Winter fishing is anything but cold

Due to the recent warm weather, and the lack of snow, we have been able to do a lot of fishing.  And just about everywhere has been fantastic!  In the past few weeks I have fished the Truckee, the Little Truckee, the East Walker, and the Yuba.  All have fished well and have put out consistent numbers of fish.  

The Truckee has fished well from Hirschdale to Reno.  Water temps have been in the 40 degree range with warmer temps in the Reno area and up high at Hirschdale where the Little Truckee confluences with the Truckee.  Indicator nymphing has been the most successful.  Root Beer baetis 18-22, flashback pt’s 16-22, golden stones 8-12 have been working. With low water temps the fish have been lethargic, so getting a good dead drift is key to getting the fish to eat. 






The Little Truckee has been fishing good to excellent.  I have spent quite a few days on the river in the past month and have seen great numbers of fish caught almost every day.  Water temps are consistent because of the bottom release dam out of Stampede resevoir.  Fishing from top to bottom on the LT has been great so go check it out.  The road to the river is not plowed in the winter, so good ground clearance and a 4wd are the only way to make it up there.  But as soon as it snows again, access will again be limited to snowmobiles and snowshoes.  Indicator nymphing has been the most productive, but we have seen fish rising to bwo’s and midges in the warmest part of the day.  Try Trina’s extended body bwo’s, and small adams sizes 18-22 on the surface, and rootbeer baetis, flashback hares ears, micro mayflies sizes 18-22 as well. 







The East Walker has also been good due to the warm up.  The river is at its winter flow rate of 20 cfs but is still fishing well.  The anchor ice has disappeared in the deep pools making them fishable again.  We saw great numbers of midges on the surface all day long, but didn’t see fish rising to them until the end of the day.  Indicator nymphing was again the most productive but we did hook a good number of browns on biot midges, Griffith’s gnats, and one actually took an ant pattern which was a last ditch effort used as an indicator dry fly ahead of a midge pattern.  Look for the fishing to stay great with warmer air and water temps.  Try golden stones 8-14, zebra midges 18-24, pheasant tails 16-20, brassies 20-24, and leech patterns sizes 10-16.






The Lower Yuba has also been fishing well.  With a lower elevation, water and air temps are not an issue.  Fishing from the highway 20 bridge up and downstream has been productive.  Floating is available below the bridge for around 4 miles to the Sycamore Ranch take out.  They offer a shuttle service so hit them up for a ride back to your vehicle when you are done fishing.  Dry flies are the key on the Yuba.  Skwala stones,pmd’s, and bwo’s have been around in rather impressive numbers.  There is nothing like catching a Yuba rainbow on a huge dry fly!  This river also has steelhead and salmon in it right now.  So you never know when you might hook an adult steel on a 5 weight.  It is a beautiful stretch of water that is deep in spots making it difficult to wade, but is easily crossable in the right areas.







Guiding is available on all of these waters.  It is a rare opportunity to have such good fishing in the winter months in the Sierras so come take advantage of it.  We all know how big the snow storms can be, and we are only a couple of storms away form being back where we should be this time of year pertaining to snow pack.  Let us know if you want to do some winter fishing, it really has been epic.  Tight lines and pray for snow, because without it, the fishing will be tough through the summer months.

Derek TFF retail/new guide