Monday, January 19, 2015

East Truckee River - Sunday January 18th

We headed out east of Reno again this Sunday to continue our campaign on the Truckee River's desert sections.  We were on the water by about 10:30 AM and the bugs were already active, flows steady at about 190CFS (at the Reno marker) for the past week or so.  With in the first hour we had hooked up but lost three fish on nymph rigs under an indicator.  We kept our focus on just fishing tailouts leading in to the slow deeper pools.  Most of our takes happened in about three feet of water between the seam and the shoreline.  The fish seemed to be stacked on the rocky bottom but were willing to move a bit to feed.  We spent the bulk of the day under an indicator with a heavy stone anchor fly up front trailing one or two size 16-18 BWO / midge patterns.  Four feet between anchor fly and indicator seemed to be a good all purpose leader length for the depths we were fishing with the trailers about 18 inches apart. 

Around noon or so the BWOs got active for a couple hours and we had a few takes on the surface.  I even saw a few big surfaces in the deep stuff but not much fishable action came out of it.  Just a few random splashes.  One particular tailout hosted a gathering of about 100 adult BWO duns in a 20x20 area that went unharassed for the 20 minutes that we were there for.  Deeper in the water column remains the focus of the fishes feeding.

The day was winding down and the wind was picking up around 3 so Brandon headed out (but not before I stepped on his rod tip and secured myself a shipping and handling bill).  I decided to stick around and swing a big heavy dead drift craw through the tailout that had been producing for us and it paid off almost immediately.   Second or third cast I hooked up but failed to bring it all the way in.  I could tell from the flash and fight it wasn't anything special but it was a nice heavy hit.  I worked the length of that tailout from top to bottom one more time over the next 30 minutes and ended the day with the nice 18" rainbow pictured at bottom.   On the streamer bite, they all came at the end of the swing after a few short strips and the takes were nice and heavy.

In summary:

  1. Right now fishing is good all day from after the sun hits the water til it leaves, with the best activity around 11 - 1 or so.
  2. Fish slow deep tailouts and focus on the section where the riffle is almost gone but still moves a little faster than the water on either side of it.  That outside seam was where almost every hit came from.
  3. Get to the bottom, whether your soaking nymphs or swinging streamers.  I suspect that the seams we had good luck in where probably that way because those were the ones that were the easiest to get deep enough on.  The inside seam likely held fish too but we had a tougher time getting down and giving a proper presentation casting over the multiple currents (When I say inside / outside seams, I'm speaking from the perspective of standing in the middle of the river.  Bank-side seam would be the outside seam)  
  4. Nymphs that worked for us were size 16-18 midge patterns and the typical Truckee River standards like your pheasant tails and hair's ears and some other newer BWO nymph / emerger patterns.  Streamers - only threw the dead drift craw in size 2, brown / olive but white or black buggers have produced in years past and I suspect this year would be no different.
Get out and experience some unusually warm winter fishing conditions while you can.  If this weather continues the river is going to have a rough summer ahead of it.


This is an obscured, out-of-focus picture (solo operating the camera and keeping the fish happy was a chore) but is shows a nice fat belly on a healthy fish.

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