Fishing Opportunities in the Reno Area

Looking to wet a line while you’re visiting the Reno area?  Here are some tips to get you started.  

Pyramid Lake is a very large endorheic lake that forms the terminus of the mighty Truckee River. It is home to the endemic Cui-ui and the largest inland trout in North America – the Pyramid-Truckee Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. Pyramid Lake lies entirely within the Pyramid Lake Paiute Nation. Tribal Permits are required to fish at Pyramid Lake but are easily available at an inexpensive daily rate.

The middle and lower Truckee River, eastern Lake Tahoe, and numerous other local water bodies lie within the state of Nevada. The city of Reno itself has a popular urban fly fishing scene. Information on Nevada regulations and licenses can be found at:

The California border is only a few miles to the west of Reno and many fishing opportunities lie within our neighboring state including western Lake Tahoe, the middle Truckee River, the Little Truckee River, and numerous natural lakes and reservoirs. California regulations and licenses can be found at:

Cool Local Shops

Mind-Blowing Mega Stores
Favorite Truckee River Spots from Trout Unlimited’s Dave Lass
Lower Truckee River – Reno
Thanks to improved instream flows over the past 5 years, coupled with significant restoration work, the Lower Truckee is fishing better than ever. The best places to access the river are at Mogul (exit 7) and Idlewild Park (Keystone exit 12) in west Reno, and the Mustang (exit 23) and McCarran (exit 28) Nature Conservancy Preserves east of Sparks, NV. If you don’t mind an urban fishing experience, fish throughout all of downtown Reno, there are huge fish that live here. Fish the fastest water you can find and use high stick nymphing methods (no indicator) with one heavy fly as your bottom fly and one un-weighted fly suspended about 20” above. Focus on short tight line techniques around boulders and short feeding lines. Average fish 18-20” brown/rainbow trout, trout in the 25-32” range present. 3/4x nymphs, 4/5x dries.

  • Pat’s rubber legs in dark brown (#6-#8)
  • Ouellette’s Peaches and Cream PMD’s (#14)
  • Ouellette’s Stonedaddy (#6)
  • Timmy’s Deaddrift Crayfish (#8-10) deaddrift these under indicator
  • Green Caddis pupa (#16-18)
  • Red San Juan Worms (#10)
  • White Sculpin patterns

Little Truckee River (50cfs or higher)
Take the Hirschdale exit off I-80 (exit 197) and head north about 7 miles on Stampede Dam Rd. until you see the dam and a small parking lot on the left side of the road. If you start heading up to the dam, you’ve gone too far. Park and walk downstream, focus on sight fishing.  The Think hopper-dropper-dropper set-ups. Average fish 18” brown/rainbow trout. 5/6x nymphs, 6/7x dries.

  • Black thread midges (#20-#26)
  • PMD’s (#14-16) pink color
  • Hopper’s (#8-12) dark brown
  • Green Drakes (#10)
  • Black beetles (#4)
  • Brown San Juan worms
  • Drowned black ants (#18)
  • Gray Rs-2’s (#18-20)
  • Any of your favorite tiny tailwater patterns

Truckee River – Glenshire Bridge,
Take a right on Glenshire Rd. from Donner Pass Rd. in the Town of Truckee. Head about 6 miles east until the road crosses the Truckee River and pull right into the large parking lot on the east side of the Truckee River. If you walk downstream, respect private property, but under CA Public Trust Doctrine you can access this river from below the average high water line. Upstream access is good, but can get crowded with rafters. Think indicator rig w/ big stone or crayfish as point fly and caddis pupa or worm dropper. Average fish 16” brown/rainbow trout, fish in the 25-28” range present. 4x nymphs, 4/5x dries.

  • San Juan worms
  • Green Drakes (#8-10)
  • Pat’s rubber leg stones (#6-10) dark brown
  • PMD’s (#16)
  • Yellow Sallies (#14)
  • Green caddis pupa (#16-18)
  • Hopper’s (#8) light brown
  • Timmy’s Deaddrift Crayfish (#8-10) deaddrift these under indicator

Prosser Creek (30 cfs or higher)
Take CA HWY 89 north towards Sierraville, CA and take a right on Prosser Dam Rd. (the second roundabout) and take that road all the way to where it splits to dirt and stay right, which will take you to the top of the dam. Take the first road (west side of dam/creek) down to the water, park and walk downstream and start fishing past the second big turn in the river and continue fishing downstream. Think small indicator rig or large hopper with San Juan point fly and Ray Charles dropper. Fish will eat hoppers in the creek aggressively. Average fish 20” brown/rainbow trout. 4/5x nymphs, 5/6x dries.

  • Scuds (#16-20) in gray/orange
  • Ray Charles (#18-20)
  • Red San Juan worms
  • PMD’s at night (#14-16)
  • Green caddis pupa (#18)
  • Micro mayflies (#18-22)