November is a real sleeper month for fishing here on the the Truckee River. Fishing can be very good this time of year depending on the weather. The California side of the river should fish good until the end of this month, then winter sets in and it’s hit and miss until around February. The Nevada side will fish well all month into December, well, all winter it fishes, except for the real cold snaps we get. Fishing has been good, the nymph bite, streamer bite, everything. I’ve seen a lot of browns on their spawning beds, have respect. We have baetis out in the afternoons with some nice fish rising occasionally. More of the die hards out fishing this time of year, less folks on the river and good fishing, November is fun.
Some footy from last week’s nymph clinic on the Truckee River. Thanks CatchSnapRelease.com for the video work. This gives you an idea of what to expect from a clinic, so look for a few winter clinics and some next spring.
Just got back from fishing 5 Dot with my buddy Doug O yesterday. Doug’s been taking me under his wing on the stillwater thing. I haven’t spent to much time on the lakes mostly because of the impressive fish in the Truckee River, and that it’s right in front of my house. 5 Dot is like the river though, addicting. 5 Dot is the Pebble Beach of lake fishing, full of hard fighting rainbows. What Doug can teach you in a day out there would blow your mind. We have a few spots left for our 5 Dot clinic at the end of this month, the 27th-29th. If you ever wondered how to fish lakes this is for you, trust me. You can take these same techniques and fish them anywhere in the West. There’s places to camp out there, on the lake, or you can stay in Susanville about 20 minutes away. Contact Doug or I if you’d like to attend.
Doug Ouellette and I will be back at it one more time. We will be doing two dates October 5th, and 13th. If you missed our last one, or I should say last two, don’t miss this one if you want to learn some short line nymphing techniques, that is nymping without indos. We will do some indicator nymphing and show you a few different set ups, but this will be primarly about short line nymphing, Chezch style as folks like to call it. I call it American Nymphing because I’m American, and we’ve been doing it here in Nor Cal for a long ass time. We go through rigs, Doug will show you his, and I’ll show you mine. We’ll set up straight tippet leaders, no tappers, using flouro, or braid for leader, tippet rings, etc. We’ll also show you the flies we like to use and why. Most importantly the hooks we choose for the flies we fish. I’m asking everyone to pay up front this time. Cost is $200 bucks. You can call, or email, paypal, or credit card. Any 9 foot 5wt will do, but if you want to step it up in the high stick game, bring a 10 footer in a 4-5wt. We will have some high stick’n rods to use as well. This will be on the California side, and we will meet at 9:00 off the Hirschdale exit. Class will be 4-5 hours. It’s a bad ass clinic and they will go fast.
This is it folks, the 5 Dot Mega Clinic. If you haven’t heard of 5 dot it’s one of the West’s best private stillwater fisheries. I’ll be teaming up with Doug O, Dave Stanley , Dan LeCount, and Ernie Gulley. It’s an A team of top guides teaching all of Doug’s tricks and tactics. There will be four students to one guide. Stillwater fishing is not just for old folks, it’s a lot of fun and you don’t need a wading staff. Please get in contact with either Doug or I if you’d like to attend. Doug’s contact is down below. Here’s a little on the lake and the clinic.
5 DOT Ranch is the largest working cattle ranch in the state of California. On the ranch there is a 400 acre private lake (Round Valley Reservoir) which is located between the town of Susanville and Eagle Lake. This reservoir is locally known as “5 DOT Res.” and has very limited access. It is full of powerful Triploid Rainbow Trout and is the perfect place for any level of flyfisher to hone their stillwater skills.
The clinic will be a 2 1/2 day fishing event which will cover advanced stillwater techniques, including aquatic entomology, presenting food items, reading water, and fly selection. The clinics will also cover knot tying, leaders, and proper rigging. Along with the “Floater no Cator” technique Doug and his staff will teach shoreline wading “peek a boo” style sight fishing, float tube, pontoon boat, small pram, and large boat techniques including “Loch Style” fishing. These clinics offer plenty of “on the water” instruction as well as many hours of angling time to practice these techniques.
September 27th, 28th, & 29th. Book Now!
MEET AT - 6:00 pm. at the “HIGH COUNTRY INN” in Susanville
Dinner – 6:30 pm. to 7:30 pm.
7:30 pm – “KEYNOTE” ( Apple ) presentation and intro on the weekend’s events. KNOT TYING
Leave to lake at 7:30am
Fishing & Instruction 8:00 am. to 5:00 pm.
Lunch 12:00 pm. – Dinner 6:30 pm. in Susanville
Leave to lake at 8:00am
Fishing & Instruction 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Lunch 12:00 pm.
Check out 4:00 pm.
*Price: $495.00 Please make ALL checks payable to ” Calvada Fly Fishing” or “Doug Ouellette”.
* A Deposit of $247.50 due at booking, balance due on day of clinic.
Doug Ouellette P.O.Box 5963 Reno, Nv. 89513
PRICE INCLUDES – 2 days rod fee, two days guide fee, and lunch at the lake each day.
* HOTEL ROOMS NOT INCLUDED
* Saturday you have the option to camp at the lake at no charge.
We will be staying at the “HIGH COUNTRY INN”.
* Please note that this is a “rough” campsite with no running water. There are Sani-Huts.
NO CAMPFIRES ALLOWED ON THE RANCH !
Call or email for a complete equipment list.
Call or email Doug at email@example.com (775) 722-2267
By popular demand, I’m teaming up with my buddy Doug Ouellette of Cal Vada Fly Fishing to offer a Summertime Nymphing Clinic. Doug is widely regarded as the best still water angler in the country, but the thing is, he’s no slouch on the river. Doug has fished the Truckee River for more than 40 years and has developed some great techniques and flies to fool these trout, what I deem, the hardest fish in the West to catch. Day in and day out nymphing is what gets ‘er done on the Truckee River. If you don’t have much nymphing experience, or are not sure if you’re doing it right, this is a great clinic for you to up your ante on the river we call the big leagues. Even if you’re a pro you will get something out of this. We will show you how to set up both indicator rigs and non-indicator rigs. We’ll even go over how to make your own leaders, such as a straight tippet connection. We will show you what flies we like to use and most importantly how to fish those flies. We will read pocket water and show how to use both left and right hands while nymphing. We like to use a 10 foot 5 weight, but any 5 or 6 wt outfit will do. If you need equipment it can be provided. The class will be limited to ten people and the cost is $200. It will take place on the California side, and it will be between 4-5 hours. Please email me, or call if you’d like to attend. I will need a deposit of half the price up front and the rest due the day of. This is going to be really awesome and a great way to bring you out of the farm leagues to the big show.
Just getting through one the gnarliest heat waves I might have ever witnessed here in Truckee-Tahoe-Reno. A solid week of near 100 degree temps in the Hirsch. Reno has been mostly over 100. The fishing though, well, it’s actually good if you fish the fast pocket water. That is where trout live this time of year. Joe Kimsey showed me and my pops the fast water and how to fish it when I was a kid on the Upper Sac. I’ve been fishing it every summer since. We fished back then with no indos, tight lining with flies called bombers and such. A bomber was a heavy weighted wet fly that sank like a bomb to the bottom. The key this time of year is looking for areas in the river with fast elevation drops. More oxygen, higher Ph=happy trout. Break the river down into slots that fish can hang in that kind of water. You’re basically looking for V’s. It’s fun teaching people this stuff, breaking the river down and sticking fish. Indo, or indo-less, they both work. Tight line nymphing is the key. Czech style, or whatever you like. I’m an American, so I American nymph, just like old Joe taught me. I mean, tight line nymphing is a Nor Cal thing, and has been for over half a century. Names like Randy Johnson, Joe Kimsey, Ted Fay, and Bill Carnazzo, paved the way for dudes like me. If you can get a tight line in the fast water, you’ll catch fish. Sometimes I even rock one fly in the ultra fast water, it works. Look for a summer nymphing clinic with my buddy Doug O this August. We’ll teach you all this stuff.
A cold front in summer? We do get them occasionally in Northern California, though not often. Usually from May-October a strong high pressure ridge keeps storms and the jet stream away from Nor Cal and the Sierra Nevada. Much different than say the Rockies that can tap into the moisture form the Pacific Northwest. Sure we get out share of afternoon thunderstorms, but not a two day cold rain event. When it does happen you need to be out on the water. Clouds and rain bring out the bugs, and trout love to feed in low light conditions. The dry fly fishing and streamer fishing can be epic during a summer rain event. Whatever you do go fish. Don’t cancel on your guide, man up and put the rain jacket on. I’ve been dry fly fishing for the last couple days with guests. Green drakes yesterday, pale mornings today. The rain will be short lived, 90′s by the end of the week.
We got a little lucky yesterday and landed this big brown trout. Actually, it was in a slot that I’d hooked big fish before. Adam who is a great angler stuck this baby and off it went. We landed it about 200 yards downstream through fast water. When I say we, I mean it took both of us, angler and guide, working together to put that beast in the net. An epic battle of sorts. It ate a sz#14 Canadian Tuxedo nymph on 3x. Knots were good, tippet was strong, and Adam took his ass downstream with the fish. When it was over we cracked a brew. This fish was caught and released on public water in the Truckee River.
We loose a lot of big fish here on the Truckee River. I think it rivals any river in the West for trophy fish. You may not catch many, but when you do. In the last week what we have lost in pounds could feed a small army. You cannot have the, “deer in headlights,” response with these big fish. You have to go down river with the fish so you are not battling the current and the fish at the same time. You need to use the right equipment too. I can get away with a 5wt, but for most folks, a 6wt is better. Your knots and tippet are important. I use 2x to 3x on basically all my rigs when nymphing. That’s heavy duty arsenal. Personally, I run braided line to a swivel than 2x to my top fly. We fish fast heavy water this time of year and fish do not have time to look at the size of your tippet. To have a fish break you off on that rig is pilot error. Dudes catch 100 pound Tarpon on 2x. You need good hooks too. My nymphs are tied only on Tiemco scud hooks, 2457, or Daiichi 1120. Big ones are tied on Daiichi 1760. Do not use a knot to secure your split shot. Of course you have to loose a few of those beasts before you get comfortable landing one. You have to make a choice when battling one. Do I loose this fish because of to much pressure, or do I let the fish run out in the current and loose it that way. I choose the first, and hammer those fish in with lots of rod pressure while trying to gain ground on the fish. If you cannot get down river for whatever reason to chase the fish, your chances are slim. It’s trial and error. The more you fish the better you get. In a way it’s half skill and half luck, I mean, the fish do have to cooperate a little.
Thank you if you attended my spring clinics this weekend. I had a great time teaching them. Everyone learned a few things, (I hope), and everyone hooked fish. We nymphed with a few different rigs, fished some dry dropper setups, and did some streamer fishing. The dry fly fishing was surprisingly good as well. I’m cranking right into summer mode now on the Truckee River. Things are going to get busy. There are some days open in June, but get on them or you’ll have to wait until July, or August. June is going to be good. The river is in great shape all over, California, and Nevada. I’ll give a better report this week. The river is fishing very well.
Spring Fever Clinics are back coming this Memorial Day Weekend. Things will be a little different than last year. Last year we tried to cram everything into one clinic, this year, I’ll have multiple clinics. Three different clinics on three consecutive days. As always this won’t be the way your grandpa fished, but a newer progressive way to fish. Classes will be limited to four people and will be between 4-5 hours. These clinics are intended for anglers with some experience. Though you don’t have to be a pro, they aren’t for beginning fly fishers. Classes will be on the California side and the cost will be $200 per day. We will fish, but the emphasis will be on learning. These classes will go fast and unlike classes I’ve done in the past these will be a one-time deal; one weekend and not on consecutive weekends. To reserve your spot, I’ll need half the deposit up front and the rest the day of. I will have rods to use, please let me know if you will need equipment when you reserve your spot. You can take one day out of the series or take all three. You will step up your game with these clinics.
Sat. 5/25 -Nymphing Clinic: This will be a clinic on nymphing strategies, flies, leader setup and rod choices. We will use single hand rods and switch rods. I will show you how to make your own leaders, nymph deep water with an indo, and high stick with and without indos. We will use things like tippet rings, swivels, and braided line. This class is a must if you want to step up your game and get into some big fish on this river. A 9 foot or longer 5-6 weight rod with floating line is recommended for this class.
Sun 5/26-Dry Dropper Clinic: This class will change the way you fish. Every year I get my biggest fish on this rig. The bank eaters. I will show you how to set up a few different dry dropper rigs with multiple droppers. I will show you casts to get power and properly turn it over and not tangle this rig. I will show you leader set up and flies and most importantly the type of water where I like to fish it. I like a fast 9 foot rod in either a 5 or 6 weight with floating line for this class.
Mon 5/27-Streamer Clinic: This class will be all about fishing and throwing a big chunk of bunny. We will use single handed rods and switch rods with tips and without. I will show you how to work and make your streamer come alive. I will also show you a few different lines to use on this river where limited back casting can be difficult. Streamers don’t always produce fish but when they do they can be big. A switch rod with appropriate Skagit-Scandi type line is recommended. On the single hand front, a 9 foot 5-6-7 weight rod is recommended with floating and or sinking line. Either set up will do.
As a guide sometimes you’re a rock star, and sometimes you’re not. Sometimes we get into fish, sometimes we don’t. It’s never easy on this Truckee River. We have been catching fish this week, but it seems we always work for them. Spring is a good time to catch bigger fish, but the water is still cold and not every fish is active. Sometimes in spring we’re dealing with fluctuating water flows, and most of the time wind, making it tough for the fly angler. We all have a great time in what I call “my country,” or at least I hope. Some photos from the week.
This early spring weather that we’ve been having here in the greater Truckee-Tahoe-Reno area on the Truckee River has been great, but the fear of another lousy snow year has been on the back of my mind. Thankfully snow is in the forecast for next week. Lets hope it dumps, but not into June which can be the case around here. Right now though the Truckee River is fishing great. Blue wings galore, and fish munching on the nymphs and floaters. The next three months are the shoulder seasons, and you can experience great fishing as long as the weather is descent. Matt with a few healthy bows.
We’ve been in a deep freeze, Artic style. Not good if you’re a fly angler in Truckee. Plumbers though have probably been killing it, racking in lots of overtime with all the broken pipes around town. This is the kind of cold where you’re car may or may not start, and if you run out of wood, or propane, you’re basically screwed. Fishing, well that’s been out of the question. -22 here in Hirschdale the other morning. A man gets a lot of flies tied in this kind of weather, hopefully some of them will be in fly bins across the country next fall. I’ve been on the river five times in the last month and I live on it. The weather has just not cooperated. It is warming today, and by the end of this week we will back near the 40′s in Truckee. I’ll be back at it with classes and guide trips at the end of this week. Before you know it, the big midge clusters and blue wings will be hitting the Nevada side, and the Skwalas won’t be far behind.
Winter Clinics January 19th and 20th
This is your chance to hang out and get schooled up by yours truly on some winter fishing tactics. You will see the set-up I am using right now; rods, lines, leaders, and how I approach the river in the winter. The main points we will cover are type of water to fish, flies, and rig setup. Classes will be a bit smaller than my spring fever clinics. It will be limited to four people. The cost is $150 a head. We will start at 11:00 and go to 3:00 pm (truly whichever four hour time period happens to be the warmest time of the day). We will mostly cover nymphing techniques however streamering and dry dropper rigs will be talked about as well. Remember, you do not have to be a pro, but at least have some solid fundamentals down. Of course have your own gear. A 5-6wt single hand fly rod or lighter weight switch with a floating nymphing specific line is recommended. I have rods if need be. I can provide flies, but you should have tackle with you, shot, tippet, etc. Right now, I will plan to have it on the Cali side, but if there is a lot of snow along the banks we will switch it to the Nevada side. You will be fishing folks, not just standing around listening to me ramble. I’ll need half of the cost up front as a deposit with credit card to secure your spot. One of the reasons I’ve never done a winter clinic is the possibility of bad weather. This could happen and if so I will reschedule for a different weekend, or if you cannot make it the second time around you can apply your deposit towards a guide trip, a win, win situation. If you like sticking big fish, learning to fish the Truckee River in winter will open up a lot of doors for you.
I love it when guests come back and get a little redemption. Jonathon lost one of the biggest browns we hooked that year in summer of 2010. It’s not easy landing a big Truckee River fish. What you see on this blog are fish we do land. The fish we don’t land stay on my guests mind for a long time. Hell, they stay on mine. You remember the fish you land and never forget the ones you didn’t. A little redemption for Jonathon on a nice Truckee River bow.
Guides count hookups as fish, guests count fish to the net as fish. I figure I did a good job as a guide if we’ve hooked fish. I know guests get bummed, and even think the fishing is lousy if they’ve only landed a couple fish, but if they’ve hooked 8-10, especially on this river, then they should feel pretty stoked. We ain’t on the Mo, or the Green, or the Lower Sac, the Truckee is simply not that type of fishery. If you’ve hooked fish you should be happy. Some of those fish you’ve hooked would pull most other fish in the West around by their tail. We have hard fighting fish here on the Truckee, and they are not easy to get in. Don’t get poopy pants, keep a good attitude, and enjoy the scenery. Go fish the Lower Sac if you want to slay fish all day. Come fish the Truckee if you like a challenge and a shot at some monstas. Micheal has fished with me a few times over the years, always keeps a good attitude, and always lands a monsta.
There’s nothing like the feeling of holding a big fish and watching it swim away. Fortunately I figured out catch and release at a young age. For me now, it’s about that tail kick, you know, when they punch out of your hand and swim away. If they kick hard you know you’ve done a good job of releasing and reviving your fish. Never throw a big fish back in the water without reviving it first. Hold the fish by the tail near the anal fin and slowly move him back and fourth. When the fish is ready they’ll kick out of your hand and swim away. Despite a drastic drop in flows here in the Hirsch today, I did get that feeling from a nice rainbow.
Had the pleasure of taking out Bob and his buddy Keith the last few days. Both great guys to spend some time with on the water. Bob’s been around a while, and like myself, loves the craft of fly tying. Bob gave me some original Al Troth flies that Al tied for him some years ago. Al originated the Elk Hair Caddis. Al has recently passed away but his flies will have a good home in a shadow box overlooking the Truckee River. BTW, the fishing is very good up here.
I think being a good guide means keeping no secrets. I share everything. All my secret spots, all my flies, and techniques. I keep nothing from anyone who comes on a guided trip. I don’t save water to go fish with my friends the next day, or take people to the same generic place that everyone else goes. Around here that would be the Glenshire bridge. I basically heard that said from famous Henry’s Fork guide Mike Lawson. I built my business model from that. I simply take people to the best place I can, on any given day. It could be in front of my house in Hirschdale, or 4o miles downriver in Nevada. We work for it. We might slay it, we might not. Hopefully, if you come out, and I do take you somewhere bad ass, you build yourself a template and go explore other areas of the river to fish too. That’s the real fun of fly fishing. A few fine fish from the last few.
Glad that August is almost over. The heat, early wake up calls, crowds, rafters. August is my least favorite month to be a guide on the Truckee River. We do get some nice fish, but it’s a hard month to consistently find fish. They get on the move. One day they’re there, the next day they’re not. They go looking for cool water, they eat at night, they sometimes gorge themselves on crayfish. Sometimes a sz# 16 caddis pupa is the last thing on their mind. Everything I feel is working against me in August. It’s also my busiest month of the year, and by this time, right now, I’m ready for a day off and one final push into September. Our heater in our house kicked on this morning, first time in months. 34 degrees this morning in the Hirsch, I know fall and consitent fishing is around the corner. Doug and a few fine fish from today.
Robert got this baby on his third cast today. Sometimes the Truckee River kicks some monsters out. 30 inches of brown trout. Robert put the wood to this monster and we landed him before the fish took off into fast water. Good job Robert. Nights have cooled, and the river is starting to fish again.
My buddy Morten from Norway made it up to Truckee for a few days. Not really sure if Vikings are from Norway, but I know he likes Whale meat. He catches some big ass Atlantic Salmon back home on the two handers, so tackling some Truckee trout wasn’t a problem. We lost some nice fish and caught some small ones, typical Truckee River style. Stoked we got a nice one today before he left. The Truckee is fishing well, Caddis, Crays, and Stones.
Remember folks, still working towards 500 likes on facebook and a drawing for a free half-day trip. Thanks for all your support homies!