October…changes

A brief flurry of whiteness and clouds are hinting hard that winter is near. All the snow melted on contact with the warm ground. not enough to help flows, but the Browns are feeling the change. Have turned more Browns than Bows recently. I love this time of year….Should turn warm again….but I broke out my snow shovel, and all my snow clothes, and stowed them in the truck. Refreshed anti-freeze and with my new tires and I’m ready to fish this winter. Time to prep flies. Midges and BWOs will be next on deck…It’s chillier, so bring some warm stuff to wear.

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October…finally

It feels fishy out there…….54 degree water, 54 deg. air temp. That is a watershed point. Now, if only we had some water……….32cfs near town. think ankle deep. In the canyon it’s a little better at 100cfs. Feels like hunting fish in a barrel. But they are much happier, and hungry. Now is a good time to walk the water to see the bones of the Truckee. When the water comes up again (theoretically), it will help to have a mental image of what’s down there. I fish high flows….1800cfs in the Spring to good effect, only because I walk the river now, at it’s lowest. Someone asked me when they should plan on coming up. I said….when you see on the USGS flow report at 300csf. That is the sweet spot for most recreational fishers. Wade-able, and drift-able…….without a big struggle. I figure when the first foot of white stuff melts, it is game on again. Think snow!

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A little more Sept….

This last bit of Sept. is always interesting. There is little change over Summer, and then change accelerates into Fall/Winter. Water temps have dropped back to happy temps for fish (60 deg)……and that means for us fishers too. The flows have dwindled to 42.5cfs in town, and 100 in the canyon. I think that is the place to go….. But then that’s what most knowledgeable fishers will be doing. The water is very clear and fish are super spooky…..bring your sneak. I’ve been seeing a number of big bugs….Oct Caddis are popping, saw a Golden stone a couple days ago…..? and, Hoppers fly around noon. Smaller Caddis are about too. Midges are are worth a try as well. Morning temps are chilly, so bring a jacket. This time of year it pays to walk a bit. Fish near the car and those fish will have been addressed already…. The one with the best drift wins!

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Sept…cont.

Summer’s not over, but you can see the end from here. The nights are fantastic right now. I suggest sleeping one day so you can go take a night walk…a whole lot of stars. Owls hooting it up….. Fewer folks up right now, so, a “couple more” fishers can come up. The flows are low and lowering (98cfs)………..Oct. will be grim. These clear/low flows have made for super spooky fish. Full fish ninja skills are called for. Zero false casting, and a longer leader would be good, mine are 12ft. I swear by Snake river Mud as well…. Try to stay out of the water for best results. No white hats, or flats shirts….camo is best. I wait till I see a fish, then fish to it. Trying for first drift perfection…….blind casting is a good way to b-l-a-n-k…… Water temps have come down due to cooler nights mostly, days can still be a bit warm. Afternoon is still pretty dead. I think fishing mornings are best, but keep fish wet always. Soon, an evening rise will be happening…..

I try to go to the water everyday. Because my only advantage, (besides being sneaky and having a surgical drift…..) is to feel the rhythms of the bugs. Right now (nine AM), as we speak, Midges are popping enthusiastically, but subsurface is the place to serve them. In an hour or so, little PMDs are set to go……a few BWOs if a cloud helps out. Mixed in, and easily confused, are my favorite sleeper bug. Damsels are small (sz 18) and yellow, but the “tail” hanging down…..isn’t. It is their long legs that we see. I have done well over the years using a nymph pattern (never a dry because they pop and go.). I suspect they taste good, and they aren’t fished as often by the hoard. At ten AM, the midges return to oviposite, you may see a few risers, maybe fish a clump fly. About eleven, the PMDs return to oviposite, a few more rises might happen. If you have been watching the bank closely, you will notice that Grass hoppers (small yellows) are hopping……You can try a dry fished in the shade. As always I suggest it’s better to drown them. There are some winged Ants flying occasionally. You can try a dry…..but Ants don’t float well, so drown them too. We all love to see a fish eat a dry….but since fish feed subsurface mostly, I don’t argue. In the spookiest conditions they have tendency to eat close to home. Think of nymphing as Ubering eats……about time to swing it.

National Forest has reopened, camp grounds are pretty empty. We are all in fear of fire right now, so be smart. Had 210 followers for a minute there….Wait……back to 210!!!!! Almost viral…

I wanted to share that for ten years I was busy posting on two forums as well as this blog. Have stopped posting anywhere but here! Unlike some others, I’m not trying to blow up the Truckee river ever, just helping out. May the fish be with you……….

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September

Slight weather shift for this week…..Nights have cooled and days are a little less warm, just below 80 deg daytime, and upper 30s at night. Flows are below 150cfs, 163 in the canyon, and dropping slowly. Water temp has come down a little, to 60ish at dawn. The fish could still use a break in the afternoon. The crowd has diminished at bit with the smokey situation. I knew there was a good side to particulate matter……..

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August pt II….

As a fisherman, I am responsible for the fishery. The better I fish the more responsible I am, because I will handle more or larger fish. As a guide it is imperative that I am responsible for teaching good ethics to others. Guides set the tone for recreational fishers to follow. To walk the talk, for the time being, I have stopped fishing myself, and suspended my guiding operations until the conditions improve.

The flows have dropped to 150cfs. Low flows warm more quickly. I’ve been getting water temps at dawn of 63-64, and 67deg before noon. We are going into a period of higher daytime air temps, so it will only get worse for a while. The smoke is bad right now. It has been bothering me personally, and I would think the smoke would effect oxygen uptake for the fish as well…… maybe change the PH of the water too. I’m not booking trips for September this year because of conditions as bad as I’ve seen as a 30 year resident in Truckee, and 50 years of fly fishing. I hate to lose business, but I care about this river…. Maybe we can all do something else fun for a while, we can fish later.

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August

OK, now it’s August……..Cracko’dawn starts are in order. I try to be approaching the water at 5:30 AM. Bugs get up early! Flows are nice….Clear/green and 173cfs. The flow is dropping a bit every day, about 10-20cfs . Water temp is lower 60s to start. But warms by noon to unhealthy for the fish temps. If we care for them now, we can fish them later…… Caddis, BWOs, and Midges….are the main fare, but there are others around, experiment a little. Lake Tahoe will be dropping below the rim soon enough…..don’t wait to fish!!!

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July……..

With the minimal snow pack this year, we are already looking like late summer. Water temps are hovering near my temp cutoff by the end of the day 64-65…….. Dawn temps are around 60-62. So if you fish, do so early. The fish suffer from stress before we even hook them. I’ve started finding dead fish in the morning……..Don’t subject your personal best fish to a dismal end. Little fish don’t seem as bothered by the heat, but big guys resuscitate poorly. We are locally doing a Hoot Owl closure after 1:00 pm. Thanks for your support! The bugs go very early….Seeing PMDs doing a flight by 7:00 am. Hoppers are going by noon, then, bug-wise it slows to nothing mid-day. It gets tubular at high-noon anyway. When humans are lounging in a stream without squeaking…..it’s too hot to fish.

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June!!!!

Since the bugs and fish and other critters don’t go by clocks or calendars, so neither do I…. Here goes…..The Spring melt is over, and the tribs are quiet. The river just dropped below 500cfs. It is flowing very clear, and the temp is rising. Just below 60 deg. The raft hatch is underway, I’d fish early and later. The Flying ants have come and gone, try again next year. Watch for my tie or buy warning. Golden stones are in the house. Several Caddis are popping. HOPPERS are here!. Green Drakes are stating up the canyon…be another week more than likely. Tie or BUY!!!! Going to be bad later…..fish now or hold your peace.

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May!!!

The weather has warmed to the point where we are starting to seek shade around noon…..The bugs are coming along nicely. March Browns are starting to show. The Baetis like clouds and dusk mostly. The Green Drakes are showing in the seine, they aren’t popping yet…..but soon. Looks like the Ants are done for the season. The flows have peaked and will slowly come down over the next 2 weeks. It’s clear/green and looks like Steelhead water.. The fish are feisty with this chilly water. 54 deg. A few fishers out and about, but seems like our shoulder season is upon us. Get after it now as the flows will not last all summer……

I’ve ran into several fishers that were not hooking up. They normally do well, and couldn’t figure out where their mojo went. When the flows double in size,,,,you often need to double your weight. Fish a longer leader too…..

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