The T

In my opinion, anyone posting a fish report more than twice a month this time of year, is posting for a business boost…..Things go in slow motion in winter. Same bugs, same flows (300cfs in the canyon, 166cfs in town) everyday. The days have been warmish (near Tshirt today), with painfully blue skies. Being stealthy is good practice, when flows are low and clear. Fish a little farther away, and try not to wade much, fish from the shade when possible.. As always……don’t tell them you are coming. The midges (sz 20 or so….) are the main fare right now. They start emerging mid morning, and start returning to the water in the PM for the wild thing…..clumps may be seen on the water then, a Griffith’s Gnat is still the all time clump fly. Mainly nymphing right now, but if you are sharp eyed and patient, there is the occasional riser. The main issue is parking, there is very little open, that means there is a lot of water that isn’t being fished, since normal fishers fish close to the car…….Mornings the snow is very crusty/hard.The trail is often packed out. Snow will support your weight in the morning, but soft and breakable in the afternoon, maybe bring snow shoes for the return. Snow is about a foot and a half after melt/thaw for several weeks. We still are hoping for a fabulous Feb. or a miracle Mar. We may get more snow………but you never know. I say, fish while there is water. Ravens are acting amorous, at least they are thinking spring….I ran into a flock of 1000 Pine Siskins a while back. I wait impatiently for the Robins, because that means the Skwalla have started to emerge, and that means GAME ON!!!!!! This is your tye or buy alert….see you on the water.

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Winter fishing…..

Small bugs, and a slow drift........
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Boom….a new year!

A whole new year is ahead!!!! 2022 is now available for booking some fishing fun. I am grateful for still being here after twenty years of getting clients on the water. I owe them for letting me spread the fly thing, and helping connect them to the riparian area. Guided a range of ages from 8 years to 80 + last year. There were clients that only wanted a taste, and a few that I ruined for life…….and for my part, I cannot tell for a while which way it will go. That’s part of the fun! It’s truly beautiful out right now. The snow is around 3ft near the water. And last nights temp was a few degrees below zero. We have the beginnings of shore ice encroaching in the shallows. Very chilly water, bring extra socks! A couple days of blue skies, then….back to winter survival mode, so wax your shovels, get some more shear pins for the blower, and fill the gas tank in your vehicle in case the gas station runs out again.! We never know how much snow we will get for our snow pack every year. It’s looking good so far, but in this land of drought, and with our changing climate, I always say the same thing……fish while you can…..and let me know if I can help.

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Snow update

I’ve been doing continuing education on the subject of snow, and thought I would share. The Inuit supposedly have 52 or so words for snow. I too have a lot of words for snow…..many are unprintable. This week was a test of Character as we went for a record amount for Dec. 200″. That is a lot of snow, since we didn’t get any for the first two weeks of the month. Which is to say, they could find you dead in a drift with a shovel in your hand. I’ll bet there isn’t a Honda snow blower available for sale for many miles. The locals are hunkered down, the tourists are stuck in drifts. You see lots of little cars with flatland tires that cannot get up the slightest uphill. So bring chains or don’t come up. And please do a practice session at home, and not in the middle of the road, in a blizzard ….. As always bring snacks,water, blankies, tow strap, as well as chains/tighteners. There is a window of light snow this week, which could be interpreted as an invitation to fish….flows have leveled and it is game on. The question is where to park? The other question is, how to get to the water? There is only one pullout along Glennshire drive, so that was easy. Snowshoes are now mandatory equipment. But, it is really fine out, with windows of blue….But not so much it puts the BWOs off. They like clouds, and so do I. Hasn’t been much pressure so they may be a little more relaxed than Summertime. Still takes a quality drift to get fish love. They are mostly pooled up, and thinking about the upcoming spawning. I figure it’s like a disco season….seeing who is looking good. Find some Griffith’s Gnats and master a downstream presentation, combined with a strip-set. You may see some risers late in the day.

If traveling up, aim for gaps in the weather, and don’t follow the hoard on the weekends. Roads are hardly plowed in town, let alone up in neighborhoods. We are in survival mode up here. If you can get to the water to fish, it should be quiet……Normal folks will not be out, but who wants to be normal?

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When it comes to the subject of the white stuff I have been doing my research…. As a lad, I remember being over-matched by a #12 scoop-shovel fully loaded. I’ve grown to be able to wield that full shovel….graduated to a Tracked Honda 928 snowblower for manual attack (local’s favorite.) I have Groomed snow for recreational sliding, and cleared it for parking. For several years I drove the BIG $500,000 fly by wire, blower at the resort. Now, I clear private homes/cabins so people can even get out at all, to work or play. In between then and now, for 60yrs, I have been intimate with the medium..sledding, sliding, climbing, camping, which means getting down and rolling in it. Research enough to share my take on winter so far….

We are following the same schedule as 2017, which was a big one. A late start that year as well. So you just never know…The first storm was very wet/heavy, and this last storm was a nice lite topper of two feet. We need a lot more to rally against this drought, but it is a start and I’m grateful.

Years ago I realized that I had something in common with Trout, neither of us can live without water! As a guide for the last twenty years, I have become acutely aware of it’s value when running between river banks. Flows are coming back up from our scary summer low flows. A glance at the USGS gauge we jumped up to almost 300 cfs, in town and now, we are back down to 172 cfs. But it’s good to see a positive direction…..up!

The night time temps are staying cold, which means we are keeping the snow we get. If you care to learn the fish’s scheduled a daily glance at the gauge is key. You will see high flows noonish, and lower at night. As afternoon approaches the snow melt from up high, meets the river, and the water temp drops, fishing slows….. Aim for mid-morning, and the bug breakfast. Same as all winter long…..Midges, BWO’s and the occasional Caddis. Fish dries, fish nymphs, and you can swing it to them as well. We are needing snow shoes to move around now……Some fine scenery in between storms….come see.

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December…..Mid way.

The flows have remained level but low. I always say the fish don’t care about the amount of flow, only the consistency. It has been fishy, but required a high level of play. At this time, change is in the air/sky. The storm door has opened, and WINTER……. is here. We will see a couple of feet over the next few days. Break out your snow shoes for easier access to the water. From here on we will see the flows come up….It will only get better. We are at 117cfs in town, and looking for 300cfs for better odds with spooky fish. The fun is just beginning! The bugs are pretty much the same for awhile….Midges and BWOs…Keep an eye peeled for risers. Don’t cast a lot. Try not to blind fish….find a fish, catch a fish. The first drift is your best shot. Tomorrow parking will be an issue. Don’t get stuck. Have a shovel with you in case. A tow strap is a good call. Locals might help, if you are equipt for it. Best to be smart……Give a shout if you are curious about winter fishing…I enjoy it more than mid-summer. Bring a change of clothes in case of a slip. It is always extra slippery at the beginning of winter. A staff might be a good call as well. Happy hunting.

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Nov….the last drop.

Not sure if I’m getting the jump on next month, or savoring the last day of this one. Mostly I wanted to share how hard it is to report….For thirty years I have been trying to give good info on the Truckee. If I say a certain bug is coming, it snows. If I say a bug is done for the year, it shows up. As an honest guide, I must admit failure again. The last two days I have been kicking up Grass Hoppers. This is the latest in my fifty years of fishing them in the Sierras. This is the reason I teach “now”… the favorite fly, or going strictly by the hatch guide is an invitation to disappointment.

Besides the water being way too low, it is beautiful out there! 120cfs in town, clear/green, and getting chilly…….The winter menu is steady. Midges everyday, first as a pupa, then a mid morning emerger, late afternoon copulatory clumps (Griffiths Gnat), then spent/downwing before dark. I have been seeing a few risers later afternoon in the shade. Fish as far from them as possible, because they can see you coming from FAR away….false casting is discouraged. I prefer a waterload to keep the finny buggers guessing. The BWOs are around sparsely due to bright sun conditions….they hate that. Today I am hoping with a few clouds, they will appear in numbers. There were only three yesterday……….

I’m ready no matter how it goes down….now so are you. See you next month!

Graph of
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November is nice…..

I’m enjoying the weather this month… warm. It was cold enough to do in the Grass Hoppers till next May. We have arrived at the Winter menu. BWOs and Midges are the mainstay till February when the Skwalla’s return. In fact, I got out the materials to twist up a few for clients and myself. It is a bad day when you go to the store for flies and they are sold out. Tye now to avoid this horror…… The flows have come down again to a gentile flow. 200cfs in town, so I might drive a bit to find more water. 300cfs in the canyon. Color is green/clear, and the temp is warming slightly to upper 40’s low 50s. When the sun hits the water it is game on for bugs. Before sunup, and after sundown a streamer might work…… Heard anyone fishing below the hamlet of Hirschdale is likely to get cited by the landowner. He’s a real pip.

I recommend breaking out the winter gear like snow shoes and getting ready, because this fine weather will come to an end eventually. No hurry though…… Thanks to the follower who made it total of 212… I want number 213…..

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November it is!!

The last storm blew most of the color away from the trees…..Starting to get that drab grayish color to the woods. Also known as winter time. The American Dippers are in fine form, feeding merrily on a river all their own. Mostly the other birds have left for the season. The Brewer’s Blackbirds are the last to leave….they waited till the first snow fell. The squirrels have settled in to their nests, having spent the last couple weeks running to store enough food for winter. Deer are down from the high country, Bear too……. Flows are down a bit from last week. 240cfs in town, and clear green. Fishy! The water temps are in the 40s. This means happy fish and two pairs of socks for comfort. I have been fishing a bit, changing styles, High sticking the bubbles, bobbering the deep, and throwing a dry with my new favorite rod….Reddinton STRIKE 11ft 4 wt. Euro rod. Have been sharing this rod with oldsters who have fished a short stick all their lives. The longer your reach over the water, the better the drift. Surgical baby. The menu has diminished to the seasonal norm. BWO’s and Midges……The fishing pressure has diminished, to just the serious folks. I have been suggesting for a decade or so, that winter is a great time to go fish the Truckee river……Summer is the time for tourists and high temps, low water and persecuted fish. Let me know if you’d like a guide to share some secrets!

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Oct….the last bit

We had some real weather…..About 6″ of rain, and then about 18″ of snow in town. Much of it has melted away in a couple days, and the river peaked about 1760cfs. But we are back to 500cfs (332cfs in town) and will hold there unless it gets very warm….like the next few days…..Water clarity is good for fishing, flows are nice, fish are feeding! I say get after it now! A pink worm maybe????? Tis the season.

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