The fishing aint too shabby

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The fishing is really starting to pick up here in Tahoe. With the yo-yoing temps and the low flows the river can be a bit temperamental. When you hit it rite tho it has bin pretty good out there. I have had some great trips this week with first timers and veterans alike. With the big summertime visitor hatch waining now is a great time to come up and fish! Bobby’s brown here would make any angler smile, but first fish on the fly! I joked he should just quit while ahead…See you on the water-Jay Swartley

Early bird gets the worm.  High alpine lakes.  Tahoe-Truckee area

The alarm goes off.  It’s 4:58am.  This morning we are off in search for big trout in our High Alpine lakes. The rod is rigged with a fresh streamer tied from the night before. This morning we are looking for that one eager fish.  The one that is willing to pummel our fly.  This type of fishing is all about the chase!

While stalking the shoreline, climbing up giant granite boulders looking for another deep channel to huck our bugs into.  We notice the serenity the new fall weather is bringing us.  The holidays have past.  It’s quieting down around here. I like it.  And so do the fish.

Taking it all in we pull that fresh streamer off the guide of our fly rod.  Strip some line off and begin flailing and waving in attempt to get some line out.  We get lucky this time.  It doesn’t tangle up in the trees behind us and lands out just where we hoped it would.  As we strip our fly back to us we think about nothing.  All thoughts are focused on this moment alone.  We strip our fly back. Nothing. Go figure.  Throughout the morning we see numerous prudes.  Snobs I like to call them.  Seeing that monster trout swim up from the depths with its eyes locked in on your streamer, only to see him turn around and swim right back down where he came from.  As if his nose is held up high like he is too good for you or your bugs.

But sometimes we get lucky.  You got to look at it like a hunt.  After all we are hunting for that one nice fish.  And when it all comes together it can be very memorable.  We at Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters are all about making memories.   Good ones.  So come join us in the fun because we would love to show you a good time out on the water.

Guided Fly Fishing Truckee River!

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Guided Fly Fishing Trips on the Truckee River are back and the fishing has been good but limited due to the on going drought.  The Truckee River has taken a bit of a hit due to the lack of water, but not so much that it is not worth fishing.  Our guides can help you boost through that tough learning curve helping you find the fish of the mighty Truckee. We have another warming trend coming up as summer creeps to a crawl and fall weather starts rearing its head.  This cooling trend is what we have all been waiting for.  Not only us, but most of all the trout.  Cooler water means more active fish.  And it also allows us as anglers and guides to start playing with our fishy friends again in a safe and ethical manner.  Think higher flows…below the boca inlet would be a good place to start.  Above that the water is too low and just plain cruel to tussle in.  Again, lets keep ethics in mind.  So, with all that in mind come join us for a day on the water and your fly fishing guide will help show you a fun day out on the water, making sure your expectations are met and a good time is had by all. Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters has been guiding the Tahoe-Truckee area for 20 years now and our guides are some of the best in the area!  Book your guided adventure today at 530-541-8208.

Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters

Sawmill Lake Fly Fishing

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Come fish with us at Sawmill Lake… You wouldnt even know we are in the middle of a drought… big fish taking dries off the surface… call us to book your trip today

Fly Fishing Guide School 2016!

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  rickemcguire@yahoo.com

8 Hour Intensive Introduction to Fly Fishing

Full Day Introduction to Fly Fishing Course, Course Curriculum Includes: Equipment Knots and rigging Entomology and fly selection Trout behavior Reading water Safe wading techniques Presenting the fly & understanding the drift Fly casting–including the overhead, roll, and lob cast Local fly fishing options As this is a non-fishing course you will not need a license unless you are going to fish after the course is complete. Most of the class will take place outside, weather permitting. Participants need to…

Course Curriculum Includes:

  • Equipment
  • Knots and rigging
  • Entomology and fly selection
  • Trout behavior
  • Reading water
  • Safe wading techniques
  • Presenting the fly & understanding the drift
  • Fly casting–including the overhead, roll, and lob cast
  • Local fly fishing options
  • As this is a non-fishing course you will not need a license unless you are going to fish after the course is complete.
  • Most of the class will take place outside, weather permitting.

Participants need to bring lunch, water, appropriate clothing, a portable outdoor chair, and any of your own equipment. Rods, reels, waders, and boots (all necessary except waders in the summer) can be rented at the shop.

This course will provide you with all the necessary information and techniques to begin your own personal fly fishing adventure!

Rick McGuire TFFO instructor 530-318-5694 rickemcguire@yahoo.com

Kids love to fish!

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No question folks, kids love to fish! Truth is a lot of the time they do better than mom and dad. There is no better time than the warm days of summer to get the younglings out on the water. And no better way than booking a guided trip up at sawmill lake. Call the shop to book or to get more info!

July Intensive Intro to Fly Fishing

Full Day Introduction to Fly Fishing Course

Course Curriculum Includes:

  • Equipment
  • Knots and rigging
  • Entomology and fly selection
  • Trout behavior
  • Reading water
  • Safe wading techniques
  • Presenting the fly & understanding the drift
  • Fly casting–including the overhead, roll, and lob cast
  • Local fly fishing options
  • As this is a non-fishing course you will not need a license unless you are going to fish after the course is complete.
  • Most of the class will take place outside, weather permitting.

Participants need to bring lunch, water, appropriate clothing, a portable outdoor chair, and any of your own equipment. Rods, reels, waders, and boots (all necessary except waders in the summer) can be rented at the shop.

This course will provide you with all the necessary information and techniques to begin your own personal fly fishing adventure!

Rick McGuire TFFO instructor 530-318-5694 rickemcguire@yahoo.com

It is not all doom and gloom!

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!image Here is Kimmy with a fine specimen of a Sawmill Lake rainbow, not a bad first fish ever! Good job Kimmy!

Scouting for Trout: Exploring Tahoe’s High Lakes

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.

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“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.

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One of the many hungry brookies caught on a blown-in bug pattern.

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.”