Sunday, July 22, 2012


 There is something that calls me every six months and its not an old friend or my property tax bill. It is the Truckee River.

I know the river is warming when the snow melt begins to dissipate. When the snow melt mixes with  Lake Tahoe’s warmer water this makes the brown trout fishing very good. This two week period is the best time to go trout fishing on the Truckee bar none.

The water temperature was cool to the touch as I was wearing shorts, sneakers and I wore a sox cap and gloves, the color was a little off but the flow was perfect.
In addition to the great water level and transitional water temp I also fished under a new moon. Many people like fishing the full moon but I prefer to fish when the night sky is very dark. Consider this point, If the fish can not see at night they can not feed and if the fish are not active with the sun on the river then they must eat at first light or at sunset or they will go hungry. So what I’m saying is the big brown trout of the Truckee will only feed actively for three hours a day, so timing is everything.

I parked the car about 30 minutes after first light, which was about 45 minutes later than I wanted to get there. I walked into the 20 mile per hour head wind that was really gusting. I walked for about two miles along the train tracks then headed to the stretch of river that I have fished many times. I now  know where the fish like to hold. The key points are get to the river early, walk away from bridges as well as access points and get to know a stretch of river before you try other spots.

My largest fish of the day came from a log jam. It hit my offering near the structure in deep water. I casted above the holding area and let it swing right through the heart of the jam.
When the line started to swing under the logs, bang with a yank and 20 yards of line. I set the hook hard and made five quick steps down river to land the fish. I made this the down river movement so the fish will not have the opportunity to take me back into the log jam. With the force of the river's current along with me pulling away from the structure it brings the fish into the open. This movement gives me a better opportunity to land the larger fish for which I seek. When you exclusively use very light line as I do, you need to have a plan of how you are going to land the fish, before you get one on. I have found this technique to work very well for me.

The smaller fish of the morning were found under a cut bank on the far side of the river within a secondary flow. They will often hit as soon as it hit the water so be sure to have the slack out of your line at the point of impact. The fish ran hard and fast and used the currents strength to pull line from my reel as well as me to the next bend. The water was deep and slower so landing the fish only took time and patience.

I did continue to fish the shadow line (fishing in the shade) for another hour but as I know the river does not give up fish when the sun has engulfed it. It is best to get there early and leave early.

I caught two fish, the one in the photo and another very healthy 26 inches brown well before the sun topped the mountains. Sorry no photo of the brown as I was fishing well away from a photographer.

I’m drawn to the Truckee because it will give up big fish, but only if you can time it right. Fishing mirrors life, timing is everything.

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