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Truckee River
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Updated - 6/8/24

Scroll down to links for information about Lodging, Maps,
up to the minute Stream Flows and Hatch Chart

Conditions: 510 CFS between the lake and  Boca inlet and 1170 CFS at Farad. For up to the minute flow information click on the link in the next section below.
Fishing-Good:  Miles at Trout Outfitters Creek in Truckee reports: "The hot days this week has made the flows along the upper river spike to 900 CFS as of Thursday, these higher flows won’t really change too much in respect to the fishing and we are looking for the same type of water right now, deep slots, seams off of boulders, and medium-to-fast walking speed water where you can’t see the bottom. This should be easy to find right now with the current flows, so fish it all. The spike in runoff has caused an increase in turbidity, making those flashy mayfly imitations all the more effective and allowing anglers to bump up their tippet diameter to 3x or 4x. Don’t head out here with 5x, less you want to get heartbroken by that large Truckee trout. High stick nymphing will remain the best way to fish the river in its current condition, and weight will be vital to success. Find the heaviest 2 nymphs in you box that are still a fair representation of what can be found in the drift, and fish ‘em! Lucky for you there are a lot of bugs around right now, and the fish aren’t going to be all that picky.

We are seeing PMD’s hatch en masse mid-day right now. While they are the most consistent, there are also hatches of caddis in the evenings, a handful of march browns throughout the day. Green drakes for the angler who should be so lucky to be at the right place at the right time, as well as carpenter ants, yellow sallies and probably a few more I’m forgetting. Point being, put something that imitates food down in the zone with a good drift and you’ll likely hook up right now. The streamer bite has also continued to be excellent this week, and the increase in flows and water temperatures should help the cause here. Make your first cast count with these large flies, get them down, cover water, and hold on, the takes will be vicious as these fish’s metabolisms are up and are making them hungry and aggressive.

Heading down into the canyon, we will actually see about the same flows as last week as the dams hold back water out of Boca and Prosser, keeping the CFS right around 1,200. The big change in conditions here would be a decrease in clarity like upstream, but it will be just a bit more pronounced down here as more feeder creeks enter. This should definitely not deter you, however, and if anything, avid Truckee River anglers know that there is a sweet spot when it comes to water clarity. The same game will apply here, but once again I would fish even heavier tippet here, using 2x-3x for your nymphs, and also bumping up your weight to match the bigger water.."

Click here to see PDF of CDFW 2023 Regulations

Scroll Down To See Hatch Chart Below

Check out picture of Miles on the front of cover of the
current issue of
American Fly Fishing

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About the Truckee River


The Truckee consists of just about every water category there is.  Much of it is freestone, with long runs of pocket water, punctuated by long wide flats.  Once the Truckee drops into the canyon section it turns into a necklace of very deep pools and runs separated by roily pocket water.  It’s not a big river so most of the time it is very wadeable. 


For most of its length the Truckee is for all practical purposes is what you would call a wild trout water.  Trout plants of hatchery fish (Rainbows and Lahontan Cutthroat) are limited to the upper ten mile stretch which runs from its outlet from Lake Tahoe to its confluence with Trout Creek located at the lower end of the town of Truckee where the special regulation (wild trout) section begins. 

The twenty miles between Trout Creek and the Nevada state line the special regulations limit tackle to artificial lures with barbless hooks. There is also a size and bag limit of two trout with a minimum size of 14 inches from the last Saturday in April through November 15th.  For the winter season which runs from November 16th through the Friday before the last Saturday in April, no fish may be kept. The wild trout water is home to Rainbows and Browns, some that get very large.


Access points are easy and numerous along the Truckee.  Though there is some private water (San Francisco Casting Club) along its length, there is plenty of U.S. Forest property in between so that you can always find a way to get to the water.  The upper section begins at the outlet from Lake Tahoe and is some of the most beautiful water one can fish, but unfortunately its beauty also has made this a very popular rafting run.


Springtime means run off and that can occur during various interval lengths beginning in the month of April and continue into June.  There is an old saying that when the water is high and roily, go big heavy and ugly so big and heavy. The spring transcending into summer season brings the beginning of significant hatches with one of the first most anticipated hatches being the Green Drakes.  March Browns also appear and Baetis continue during the early part of spring. 


With the arrival of summer the flows settle down and all of the bugs that we know and love show their faces.  Caddis, Golden Stones, Little Yellow Stones and Pale Morning Duns are the most common. Also of mention are terrestrials such as hoppers and very importantly the huge Carpenter Ants that blow up slope from the valleys below. 


Fall means fewer fishermen, particularly on weekdays, and cooler water temperatures.  Cooler water temperatures mean fishing will remain good all day and as with other waters located where there is a harsh winter environment, the trout’s feeding habits change from selective to opportunistic as they bulk up for winter.  The Baetis are beginning to show again and the October Caddis are preparing to leave the comfort of their pine needle homes to pupate into huge moth like creatures. 

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