affected by a multitude of things, both major and minor. Although this blog post won’t fix your cast, it’ll offer two of the most common things that fly casters of all skill levels can be held back by. If you feel that your casts aren’t going as far as they should be, aren’t straightening out all the way, or are lacking power (or maybe all three), try again with these two tips in mind.
Tip #1: You might be getting overly cocky. What this means is that you are letting your wrist flex too much on the backcast, therefore letting the rod move too far back. Keep in mind the when you are casting you should have a stiff wrist. A relaxed wrist will lead to an overshoot in rod motion and a loss of power, because your arm will stop but your wrist will keep going, slower and with less purpose. If you’re relaxing your wrist too much, try keeping the rod butt pressed to your forearm by pinning it under your sleeve or a rubber band.
Tip #2: You may not be stopping hard enough. Each time you move the rod, whether on the back or forward cast, there is a crucial stop that must happen. Picture this scenario: I’m at the edge of the water, thirty feet of fly line out in front of me, and I’m ready to cast. My rod tip goes from being pointed down at the water to straight above my head pointed at the sky. Do I stop crisply when my rod tip reaches this position, or gently press the brakes like rolling a car up to a stop sign? Those of you who said I need to stop hard are correct: A hard stop will catapult the fly line with more power than if I used the previously mentioned stop sign approach. Try it for yourself! The stop sign approach will result in a loss of power, which also means a cast that isn’t straight. In sum, a harder stop equals a farther, straighter and more accurate cast. **Caution, although rare, it is possible to stop to hard!**
These two tips interlock with each other regarding when to stop: How far back should your cast go before I stop? The answer to this question will change as your casting distance changes (see our 10-and-2 casting blog here). Basically, your rod movement will increase with cast length. A twenty foot cast requires much less of a front-to-back or back-to-front motion than a fifty foot cast, and a fifty foot cast will require a harder stop than a twenty foot cast.
Forbthies if you that don’t know, Matt Heron is the director for the Tahoe/Reno region of an organization called Cast Hope. Cast Hope is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to getting youth into the world of fly fishing.
Our friend Kim has quite the artistic ability, and recently has been using it to raise money for Cast Hope! With the covid situation going on, most of our fundraisers have been cancelled and the fact that Kim is using her spare time to help Cast Hope continue making a positive effect on youth through fly fishing is incredible.
For those of you who have any interest in purchasing or promoting Kim’s artwork, you can find her Facebook here.
What a difference the past couple weeks have made! It seems that summer had its last stand over the Labor Day weekend and we are now being catapulted into fall! Nightly temps have been close to freezing which means that water temps are in the 50s and low 60s, staying in the safe zone for our scaly friends.
Flows: The Truckee’s water levels have been dropping steadily, especially between Tahoe City and Boca. Expect spookier fish. When in doubt, downsizing your tippet, can’t hurt!
Tahoe City to Truckee: 76
Truckee to Boca: 87
Boca to Farad: 450
Farad to Stateline: 497
As far as what to throw and how to throw it, indicator and tightline nymphing has been the main game, fishing midges, mayfly nymphs and ever-more baetis. Don’t let that keep you from trying a dry fly as we have been seeing small baetis hatches around 11am and have still been getting hopper eats! Also, the further we get into fall, the better streamer fishing is going to be. It’s time to dust off the six and seven weight rods because they’re going to be useful in finding aggressive brown trout!
Conservation Note: As you enjoy time spent on the water with family or friends (and hopefully fish), remember to keep our waterside venues clean. It takes no time to pick up the odd piece of trash on your way back to the car. By leaving it better than you found it, you’re allowing others to enjoy our rivers and lakes without the reminder of litter. Tight lines!
Robert Redford’s A River Runs Through it is a film that boosted fly fishing popularity after its release in 1992. The mental image of Paul Maclean(played by brad Pitt) standing in a Montana river false casting to rising trout is ingrained in the memory of thousands. Paul’s father described fly casting as “an art that is performed on a four-count rhythm between ten and two o’clock.”
Earlier this month, Hatch Magazine published an article arguing for the discontinuation of this analogy due to its inaccuracy. There is a different range of motion for different casts. For example, a twenty foot cast requires less rod movement than a fifty foot cast. Fly casting is not accurately described by this saying; it’s time to stop using it.
We are bracing for an unusual heat wave this Labor Day weekend with unprecedented temperatures in the low 90s through Monday.
What does this mean for us who are trying to get a line wet this weekend? Morning is prime time for fishing!
The hoot-owl closure is still in effect, meaning when water temps hit 68 degrees it’s time to give the fish a rest.
If you don’t already have one, our friends at Trout Creek Outfitters in downtown Truckee can hook you up with a river thermometer.
Flows: Measured in cubic feet per second(cfs).
Tahoe City to Truckee: 293
Truckee to Boca: 330
Boca to Farad: 455
Farad to Stateline: 494
Fishing has been really steady the past couple weeks even with water temps!
Our guides have been getting fish on a mix of indicator and tightline nymphing techniques, with some hopper dropper action in the riffles as well.
Fish have been fooled on caddis, baetis, crayfish, midges and mayfly nymphs. There are a few golden and nocturnal stoneflies in the system. Be out on the water early, check your water temps, and good luck anglers!
A few fish from this past week!
– Ryan Rintala | Social Media @mattheronflyfishing
Sage and I first met when I lived in Livingston, MT in 2006 through some mutual friends. Little did we know our paths would cross again 13 years later at Katmai Trophy Lodge this past fall on one of our hosted trips.
Sage was an excellent guide, and as you’ll see, she’s an even better photographer!