Well the weather’s been quite a bit different over the last week or so, but our trout aren’t going anywhere! Last weekend, we got the Tahoe Basin’s first solid snowstorm of the season, which pushed water temperatures down in the low 40’s and in early morning, even high 30’s. Our local ski resorts are reporting 3-5 inches of snow from yesterday’s dusting, making it easy enough to get down to the river. After today, we don’t expect any more showers until after Christmas. Until the next storm rolls in, expect daytime temperatures in the mid-40’s and nightly lows between 15 and 20 degrees.
Winter flows on any tailwater typically means low cfs, and this applies to the Truckee too. Boca Reservoir is letting out a little more water than a couple weeks ago, but with the expected dry weather pattern the next week or two it might return to it’s previous output.
Tahoe City to Truckee: 76
Truckee to Boca: 160
Boca to Farad: 246
Farad to Stateline: 273
As previously mentioned, the nighttime temperatures are forecasted around 15-20 Fahrenheit, and with the highest temperature usually in the early afternoon, our fish will likely be most active at the same time. The cloudy weather did help out the baetis hatches, which have been happening around noon on the Truckee.
We’ve been finding fish on midge patterns in sizes 18-20, and baetis patterns in sizes 18-22. If you’re in the right spot at the right time you just might stumble upon some good dry fly fishing opportunities during these baetis hatches. Slow eddies and near-stagnant pockets are good holding spots for fish feeding on top.
For dries, keep it small and watch the area your fly lands in like a hawk! With these miniature patterns, the current will often push them an inch or two under the surface. Don’t be afraid to let this happen, as it will imitate an emerger and will still be shallow enough for you see when the fish takes.
Our guides have been getting most fish on indicator nymphing rigs, and although euro nymphing can still be effective, it’s harder to find heavy enough flies that match our delicate midge and baetis patterns.
Fish the deeper, slower runs and pools thoroughly, as the fish aren’t going to move much to eat. A good mindset for winter fishing is to assume there’s fish in every place you would fish. Then pick apart that spot, so to make sure that the fish had the opportunity to take your fly before you move on to the next pool.
Ryan Rintala | Social Media @mattheronflyfishing