Fishing opportunities remain after general trout season
The general trout season for California closed this past Saturday, Nov. 15. All lakes, reservoirs and streams subject to this closure date are no longer open to fishing. In our region this includes most streams as well as Martis Lake.
The local waters that remain open are year-round lakes such as Boca, Donner, Lake Tahoe, Prosser and Stampede.
In addition, the Truckee River from the confluence of Trout Creek in Truckee to the Nevada state line and the Little Truckee River downstream from Stampede Reservoirs to Boca Reservoir are open for barbless, artificial-only catch-and-release fishing (zero kill or bag limit) from Nov. 16 until the Friday before the last Saturday in April.
These are special winter regulation that took affect about two seasons ago.
This still gives local fishermen some great options to fish and take advantage of the unusually warm fall weather that we have been experiencing. Unfortunately, the flows in the upper Truckee from Lake Tahoe to Truckee are pretty bleak. With Lake Tahoe at 6,223.29 feet this past Sunday, it appears that water will soon stop flowing into the Truckee River at Tahoe City.
As of Sunday evening, the flow at Tahoe City was a mere 17 cubic feet per second. This is way below the flow necessary to sustain the fishery between Tahoe City and River Ranch. It is only slightly better at the Truckee gauging station at the Granite Flat campground, which is flowing at 42 cubic feet per second.
Water is being released out of Boca at a rate of around 276 cubic feet per second to meet the Floriston rate downstream. It looks pretty tough for fishermen between Tahoe City and where the Little Truckee dumps out of Boca Reservoir. Flows in this stretch will be very low.
Below Boca to the state line remains the best option for winter-season anglers until the flows out of Boca are curtailed. Water levels in all of our reservoirs are very low now.
Fly fishermen are catching fish on nymphs, streamers and occasional dry fly patterns. Some pretty sizable brown trout have been reported in the Truckee River all the way down to Reno itself.
The flows on the Little Truckee remain very good for this time of year at 108 cubic feet per second. Fishing here should be good. The fish here have seen it all, though, since there is a considerable amount of pressure on this fishery because of its accessibility. Anglers from both California and Nevada frequent this exceptional stretch of water.
The local year-round lakes and reservoirs, along with these special winter regulation streams, provide some great angling opportunities for those not ready to put the rod down for the season.
Get out there and give them a try while the weather holds. When winter gets its snowy grip on us, access to these waters will become much more difficult, if not almost impossible.
Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.