Winter fly fishing as seen in the Entertainer Magazine!

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!




As our regular trout season comes to an end on sunday november 15th don’t despair, we have year round fishing.The East Walker below Bridgeport reservoir,the East Carson,the Truckee and Little Truckee rivers offer good fishing at times through the winter months.Good hatches of midges and baetis during the warmest part of the day can get fish active.Fishing blue wing olive dries to rising trout can be great during periods of snow showers,midge patterns also can be effective.It can be dumping snow here at the lake and still fishing great at the East Walker.Don’t give up! Bundle up with layers of fleece and a good jacket and go fishing you may be surprised.Stay in contact with us at TFFO for the latest information and conditions.GUIDE SERVICE AVAILABLE ALL YEAR LONG. Thanks and good fishing .

Peter guide TFFO


EAST WALKER RIVER fishing/guide report

East Walker River Fall fishing  is in full swing.Cooling temperatures have midges and baetis hatches active through out the day.Indicator nymphing is most productive with fish also taking streamers and dry flies.Do to cool morning temperatures fishing can be a little slow in the early hours and pick up as it warms up.Fishing is good in both California and Nevada.Small midge patterns like WD50’S, Zebra midges,rainbow warriors and micro mayflies have been working well in California try a streamer like a black or green sparkle minnow.In Nevada various streamers will work well to cover lots of water but nymphing with san juan worms and small midge patterns listed above has been producing more fish.Good counts of both rainbows and browns with big fish going 20 inches plus.If you have the time, get out and fish. Take a day and treat yourself to a guided fishing trip with one of our guides licensed in California and Nevada learn something new and catch more fish.Take it up a notch and fish private water on the Scierine Ranch with one of our Nevada licensed guides.Don’t hesitate or you’ll miss out on some of the best fishing of the season.  (530) 541-8208



Peter Santley Guide TFFO

As seen in the Entertainer Magazine for July!

Fly Fishing with Victor Babbitt

July 09


For a year that we all thought was going to be a drought year, the water conditions are fantastic and I think they will stay that way all summer!  Thank goodness for all the rain in June!  There are numerous highlights at this time of the year and I can’t list them all just know that the fishing in all directions is going to be great!


The river we guide the most is just getting into shape and already we have seen numerous fish caught over 20 inches… The East Carson River should fish better this year than last and probably better than most years in the past 10!  The Caddis hatch is going to be thick and the Yellow Sallies are already in force.  Look for some good big fly fishing as well including Stones, Drakes and Crawdads.  As we get to the end of the month, I would expect the fishing to be best early and late and the Caddis will rule.  For those that like to fish above the bridge, there are going to be numerous huge fish stocked this year and will be a great place to cut your teeth on landing big fish!  Don’t forget, all of the fishing below Hangman’s Bridge is barbless, artificial and Zero Limit!  The West Carson River has good flows as well and lots of fish, a great place to keep a fish if that is what you like to do. 


Just to list a few other rivers, in our area, worth a fish give these a try for a bit of variety!  The Truckee and Little Truckee Rivers north of Tahoe, The East and West Walker Rivers Southeast of Tahoe and the Tributaries to Lake Tahoe which open on the first of July.  Standard bugs, on the rivers, for this time of year are going to be Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies, PMD’s, Caddis and Terrestrials!  A few of my favorite patterns this time of the year are the EC Caddis, Yellow Stimulator, Parachute Adams,  Ants and Beetles for dries and Copper Johns, Sparkle Pupas, 20 Incher’s, Flashback PT’s and Wier’s Caddis Pupa!


Most of our lakes are in great shape as well and a few of the standouts will be Indian Creek Reservoir, Caples Lake, Red Lake and Spooner Lake.  Brookes and LCT in Red, Rainbows in Caples, Browns and Rainbows in Indian Creek and a mix of Lahontan Cutthroat and Rainbows in Spooner!  These all can be fished from shore but the best fishing will be from a float tube.  Make sure you have a full sinking fly line and the option to fish a floating line as well!  Some of my favorite Lake patterns are as follows:  Damsel Nymphs, Dragonfly Nymphs, Water Boatmen, Hares Ear Nymphs, PT’s and Midge Pupas for the sub-surface and Para Adams, Ants , Beetles and Chernobyl Ants for the Surface patterns!  Look for cruising fish!


I hope this helps get you into a few fish or at least gets you out fishing!  If you have questions on any of these waters or any others in our area, give us a call or stop by the shop and we will do our best to set you up with whatever it takes to get you into the fish!  I have a bunch of good guides this year and they all love to teach the sport of fly fishing.  We take beginners as well as advanced anglers and if you are looking for that perfect day on the water, give us a call and we will be glad to get you started.  Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters is located at 2705 Lake Tahoe Blvd next to Midas Mufflers about a mile form the Y intersection.  530-541-8208  Thanks for reading and get out and fish!

Recent Entertainer Article by Victor Babbitt

Fly Fishing with Victor Babbitt 0609


Kids, Kids, Kids!  It’s that time of year when we all get together and help the kids on the newly named “Dale Sare Memorial Sawmill Pond Kids Fishing Derby” put on by the Optimist Club of South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters, “Mac The Naw” (Doug Busey), Raleys Grocery Store and a host of other volunteers.  Saturday, June 13th from 8am until 1pm.  All kids 14 and under are welcome to fish!  Bring the family and help your kids learn the wonderful outdoor activity of fishing.  There will be fishing rods to use as well as prizes, food and of course lots of help from all the great volunteers!  There will be Big FISH this year so bring your cameras and make sure your fishing tackle is ready for the challenge…  Of course we have to pay for all these fish for the kids so please donate, if you can, to the Sawmill Pond Fish Stocking Fund.  Drop off your donations at Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters and if you have questions about the Kids fishing day or other ways to donate to the fund, please contact Victor at the fly shop 530-541-8208.  We are really looking forward to having a great day with the Kids!!!


As the month of June progresses, the run-off on our streams should start to wane and the fishing should start to get really good on waters like the East Carson River and the West Carson River.  Some of the rivers are already starting to fish well at the end of May including the Truckee River flowing out of Tahoe and the upper sections of the American River.  It looks like the East Carson should be float/fishable by the first week of this month and hopefully the flows will hold on through the 3rd week of the month.  My favorite flows for fish/floating are from 1000 CFS down to 400 CFS.  There is nothing like floating a river, camping and fishing and don’t forget the natural hot springs as well.  If you are going to attempt to fish the East Carson during the higher flows, I would suggest fishing with streamers and or large Stonefly Nymphs until the flows get down below 400 CFS.  The West Carson River is getting better day by day and running clear and some anglers are catching fish but it should be good for all anglers by the beginning of the month!  Fish with Stoneflies, Buggers and Mayfly imitations, the fish seam to be spread out this year so try some of the out of the way spots for better success!


The best fishing this Spring has been on the East Walker River in California!  Look for Caddis, Midges and the occasional Mayfly hatch.  Streamers are always a good bet especially at the end of the day!  Another fishery that has made a nice comeback is Kirman (Carmen) Lake off of hwy 108 (Sonora Pass).  This lake has Brook Trout as well as Lahontan Cutthroat Trout and both can be very large!  Buggers, Leeches, Blood Midges and Water Boatmen all seam to work well!  An easy walk in or you can use a mountain bike which doesn’t help much on the ride in but the ride out is a blast. 


If you are heading for the Truckee River, fish the sections above the Boca Outlet area.  The flows are looking pretty good and the fish are starting to eat with some consistency and will only get better as the month progresses.  Golden Stones, March Browns, Green Drakes, Caddis and Crawdad Patterns should all be good choices.  The Little Truckee River has a few good fish in it, but the fish are well educated and if you are looking for the ultimate challenge give it a try!  They will eat off the top at the right time and if you are in the right place it can be a blast!


These are just a few of the great fisheries that we have to offer in our area and if you would like more information on these or any other fisheries in our area, give us a call or stop by the shop.  We will be able to set you up with whatever it takes to get you into fish and a few tips on where to go as well.  We do have guides available for lessons or guided adventures on local streams or lakes, take a guide out today and increase your fishing pleasure!  Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters is located at 2705 Lake Tahoe blvd. next to Midas Mufflers about 1.5 miles from the Y intersection.  530-541-8208!  Thanks for Reading

Guiding Shaun Hill & Adam Snyder on the Little Truckee River

Shaun with another nice Bow on the Little Truckee River!

Shaun with another nice Bow on the Little Truckee River!


Shaun Hill and Adam Snyder of the 49ers!

Shaun Hill and Adam Snyder of the 49ers!


Shaun Hill with a nice Bow on the Little Truckee River

Last week The 49er Foundation was at the Resort at Squaw Creek for a fundraiser. On friday I guided Shaun Hill (quarterback) and Adam Snyder (offensive lineman) of the 49ers. We had a fun time ,in great weather, fly fishing catch and release style for trout on the Little Truckee River. Adam and Shaun both were able to catch and release nice rainbows, their first on fly tackle. It was a good  day of fun and laughs on the river,the guys were great students. They were very competetive always keeping track of each others progress. I must say I could not have been on the river with two nicer guys than Adam and Shaun. If the guys play as well as they fished the 49ers will be  in good shape this season.    
Peter Santley guide TFFO.


When winter storm systems are rolling through the Tahoe area it’s time to head down to the East Walker river and go fishing.This week I spent four days fishing and guiding on this great fishery.With good hatches of midges and baetis we were able to land fish on dries,nymphs,and streamers.On the brighter days nymph fishing was the way to go and on the cloudy days fishing dry flies produced great results.On my first guide trip of the week I was fishing with Hugo and Pierre from Quebec, we had an excellent day of fishing.Pierre was on his first fly fishing trip and was a quick learning student, landing a couple of fish in the first hour of our trip to get things going.Hugo was more experienced than his friend and was also into fish in short time.We caught a nice mix of browns and rainbows with the larger fish in the 18″ to 20″ range.When properly dressed for cold winter weather, biting fish, great clients and lots of nice fish to the net.On the next  two days I fished with George and Christine from New York city, friends of Hugo and Pierre, also here for a buiness meeting.George and Christine have learned to fly fish together over the past five years or so.Do to there busy professional schedules they take advantage of guided fishing trips when they can,I must say you could tell by the way they fished.We spent two great days of fishing and enjoying what the weather and river gave us.As a guide, the combination of good clients and fishing coming together, I could not have had it any better for three great days. Thank you Hugo,Pierre,George and Christine come and fish with us again.The mentioned anglers used midge and baetis dries and nymphs to catch and release some 50 to 60 fish in three days .Also thanks to my friend Scott Freeman from Walker River Outfitters for some good information .So all I have to say LETS GO FISHING!Take a guide trip with us at TFFO!

Peter Santley

Guide TFFO.

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

As seen in the Entertainer

Fly Fishing with Victor Babbitt 02-09


One might not think there would be fishing this time of the year, but the fishing has actually been really good lately due to the Year-Round regulations that the California Fish & Game put into effect a couple of years ago.  Prior to this regulation change, our only options were to drive ridiculous amounts of time to fish waters that were not that great or we would have to fish Nevada waters which have always been good during the winter months, but an expensive license.  Another bonus, for the time being, is the amount of snow on the ground which has opened up other opportunities like the Little Truckee River.  You still need Four Wheel Drive and some clearance but it is accessible and fishing quite well!  Another good fishery has been the East Walker River, below Bridgeport Reservoir, in California.  The water coming out of the dam tends to be warmer then the water down stream in the Nevada sections and the hatches have been more prolific because of it. 


Baetis, Baetis and more Baetis and of course a few midges as well!  This time of year this is all you need to catch fish with the exception of a few Stones and maybe a San Juan Worm.  As long as the weather continues as it has for the month of January, the fishing will hold strong and should continue into the month of March as well.  March does not need as good of weather for the fish to be active due to the longer days and usual warmer temperatures that the month brings.  So, if it is raining or snowing here at the lake, don’t be afraid to venture to one of these fisheries you might be pleasantly surprised! 


If you do not mind the drive, there are other fisheries worth checking out including Pyramid Lake, The Yuba River, The Trinity River and of course the American River can turn on this time of year as well.  Pyramid will start to pick up towards the end of the month fishing with full sinking lines and various bugger patterns!  The Trinity has been hit and miss with a few fish being caught lately and waiting for more weather to bring more fish but always worth a shot this time of year.  The Yuba is always a safe bet during the month of February fishing with Stoneflies, Baetis and midges!  For the most fun, try floating the river from the highway 20 bridge down to Sycamore Ranch.  Big bugs on the surface this time of year!  The American has Steelies in it but needs a little more water to improve. Look for storms to move more fish up in the Hazel Avenue area.  Swinging Articulated Leeches with a Spey Rod is a blast!


Since the skiing hasn’t been so great, now is the time to try a bit of Winter fly fishing!  All of these waters should only get better as the month progresses and without much snow pack, this might be the best time of the year to fish!  Otherwise, hope for more snow so we can have some fishing this Summer…


Thanks for reading and if you’re looking to have some fun on one of our local waters, stop by the shop or give us a call and we will get you set up with whatever it takes to have a great day on the water!  We offer full guide service for the fly angler as well as the spin angler and we specialize in the family fishing experience!  We are located at 2705 Lake Tahoe Blvd about 3.5 miles from the Casinos and next to Midas Mufflers.  Our Phone number is 530-541-8208 and our web address is  Please catch and release all of your wild trout!



This stock market isn’t crumbling!

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