Truckee River: After The Storm Report

Truckee River

by Reno Fly Shop

At the downtown Reno gage the river is just over 500 cfs after peaking over 5,000 cfs at the downtown gage during last weekends historic storm. It was great to see water in the river again and we will take whatever we can get whenever we can get it. 

The fishing conditions have continued to improve through the week as water begins to clear and the fish have had the chance to reshuffle and find new places that have been dry for a couple months. We have been using Squirmy Worms and heavier stoneflies to help the fish find the flies but will transition to more conventional, small/dark nymphs, soon.

We have been asked several times this week what the river is going to do following this storm. We anticipate that the flushing flows that we experienced on Sunday will only improve the overall health and condition of the Truckee River. While not ideal timing for the brown trout spawn cycle it is better to have a river with water in it then not. 5,000 cfs is a good volume of water with medium strong velocities to allow the movement of sands and gravels. The natural movement of sands and gravels will naturally clean the sediment and allow for not only improved fish habitat but also prime conditions for the macro invertebrates (bugs) to reestablish themselves for biodiversity and fish food.

As you can see from the hydrograph above the water flows have dropped dramatically since Sunday and are now slightly higher than the median flow rate. We anticipate that these flows will be sustained for at least the next couple of weeks, if not months. Lake Tahoe raised over 6 inches during the storm and is now being allowed to naturally discharge to the Truckee River.

These flows combined with flows and natural runoff from the undammed tributaries should keep flow conditions near median flows for the next several weeks if not through the first of the year. We hope by then an active winter storm pattern will have more precip events lined up.

While the water is at these levels and remains slightly off color the streamer game should be amazing. We have quite a few articulated streamer patterns in the shop. Come check them out.

Flies we suggest: Carot, Hot Butt, French Nymph, Pat’s Rubber Leg, Quill Jig, Perdigon Olive and Red #16, Duracell, Zebra Midge Red and Black #18 and #20, ID Theft #14-16, Mini Leech Olive and Black, D&D, Heisenberg Cowboy, Cheech Leech

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