Flow tips….

Flows near town are good to go…. For me, watching and figuring it out, are more engaging than going fishing without any idea of what’s going on. The river fishes well at 500+cfs. The question arises, do you? If all you fish is a dry fly, you may be waiting for a while…..I have been de-briefing fishers for a long time as part of being a guide. When the majority of fishers that I ask say they didn’t do well, and then they tell me they used two BBs for weight, I know why they didn’t hook up. At these flows I bump up to ABs and use three to four on my leader. It took a few seasons to see that many of us fish out of habit. If you fish that cute little stream in summer with two BBs to good effect, you may think that would do the job. Maybe rethink that approach. Are the hydraulics the same? No! How could they be? The process of sorting out the flows, and weight, helped motivate me buy a switch rod to better handle the payload. Four ABs are on the edge of what a 5 weight rod will deliver. We are shaped by the tools we use…I say get the tool for the job. Also, fish often, but not out of habit. You have a two day window to fish starting now. Go get’em.

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Looks like weather….

We recieved a lot of rain yesterday. It melted several inches of snow. Snowing now like it will replace what we lost, and some extra to get ahead. Next couple days the fish are pretty safe. A big spike in flows with all the melt. It is very icey under the snow….drive safe. In two days we have a other fishin window.

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Get ready….

The river has leveled as hoped, at 339cfs. Perfect. Water temp is 36deg+, I recommend wearing a couple good base layers on the bottom. Top layers vary according on whether the sun comes out, in case it doesn’t, always bring extra layers. Today and part of tomorrow will be “nice”. Monday it will be seriously snowy. 25-30 inches of fluffy stuff. After the storm, snow shoes will be needed. What we had on the ground was reduced by rain to about a foot. It’s really pretty out there, and the fish are in the river…….have fun, life is too short not to.

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Need a spot to park? Make one.

Just need shovel……and a 4×4…

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The window…

As predicted flows leveling on the T at 460cfs+ …….Get it.

Tomorrow is looking like an optimal day to fish. The flow is leveling/clearing around 460cfs near town. There is a sunny day predicted. Game on! It is now full winter conditions. You will need snow shoes to get to the water. You could posthole to the water, but if you get sweaty there will be a chilly penalty. And several layers of warm clothes and a wind jacket. I add a pair of fingerless gloves to keep fingers warm enough for knots. Wading is do-able if you understand the penalty for swimming this time of year. Bring dry backup clothes in case. I started fishing winters back when they changed the regs on the Truckee to year-round 13yrs? I found fish will eat dries and nymphs, as well as eat something on the swing. It’s a limited menu, with only BWOs and midges until the Skwalla’s arrive. Practical advise is to fish with only two rod lengths of line from the rod tip. That allows you to fish without your guides icing up. Bingo! Suddenly fishing winter is fun…. Parking is the main issue. Be inventive, but careful…. don’t get stuck. As always, bring a shovel and a tow strap. A fresh 2023 CA. fishing license is a good call to make the warden happy. I’ve seen them patrol New Year’s day looking for the unwary. Be careful, have fun! Fish now….

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I have always enjoyed the sound of rain, but not so much last night. It was monsoonal! Sheeting, pelting, fat drops! People say to me, “well at least we are getting water”….What I know, is we lost 6″+ of our snow pack last night, and the snow pack is really what matters long term. We never know until spring how much water we will have to fish this year. This is why, for many years, I fish water levels many avoid. If fishing is more marginal every year during summer, I say”Fish Now!”. The way to fish seasonally BIG water, is to surf the chaos, treat the river more like a coastal Steelhead river. That’s why I watch the flows…..I’m able to say with confidence when to go wet my line, and yours if you call for a trip.

The river rose from 197 up to 2280cfs. near town last night. The fish do not seem to mind the flow size in cfs, but seem to prefer the dropping and clearing phase. At this time, it is back to winter and snowing hard. It will be snowing some for the next few days. The colder temps will lock-up water to it’s frozen state, and we will watch the river come down again to a fishy level. We don’t know what the level will be, but are ready to deploy when it levels out a bit. The Truckee clears very quickly after a large influx of water, I give it a day or two, and we are back to it. This is what I consider advanced level fishing. Anyone can go fish and accidentally catch a fish….Being able to do it on purpose is what counts to me, and that takes years of study to get better at. The good news, is that what you learn on the Truckee river, can be exported to other waters. I have to go plow snow for the rest of the day, but will be out on the water during the next window. See you on the water!

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A classic example of what I call a flash melt. Starting at 47cfs and rising to 550cfs in 24hrs near town. A night of rain on snow, is all it takes. The river will continue to come back down to what can become our winter level. If the temps drop to single digits, then flows will return to low flows much as before. The river is at 300cfs now and is really nice sized and clearing quickly as usual. The fish have been freed up from their small sanctuary pools, to roam about again. With all the food stirred up, they can feed. Parking is a problem, but if you walk a bit, the river is all yours. I put little stock in hatch guides these days with climate change, but we can adjust like the bugs do. They go when it’s good. I’m keeping an eye out for Skwallas about a month early. You just need to stay alert, and ask the questions. A blue bird day today, but more weather on the way soon. you can see the river leveling out…fish for a day. If I was predicting….Fri may be another flash melt.

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When you watch weather closely, for what seems like a long time…..you can sense the fall of the barometer, and feel the “warm before the storm”. The amount of warm, is relative to the weather that’s coming next. Looking to top 48deg today, and although I wouldn’t lay out to get a tan, it feels almost like you could, at least after a week or two of single digit temps. Although I watch the GOES satellite religiously every morning, whenever it feels like it does today, I know we’ve got some strong atmospherics coming. Hardly enough water to really go fish, so it might be a good time to wax your shovel, gas up the blower and maybe get some shear pins too…, and batten down your hatches. Looks like it will start out warm and with some rain, then shifting to more serious snow as the pressure drops some more. Doesn’t sound or feel like “a whopper” but it will add to our snow pack, and that’s needed for the trouts next season. Weather underground predicts a low of 29.55 on the barometer on Wed. Should be snowing for a few days. Maybe sit by the fire tie a few flies…..

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Weather break….

The cold temps we’ve been having, are taking a break for a few days. Mid-twenties at night. Close to forty deg. during the day. Borderline tropical….The river is pretty iced up…..even down below in the canyon. The snow has settled to about two feet. Easy enough to get around on the flats, but tough to find fish-able water. One thing I’ve learned about fish…is that they appreciate structure. Shore ice falls into that category. Sometimes they aren’t out in the middle of the stream, sometimes, they can be almost under your feet, provided you move quietly. 131cfs at Farad. 47cfs near town. You decide…..

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Getting deeper……

Continuing education….a peek at what I call a flash melt…..from 140cfs to 220cfs and back to 120cfs in a couple days. A little rain changed the snow pack as well, made it denser, and a better pack for later. We are back to low flows and holding till the next storm.

Well, it happened…we have about 3feet on the flats near town. It is time to break out the snow shoes. The woods are showing off right now. Due to continued cold temps, the trees are covered with the white stuff. Really pretty! There are a few days of sun before the next blaster that’s in the middle of the Pacific, arrives. Sleep in, get well dressed, and wander down to the water…..what there is of it. Maybe carry a rod in case a nose appears….

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