Truckee Watershed Trip Report July 28, 2019
(Check out over 30 pictures in the Gallery)
What a terrific trip with good Club participation by 9 members and 2 of Susan Hufford’s kids along for the fun on these world class, but challenging rivers. Joining us were Gary Prince, Susan and her two kids, Marty Loomis, Charles Brown, Mark Spruiell, Mike Prokosch, Rob Farris, Kent and Mitchie McCammon. And of course with Mountain Hardware in Truckee being the recipient of many fly purchases on the way in.
We opened up with a potluck dinner Thursday night at Stampede Campground (excellent spot, by the way), and also had Jon Baiocchi join us for dinner to discuss fly selection and rigging for both the Big and Little Truckee. The weather was warm, but much better than down here in the Tri Valley area and with only a couple of minutes of drizzle the entire weekend.
Both rivers are crowded this time of year so we split up into two groups so as not to overcrowd either one. These are always two very tough rivers to fish with the fish seeing lots of flies in the summer due to the great access to both rivers, and so the fish become educated very quickly. Both rivers are known that you must bring your “A” game to be successful. Having fished these rivers for the last 30 years it is pretty amazing now how large the fish can get, especially in the smaller Little Truckee. Thanks to strict regs and two good winters, the fish have grown much larger than in the past.
So what did we find? Excellent water flow conditions that were good for wading, although the Little Truckee as a tailwater, was running between 47-50 degrees all three days. Not a good thing to be wet wading for long on the LT. The Truckee was a bit warmer at 62 and just full of crawfish at this time of year, so crawfish patterns were out in force and resulted in one big fish hooked, but lost on the Truckee at Glenshire.
Gary led the Truckee group to the east Truckee tracks, “Horner’s Corner” and Farad, while Rob dragged everyone else up to his favorite upper parking lot spot on the Little Truckee, promising a profuse 9:30 AM hatch. And what a hatch it was with an early Midge hatch and a heavy PMD hatch interspersed with the Green Drakes. Fish rising everywhere including right at our feet.
The hatches came off as expected with three different PMD Hatches (cream/yellow, pink, and orange in the late afternoon). Green Drakes were also hatching and it was an infrequent pleasure to tie on #8 dry flies and cripples and pitch to the fish, rather than #22 Midges for a change. The challenge was what to throw; dries, emergers, or nymphs, and Drakes or PMD’s or Midges? And what color? Oh, and don’t forget the afternoon Caddis hatch…
It was a buffet line in the foam, however that does not mean it was a cakewalk. Far from it with few very discriminating fish landed. Rob hooked into a very nice big Rainbow on a #8 Green Drake that quickly left him with limp line at his feet. Mark however gave the big guy some time to sulk and then landed him, or his brother, about 10 minutes later on a Perdigon fished deep in the seam. A gorgeous and deeply colored rainbow (in the Gallery) and maybe Mark’s first big guy in a stream. Great job for a confirmed “lake guy”, Mark! And buck it up, Rob. You had your chance….
Meanwhile, our other intrepid anglers were diligently at work on the Truckee trying to fool those educated fish. Both groups had a good chance to check out the new weirs at “Horner’s Corner” constructed by Trout Unlimited (remember Sam Sedillo’s TVFF presentation this spring?) and they look just great. What an excellent stream improvement for a previously sterile environment, with Gary pulling a big one out around the first weir on a pink Squirmy Wormy. Mr. Prince took top honors with four fish in the net out of 9 hooked for the weekend, including a pair of nice 18” rainbows from the Truckee and Little Truckee. Nice job Gary…!
On Saturday we swapped rivers for the groups and headed out again before departing on Sunday, with Gary, Rob, Kent and Mitchie staying and fishing early Sunday as well. Over the three days fish were hooked or caught on Green Drake adults and cripples, PMD’s in various flavors, Squirmies, Adams, and Zebra midges. So we were able to catch the heavy winter delayed hatch just right and it was a good decision for us to delay it from our original July date. Thanks to all that attended and contributed to the potluck, the photos, consuming Mitchie’s wonderful selection of desserts, and the fun over the weekend.