The water conditions on the Truckee in California continue to be really good. Most of the water in the system is being released from Lake Tahoe right now and there is a good flow from Tahoe City down to the State line. The river is starting to get on the low side in Nevada which is pretty bad timing with the record heat we are experiencing in the area right now.
The evening hatches are very compressed due to the air temps right now and are almost nonexistent on the Nevada side of the river. The best time to fish the river is early in the morning up until around lunch time. The water temps fluctuate daily with the air temps and by afternoon the water is pretty warm. Nymphing with a Golden Stone Nymph with a smaller dropper like a Caddis or a Little Yellow Stonefly is hard to beat right now. Look for fish to start to move up into faster water that holds more oxygen and has less pressure from fishermen, tubers and people playing in the river, especially with the 4th of July holiday this weekend. High Sticking without an indicator is the best way to approach this type of water for sure. An indicator can simply drag your flies out of the zone in faster water and make it more difficult to get a good drift. Heavy flies and a couple of BB split shot will also help to get your flies down faster. Flows are: Town of Truckee 330 CFS, Boca Bridge 437 CFS, Farad 538 CFS and Reno 331 CFS.
East Walker River
Flows on the East Walker are 90 CFS. They have gone up from 76 CFS over the past week. The water temps on the East Walker are getting up there. Warm weather and water temps are making it necessary to fish the East Walker from early in the morning up until around 11:00am. Bridgeport Reservoir is getting really low and is going to play a big role in higher than normal water temperatures this summer. Take a thermometer with you and get off the water if the temps reach 70 degrees.
The fishing is actually pretty good considering the extreme weather. Some cloudy afternoons over the past few days have helped for sure. On the California side there have been some Midges and some Caddis hatching. 90 CFS is a great flow for Dry Dropper rigs. Big Stoneflies or Hoppers with a Zebra Midge or a Caddis Pupa is a great way to approach the water right now. There are not as many bugs on the Nevada side but there are still some fish looking up for attractor dries as well. Look for fish to be hanging out in the deeper runs, at the head of pools and in seams near faster water.
Little Truckee River
The flows have dropped from a steady 200 CFs down to 90 CFS over the past week. Fish that were really spread out before are going to start to congregate in some of the larger holes on the Little Truckee. We have had a pretty good PMD hatch which is very common for this time of year on the L.T. As the water gets lower it is way more important to make less casts. The Little Truckee is really more of a spot and stalk type of river when it gets below 100 CFs. Fish are going to get spooky from low water and fishing pressure over the next few weeks and it is a way better idea to look more and cast less. Look for fish, make a few drifts and give them a break. Change locations often and then come back to an area and try it again. Plop after plop with an indicator rig will not help your success rate on the Little Truckee with lower flows. PMD nymphs and dries in size 16-18 are a must to have in your box right now. Make sure you have some floatant along with you to keep your dries riding high. This time of year even the real bugs get refused by rising fish. You have to really get a good drift to fool one of these Little Truckee fish right now, but it is very rewarding when you do.
The water temperatures have skyrocketed at Davis over the past week. On June 22nd the water was 62 degrees and on June 28th they were 70 degrees. They have only gone up over the past few days and surface temperatures have been recorded at 75 degrees in some areas of the lake in the last few days. June was a really good month at Davis Lake. The Damsel hatch is still going on but there are a lot less fish chasing them around now. Blood Midges are still hatching in the evenings for about an hour or so. The “New” Hexagenia Mayfly hatch seems to be waning with the warmer water which is normal on other area lakes that have these huge yellow bugs. If you are going to fish Davis in the coming weeks do so for about an hour in the morning and again in the evenings. Try fishing in deeper water with either a faster sinking line with Wiggle Tails, Woolybuggers and Damsels. Hanging Blood Midge patterns under an indicator in 12-16 feet of water has also still been working well. Handle fish with care and get them back into the water quickly. Make sure they are right side up when you release them back into the water.
The conditions are very similar to Davis Lake. The biggest difference is that Frenchman’s is very low this year due to the poor winter we had. There are a lot of weeds and for some reason the fishing has been off compared to last year. The lake has changed due to lower water and the fish are spending a lot of time in very deep water at Frenchman’s. Anglers that are doing best are fishing in 20-30 feet of water in the middle of the lake or near steep drop-offs and creek channels. This is hard to do with a fly rod unless you are using a very fast sinking line or a break-away indicator system.
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