Truckee River Fishing Report- Watch Those Temps

Truckee River

Truckee River Brown Trout caught on a Wet Fly.

by Bearfish Alliance Staff

Well, it’s been a scorcher outside and we are all feeling it, including the trouts. With the low flows and lower water levels you will have to practice discipline on the water to help ensure that we have a great fishery when the fall and winter hit. When the water heats up trout lose the ability to recover quickly after a fight, and the higher the temps the higher the chance your catch won’t make it. Here are some suggestions to help you determine when are where to fish, or not to fish:

Fish Early – On Saturday I was able to find a pod of Brown’s resting in 62 degree water, however by 7:30am the water temp had already risen to 63.5 degrees… I walked away early. Usually your early morning temps will be some of the coolest with the cooler night air helping settle it down. 

Water Temps – Under 63 you are pretty good to go. Once you start hitting that 65 degree mark you should be considering catch and keep, and once they hit 68 you are pretty much in lethality range. Invest in a thermometer, you will find it useful now and year round.

Netting Fish – Keep them in the water, don’t handle them if you don’t have to. Keep them in the net and use your hemostats or what not to take out that hook (This is were fishing barbless is an additional means of preserving the trouts integrity)

Fly Fishing Rods – Go up in rod weight and tippet size. Minimum 5wt, 6wt is ideal. 10ft rods and switch rods are perfect for this. Its important to get the fish in as quick as possible with out overstressing them. Leave the lightweight rods at home! Our favorite this time of year (and all year) is the Loop 7X 5wt and 7wt in 10ft and Switch…..and our favorite dry fly and wet fly rig lately is the Loop Q 5wt in 10ft…if you need one we got em!

Move up River – The downstream sections are going to be warmer in NV, so look for cooler water by moving up river into the Cali side. The Little Truckee offers great fishing as well, but make sure you check flows and watch for crowding as it can get popular in hot weather.

Explore Stillwaters and Warm Water Species – We have a good amount of waters that offer Smallmouth Bass (Which are a Blast!), Largemouth, and Carp. NV and Cali also offer a plethora of higher altitude still waters that will offer great fishing for Trouts. Prosser Reservoir, Boca, Stampede, Twin Lakes, Virginia Lakes, Hobart, etc. 

Consider the fact that even of you catch a fish and release it in the 65 degree range that through the course of the day that trout will not be able to recover since the river temps rise throughout the day, and its chances of surviving are low. Sometimes it can take days for this to happen, and studies conducted by Montana State University have shown mortality rates increase significantly at and above 68 degrees. Personally, I have already seen markers of this in the Downtown and Rock park area; fish with handling marks and belly up….and this was a few weeks ago when temps were a tad cooler. 

So, with all that being said if the temps are looking good make sure you source out the riffles and well oxygenated water. You will be surprised in how fast and shallow of water the trout will hold in, especially rainbows. Deep pools will also be productive as fish are trying to source the coolest water possible. Big fan of using wet flies this time of year, and patterns that have been working are the standard peacock hackle, purple haze, and partridge hackles in orange, white, yellow, and light olive in 14-16. 

We are looking at running some mountain stillwater trips this summer, so if you are interested reach out to us at 

Contact BearFish Alliance at (775) 622-2970 or email [email protected]