A Different Perspective on the Truckee River
Truckee River Float Fishing is no walk in the park. Set aside the challenging technical stretches of boulder-filled runs, one of the main issues is the lack of established put-ins and take-outs.
Raft or Boat?
We operate a 13’ AIRE Whitewater Raft with an NRS Fishing Frame attached. The boat is outfitted with a sizable anchor and pully system as well as standing platforms and seats for both anglers.
This setup is a 3 person arrangement with anglers on both the bow and the stern while one person rows in the middle. This boat is not light, we’re very happy when we can back the trailer up to the water and use the wench. Other options to float the river are in smaller 2-person rafts and are able to get in and out much more easily.
What Sections Do We Float on the truckee river?
There are many options for floating on the Nevada side of the Truckee River. One of them is the Mayberry Park to Wingfield Park stretch. This floats starts and finishes at well know popular parks in the Reno, Nevada area. We usually look for flows in the 500-600cfs range for this area.
This west side of Reno is nice and relatively clean in comparison to the condition of the river after it crosses Highway 395 and into Sparks, Nevada. The river can fish surprisingly well through the city with solid populations of Brown and Rainbow Trout with a few Mountain Whitefish mixed in. Both the put-in and take-out require a bit of muscle and creativity on the part of the guide to get the raft in and out of the water in this area.
East of Reno and Sparks, Nevada is the small town of Lockwood, Nevada. There is a small river access trail system and boat launch area there. Putting in here and floating down to an area just past the Mustang exit is the third stretch of the river that we’ll float while guiding. This Float has 4wd access to the water at both the put-in and take-out, making this one of the most accessible floats we run. At this point, the river runs through a purely desert environment weaving its way toward Pyramid Lake. We can float this area in a variety of flow conditions ranging from around 400-1000+cfs.
Floating and Fishing Past Reno Nevada
The fishing out here can be good at times, especially in the winter months when we see a consistent Blue Winged Olive hatch with rising fish on the regular. Being that this area is in the desert one of the main concerns on average or below average water years is the water temperature. It can reach temperatures that exceed the recommended fishing range very quickly in mid-summer.
One thing about this area that is a bummer is the amount of trash in and alongside the river. It’s unavoidable that some trash would make its way into the river is that it has just passed through Reno and Sparks. Neither city takes especially great care to prevent these occurrences and there are a few major contributors to this issue. One is the fact that the waste transfer station backs up to the river and the other is the communities of unhoused people along the bank.