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Pyramid, Truckee River seeing changes for the better

Head of east in winter to find a good hatch.
Head of east in winter to find a good hatch.Photos by Brian La Rue

With the first week of winter-like weather and nothing but colder temperatures in the extended forecast, Reno's prized waters are seeing some changes and anglers are taking note. Pyramid's quality cutthroat are on the move, showing more regularly on flies and the river's fish are starting to transition out east as the typical winter dry fly bite is already making an impact.

Steve enjoys the dry fly bite near Mustang.
Steve enjoys the dry fly bite near Mustang.Photos by Brian La Rue

"This is the time of year where if you are willing to layer up and give it a go, Pyramid will surrender a 10-pound-plus fish," said Gary Bonanno at Reno Orvis. "White and chartreuse and black and blue tadpole tail beetles are working well. The exact spot isn't that important, but a wind-shielded bay or point will make for more enjoyable fishing."

I joined Bonanno this past Thursday for a Pyramid outing. Of course as luck would have it, I woke up to sideways snow, but at least it wasn't sticking to the ground. We found ourselves in the north end with minimal wind and 31 degrees. It was cold but productive as Gary managed four fish in the first 1/2-hour with a 8 pounder topping the catch. I managed an equally as large fish but after that quick start the wind changed direction and began to blow hard. We were chased off the lake by noon.

We had our best results with Hydros Depth Charge line and a pair of beetles fishing the drop-offs. The key was to keep your flies clean and erratic strips with many takes coming within a couple rod lengths of your feet.

The Truckee continues to fish well. Anglers are slowly following the warmer water as the east of Sparks access points are becoming hot. Lockwood, Mustang and Patrick are slowly replacing spots like Mogul and Verdi as the places to fish.

"Dry fly fishing is beginning to take off especially out east as the baettis and blue winged olives are hatching on these overcast days," said Jan Nemec of Mimic Fly Fishing. "Nymping is still most productive, but the mid-day dry bite always gets anglers excited in winter."

A new fly only available at Reno Orvis at this point has been a quick hit. Ask for the Magic Fly and fish it under an Adams parachute out east and be ready for some quick fun. Also, coming out in High Country Angler's Winter 2014 issue, anglers can enjoy a destination features on both these Reno area waters.