Follow by Email

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Truckee Area Update---an early Pre-Season Prognosis

.....Simply, we need more snow/water for the trout.

As of right now  prime fly fishing conditions on the BT will be at least 5-6 weeks ahead of a "normal" season; of which May is "iffy" and June is definitively the latest end of the run-off/melt (in a normal winter) and the first start of Prime-Time. So, look for late April thru May exhibiting "normal" June conditions. It remains to be seen when the START of the sequence of hatches will occur. Currently emergences of BWO's, March Browns and Skwalas are more numerous across the border in Nevada. Expect these bugs to progressively work their way into California and into the Truckee River above the "Grand Canyon of the Truckee".
A couple of days ago some surface feeders were seen/hooked (11:45 AM-1:45 PM) on a #18 BWO Thorax Dun. Regardless of were you fish, nymphing with a good-sized, #6-10 Stonefly Nymph and trailing a #16-18 FlashBack PT is a very good ploy and your chance at more numerous hook-ups...into late afternoon.
Below is a chart ( of March 1, 2012) which has helped me make this initial assessment as to how the fly fishing season will play-out in the Truckee area for the 2012.

In case you can't read the fine print; the Black line is the % of average amount of water content as of 3/1, Red is the historical average of water content and Green the amount that occurred during the winter of 2010-11.
In the Truckee River Basin we're currently at 38% of Snow-Water Content...which is more important than the depth of the snow*. To date we've received  50% of normal Percipitation. This data is the average from eight (8) measurement sites at elevations from as low as 6456' (Independence Creek) to the highest site of 8801' at Mt Rose...which is included in the "Basin" report.

*As of today March 8, the snow depth at Donner Pass is 45% of normal and 40% of normal at Tahoe City.

Here's something interesting which I've never thought about:

The Average Peak Date of snow depth is 3/31; as of 3/1 the Current % Of Peak Date was 31%.


  1. Your prognosis will have to change after this week's weather. March Miracle is on its way.

  2. g_rob----I mean Swill D. Beers. Geez, what a dummy I am (...personal comment to g-rob).

    IMO even if we get the 6'-8' of snow at the upper elevations by Sunday; it will not substantially change my prognosis. Granted, instead of late-April being the start of "normal" June conditions; I'll move that prediction the first week of May: still 4-5 weeks before "normal".

    Now if the storm window remains open AFTER next week, depending on the amount of snow...I'll bump normal to another week. Even then we'd still be way below normal; thinking at 65% of normal in both snow accumulation and water/content. Right now the snow is "wet" which is good.

    Frankie da Prognosticator.