Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters Blog

Guide's Blog and Fishing Reports

Winter fly fishing as seen in the Entertainer Magazine!

Filed under: General Comments — victor at 6:26 pm on Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fly fishing with Victor Babbitt 1-1-10


Can’t really say the fly fishing is going to be great at this time of the year, but it can be if the weather cooperates and you don’t mind fishing in the cold!  Or Go Ice Fishing!  There are quite a few choices for fly fishing when it comes down to it.  The East Walker River is probably number one and the rest kind of depend on your willingness to drive and or suffer the conditions.  Pyramid Lake can be good, The Little Truckee River can be good, The Yuba River can be good as well as the American River if you want to chase Steelhead or you can make the pilgrimage to the Trinity River with all the others that can’t help themselves!  Steelheading is an addiction that can only be cured by a good day on the water and not all Steelheading days are good days or should I say days that you catch fish!  When it is good it is really good and you get that feeling of accomplishment and when it is not, well let’s just say it can be frustrating at best…  If none of these do it for you, like I said earlier, Go Ice Fishing!


If you end up on the East Walker River you will need some tiny stuff like Midges in size 20 & 22 as well as Baetis Nymphs in 18 & 20 and possibly the use of flies we can barely see let alone tie on…  Those flies that take a young eye to thread or tie a knot to!  I just can’t see them anymore and when I can get one tied on by some fluke and if it is on the surface I don’t even bother trying to keep track of the drift and I set the hook when I see a rise within a mile of the fly.  It works but not the best way to do it.  Or, fish a San Juan Worm which always seems to take a fish or two whatever time of the year it might be!  And when all else fails, Stay home or Go Ice Fishing…


The American River opens up for Steelhead fishing on New Years Day and the flows are in good shape this year!  This could be the year of the Steelhead on the American and it is an easy drive over Highway 50 and closer than the drive to the East Walker!  Glow Bugs, Beads, Caddis Nymphs and Stonefly Nymphs for Nymph rigs and Leech patterns for the guys that like to swing the old fashion way…  My favorite spots are the areas just below the hatchery off of Hazel Avenue or along the American River Parkway above Sunrise Blvd.  Look for the fish to be holding in the seams, tail outs and in the side channels! Don’t forget your Steelhead Card that is a requirement when fishing waters with Steelhead…


You probably thought I was kidding about the Ice Fishing!  Actually it has been quite good this year with all the fish they put in to Caples Lake this past season.  Find a hole or drill your own with the best spots being along the first dam and at the Spillway area just before Kirkwood.  Jigging, soaking worms and power bait will all produce fish!  If they don’t seem to be biting, switch holes until you find one that is working.  Red Lake is also a good choice and usually the catch there is Brooke Trout!  My favorite method is Jigging with a ¼ oz. Kastmaster or with a Crappie Jig tipped with a piece of corn, the kids love it anyway!  If you have never tried Ice Fishing before and would like to give it a shot, we are offering guided Ice Fishing trips to Caples Lake this winter and it makes for a great family outing!


For more information on these fisheries or any others in our area, give us a call at Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters and we will be glad to point you in the right direction or take you out on a guided adventure.  We can supply everything you might need for a day on the water or Ice for that matter!  We can be reached at 530-541-8208 or stop by the shop at 2705 Lake Tahoe Blvd. next to Midas Mufflers and about 3.5 Miles from the Casinos!  Good luck fishing and Happy New Year!