LTFF Step 3 Intermediate Fish-outs (2) - Truckee River

  • 05 May 2018
  • 8:00 AM
  • 06 May 2018
  • 4:00 PM
  • Truckee River east of Truckee, CA
  • 0


Registration is closed
Dates:  Saturday, May 5, 2018 (Group 1) and Sunday, May 6, 2018 (Group 2) -- Note that these are two separate one-day fish-outs.
Cost:   $75 registration fee per student
  •    Included:  guide fees, 1 dozen flies, and lunch
  •    Not included:  guide tip, lodging accommodations, fly fishing gear

Registration limit: 6 Intermediate students from 2018 class for either Saturday, May 5 (Group 1) or Sunday, May 6 (Group 2)  -- choose one Group only (either day) when initially signing up.

Fish-Out Overview: This trip offers guided fly fishing instruction on a famous wild trout river near Lake Tahoe. The Big Truckee River is a tailwater that holds massive rainbow and brown trout - it’s common to catch a few in the 20" range with the correct technique. This educational fish-out includes a 2 hour "on the water" nymphing demo and clinic from a local guide that has 25+ years of experience on the Truckee.  The fish-out leader will provide more information to the registrants about the actual meeting location and time before the fish-outs. 

Truckee River Background

The 'Big T' is a Sierra tailwater river that flows 121 miles from the weir at Lake Tahoe before emptying into Pyramid Lake north of Reno, NV.  Pyramid Lake has no outlet so the Truckee River is one of the only major rivers in the West that doesn't eventually flow into the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. 

The Truckee does have a reputation for skunking even the most seasoned fly anglers who haven't learned the secrets to how to fish it. With only about 400 fish per mile, you'd wonder why anyone would even bother with this river. But all it takes is one grab from these powerful beasts and you'll understand why this river has a cult following among both locals and visitors alike. As Ralph Cutter tells many disheartened souls, if you don't believe they're in there, just swim the river.  Ralph's famous "Bugs of the Underworld" DVD was filmed in the Truckee River.

Proper technique and choosing the right flies is a must for being successful on this river.  Most fish are caught in the Truckee by indicator nymphing, stripping streamers, or "Czech nymphing", one of the various forms of tight-line nymphing. For this fish-out we'll be focusing primarily on indicator nymphing, but don't be afraid to try a streamer or a Czech nymph (a very heavily weighted nymph pattern that gets down quickly, without the use of split shot, since it is usually tungsten-beaded and often lead wire-wrapped under the body).  

We'll start the day off with a demo of the perfect indicator dead drift.  The goal is to 'tick the bottom' of the river, adjusting your depth and weights until you are in the zone.  If you're not ticking the bottom on the Truckee, you're not fishing. After practicing this, we'll then break up into small groups and drive to separate locations with your mentors, switching up locations after a brief lunch. 

It's fun to carry two rods rigged with different flies, leader lengths, or even for different techniques (eg. streamer or Czech nymph) so that you can cover the same hole twice without re-rigging. (Just be sure that you pay very careful attention to where you set down that 2nd rod and don't wander off too far! They really have a way of disappearing in the brush.) Although it's rare to see hatches that warrant casting dry flies on the Truckee, the occasional riser will surface, sending anglers scrambling for the right fly to catch a trophy on a dry. We'll keep our eyes open for BWO hatches in the afternoon.

Lodging:  Due to lower than normal annual snowfall we are holding this clinic earlier in the season to try to time the flows correctly. This means that campgrounds haven’t yet opened. You will need to either make this a very long day-trip (not recommended) or locate a place to stay in the area. There's a place called the Clair Tappaan Lodge near Donner Lake with rooms for ~$70-75/nt. It's a beautiful lodge that includes breakfast/lunch/dinner. Most other hotel accommodations in the area are $120/nt. and up, in which case it may be cheaper to stay in Boomtown, NV or even Reno (about a 1/2 hour away). 

Equipment:  We'll provide a dozen or more flies but feel free to supplement yourself with extras (doubles) or different patterns that fly shops recommend. Don't be at all surprised if you lose at least 6-12 flies a day on the Truckee hanging up on the bottom.  If your casts end up in the trees due to poor technique, then maybe many more.

Sample flies and rod set-ups:

      Truckee River Fishing Gear:

o Rod(s): It helps to carry two pre-rigged indicator rods, a 6 wt and maybe a 7wt, with the latter rigged for greater depth. (Note:  You can use 5wt rods for this but the heavier rods will cast your indicator rig easier.) With two rods, if you lose your rig you're still in the game quickly, or if you are maxed out on depth with one rod, you can quickly change rods vs. re-rigging. Switch rods (2-handed rods under 12' lg.) are also fun and great for more distance casting and swinging or stripping streamers. Czech nymphing rods (typically sgl.-hand rods 9-1/2' or longer) are also a perfect secondary rod for pocket water.  For indicator rigs, your reels should be carrying WF floating lines or special "indicator" lines.  A short sink tip line may be helpful if you are retrieving or swinging flies. 

o Flies:  Pat's Rubber Legs (black, coffee), tiny egg patterns (yellow, the smaller the better), dead-drift crayfish (red, orange, blue), San Juan worms (red/pink), squiggly worms (red), Zebra midges (green, black). jigged Prince Nymph (size 12-14), various Wooly Bugger or other streamer patterns.

o Leaders:  9 foot 4X tapered mono leader; fluorocarbon tippet in sizes 4X & 5X

o Indicators:  small and medium sized Airlocks may be best.

o Weights:  AAA  & BB split shot

You'll also want to bring standard wading equipment (waders, boots, wading staff, a 2nd wading belt, etc.).  For the Big Truckee, you might be more comfortable wading with an inflatable PFD if you have one.

Lunch will be provided.

Additional reading and research for the overly ambitious (not required):

·       Watch Ralph Cutter's "Bugs of the Underworld" DVD - provides great footage of the Truckee river, the resident trout there, and of course the bugs. Contact if you need to borrow a copy.

·       Watch Youtube videos by Kelly Galloup on indicator nymphing techniques and rigging set-ups

Fish-out Leader and Contact person for any questions about these fish-outs:  Steve Golebiewski

For any issues about this calendar posting, contact John Murphy,

Questions? Please direct your inquiries to the appropriate mail box:

General Information:

Rondy Program:

Our Mailing Address:  Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club  ·  P.O. Box 591476  ·  San Francisco, CA 94159

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