Fixin’ to start fishin’
Trout season opens on Saturday, April 30. Most anglers I have talked with are getting pretty anxious for the season to get underway. Keep in mind that the lakes are already ice free and fishing them is typically very good before the season gets underway.
The thing that appeals to many anglers is moving water, such as the Truckee and Little Truckee rivers. Many anglers prefer to fish running water rather than a “pond.”
Each location has its allure, however. Larger fish can be caught more frequently in lakes than in streams, and there are usually more fish, as well. However, for sport, it’s hard to beat a fish caught in a stream.
Fish caught in streams resemble finely tuned athletes; whereas the fish in lakes are often more like “couch potatoes.” One can certainly tell the difference between the two.
With the season snowpack looking very good, it appears that there will be adequate water this season to keep the Truckee River flowing at a reasonable level. Early indications are that the Truckee River from Lake Tahoe should continue to flow throughout the year. Flows may be minimum in the latter part of the year, but the lake should not drop below its natural rim this season.
This is certainly promising for the Truckee River, considering how early the flows ceased in the river last year. What this means to the overall fishing conditions is that they should be vastly improved from last year.
So how is this season going to shape up? It is hard to say how severe the impact of having minimal water in the Truckee River this past year will be on the season. It is pretty safe to say that a good number of insects that fish depend on for food were lost. As a result, there may also be fewer fish.
What is certain is that the early season will have a pretty decent amount of runoff due to the heavy snowpack. The conditions for the opener will depend on the weather. If it’s warm, the runoff could be very significant and cause the afternoon river conditions to be very off color. This would mean that the river fishing may only be decent early in the morning. Conversely, if it’s cold, the river could remain fishable all day long with minimal runoff.
The key is to keep an eye on the weather if planning to fish the main Truckee River. Because of the variables, many anglers prefer to fish the Little Truckee River between Boca and Stampede Reservoirs, which is regulated by flows released from Stampede. This special regulation water typically is the best bet on opening day. As a result, it is also the most crowded location.
If venturing out for the trout opener, don’t forget a fishing license, and be aware of the fishing regulations. Game wardens are typically out in force on opening day. Obey the regulations!
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