The Truckee River crosses state lines near Verdi, Nevada. The river takes on a different character, with the lower elevations the streamside flora becomes much more deciduous. The streambed is still primarily granite boulders with a bit more gravel mixed in. The upper parts of the Nevada side hold a good population of Brown and Rainbow Trout with a few Mountain Whitefish mixed in. The lower parts of the river hold a good population of Brown and Rainbow Trout with some Largemouth Bass and Common Carp occurring in certain areas. Below you’ll find a breakdown of the river’s different sections and their accessibility.
The section of the river flowing through Verdi, Nevada is influenced by multiple dams and water diversions that make this section typically a lower flow than the rest of the river. Access can be easy relative to the other areas on the river, with Crystal Peak Park and Bridge Street being access points. These things make the Verdi section of the river one of the easier sections to get into and fish.
Water is put back into the river at Mogul, Nevada bringing the flows up to a more consistent rate with the rest of the river. The section of the river running from Mogul to Mayberry Park is not the easiest section to access but is home to some truly great fishing. When conditions allow we float this section of the river, putting in at the elbow bend in East Verdi and taking out at Mayberry Park.
Mayberry Park to Arlington Avenue is considered the city section of the river. The River winds through West Reno passing through several parks and river boardwalks. It takes some time on the water to just to the unusual scenery, suburban neighborhoods, people tubing in the summer afternoons, and onlookers from the bank but this section of river can be very productive. Access is very easy due to all the parks, some of our favorites are Mayberry Park and Idlewild Park. This section of the river has the same granite boulder substrate that’s found upstream but we start to see some areas containing gravel conducive for Trout’s spawning needs. Depending on water conditions we do float this section of the river, putting in at Mayberry Park and taking it out at the white water park located at Wingfield Park (Arlington Ave).
There are a couple of areas worth noting in the section of the river running through Sparks Nevada. One is Rock Park, with easy accessibility and the rivers only established boat ramp Rock Park is a decent place to get a line wet. We typically avoid this section of the river, not because the fishing is bad, in fact, the fishing can be quite good. This section sees a lot of unhoused people living along the bank and subsequently, a lot of trash makes its way into the water. This section is floatable putting in at Mayberry Park or Wingfield Park and taking out at Rock Park.
East of Reno/ Sparks, Nevada is a severely underrated and overlooked part of the river. The river Boasts a healthy population of Trout as well as some Common Carp and Largemouth Bass. Being exposed to the desert, the water temperature in mid to late summer is often too warm to fish. We mainly fish in this section in the early spring, winter, and fall. It can be tough to access most of the river however there is easy access at Lockwood Park and there are several bridges as the river winds its way toward the Derby Dam. We typically float this section of the river, being that the river slows down quite a bit we can float at relatively low flows. Putting in at Lockwood, Nevada, and pulling out near Mustang, Nevada. There is a lot of river east of Reno and it can hold some large fish that see very few anglers. The one bummer about this section is the trash. Unfortunately having just ran through the cities of Reno and Sparks the river brings with it a lot of garbage. It’s sad to see, and it really is sad because this section of the river has great potential to be an incredible fishery.
The Nevada side of the Truckee River has many angling opportunities all year long and is a great place to cast a fly. Due to its lower elevation, insect hatches vary slightly from the California side. Also, during high water conditions, anglers can often find sections of river with lower-than-average flows. The Nevada side feels like a totally different river and is worth a look for any curious angler.