Cold nights and warm days, or the typical “Indian Summer” weather pattern that we seem to experience every year is making for some difficult fishing in the Tahoe-Truckee area. The Truckee River right now as I write this is on the cusp of what most would consider to be fishable. The water is cool but there still isn’t a lot of water volume. Make your own choice on whether to fish it or not, but keep in mind the long term health of the fishery no matter what you decide.
The Little Truckee:
Fish are in really great shape, and pressure is light. There are not very many places in California that have fish the size that we do out on the Little Truckee River. It’s a real gem of a tailwater, and fall is likely the best time to fish it. Fall hatches include Baetis, or small blue wing olives, Psuedo’s, think very, very small blue wing olives, and caddis. The caddis are small, but sometimes fish will key in on them. There have been some browns pushing out of lake and making their annual spawning run up the river. Kokanee also make the push out of Boca. Flows were down for the enhancement/ restoration project at 16 cfs, then came up for a week to 115 cfs, and are now at 45 cfs. Fishing is very tough out there right now. Abundant sunshine and big finicky fish in clear water make for some tough fishing. We need some weather to get the beatis hatches going. The dry fly fishing should start getting really good as we get into October regardless of the sunshine or not.
Truckee River (California Side):
After a very rough summer of low water levels on the Truckee River flows are at about the same as they were this time last year. Not ideal, but fishable in stretches and cooling down. The water in the Truckee River right now is coming out of Donner Lake (45-57 cfs) with no water coming out of Boca.
The Truckee River is right around 65-75 cfs in Hirschdale and about 85 cfs near Farad. TMWA was draining Independence Lake and Donner right now. There was 60 cfs going into Stampede but that now is cut off. TMWA will store the rest of the water in Independence in case we need it next year. If we see the river flowing around 100 cfs in Hirschdale, then you’ll probably hear a more upbeat fishing report from me. Until some water gets released out of Boca again, I’m not all that stoked on fishing the river.
Truckee River (Nevada Side):
The river is suffering badly from the lack of flows and drought. It is not advised to fish the river below Verdi until flows come up.