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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Summer Mode in Truckee

Lot of consecutive warm and breezy afternoons. The BT has receded, we're seeing more airborne bugs throughout the day...and at times, intense, evening caddis emergences, thick flights of Little Yellow StoneFlies and sparse mating-swarms of Sulfurs (?). 

Middle Truckee water-temps range 51-59. Picking-pockets within boulder gardens temps a lot of feisty (read smallish 7"-10" RainBows). The largest I've witnessed is an 18" RB which ate an #18 Black/Red Zebra Midge, it was stationed at the riffle-inflow of a deep-pool. I've netted RB's to 16 inches; via a #16 PMD Hackle-Stacker. I've heard of a19" trout eating PMD emergers, at dusk (below image)...But, no first-hand nor grapevine Browns; most especially those of out-sized proportions.
Magic-Time on the Truckee's "Toilet Bowl"

As you proceed downstream below either Prosser or Boca dams; you'll  experience two things; heavier flows AND cooler water-temps, 1-3 less. The aforementioned is enlightened angling strategy as we progress into the heat of late-summer to early fall-time.

Don't forget you'll encounter lots of commercial rafting below the inflow at Boca. They are legally permitted to enter the main river at the Boca dam's inflow of the LT no earlier than 10 AM and off the water no later than 5PM; at Floristan only. During the entire trip from Boca to Floristan; the rafters can not disembark.

Water-temps are not an issue on the Little Tricky (LT); being a bottom-release tail-water. My last reading of the inflow from the dam was 46; it should remain in 44-46 degree range...warming as it meanders through meadow,  "canyon water" and into Boca.
Fooling one at "The Willow"
Last Saturday, Stampede looked like it was dampening the spillway. It was ramped-down to "I-don't- like" 70cfs for about two weeks (my preference is 125-250); dropped quickly to 50 cfs and immediately to its current 126cfs...I like it! During an up-ramp my go-to sub-surface, searching, terminal-rig entails  a #14 FleshJuan ... trailing anything small; #18-22 Black Zebras, JuJu BaetisRubber-Legged Red Copper Johns.

As for the bugs?...the usual suspects for mid-summer: BWOs, PMDs and Western Green Drakes.
LT BWO...Be aware of a "masking hatch"
Late-morning to mid-afternoons are your best opportunities for the mayfly emergences. Thus far, unfortunately, the hatches and corresponding surface-feeding has been less spectacular than I've anticipated. Overall, bring your "A-Game" or be humbled here.

HINT: Stillwaters
                                             Yeah!!!..a collector hat 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

ThrowBack Truckee River Regulation Sign

My recollection is that the below California fishing regulation sign was mid-'80's; guessing '84-'86. I consider it the second-generation sign in that the first special regulations for the Truckee River were instituted in either '82 or '83. These C and R rules made the Truckee River a new addition into California's "Wild Trout" program.


Last Saturday in April through November 15


Minimum size limit: 15 inches total length.

Only Artificial flies or lures with

Barbless hooks may be used

(B) Truckee River from the confluence of Trout Creek downstream to the Glenshire Bridge.
artificial lures only
(C) Truckee River from the Glenshire Bridge downstream to the mouth of Prosser Creek.    
artificial flies only
(D) Truckee River from the mouth of Prosser Creek downstream to Boca Bridge.
artificial lures only
(E) Truckee River from Boca Bridge downstream to the confluence of Gray Creek.     
no gear restrictions

               CCR SEC.  7.50 Title 14
Resources Agency of California

The first generation sign had just two special regulation sectors, not four as noted above. From Trout Creek to the Boca Bridge (the old one...closed when?) it was barbless artificials only, two take, minimum 15". From Boca Bridge down stream to Gray Creek it was any gear, two-take, no size requirement. General regs from Gray Creek to the CA/NV border; any gear, 5-take, any size.

Below is the current Truckee river reg sign; 4th generation. These rules were instituted in 2008. Main change was the river being open to angling during the winter; November 16 to the last Friday in April. 
There will be new regulations forthcoming in 2020; the Truckee seems to be included; along with other local waters. If such occurs, then there will be new signs posted. These will be the 5th generation signs. The new signs will be produced and hung throughout the area by volunteers from the Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers...such has been done in the past.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

SummerTime in Truckee

...Bring it on! Flows & water temps are near-perfect alignment...

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Seek & Find Uncrowded Truckee Angling

Progressively, as the Big Truckee and Little Truckee water flows become more "user friendly" there are likely crowds at these venues. If you want to avoid such; explore other regional waters within an hour's drive of the town of Truckee. You'll likely find some solitude at popular spots, venture way upstream or down and think about boats for difficult access.
Have Boat...Will Travel
Even on well-known  waters one can find no other
Waiting for the hatch...and heads

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Brookies & Bent Rods...Truckee Area

I love fly fishing small waters...been doing such for eons in the Truckee area. There are numerous  tiny brooks and creeks within a hour's drive of my home. Some are "secret"...others not. If new to the region study your topo-maps and start exploring. A few provide us the chance of bringing-to-hand the area's "Hat Trick"...brookies, rainbows and browns. In the near future Lahonton Cutthroat will be available; creating the area's unique "Grand Slam". A trophy is  in the 12"-13", most are 6"-10"...perfect quarry for a 3 weight rod...and dry flies.

There are important  considerations when seeking such waters. Below is an excerpt from my Destination Theater's presentation at Pleasnton CA's 2019 Fly Fishing Show

a) initially, the water temps are too cold and flows are too high
b) then, the flows are ideal, but water temps remain too cold
c) finally, flows and water temps are optimum for about 10 days ONLY
...then flow and temps are too low and warm!
if there's water , there are trout
Your first cast is the most productive for these opportunistic feeders
Above and below..."pan-size" or shall I say "hand-size" stream-bred trout
"OK, rise again..."

Monday, June 10, 2019

Lower Sac & A Near Death Experience?

The Lower Sac...sort of reminded me of southern Chilean Patagonia
Recently, I've been spending some time fishing well-known tail-waters of the West; the BeaverheadBigHorn, Missouri and the Green in Flaming Gorge; the latter three being BIG, tail-waters, below really huge dams within sometimes wide and sometimes narrow terrain.  (see images at bottom).Then I realized we have a famed and productive tail-water in the Lower Sac; right in our proverbial "back-yard".
Mike Brugh with a typical LS RainBow
So recently I spent two fun-filled days drifting the Lower Sac with members of the local fly fishing group; Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers. Suffice it to say; we netted respectable numbers of RainBows which made long runs, pulled hard and were healthy and strong.
 The LS is an "urban" fishery...along Interstate 5
The fallen tree, right-side of image, just missed the drift-boat
Peter, the fella in the center of boat has new name, " Woody". The fella in the stern was brushed by the tree as it broke into pieces as it hit the port-side of the drift-boat.…really lucky nobody got seriously injured. We were up river around a bend and our guide Shane received a cell-call from Peter. The other boat in this image was drifting behind and saw the whole thing; seeing and hearing the tree falling and smashing on boat.

the Wide-Missouri
...a wadable Missouri side channel 
The Green River...entering the infamous Flaming George
One of the few rapids on the Green  River
The across-stream footpath covers the entire 7 miles of the Green's Section A
the BigHorn….with its ugly terrain
BigHorn Brown
BigHorn RainBow

Monday, June 3, 2019

Ants!!...Truckee Area

Today is my first sighting of the Flying, Black Carpenter Ants, one of the three infamous "Big Bugs of June". I didn't notice them yesterday on the LT. Now, we await the Green Drakes and Golden StoneFies on the BT to make their sparse and unpredictable appearance.

As for Truckee area's fly fishing. This is the opportune time to encounter a hefty river trout; not numbers, but quarry measured in pounds. Our second opportunity occurs at lake inlets in fall.

Well, we're experiencing still heavy flows on moving waters and the still-waters are at near-maximum pool; both water-types make for challenging conditions. It seemed the snow-melt/run-off was waning and then we had an uptick in with the melt this last week. There still remains a lot of snow at the higher, north-sloping mountain peaks. Prior to the increased river flows we had some mid/late-spring, dry fly action; BWO's and March Brown and the occasional terrestrial pattern. Both huge attractor/indicator flies to sparsely dressed, small emerger patterns all fooled the sighted surface-feeders. Netted trout were RainBows ranging from 12"-19".

Guess I'm going to fashionably "redact" my 5/7/2019 post saying "Now, water temperatures supplant flows as the more important consideration...most especially on the BT."  Flow volume has re-entered our angling strategy again; along with its equally important partner; water temps. We're still awaiting a sustained warming period and the last-waning melt; thus triggering the early sequence of seasonal hatches.

The BT is flowing high and clear in its upper reaches; 835-1920 cfs from Tahoe City to Prosser Creek's inflow. Below Boca dam, there is less clarity and it is raging at close to 3000cfs. All these flows are ideal for kayak and sturdy inflatable fans; less so for us fly anglers...but be patient. As for wading the river...forgetaboutit! Besides, no need to be in the water, the trout have dispersed to the stream-edges, avoiding the turbulence of the main flows; resting and preserving energy behind obstructions that create deep, quiet eddy water.

 The productive techniques remain going deep, "low & slow" along the river-bottom. Suggested searching rigs adhere to the small/large concept; either a #12 San Juan or #6 Pat's Rubberlegs trailing a #16 FB Pheasant-Tail or Green rock Worm larva. I've no fly selections relative to Euro-style sub-surface fishing; if I did I'd be lying; being old-schooled in NorCal's tight-lining or high-sticking.
We're a MINMUM six weeks from the lower flow in the above image
Here are three FRANKISMS relative to angling during high water periods:

1---"Stick & Move"
2---"If fishing is slow, move fast, if fishing fast, move slow"
3---"When in doubt, add" related to weights

The LT below Stampede dam recently ramped-up to 760cfs; still too high for my jaded, liking.

 If you are resolute fishing there, I suggest the same BT advice as above. The exception being a #8 Green Drake nymph for the anchor-fly and the trailer being a size #18-20, black or red midge larva pattern (off-set the hook!).