Western Nevada Fishing Report


Updated: 2020-09-17


Fishing has slowed at Bilk Creek. Trout fishing will pick back up as fall creeps in.



A few good reports back from Blue. Sporadic midge, damsels, and mayfly hatches have fish on the surface early and late in the day. Snail and damsel patterns have provided anglers with steady catch rates when retrieved or trolled slowly behind a sinking line. Terrestrial dry flies including ants and beetles work well when fish are seen on the surface.  



Flows on the Carson are about 125cfs and fishing has been good but crowded in the usual haunts. River flows are prime for this time of year. Spin fisherman using spinners and spoons for trout in deeper pools have caught some good fish recently. Fly fisherman moving small streamers through deeper water have caught some really healthy fish recently. Larger stonefly nymphs paired with small pheasant tails under the indicator have also been productive. Hopper fishing has been good for most of the summer. Bass fishing on the lower river between Carson and Dayton has been good and should remain that way until cool weather arrives.  





Fishing has been surprisingly good for this time of year, good numbers of trout still being caught, mostly hatchery rainbows but a few large wild browns have been reported also.




Terrestrial fishing is excellent around shoreline vegetation early and late in the day. Parachute ants, beetles, and damsel adults are all excellent fly patterns at the moment. Fish have also been aggressive enough to hunt down slowly retrieved small nymphs all day in open water. Midge and dragons are the most prolific insects at the moment. Fish have been seen on the surface feeding pretty actively when the wind is down.



A substantial blue-green algae bloom at Knott Creek Reservoir, a popular trophy trout fishery in Humboldt County, has caused a large portion of the reservoir’s fish population to die. While algae blooms are a naturally-occurring event, large-scale algae blooms can result in fish kills when dead and decaying algae and plant life reduce dissolved oxygen in the water to a level that many fish cannot survive. Fisheries biologists for the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) estimate that more than 75 percent of the fish at Knott Creek have been lost.


Biologists believe the increased frequency and intensity of algae blooms at Knott Creek Reservoir is mostly caused by nutrient loading in the reservoir, mainly in the form of nitrogen and phosphorous, and increased summer water temperatures. NDOW is currently coordinating with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, and the BLM develop plans and strategies to manage and reduce the nutrient input into Knott Creek Reservoir with a goal of reducing the intensity of these algae blooms to maintain the fishery.



White bass can be found along most of the sandy beaches throughout the day but the evenings remain best. Walleye and smallmouth bass have shown up near rocky shoreline and deep structure along the shore. Structure and ledges are key when looking for the larger fish. Spin fisherman are doing very well with small spoons, bright kastmasters, and spinners. Worms just off the bottom have been the bait of choice for the bass and catfish. Fly fisherman are finding success with sinking lines and small chartreuse or white clouser minnows.



Reports of small macs trolling in deep water. Any cooler temperatures will help bring fish up over the next six weeks. Shore anglers are using small spinners for planted trout and larger spoons for larger rainbows and browns around boulders or other structure.  The Cave Rock area was stocked with nearly 4k rainbow trout recently.  



Hinkson is fishing well for Largemouth, trout fishing has slowed with the hot temperatures. North pond has been drained for a fish habitat rehabilitation project, FCCP is getting better for Largemouth.



Fishing has been excellent with very little fishing traffic. The best mid-summer tactic seems to be big flies for big fish. Retrieving larger streamers near deep water from shore, or trolling them behind a float tube with a sinking line has been excellent. A few fish have been seen on the surface early in the day. Damsels and midge will continue to be the most productive flies next to the larger streamers and leech patterns



Fishing has been great. Spin fishing has been best with a small kastmaster, rooster tails, or powerbait off the bottom. Fly fisherman in float tubes are doing well with sheep creek specials and midge larva under an indicator or fishing small streamers slowly trolled behind a float tube. Some larger fish to 20” have been reported recently, this is also the place for double hook ups.




Fishing has been good for smallmouth and white bass using rooster tails, rubber worms, and bright colored jigs. Fishing will just continue to improve with good water conditions and the fall temperatures. Fly Fisherman are picking up an occasional walleye or bass on chartreuse woolly buggers or clouser minnows near the dam.



Spooner has been fair from shore and good from float tubes or kayaks. The vegetation hasn’t taken complete control of the shoreline, leaving very little shoreline fishing access. Fly fisherman using callibaetis mayfly emergers late in the day are finding fish on the surface. Slowly retrieved woolly buggers and small leech patterns have worked during the afternoons both from shore and from boats. Powerbait and salmon eggs have also been fishing well under a bobber around and in the weed channels. 


Fishing at Squaw Reservoir can be productive through the summer months near the dam for trout or at the inlet for bass.  Now is the best time of year for largemouth bass at the reservoir. Early and late in the day poppers can be effective along and in the shoreline tulles near the inlet. Spinnerbaits and floating rapalas can also work well along the shoreline for large bass. Fly fishing with sinking lines near the dam out of boats has been fair to good this spring and summer for trout. 



Smallmouth fishing has picked up around the rocky shores, its best early in the morning before the other boat and jet ski recreationalists hit the water.



The Truckee is healthy and fishing very well. Flows have bounced around a bit over the last month but seem to have stabilized now at roughly 350cfs in Reno. Afternoon high air temperatures have water temperatures climbing quickly, this makes early and late fishing critical. Sporadic caddis hatches have been reported in the evenings from downtown to the state line. For those dry fly fisherman, it’s hopper time on the Truckee. A few larger fish have also shown up recently on small nymphs using high stick techniques. Caddis pupa, pheasant tails, and zebra midge are fishing well right now. Spin fisherman using small spinners or salmon eggs have done well near the major parks including; Crystal Peak,  Mayberry, and Rock park. LCT and rainbow stocking will continue in the river as temperatures allow. New regulations are in place for the lower river below the Mustang Bridge. Be sure to update yourself before heading out.  



The urban ponds in the western region have received at least two rounds of stocked trout this year. The Sparks Marina will offer the best chance to catch an array of species while waters like Virginia Lake and Paradise Park Ponds may still hold a number of channel catfish and some carryover rainbow trout. The urban ponds will again receive trout plantings into summer and fall when temperatures allow. Marilyn’s pond and the Sparks Marina will likely fish best through early fall in the higher temperatures. As access and options lesson with the summer heat, please be patient with everyone out fishing right now. It’s also a good idea to have a safe backup location just in case your preferred urban fishery is busy.  



Walker Lake is currently near 50% of capacity and rising. An increase in the lake level is key to the fishery rebounding.



Wall Canyon has been fishing great for both smallmouth bass and carryover rainbow trout. Look for trout early and late in the day around deeper water. Bass are holding fairly shallow late in the day making poppers along the shoreline a fun option in the evenings. Fly fisherman using larger streamers along the main inlet channel and in open water have been finding both trout and bass all day. Dark flies are always a good choice for all of Nevada’s turbid reservoirs.


Stocking of several thousand channel catfish and white crappie along with half a million juvenile white bass has occurred in both Little Washoe Lake and Washoe Lake during the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons. Expect slow fishing with some areas being more productive than others. Fishing has been productive for in little Washoe for small bass. Small bright jigs or small spinner seem to be best bet. Carp can also be a good option in little washoe for anglers when the wind is down.