Truckee River

The Truckee River was originally home to Lahontan cutthroat trout and cui-ui sucker. During normal years, adult trout ascended from Pyramid Lake and descended from Lake Tahoe to the Truckee River and its tributaries to spawn. Thousands of young fish returned as natural recruitment to these large lakes. It was probable that some young and adult cutthroat trout also occurred in the river throughout the year. With the influx of white settlers in the mid- to late-1800’s, water was diverted for agriculture and municipal use, stream habitats were degraded, the river was over-fished, and other fish species were introduced. Extinction of the Pyramid Lake cutthroat trout had occurred by the 1930’s. While cutthroat trout numbers were dwindling, many different sport fish species were introduced and today, rainbow and brown trout have become the most successful.

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Type of water
Fishing Report

The Truckee is in great shape heading into winter and has been fishing very well. Flows are up to about 450cfs currently in town.. Spin fisherman using small rapalas and spoons are still finding fish in the deeper runs and pools. With temps coming down into the prime range, fish should be found in about every type of water and depth in the system. Bait fisherman concentrating around the parks are catching LCT. Tightline nymphing methods using large stoneflies and crayfish can be effective for very large trout this time of the year. We should see mayflies on the surface in the afternoons in the coming weeks. The key to finding fish on the surface is being on the water on those warmer overcast winter days.

Truckee River Angler Guide Information 


Stocking Updates

Stocked Species Inches Date Stocked Year to Date
3181Cutthroat Trout10.809-13-202330337
728Cutthroat Trout10.509-13-202327156
3990Cutthroat Trout10.109-07-202326428
850Cutthroat Trout11.509-07-202322438
3431Cutthroat Trout11.609-06-202321588
1821Cutthroat Trout8.205-16-202318157
5636Cutthroat Trout805-11-202316336
5502Cutthroat Trout804-11-202310700
5198Cutthroat Trout804-05-20235198

Pertinent Information

The Truckee River originates at the outlet of Lake Tahoe and flows approximately 110 miles to Pyramid Lake. NDOW manages approximately 40 miles of fisheries between the California State line and Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. This river is one of the most heavily fished waters in the state, supporting between 60,000 and 100,000 angler days per year. Anglers can fish for rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish, and largemouth bass (in lower sections). High runoff from March to June makes fishing difficult, but once flows return to normal in summer, the river becomes easier to fish. Some of the best fishing occurs in late spring and early summer and again in fall. Nightcrawlers and Power Bait fished in large pools work great, and fly-fishing and using small spinners are very popular.