North Yuba River
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Tours of Local Waters
Updated - 4/6/21
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and up to the minute stream flows.
Conditions: 506 CFS in town and 800 CFS below Hirchdale
Fishing-Very Good: Flows have come up even more and the water is a little off color. Miles at Trout Creek Outfitters in Truckee says that dead drifting a March Brown cripple might get a strike. Good patterns down below are, BWO larva, small PTs, plus worms and egg patterns are working well. Darker patterns such as Prince Nymphs (or similar) do well on cloudy days.
As of March 1st several regulation changes for the Truckee have gone into effect. An outline of the regulations is shown below. Please check the actual regulations handbook for specifics related to the water you want to fish:
Tahoe City to Town (Trout Creek): Open all year
Trout Creek to Prosser Creek inlet: Open all year/fly fishing only
Prosser Creek inlet to State Line: Open all year (0 limit during winter & 2 fish limit /barbless hooks (artificial lures only)
Generally Recommended Patterns for the Truckee
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Parachute/tan or pale yellow #16 & #18, Split Wing Adams #16 & #18 Stimulator/#10 & #12,
Humpy/yellow #14 & #16, Adams Parachute #14, #16, #18, Royal Wulff #14, Renegade #14. Baetis Parachute #18, Elk Hair Caddis #14, #16, Fat Albert #8, #10 (pink, tan, yellow)
Pheasant Tail #12, #14 & #16, Pat's Rubber Legs #6, San Juan Worm/passionate pink, Mercer's Epoxy Stone #12 & #14 Copper John/red or copper #14, #16, Prince Nymph (various sizes), Wooly Bugger/rusty, black, Glow Bug/red. Near Nuff Crayfish #8,Micro Mayfly #18, Black Rubber Legs, Kiene's Golden Brown Stone #8-#14, Vinci's Depth Charge Bird's Nest in natural.
Crawdads: Our guides recommend the Near Nuff Crayfish #8 or Creek Crawler #8.
About the Truckee River
The Truckee consists of just about every water category there is. Much of it is freestone, with long runs of pocket water, punctuated by long wide flats. Once the Truckee drops into the canyon section it turns into a necklace of very deep pools and runs separated by roily pocket water. It’s not a big river so most of the time it is very wadeable.
For most of its length the Truckee is for all practical purposes is what you would call a wild trout water. Trout plants of hatchery fish (Rainbows and Lahontan Cutthroat) are limited to the upper ten mile stretch which runs from its outlet from Lake Tahoe to its confluence with Trout Creek located at the lower end of the town of Truckee where the special regulation (wild trout) section begins.
The twenty miles between Trout Creek and the Nevada state line the special regulations limit tackle to artificial lures with barbless hooks. There is also a size and bag limit of two trout with a minimum size of 14 inches from the last Saturday in April through November 15th. For the winter season which runs from November 16th through the Friday before the last Saturday in April, no fish may be kept. The wild trout water is home to Rainbows and Browns, some that get very large.
Access points are easy and numerous along the Truckee. Though there is some private water (San Francisco Casting Club) along its length, there is plenty of U.S. Forest property in between so that you can always find a way to get to the water. The upper section begins at the outlet from Lake Tahoe and is some of the most beautiful water one can fish, but unfortunately its beauty also has made this a very popular rafting run.
Springtime means run off and that can occur during various interval lengths beginning in the month of April and continue into June. There is an old saying that when the water is high and roily, go big heavy and ugly so big and heavy. The spring transcending into summer season brings the beginning of significant hatches with one of the first most anticipated hatches being the Green Drakes. March Browns also appear and Baetis continue during the early part of spring.
With the arrival of summer the flows settle down and all of the bugs that we know and love show their faces. Caddis, Golden Stones, Little Yellow Stones and Pale Morning Duns are the most common. Also of mention are terrestrials such as hoppers and very importantly the huge Carpenter Ants that blow up slope from the valleys below.
Fall means fewer fishermen, particularly on weekdays, and cooler water temperatures. Cooler water temperatures mean fishing will remain good all day and as with other waters located where there is a harsh winter environment, the trout’s feeding habits change from selective to opportunistic as they bulk up for winter. The Baetis are beginning to show again and the October Caddis are preparing to leave the comfort of their pine needle homes to pupate into huge moth like creatures.