Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters Blog

Guide's Blog and Fishing Reports

Lower East Carson River Tricos

Filed under: General Topics,River Reports — Jarrod at 10:58 am on Friday, August 29, 2008

Just the other day I was down on the lower East Carson by the Nevada State line and I was pleased to find a cloud of small mayflies lazily going up and down about five feet over the surface of the water.  That’s right the Tricos are out, and in good numbers.  For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to fish a good Trico hatch before let me tell you are missing out.  Although the Tricos are small in size fish cant seem to get enough of these little babies, and will often make fools of themselves in an attempt to collect as many as possible in one gulp.  As the summer turns to fall look for these little bugs to make their way upstream into the upper reaches of the East Carson, but for now if you can hike the lower river it offers some excellent fishing on dry flies.


Jarrod Beer

Guide/Retail Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters

This stock market isn’t crumbling!

Filed under: General Topics,Guide Trip Reports,River Reports — Corey at 1:13 pm on Thursday, August 21, 2008

After a long summer of disappointing stocking on the East Carson, it seems there are finally some fish in the upper East Carson.  There have been fish in a few spots this year, but it doesn’t seem like there were nearly as many plantings this summer.  I fished the upper, put and take, catch and kill, shake take and bake section of the  East Carson yesterday with Don and Greg, from Martinez.  It was one of those unexpected cold Sierra mornings and the cloud cover didn’t burn off.  So, aside from having a hard time tying on flies with shaking hands, the cold weather of course was beneficial  to the morning’s angling.  The water temps were nice and cool and the cloud cover made for less wary fish.    I turned rocks to see just how long the giant stonefly nymphs were going to be around and found 4 huge nymphs under one rock.  Of course, at these flows there aren’t a lot of deep slots to throw the heavy stones, but when you do, they are still being grabbed.  We located a group of three piggies in one such slot and Greg and Don managed to hook all three, landing one around 20″ and weighing about 4 pounds, A FATTY!  Two of them ate the stone and one the San Juan.  It is my personal experience that this is the latest I have ever seen the huge stoneflies around..  It has been great, as it has made the big bug fishing fun in the eves.  We have been turning bigger fish in the last half hour of light with big stone patterns.  When fishing in the stock market, change flies, as even they wisen up after the 10th pass of that same fly!  Have fun and take a bag for garbage with you.


Corey Funk  Guide/Instructor TFFO

Lower Truckee River – Squaw Valley to Truckee

Filed under: General Comments,General Topics,River Reports — admin at 11:54 am on Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Due to a major remodeling project I have spent little time on the water this season.  However, every day I drive highway 89 and observe increasing fly fishing activity on this stretch of the river.  Since I have fished this section very little after the devastating flood of 1997, I thought it might be time to do a fish survey.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the resident population is on the increase, especially the browns.  Expect fish to be mostly in the 6 to 12 inch range, with a few larger browns here and there.  No sign of cutthroats…maybe all the efforts to reestablish these fish will prove to be a waste of time and money.

Flows have been unusually high all summer, currently at 426 cfs.  Water temperature is 52 degrees mid-morning, warming to 58 in the late afternoon.

Due to high flows, the fish are not holding in fast moving water.  Fish the edges, seams and slow runs.  Don’t waste your time in the riffles unless you can find deep pockets.  Fish only water that is 3 feet or deeper, fish are not holding in shallows.  Look for undercut banks and overhanging stream-side vegetation, any place with a shadow.  Pay attention to signs of human activity and pass on any areas of obvious heavy use.  Which brings up a point. I have observed large numbers of fisherman (and women) casting their brains out in the section between Tahoe City and River Ranch.  During the rafting season this section is for the most part devoid of fish, don’t waste your time!

The section between Squaw Valley turn-off and north to Cabin Creek Road is your best bet, but even there expect only 4 to 5 locations to be worthwhile…each location will hold 2 to 5 fish…so keep moving if you don’t get a grab after three good drifts.

The usual nymph patterns work well with plenty of split shot to get a slow, deep drift.  I observed very little surface feeding, even in the presence of a decent hatch.  Drifting a stimulator pattern along edges and vegetation can produce results.  Dark leach patterns on a sink-tip line will trigger the highest probability of success.

Like all of the Truckee, this section can be challenging so be persistent and cover a lot of water.  Don’t spend too much time in one location, if the fish are there they’ll strike.  There are not a lot of fish per mile in this river…your challenge is to find them!

Dan Cockrum,  Instructor/Guide TFFO


Truckee River fishing well!

Filed under: General Topics — admin at 11:49 am on Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mike T

On Saturday I had the opportunity to fish the Truckee River with a few other anglers.  We all managed to land a few fish with many other hook ups.  Mike T, a new found friend of mine from Clearwater Guide school landed a couple nice fish in the twenty inch range.  The hot flies on the menu were dead drift crawdads, lightning bugs, hunchback PMD’s, and flash back pheasant tails.  All produced fish throughout the day.  The Truckee River can be quite a challenge in more ways than one.  You always have to deal with finicky fish, other anglers, the gas money to get up there from South Lake, fast currents, and the extreme wading conditions.  Rick and myself found ourselves swimming on a few occasions which as a result left us with a jammed wrist and a nasty gash to the forearm.  Just a little reminder to everyone to wade carefully.  Big flows and slippery rocks are not a great combination for a fly angler.  Be sure of every step you take and consider the idea of using a wading staff. 

Despite all of the falls and the sketchy river crosses, the Truckee is a great fishery.  Every time you hook up with a wild Truckee River fish it makes all the hard work worth every minute of it.  I never have any regrets after a day on the Truckee and neither should you.  Don’t get discouraged on this tricky river.  You never know when you will hook up with a trophy brown.  Have fun out there!

Tight Lines,

Derek Rust, retails sales TFFO

Bye Bye Caples!

Filed under: General Comments,General Topics,Lake Reports — admin at 11:43 am on Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bye Bye Caples


Well, it’s hard to accept loss, but I’m going to have to say goodbye to some old friends.  It looks like the EID (El Dorado Irrigation District) is planning on draining Caples Lake to work on the gates at the bottom of the dam.  They plan on draining the lake down to below 10 feet, which means there’s most likely going to be a full freeze out and fish kill this winter.  The plans have already gone through and the lake is draining right now at about 300 acre feet per day.  I fished last weekend out there and it’s as low as I’ve seen it since the last drain down in 1987. 

For the past 5 years, I’ve considered Caples Lake to be one of the best still water fisheries in this whole area.  There’s a great population of Rainbows and Browns that have a disposition to eating dry flies.  Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to tangle with some really nice fish out there and most of the time it’s been on dry flies.  I remember each and every one of those takes in that crystal clear water and some epic fights.  Some I won and others I lost.  I thank all those fish for those great memories and wish them the best of this bad situation. 

There are proposed plans of restocking the lake next spring with Rainbow, Browns and Mack’s.  My personal feeling it that it’s going to take a while for the insect, minnow and crawfish populations to reestablish themselves in the lake and for the planted fish to key in on these food sources that make Caples the fishery that it has been for the past several years.  One of the best parts about Caples was that there were plenty of Callbatis, Midges and Terrestrials for the fish to feed on.  This gave even the biggest of fish a reason to be cursing close to the shore and looking up.  There’s not too many places in this area where you could sight fish to 10 pound trout with dry flies.  Also, I’ve had chances at some big Mack’s from the shore out there during ice out.  Kiss that good by for a while.  We’ll have to find a new place to play for a few years. 

If you interested in hearing more about the Caples Lake issue, there’s a couple websites you can check out.  First is the EID’s website www.eid.org.  Also, the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance has been monitoring the happenings and published some very informative articles.  www.calsport.org. These are both great resources for finding out more information on the project and updates as well as finding ways you can help.  Right now, there’s a plan to relocate as many of the big fish out of Caples as possible and move them to Silver Lake. The first day of the relocation is going to take place on Aug 26th . The operation is being run by the DF&G and they are looking for volunteers to help out with the project.  Trout Unlimited California is helping organize volunteers as well.  If your interested in helping save the fish of Caples Lake and would like to possibly hold a 30 lb trout in your hands, either contact Dave Lass from TU, at dlass@tu.orgor get on the Calsport website and fill out the volunteer application. 


Good luck my friends!!

Mike E. Wier, guide/instructor TFFO


Label Your Fly Boxes

Filed under: General Topics,Guide Trip Reports — Peter at 12:29 pm on Friday, August 15, 2008

Last sunday I was on a guide trip on the East Carson river. Apparently while netting a fish for my client one of my fly boxes fell out of my pack. I was not able to locate the missing box. I went back to the shop to start replacing the lost flies aprox $300 dollars worth! I have now marked my fly boxes with a sharpie, name,address, phone , etc. This way if an honest angler or hiker finds your box you have a chance to get the box returned.   Live and learn.  Peter/guide TFFO

Big Bugs Baby!

Filed under: General Topics,Guide Trip Reports — Corey at 4:38 pm on Thursday, August 14, 2008

This is a great time of year on almost any river in the Western States.  It is Hopper time!  I had a great time with Dave Bennet this morning on the East Carson.  We fished with dries for the whole morning, raising fish continuously.  The bigger fish are hunkered down and have to be nymphed to until the evenings, but if you like surface action, the dry fly is the way to go.  Hoppers, larger mayfly patterns and small caddis were on the menu.  We caught fish on all three and had a great time.  The water is nearly clear, so you can see them come from the depths to inspect your fly.  Hopefully they eat it and you don’t get the humbling refusal.  With the hoppers, Twitch, Twitch.  The fish love it when you get jiggy with your hopper!  Have Fun!


Corey Funk guide/instructor

Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters

Trail Humility

Filed under: General Comments,General Topics,Guide Trip Reports — Corey at 3:46 pm on Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ironically, in my last post, I talked about sharing.  I had a classic example of this occur on an evening trip the other day.  We headed down into a four-wheel drive section of the East Carson River the other day and ran into guys on quads.  We talked to them for a few seconds, trying to ascertain whether they were going up or down, so as not to trample over the same water.  They passed us as we parked a half mile above the river and we chatted again.  One of the guys mentioned that I had given them a ride on the American River many years before.  We parted ways and as they motored on, we lusted after their seemingly easy trip out of the canyon that we would have to hike.  We had a great fish and hiked our butts out to the truck.  The drive out went smoothly until I went a foot too far to the left over the last obstacle and dropped the truck firmly down onto its skid plates.  Thankfully, the guys on the quads hadn’t come out yet.  We tried our darndest to get the beast off of the rocks, but couldn’t.  Just as we were getting ready to get the jack out,  oh yea and it is now ten o’clock at night, the quads came rolling up, not even out of breath.  We were so close, only an inch of rock and 6,000 pounds of truck separated us from our waiting beds!  One of the quads actually had a winch on it and when it first started pulling, the quad inched toward the truck.  Not good!  The quad then actually pulled the truck off of the rocks!  Now that is trail humility for you.  A ride on the American River years before had come full circle.

Corey Funk, guide/instructor TFFO

River Humility

Filed under: General Topics — Corey at 3:45 pm on Tuesday, August 12, 2008

You have to love it when you get humbled on the river.  There may not be a better river in the area to bring you to your fly fishing knees than the Little Truckee.  I had the oppurtunity to do some personal fishing last week and had a great time on the Little Truckee.  As usual, I was fishing with the smallest flies in my box and light tippet.  I managed to land 3 great fish after working on each of them for 30-40 minutes.  I had the river completely to myself and was able to throw little tantrums each time I missed a fish.  I missed one fish, which was laying in 10 inches of water, three different times.  With the size 24 baetis emerger, it was difficult to get a grab on their lips.  An older gentleman walked up earlier in the evening and saw me catch a fish on a Pink Hacklestacker and asked what I was using.  I told him and he said he didn’t have anything anywhere close.  I told him to come over and I would give him some, as I had plenty.  The more time I spend on the water, the more I am against the hushmouth that some fishermen have.  They are just fish and the true experience is in being out there and enjoying oneself.  I encourage all of you to share knowledge and maybe a fly or two when those around you aren’t doing as well.  Hopefully, that will come back around to you someday when you are on an unfamiliar river.  I of course went out to the Little Truckee the next eve expecting to have another great experience.  There was cloud cover again and the wind was nearly calm.  I then proceeded to stand in ice cold water for 2 hours without catching a fish!  River Humility!  It is what keeps us coming back.  We never know what the next bend in the river will bring!  Have fun, share your knowledge and sit down on the side of a hole and watch the birds, clouds, and riffles once in awhile.

Corey Funk, guide/instructor TFFO

Guide Trip on The East Walker with Victor 8-5-08!

Filed under: General Comments,Guide Trip Reports — victor at 12:41 pm on Sunday, August 10, 2008
Victor, thanks for the great fishing trip earlier this week. Attached are a few pictures as you requested including the one where you pushed me in the river. Hope to fish with you again on my next visit to Lake Tahoe. Best of luck with your fly shop and guide service.


Bob Williams

Oklahoma City

Thanks for fishing with us Bob!  Sorry for pushing you in!

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