Truckee River treating fly fishermen well
As anyone who has fished local waters recently can tell you, the early season has been very good thus far. The past couple of years high water during the early part of the season eliminated many of the potentially good hatches in the local rivers.
On the Truckee River this season we have had few, if any, days where the water was not fishable due to high run-off. The snowpack was very slim at something around 30 percent or less. As a result, the river has warmed up quickly, allowing insects to begin hatching.
We have seen good hatches of mayflies midday and caddis and mayflies in the evening. Add some very good ant fishing and you have a banner past several weeks of dry fly fishing.
The fish have been large this season as well.
Most veteran local anglers are reporting that almost all of the fish being caught this season are exceeding the 14-inch mark. That is pretty remarkable.
In my time up here fishing the Truckee River, it is by far the best early season I can remember, particularly for the dry fly fishing. I have not even fished a nymph yet this season. Because I have the opportunity to do so, I am fishing midday hatches and then again in the evening.
Fishing dries may involve a lot of waiting and/or walking. Many times I will just wait for fish to begin to feed where I know they will. Other times I will walk along the river until I find the fish that are actively feeding on the surface.
Blind casting works well if you are using dries such as ants. Ants are particularly good when the carpenter ants are flying about as they were several weeks ago. With ant imitations, I work areas that have the best cover, such as along willows and structures such as logs or rocks. A couple weeks ago, fishing ants in this fashion was very productive.
With additional hatches of Green Drake mayflies and Little Yellow stoneflies just beginning, dry fly enthusiasts have a lot in which to look forward. Some of the best dry fly action is yet to come!
Flows are anticipated to be good throughout the season in spite of the low snowpack. The reason for this is due to the fact that the other reservoirs that feed into the Truckee River are already very low. Once these are drawn down the Federal Watermaster must use Lake Tahoe water to meet downstream needs. As a result, water will be released at a higher rate out of Lake Tahoe. This means a good flow throughout the entire length of river.
I would urge all of you who have not made it out to try a little fly fishing on the river. A season like this may only come along once in a great while. It certainly has been good!
Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.
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