Fly Fishing Nevada  by Dave Stanley

Fly Fishing Nevada Guide Book

by Dave Stanley (No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks)
Fly Fishing Nevada  by Dave Stanley
This guide gives you a quick, clear understanding of the essential information you'll need to fly fish Nevada and the Northeasern Sierra's most outstanding waters. Why No Nonsense? You won't waste time. In a few moments you'll know how to fly fish the most enjoyable and rewarding waters in this uncrowded, yet to be discovered region. Detailed, hand-drawn maps, annotated by the author show you how to get there and where to fish. Use this guide to plan your Nevada fly fishing trip. Or, take this guide along for ready reference.

© 2005 Dave Stanley/No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Fly Fishing Nevada" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 20.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 20.

If solitude in mountain splendor is what you like, the East Fork of the Carson is perfect. This stream provides trout anglers with many different experiences (access being one). The narrow, fast-flowing upper reaches, above Wolf Creek, are accessible only by a rough 4WD trail, on horseback, or by foot. This is a classic freestone stream with lots of riffles, rapids, deep runs, and pools. These conditions create excellent habitat for stoneflies, caddisflies, and some species of mayflies throughout the Carson drainage. The river from Wolf Creek down to Hangman’s Bridge (just outside of Markleeville, California) has several inflow tributaries that make the river grow dramatically. From Hangman’s Bridge to the Nevada state line is a special regulation river section, accessible only by 4WD, on foot or, in good water years, raft or pontoon boat. Large fish are consistently taken in this stretch. The river remains a viable trout fishery where it enters Nevada and passes through the Gardnerville area. Beyond this point the river changes to primarily a warm water fishery as it flows toward Lahontan Reservoir, although trout can still be found here and there. Type of Fish: Rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout. Mountain whitefish. Brook trout in tributaries. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Markleeville, CA - Fly-Fishing
Crittenden possesses clear, relatively shallow water (only 30' deep or so, at the southeast corner by the dam), abundant insect life, and football-shaped trout of which fly fishing dreams are made. Most rainbows run up to 18". A trophy largemouth bass weighs in at five pounds, though smaller bass are more common in Crittenden. Type of Fish: Hybrid rainbows and largemouth bass. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Montello, NV - Fly-Fishing
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For still water fly fishers, the Denio Junction area of northern Nevada ranks just this side of heaven. Four scenic reservoirs, Big Spring, Knott Creek, Onion Valley, and Blue Lakes, are located in this remote, high-desert country. As the crow flies, these impoundments are reasonably close to one another. The short drive to each water is sometimes hair-raising. While only the road to Knott Creek has a section where 4WD is mandatory, dirt roads in the desert can quickly become vehicle traps after even a brief summer rain shower. Go prepared with a shovel and related equipment! Many use chains and 4WD during spring and fall rains. The fly fishing is worth it. All of these reservoirs are excellent fisheries, each rating a 9 or above for sizable trout alone. Type of Fish: Primarily rainbow trout fisheries. There are a few browns, brookies, and cutbows. Knott Creek has a very healthy population of tiger trout. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Denio Junction, NV - Fly-Fishing
The key to fly fishing Eagle Lake is to hit it when it’s ON. In this condition Eagle rates a 10 on the quality-of-fly-fishing scale. That’s because it’s home to the Eagle Lake rainbow, a strain of the hardiest, fastest growing trout in the West. Plus, more than 200,000 trout are planted in the lake annually. If you want to catch a giant rainbow in this part of the world, Eagle Lake is a good place to start. This large, alkaline body of water sits in the mountains just above Susanville, California. During the warm months of summer, fish tend to stay out in deeper, colder water. But when temperatures in the shallows remain cool, like in the early part of the season (late May–early June) or October to December, fly fishing excitement builds. Large Eagle Lake rainbows make a habit of cruising near shore in search of food during these months and under these conditions. Type of Fish A pure strain of Eagle Lake rainbow trout. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Susanville, CA - Fly-Fishing
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Frenchman Lake is a deep manmade impoundment, located about 20 miles west of Davis Lake and approximately seven miles north of the town of Chilcoot, California. This is a good place to try if Davis is off. Managed as a put-and-take fishery, Frenchman receives hundreds of thousands of stockers each year. It is also subject to windy conditions and cold weather, befitting an alpine setting of more than 5,000 feet in elevation. Type of Fish: Rainbow and brown trout. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Chilcoot, CA - Fly-Fishing
This is probably the best place in the Carson City area to take children or beginning fly anglers and get them into fishing. If you want a fun and beautiful place to spend the day, try Hobart. It’s only about 10 acres in surface area and 15 feet deep, and has a lot of aquatic vegetation and insect life. While the reservoir is only five short miles from Carson City, it can only be accessed by four miles of extremely rough, 4WD dirt road. This takes you to the trailhead, from which you’ll have to hike for another mile and a quarter. But then you’re there! Nestled in pine, fir, willow, alder, and aspen trees, and subdivided by several beaver ponds (in the upper end), this small impoundment is one of Nevada’s most beautiful still water fisheries. While Hobart is a popular weekend destination for the 4WD crowd, during the week you can often have the lake to yourself. Trout are not big here, but what they lack in size they make up for in numbers and their willingness to take a fly Type of Fish: Hobart has literally tons of 4–10" brook trout. The populations of rainbow or cutbow trout depend on what was most recently planted by the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
Carson City, NV - Fly-Fishing
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While the town of Ely, in eastern Nevada, is best known for its elk herd and incredibly cold temperatures during the winter months, the area offers some exceptional fly fishing opportunities. Illipah Reservoir is located in the White Pine Range, 35 miles west of Ely, and sits in the high desert at 6,770 feet in elevation. Illipah is small, around 70 acres, and is managed by the Nevada Department of Wildlife as a put-and-take fishery. The reservoir is stocked in spring and fall with 8" to 10" rainbow and brown trout. During good water years the reservoir is 50 feet deep at the dam and holdover fish from previous seasons grow large. Angler success is generally good here except during the hottest summer weather. Comins Lake has gained the reputation of Nevada’s newest “superstar” still water. Types of Fish: Stocked rainbows and smaller populations of brown trout. Brook trout in Cave Lake. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Ely, NV - Fly-Fishing
Jackson Meadows, at more than 6,000 feet in elevation, provides a typical picturesque and forested Sierra Nevada mountain lake. An additional benefit is that it’s easy to get to. Located 25 miles north of Truckee, California (most take Highway 89 north), the reservoir is a convenient staging area for backpackers and others heading into the forest. Don’t let this deter you. This drive-up convenience is a plus for the fly fisher. Milton is even prettier than Jackson: one of the most scenic still waters in the eastern Sierra. It can also be a very productive fly fishing spot as well. Type of Fish: Both lakes hold healthy populations of rainbow and brown trout, with the occasional cutthroat. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Truckee, CA - Fly-Fishing - Trail Length:
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There’s nothing quite like fly fishing Lake Davis mid-June through July, when the damsels are out and about. This one-of-a-kind experience gets a perfect 10 rating. During other months of the season, the fishery scores an 8.5.Lake Davis is about 50 miles north of Reno and seven miles north of Portola, California, in the northeastern part of the state. The lake (reservoir) was built as a water supply for this small town, hence there’s no swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, or other forms of motorized mayhem. This is a blessing for anyone who has struggled to fish waters where these multiple-use activities take place. The Davis weed beds support healthy populations of snails, scuds, damsels, dragons, midges, mayflies, caddisflies, leeches, and baitfish. Type of Fish: Primarily rainbow trout. Also some browns and growing populations of illegally stocked largemouth bass and northern pike. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Portola, CA - Fly-Fishing
At minimum pool, Martis is a basic 70-acre lake built by the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control. Then it was selected as the first still water for California’s Wild Trout Program. Since 1979 “no boat motors” (either gas or electric) and strict catch and release rules have helped grow fine trout in this lake. Regulations also mandate use of single barbless hooks. Cutthroat trout, which flourished in the 1980s, are now all but gone, replaced by good populations of rainbows and browns. Located only about four miles south of Truckee, California, Martis is an extremely easy lake to get to and enjoy. In recent years fluctuating water levels and unknown factors have affected trout growth and survival here. We hope that ongoing efforts by the California Department of Fish & Game will reverse this trend in the near future. Nevertheless this is a convenient “after work” fly fishing outing for many Reno, Truckee, and Lake Tahoe area locals. Type of Fish: Primarily rainbow and brown trout. There are probably still some cutthroat left from the reservoir’s initial population. Also, illegally introduced green sunfish. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Truckee, CA - Fly-Fishing
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Whether you’re after bass or trout, the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area offers a top-rated opportunity to catch sizable fish with a fly rod. Located just outside Yerington, Nevada, this 13,000-acre ranch is managed by the Nevada Department of Wildlife for waterfowl, deer, turkey, pheasant, quail, bass, and trout, among other wildlife. The trout grow fast here and the bass are plentiful. There are a total of 36 ponds in the wildlife area. Only four (Hinkson Slough, Bass Pond, Crappie Pond, and North Pond) are open to fishing. The other 32 ponds are closed to all trespass to permit undisturbed waterfowl nesting and rearing during spring and summer. Type of Fish: Rainbow, brown, and cuttbow trout; largemouth bass and sunfish. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Yerington, NV - Fly-Fishing
What angler worth his or her salt has not heard of the ladder fishermen of Pyramid Lake and the trophy-sized cutthroats they cast to? This is the world’s best trophy cutthroat fishery. Many also know the best time to fish this world-class lake is in the winter. If you’re willing to pay your dues and can withstand the punishing cold weather, you’re in for a 10 experience. The stark, desolate surroundings give you the impression you are fishing on the lunar surface or a Star Trek set. Type of Fish: Lahontan cutthroat trout, Sacramento perch, cui-cui, and huge populations of tui chub. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Nixon, NV - Fly-Fishing
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If you choose not to sample the excellent fly fishing at the Ruby marshes, the natural beauty of the place is reason enough to make the trip. This wonderful wetlands is populated with deer, eagles, herons, swans, geese, and every kind of duck imaginable. All of this sits at the base of the snow-topped Ruby Mountains. It’s a compelling place that makes you want to return. Located about 70 miles south of Elko, Nevada, Ruby Lake is a classic marsh, fed by a single ditch. The ditch connects a series of springs that, amazingly, provide the only source of water for several thousand acres of habitat. The Collection Ditch, as it’s called, amounts to a man-made spring creek. The federal hatchery on the refuge keeps this water well supplied with trout. Many are in the trophy class and are available year-round. The water in the marsh fluctuates from year to year depending on the level of the groundwater that feeds the springs. At 6,000 feet in elevation, the Ruby Valley keeps air and water temperatures relatively cool. This provides excellent conditions for trout as well as a growing population of largemouth bass. Type of Fish: Rainbow, brown, brook, cutthroat, and cutbow trout as well as largemouth bass.
Shantytown, NV - Fly-Fishing
How often do you have the opportunity to fish a water that gave its name to one of the most productive still water fly patterns in the West? If you take secondary State Route 11 southwest out of Owyhee for about 12 miles, you will arrive at Sheep Creek Reservoir...yes, you guessed it...home of the Sheep Creek Special. This fly has become a still water legend. At times, the fishing at this fairly typical high desert reservoir can be legendary as well. According to float tubing author Marv Taylor, Sheep Creek was once touted as Nevada’s “top rainbow fishery...with catches of 14" to 20" rainbows almost a sure thing.” Type of Fish: Primarily rainbow trout. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Owyhee, NV - Fly-Fishing
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South Fork Reservoir deserves a spot on every fly angler’s “must fish” list of Nevada still waters. As of this writing, it’s Nevada’s newest trout fishing reservoir. A little history will help with your assessment of this fishery. The dam on the South Fork of the Humboldt River was completed in 1989. This was right in the middle of a long drought that started in California and Nevada in the mid-1980s. Consequently, it took a while for the reservoir to fill. While the filling was slow, the fishing was fast and furious. As with any newly created reservoir, freshly flooded land provided a smorgasbord of food for the trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and catfish introduced by the Nevada Department of Wildlife. Type of Fish: Rainbow and brown trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Elko, NV - Fly-Fishing
Located atop Spooner Summit near Lake Tahoe (where Highways 50 and 28 intersect) this 80-acre lake rests in a beautiful mountain meadow. Fed by runoff and small springs, it’s one of the few public waters in Nevada with catch and release regulations. By almost everyone’s strict fly fishing standards, Spooner Lake is in the middle of the pack. Adjustments to your standards are warranted if you factor in the high-elevation splendor and great accessibility for beginning fly fishers. Type of Fish: Primarily rainbow and brown trout. Also the possibility of large cutthroat trout. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
South Lake Tahoe, CA - Fly-Fishing
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These three reservoirs, at 5,800 to 6,000 feet in elevation, were built for water storage on the Truckee River drainage system. They offer a more bite-sized alternative to the nearby giant, Lake Tahoe. Yearly fluctuating water levels, however, can change the fishing conditions. All three reservoirs hold some very large trout and are stocked by the California Department of Fish & Game each year. These waters are readily accessible to the Reno/Tahoe populace, so solitude can be scarce. Type of Fish: All three lakes hold healthy populations of rainbow and brown trout. Boca and Stampede contain kokanee salmon. Stampede produces an occasional lake trout. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Truckee, CA - Fly-Fishing
The Truckee, the largest of the three major rivers in the Reno area, provides year-round fly fishing. Easy access, beautiful canyon scenery, and fiesty wild trout earn the Truckee an easy 8 on the quality-of-fly-fishing scale. The truth is, overall, the Truckee is a tough river to fly fish. The Truckee drains huge Lake Tahoe, flowing north and east from the lake through the town of Truckee, California, where the better fishing begins. It then tumbles through a steep, forested canyon down the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada and through the city of Reno. Types of Fish: Rainbow and brown trout with isolated populations of cutthroat and brookies. Average fish are 10"–12", but trout of 18" plus are not uncommon. A fish over 20" would be considered a trophy. Whitefish also populate the Truckee and can provide good sport, especially during winter months. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Verdi, NV - Fly-Fishing
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Easily accessible as it flows alongside the Highway, this section offers serious nymph and streamer anglers opportunities to catch trophy rainbow or brown trout, especially if you avoid the weekend crowds. Twenty-inch fish are common in this stretch of the river. In the spring or fall, stripping a Woolly Bugger or Zonker tempts any rod-bender within chomping distance. In Nevada, the East Walker flows through sagebrush flats and is known for consistent insect hatches and large fish. That’s why it’s considered by many the best trout stream in the state. Summer irrigation demands, however, can make water levels fluctuate. While some of the river courses through private land, public access is readily available on the significant portion of the river that runs through land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. Type of Fish: Rainbow and brown trout and mountain whitefish. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Gardnerville, NV - Fly-Fishing
Wild Horse Reservoir has long been a favorite of anglers who have learned to appreciate fly fishing high desert still waters. Once you’re in the far north central part of Nevada, the fishing is easy to get to. Wild Horse was created in 1937 when the original dam was constructed on the East Fork of the Owyhee River. The dam was rebuilt in 1970. At maximum pool, 2,800 surface acres of water are impounded and the reservoir runs 60 to 70 feet deep near the dam. Wilson Reservoir was constructed in 1954 as an irrigation water impoundment. At 800 surface acres and 30 feet deep, it’s a smaller cousin to Wild Horse. Type of Fish: Primarily rainbow and brown trout, and largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish. This eTrail covers the "where, when, and how" to fish in this region. You'll get a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to bring, and the best flies to use.
Owyhee, NV - Fly-Fishing
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