TCO Fishing Report 12/30/20
Winter Fishing is in full force as we move into the new year. This latest cold front has really seemed to turn on the bite on both the main river and the Little Truckee. The key for both of these waters has been two bugs: B.W.O's (Baetis) and Midges. On the big river low and clear conditions as well as small flies mean that anglers should be using light tippet in a 5x or even 6x. while we hardly ever recommend using 6x on the Truckee, given the current conditions it can make the difference when presenting those size 18-20's in this clear water. Stoneflies and Worm patterns are always a good fall back when all else fails and streamer fishing using sculpin patterns in olive, black, white, or natural colors has also been working. with these larger offerings you can also get away with stouter tippet if fishing 5x and 6x isn't your thing. Fishing will be best down in the "canyon water" from the Boca confluence to the Nevada state line where there is a greater abundance of slow deep water for these trout to hold in as water temps are at their lowest. Fishing will be best mid-day at this point in the year and while the bright and sunny days make for a more pleasant outing for the angler it can make for tougher fishing conditions. During overcast days the bugs (Baetis in particular) will be more active which in turn should make the fish more responsive to your offerings. fishing this time of year will mean that you should be well layered (think like you're going skiing) a good layer of thermals, thick wool socks, a good pair of fingerless gloves and creature comforts like hand warmers and a thermos of hot coffee can make a cold day a whole lot more pleasant. another often over looked item is Loon's stanley's ice off paste to keep your rod guides from icing up and can actually keep you from breaking your rod. food for thought.
As for the Little Truckee, access continues to get tougher out here while more snow accumulates here in the sierras. As of today (12/30) you are able to get out there if you have a 4WD vehicle with moderate clearance, and the road is open all the way to the top parking lot. This could change this week as we have storms expected in the forecast, please call the shop to get the latest road conditions. Fishing remains very good here and flows have been well above average for this time of year hovering around 85 cubic feet per second. the main bugs here have been Baetis and Midges and the should be fished in a size 18-22 using 6x tippet for best results. Worms, Eggs and Streamers remain a good fall back if the smaller bugs aren't bringing you any luck. The Baetis have been hatching predictably mid-day and we strongly recommend having a dry fly rod set up for when this occurs as this can be some of the best fishing of the day. Don't overlook fishing dry droppers or soft hackles while these hatches occur due to a lot of these picky fish opting to feed subsurface on the emerging bugs as opposed to the adults on top. look for fish in a variety of water here including riffles, seams, buckets and flat water.
Pyramid Lake continues to fish very well and this seems to be an excellent year for large fish. 10 pounds is "the new normal" out here and only when you've gotten above 15 have you even started to see the potential monsters this lake can hold. We strongly encourage you to tie your own flies for this lake as a lot of the available factory ties are on hooks that are not up to snuff for the larger fish found in this lake and the last thing you want when you hooked a 20 pound cutty out here is to have to hook bend out on you, we've seen it all too often. We will be offering fly tying classes with a few nights specific for Pyramid, look for our announcement for these classes in the coming weeks! For tippet we recommend 1x fluorocarbon when fishing with an indicator and 0x fluorocarbon while stripping streamers. Both methods have their days out here and a good rule of thumb would be stripping during the periods of calmer weather and during low light hours and using an indicator when good swells of 1-3 feet are present. We do however recommend having both rods set up at your disposal to switch off tactics throughout the day as the trouts preference can change often. While you can catch fish on a wide variety of flies here the most consistent producers for stripping here has been the midnight cowboy and a chartreuse and white popcorn beetle, this set up is about as classic as it get but there is certainly a reason for it! As for indicator fishing most fish are being caught on balanced leeches in variations of black, white or olive and while they don's seemed to be keyed in on the midges quite yet we still recommend giving them the option and tie one on 1-2 feet above your leech. depth of your bug under the indo can vary on any given day but 7-10 feet seems to be a good place to start and feel free to bump your flies every so often during times of calmer weather to illicit strikes.