This morning the air is crisp. The canyon still has some shade in it. But up along the steep canyon banks of the Truckee River the sun is a blazing and the hoppers are still jumping about. This week feels like summer is trying to peek her head out for one last hoo raw. The water has a nice bite to it, we are still wearing our shorts because we are not ready to put those crusty waders back on. ( I found out how leaky they are this past week at pyramid, yuck). The fish are eating well and appear to have made it through the summer in great shape. Well, at least the ones down here below the mouth of Boca through out the deep canyon. We are best to avoid the drought ridden upper sections. It is quite sad in the town of Tahoe City these days along the Truckee River. And even worse one might say down in the desert of Nevada where those beastly fish once roamed. Hopefully mother nature is kind to us and our fishy friends this winter. But for now a small section of the river is still in great shape and fish able in a good way. You just have to know where to look.
This past weekend was well spent with good friends from areas all over the states of CA and NV, some old and some new. It was a pleasure as always. We had good times in the wet and nasty weather as well as the calm bluebird weather pyramid is not known for. I learned a bit on the vice from a very talented young buck, Austin Lindsay Jr. This kid has the drive you see in a cougar stalking a deer. So cool to see. The passion is there in a mean way. It makes you want to step it up a notch just to stay ahead. But its also a real pleasure to see the younger generation engaged so deep into a sport we all love. If your reading this I would assume you have the drive us fly nerds, geeks, enthusiasts, junkies and die hards all keep pulsing through our blood. The passion is so thick, it’s not just a sport anymore. Its a lifestyle.
This weekend was one of those for the memory books. Not only was the fishing great, but the time spent with old and new friends was more than memorable. The shore fishing is tough out there now. But if you can get out in a tube, kayak, boat, etc the bite can be one to remember. Strip that chub pattern like you mean it! Pyramid Lake, I love you.
This week we went off and explored some temperamental tail waters. Not all tail waters are so inconsistent. But in a huge drought year everything can be all over the place as far as flows. We have the Little Truckee river for instance being a tail water that is a bit more consistent, than say the East Walker the past few years. All these streams or rivers rely on flows being released from lakes via dams. Being that we have been in a bit of a drought the last few years we have had very little water to let loose on these streams. Some of these water sheds are managed a bit differently than others, in return they fish differently as well.
Yesterday we were able to go and check out some tail waters that were way too low this season for fishing at all. With that being said a few of them have been rippin the past few weeks. Water is being sold down stream and the fish are loving it! The cool thing about some of these sections is the numerous types of trout that hold in them. If persistent one could snag a hat trick on a single river. That’s right…rainbow, brown and even a brook trout. With that being said, these tail waters turn off at the drop of a hat. So do some research before making that drive. Or better yet, pop on in the shop to bs or spend a portion of your day with one of our guides.
The morning starts off as do most days off, the alarming blaring some odd 80s song. I quickly turn off the alarm and get up. After rambling about, feeding the dog and throwing the gear into the car I get my bearings about and shoot Chris a msg. “I’ll be by in a few”. I grab the pup and jam over to his house and we quickly shuffle the gear into his truck along with the dogs. Today isn’t just about us….like most days on the river. We are bringing our buddies along for this adventure. In the truck they go and we are off!
After a bit of a quick jaunt down the highway we break off the road and down onto a dirt road we head. We are going where those with cars cannot go, that stock truck wont cut it either. A bumpy journey it is. We bs and reminisce about life. How grand it is. After we drive this shatty dirt road for what feels like an eternity the river suddenly appears into view. There she is. Finally! We get out of the truck and let the mutts out to let out all that piss and vinegar that they have so politely kept bottled up. Now its our turn.
We grab our sticks and head down to the first of many runs and holes. Of course we start hucking the big dry. Todays bug of choice is the “Chubby Chernobyl”, its that time of year. Hoppers skittering about every where! I love it! And so do our slippery friends that lay tucked in these quick seems. They are eager to smash the big dry, chase it down stream and just plain inhale the thing. This river has a many nice runs and deep holes. We chuck streamers in the deep holes hoping for that big grab. The fish you call home about. We didn’t find her today but we did find quite a few of her friends. Feisty they were. And so excited about the new change of weather. It’s finally cooled off a bit. And boy can you feel it on that first step into the river. How long til I can put off breaking out the waders?
All in all it was a great day! The dogs had a blast. And by the end of the day, I think they were more tired than we. We got to explore some new water and huck big dries at fish that rarely see a person, let alone a fly. So if you too would like to enjoy one of those off the beaten path gems feel free to give us call or drop on in the shop.
The good news is here up high in the mountains. Summer is on her way out and fall is quickly on her way in. If watching those beautiful aspens shed their fiery leaves while kicking drifts down soft seams is your thing, well now is the time! We had our first frost of the morning yesterday with temps kicking back up into the mid to high 70s in the afternoon….perfect weather! The water temps have also dropped drastically in our area with these cool nights and mild day time temperatures. The fish are eager and willing as long as your able to come spend the time in to trick these feisty trout. We have the October caddis hatch popping off any time now. And soon after that comes the snow….well so we hope. Fingers crossed. So if you would like to get out one last time before that white stuff hits the ground feel free to drop on in the shop or shoot us a ring. We at Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters would love to show you guys and gals around in our backyard.
Fall is nipping our heels…our shall I say brushing our legs. With the morning temperatures quickly plummeting how much longer can we enjoy the leisure of fishing in our shorts? A week? Two weeks? Nobody knows except good ol mother nature. Today it was quite nippy in the Tahoe region. The river was quite brisk this afternoon as we crossed throughout the day. Id say we are safe as far as dangerous water temps for our fishy friends. It’s go time! And if you want to get out a few more times before we need to pull our waders out of the closet, now is it! Come join us for a day on the water while summer tries to cling on and fall begins to barge in.
Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters is proud and excited to announce that our 6th annual Fly Fishing Guide School dates have been set. We will be conducting next year’s school Monday thru Saturday 5/9/16 to 5/14/15. After you complete school, you can add on two “shadow days” with any of our guides for an 8 day experience. Fulfill your dreams and join us for the most comprehensive fly fishing guide school in the industry. Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have and follow us for more information and details.
We are very proud to be a Simms endorsed Guide School
Rick McGuire, Guide School Director 530-318-5694 firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes it is true that our beloved Truckee is not faring well with the ongoing drought. It seems like all you see scrolling on the internet is how bad things are. Well there is still some great summertime fishing out there, from high lakes and spring creeks to carp fishing down low. I have spent my last few days all over the area from the West Walker to Sawmill Lake on the north shore of Tahoe. If you know where to look and when to go, the fishing has been good to great. So grab that 3 wt and go for a hike, break out the poppers and chase some bass, or check out some other great rivers and lakes in the Sierra. With the busy days of summer its a great time to check out some private water like Sawmill Lake. Call the shop for inquiries! Here is Kimmy with a fine specimen of a Sawmill Lake rainbow, not a bad first fish ever! Good job Kimmy!
In anticipation of moving from Colorado into a full summer working at the Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters, it made sense to shelf my dog-eared John Gierach books in favor of a new local fly fishing demigod: Ralph Cutter. Before arriving, I’d worked my way through a good chunk of Cutter’s book Fish Food , which revolutionized my appreciation for understanding bugs. I was amazed, as a relatively new fly fisherman, how someone could take something as potentially dry as an in-depth look into entomology, and create a page-turner of a guide that actually made me laugh out loud. His work has taken the intimidation out of stopping by the fly shop to pick through the hundreds of tiny bins of flies, and has certainly made me more confident in sharing my excitement for the “fly” part of fly fishing with our customers.
As an avid backpacker and someone with an acute interest in exploring my new high altitude backyard through the lens of fly fishing, Cutter’s chapter on Upslope Blow-In grabbed my attention. It’s a short passage about struggling to find – and nearly giving up on the search for – a storied lake full of chunky goldens who feed on unexpected fare. His small midge emergers are refused repeatedly until he stops, skims the surface, and is stunned to retrieve a handful of PMDs, carpenter ants, beetles, grasshoppers and caddisflies; all of which are lower altitude insects that get blown in from miles away.
This lake, in his words, “did not want to be found”, which provided a suitable challenge for my last two days off. I paired down my usual busting-at-the-seams fanny pack of fly boxes (a hard move for any well-accessorized fisherman who is ever fearful of not having “that one bug”), grabbed my 6 piece backpacking rod, and drove up to the trailhead for an overnight trip I’d hope could produce some trout. Simply the hike in provided good learning: check the forecast ahead of time for gale-force wind conditions (usually not detrimental when just going hiking), and when approaching a rain-swollen lake that you plan on sleeping next to remember your bug spray. (Oh yeah, it’s June.)
Arriving at the first lake was a good sign, although after quickly taking a look over the map and taking a bearing to our destination lake, we realized this probably was not the lake that “didn’t want to be found”, although it shared the same name. It was too easy to get to, contrary to Cutter’s description. After another quarter mile of navigating around beautiful granite outcroppings and scaling a rock slide, we peered down to see a well-protected tarn that looked ultra-fishy. Suddenly I didn’t care what the lake was called or who’d been there before and written about it; it was gorgeous and I felt certain there were fish in it.
“I’ll set up the tarp if you want to go do your Trout Whisperer thing,” allowed my boyfriend, which made me laugh but also reminded me that I wasn’t on a roiling stream: I did need to approach the very clear, still water with slow, cautious movements. I recalled one of our guides during the shop’s Guide School demonstrating the way to creep up on any clear body of water, so not to spook all the fish. It also dawned on me again that it’s not as obvious where a fish will be in a lake, compared to the streams I’d been learning from lately. You really do need to scout for your trout in these lakes, particularly if they’re not rising up to say “Hey! Here I am!” I proceeded to creep around with my pocket full of new bugs, looking for any sign of which ones to use.
The fishing turned out to be incredibly fun. I found a drop off near a gurgling inlet just tucked out of the consistent wind, put on a size 14 Cutter’s Ant I’d picked up at our shop. I let out some line with a small false roll cast to set up and while reaching up to send line with a real roll cast I missed an unexpectedly explosive strike. This was a real tone setter, it’s on! Every other cast from then on produced beautiful, fat, foot-long dancing brookies that clearly spend their days watching the surface for those blown-in bugs. This was the type of fishing that gets one less worried about size, and more excited to quickly get that bug back out on the water for the next strike. I found myself changing flies just for fun, to see how many different species I’d brought with me that they’d hungrily hit.
Although Cutter’s hard-to-get-to-mystery-golden-lake-of-the-same-name still stands elusive, I was pleased to head back towards the car the next day after two solidly educational and rewarding fishing sessions, a refreshing night up in the high country, a reminder of how just beautiful those brook trout are and why I’m inspired to get out there and seek contemplative wilderness experiences, now with my fly rod. Gierach captured it completely when he wrote, “Trout are among those creatures that are one hell of a lot prettier than they need to be. They can get you to wondering about the hidden workings of reality.”