Thursday, March 31, 2011


I stopped by the Truckee River at lunch today to check conditions. USGS charts are showing the flows starting to rise and the river is getting dirty.
Here's a shot of the Truckee in town near rock park.

Soupy Green - March 31st 2011 @ Edison way
Truckee River thaw

High temps are starting the spring thaw and the river flows / color will vary over the next few months. Focus on tail outs and slower riffle. Flashy streamers are a good idea when visibility is low

Monday, March 28, 2011

Get while the gettin's gettable

I wont say the gettin is going to be good but I would venture to say there some gettin to be got! The Truckee river flows have dropped down to near normal around 600cfs in town (I guess for this time of year anything between 300cfs and 2300cfs is normal) and visibility is something on the order of 3 to 4 feet through greenish water. I stopped by the normal spot off spice island to check things out on my way home and noticed a fair midge hatch along with plenty of brown and green caddis larvae hanging out under rocks with the standard olive baetis buddies hangin out with em. While I haven't had the opportunity to hit the river since the flows "Stabilized", term used loosely, I would shoot for slower riffle and tail outs. Throw a tripple stack to gauge the menu with a skwala stone, hairs ear and a red midge. while the caddis larvae are getting more numerous they dont tend to become the abundant food source until late spring into summer, favoring the summer months.
This week is going to bring some spring thaw our way with valley temps near and into the 70s. The flows out of prossor res have dropped way down and boca has been corked with flows out the dam at nothing. This will slow the flows but the water color is majorily contingent on the dirty thaw water. Flows below derby dam are always pretty constant compared to the rest of the river but that far down stream the water gets dirty early with the quick thaw from the Pah Rah and Virginia ranges.
This is also a great time to hit the Little Truckee if the either the road is doable or you have the gumption (spelling?) to make the walk. The roads are not plowed beyond the dam at Boca and last I heard (not that you'll need to cross it) traffic was not allowed across because of super heavy outflow. Since there isnt any water coming out of the dam now, that probably isnt the case.
Flows on the east walker are getting down to normal again but are still high. Currently they are running just above 220, I've never fished it higher than 120cfs so I have no valuable input and unfortunately Ken's sport hasnt updated the report since november. I will send them an email in the next few days and make sure they arent burried under an avalanche.
With rising temps, Pyramid will likely be the most comfortable option. Early mornings and evenings are always a good bet but lately it has been producing through out the day as well. Both nymphing under an indicator with midges and throwing streamers has been working. I try to get fancy with some new streamer patterns but the standard midnight cowboy and olive wooly buggers are keeping the rod bent.
With some luck, I'll get out to the lake on Sunday and have a report.
See you out there.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A blustery winter day out at Pyramid

As Bob mentioned in his post on Friday, we were all planning on heading out to Pyramid this weekend for some early "Spring" fishing. That's right. The first day of Spring was Saturday, but you couldn't have guessed that with the snow flurries we've been getting over the last 2 days.

I got out to the lake around 9 am, and decided to hit Indian Head since we've had some decent success there over the last few months. Brandon notified me that gusts were supposed to be up to 50 mph, and that watercraft were not advised. A ladder is far from watercraft though, so I wasn't too worried.

I quickly realized that I had the whole beach to myself, so I setup shop right at the point and began my day. It was cold, and drizzling, with sustained winds around 5 MPH, and early on the swells were between 2 and 3 feet. Perfect fishing weather! Good thing I packed the heavy jacket and gloves.

On my first cast, I hooked into this little guy:

I thought it was an absolute monster, but as I got him closer to shore I realized that I foul hooked him on the belly, and was bringing him in sideways.

About 10 minutes later I hooked this one:

A little bit larger than the first, and much more aggressive. This one took a Pyramid Beetle with a red estaz underbody.

Over the next three hours, I managed to land 2 more fish and lose another 3. Bob showed up around noon, and managed to lose one on a nymph shortly after he got there. I tried to run out and net it, but it spit the hook before I got there.

We decided to hit Shotdog around 2, where we both managed to lose a few more fish. On my last cast of the day, I did land another 18 - 19 incher, and decided to call it quits. Bob stuck around for a bit longer, and will post his updates later.

All in all, we had 5 fish to hand, and another 5 or 6 that gave us the fisherman's release. Most of my success came on an Olive Bugger with a Black and Red Pyramid Beetle. I also had hits on a Chartreuse Cactus Leech, Black Bugger, Midnight Cowboy, and a White and Chartreuse Beetle. Bob will update you with what he was throwing. Here are a few more fish that I managed to snap some shots of:

*Bob's Update*
Well, Tom left me out at shot dog and for the next hour and a half I tried to hit the shallower side of the point. I ended up just getting snagged on up rocks and foul hooking myself. When Tom left he took the manageable winds with him so the end of my day was more an exercise in dodging small arms fire / streamers than fishing. That said, the more subtle side of shot dog has allot of rock and makes for more amiable nymphing conditions, but I was trying out some of my new big ugly streamers and getting my hopes up when my strip stopped dead on rocks. Be careful on that side of the point, an intermittent clay bottom will help you find your ass in a heart beat, that's a cold walk back to the rig.
I spent the day trying out a couple different things. For one, the Bellyache minnow that I posted in our previous update. The two fish I hooked up with on streamer took that minnow (Black / Gold) with a Chartreuse/silver crystal bugger. There was some chop on the water when I got out around noon and my hands started numbing up so I took these as my que to soak a nymph stack while I pocketed my hands for a few minutes. Due to general laziness I left my nymph stack on from the last time I hit the Truckee. Skwala stone with a no name midge pattern I've been playing with did the trick. It was a good fish but I got hit with irritable knot syndrome and lost bowels.. fish..

Here's that little midge, click the picture for a better description.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Stuck in a rut

None of us have been very active over the past month with the weather variations and other obligations. when you can't fish, tie! I haven't even been doing much of that lately but we are hitting Pyramid this Sunday so I've started tying a few patterns. The Bellyache Minnow is one of those minnow patterns that I think is simply amazing but doesn't get much press. This time of year big flashy patterns pay off when the Truckee transforms itself in split pea soup, or chocolate milk, depending on your favorite simile. We've fished some flows on the Truckee that seemed hopeless and had luck on the swing with some big shiny streamers. Now is the time to put your patterns to the test. I dropped by the river on the way home from work yesterday to have a look at conditions. Near Rock park the river was flowing quick with maybe a foot of cloudy brown visibility. Current conditions show the flows at Vista around 1300cfs, about 800cfs above normal.

Here's the Bellyache Minnow, I like to epoxy the head when I'm finished, mixing a little glitter in for hip hop appeal.
Bellyache Minnow

Here's a good video on the tie
"Bellyache Minnow"