Waters

A collection of some of the best waters Nevada and the Eastern Sierra have to offer. This is by no means a complete list, but the waters listed here will give you a flavor of what its like to Fly Fish Nevada. Besides, finding your own spots is half the fun. Remember, always consult your regulations before fishing any water.

East Walker River - One of the region’s, if not the country’s, best trout streams. Rainbows up to 5 lbs, browns even bigger. Lots of good dry-fly water along with tons of nymphing opportunities. Try the Miracle Mile just below the dam for classic tail-water fishing or the Nevada sections for relatively uncrowded opportunities. For a side trip, Twin Lakes has great camping and good fishing, too.

To read more on the East Walker River click here.

Pyramid Lake – THE place for trophy Lahontan cutthroat trout. 10-14 pound cutts are taken weekly and larger fish are taken every year. Fishing is often done from a ladder so you can reach the drop-off or you can use a float tube in calm conditions. Try the Nets for consistently bigger fish (and bigger crowds), but monsters can be found anywhere. I have even sight fished over 20-inch cutts on the north side of the lake.

Crowley Lake – The quintessential high desert reservoir. When this place in on, it can kick out some monster rainbow and brown trout and has a sleeper fishery for yellow perch. Most of the action can be had from boats or float tubes using deep water midging techniques or streamers, especially those that resemble juvenile perch. Beware the winds here, though. This place gets blown out regularly. It along way from everywhere, but the quality of the fishery is worth the drive and Bishop and Mammoth are nearby.

Truckee River – A fine trout stream in some beautiful settings. You’ll find browns, rainbows and cutts along with some mountain whitefish (and smallmouth?). A killer Little Yellow Stone hatch in August is my favorite. Fish the trophy section in Verdi, Nevada all year long, and just about anywhere from Lake Tahoe to the state line when the river is open in California.

Hinkson Slough – In the Mason Valley WMA about 10 minutes north of Yerington, this small series of ponds and channels was one of the premier trout fisheries in the area. This is highly productive water and requires skilled presentation to entice strikes. I compare this water to some of the great spring creeks in the west. I have caught more 20-26 inch rainbows here than anywhere else I have fished. And when the trout aren’t in the mood to strike the bass fishing is fun with 20-30 fish days not uncommon.

Frenchman’s and Davis Reservoirs – About 45 minutes and one hour north of Reno, respectively, these large impoundments have some voracious rainbows. A major Damselfly Nymph migration in June is a highlight, though fish can be caught anytime the water is ice-free on dries, nymphs and streamers. Wading the shallow bays can be productive, as can float tubing. Davis gets poisoned every few years to eradicate pike, but always bounces back quickly. One hint: Hold onto your rod tight!

Hot Creek – Technical dry fly fishing at its best/worst. These fish are picky but hardly spooky. Stories are told that another fish will sometimes rise between you and the fish you’re trying to catch, they are that brave. Of course, neither will take your fly without a perfect drift. Big fish live in this little creek; I have personally seen (notice I didn’t say caught) a 24 incher! There is some private land so beware.

Knott Creek Reservoir - Knott is in the middle of nowhere north of Winnemucca but well worth the trip. Rainbows in the double digits have been caught and the tiger trout and brook trout aren’t slouches either. The road may be impassable during wet weather and 4WD is recommended. The area also offer great deer, chukar and quail hunting, in season.

East Carson River – Another fine east slope trout stream. Good fishing can be found from the headwaters, through Markleeville and the wild trout section, down to Minden. Much of the river below Markleeville is accessible only on foot or in a raft. No trout are planted here due the wild & scenic designation but the resident trout do quite nicely all alone like that.

Wildhorse Reservoir - About 2-hours north of Elko, Wildhorse is a top-notch high desert reservoir. Trout, bass and panfish can be had at this impoundment, though the trout fishing is the highlight. Some excellent fishing can also be had in the Owyhee River below the dam. Try poppers for the bass at dusk in the warm summer months.

Reese River - The Reese River is a small stream that originates in the Arc Dome Wilderness at the southern end of the Toiyabe Range in central Nevada. Most of the better water requires a hike but eager, wild trout make it worth the extra trouble. Most of the trail heads leading into the wilderness will get you there but Cow Camp is probably the easiest.

Hobart Reservoir – Hobart is a small impoundment in the Carson Range west of Carson City. NDOW plants rainbows and cutthroat spawners up to 5 pounds. Brook trout also inhabit the little lake and are easily taken on dries. Hobart can be fished from shore but a float tube makes it a lot easier. Access Hobart from Ash Canyon Road and the hike about a mile from the parking area, which is 4 miles from Carson City.

Desert Creek – A small creek south of Wellington that runs through a deep canyon for most of its length. A dirt road runs along the creek for about a third of it’s length with seven crossing of the creek. Find the open water and you will find fish including rainbows, browns and brook Trout. The fish are both wild and planters and very aggressive. Lots of camping along the creek too.

Lahontan Reservoir – Lahontan is located about 40 minutes east of Carson City and is primarily a warm-water fishery. Lahontan holds white bass, wipers, walleye, black bass, crappie and NDOW stocks rainbow trout. The wipers can grow in excess of 5 pounds and I have had 50 fish days on white bass. You don’t need a boat or float tube as fish cruise the beaches looking for meals, and it feels so good to wet wade when it’s 100 degrees.

21 Responses

  1. You have a neat blog. Looks like you have put in a bunch of work on it. Here is one of my favorite fishing websites.Fishing East Texas

  2. Great site… Do you know of any good trout waters/streams in the southern Nevada closer to Las Vegas?

  3. so… why are you mentioning waters that are in California?? Isn’t this website supposed to be “Fly Fish Nevada?” And what about waters throughout the state? Eastern Nevada etc? Nevada is much more than just the one corner or region that you seem to be covering.

    • Because I live in Western Nevada and about 15 minutes from the border, that’s why. And did you miss the post on Lamoille Canyon? If you want you can start a blog about eastern Nevada specifically or just send me a suitcase full of money and I promise to travel to eastern Nevada more often. Besides the Eastern Sierras are a world class fishing destination and have more quality waters to fish than all of Nevada has. Nevada has some fine fishing, but to ignore that the Eastern Sierras are part of the Nevada fishing scene would be ridiculous.

      • Thank you for your informative web-site, and I happen to come across it by accident. Also, thank you for your compliments on the Eastern Sierras as a world class fishing destination, I happen to live there. It is one of the reasons we moved there among other things. I just want to say that I really like the Upper portion of Nevada because it is so open and beautiful. I am really enjoying your Fall colors here as I have been fly fishing in Colorado, Utah and now Eastern Nevada as we go home. Kudos on your web-site.

      • Thanks for the kind words. Hope you had a good trip. The fishing in the Sierras should be great this fall.

  4. Have you ever fished the Owyhee River below Wildhorse? I know several guys that fish it below Owyhee Reservoir and do extremely well on good sized fish. Back in the mid ’80′s I was on a geothermal project at Beowawee, NV and snuck off to a lake on the North side of I80(?) between BattleMtn & Carlin. Don’t remember the name. It was all gravel road getting there, winding around the gold mines. Caught a bunch of crappies and several good sized rainbows. Also made several day trips to the Ruby Marshes and to Lamoille Canyon. Beautiful country

  5. Me visit you site http://flyfishnevada.com/waters man times, I want to say thank you for assiting with me English.

  6. Kudos from one brainiac to another. :)

  7. Nice tips on the water options for flyfishing.
    I am a brazilian flyangler and I am considering the possibility to choose Nevada to go next year for some trout fishery.
    I´d be thankful to any flyfishing angler in the area who could give me more information about rivers, flies, equipments, etc…
    Oh, I run the most active flyfishing forum here in Brazil (www.flyfishingbrasil.com.br) and have been trying to promote flyfishing sown here.

    Dan, congratulaions on this nice and helpful site!

    Alex-Brazil

    • Wow! Brazil? Cool! Well, if you make it to Nevada let me know. I’d love to meet and go fishing.

      • Dan, if If find a fellow to flyfishing there I could say that Nevada is ahead in my options!

        I am really considering going to NV… looking for some fishing spots there in the net… watching some films at youtube about truckee river too.

        Alex

      • Sorry, never saw the reply. I would try to take you fishing, but the East Walker is my home water. I don’t get to the Truckee often. However, try the Fly Fishing Addicts forums. The guys on there are very friendly and if I couldn’t go fishing with you, one of the guys from the forums surely would.

  8. Dan, let me update you about my probable trip to the USA… I should go on next August.
    I will go into Reno, then I´ll go to Montana by car with an internet friend who lives in Carson City.
    We will take around 4 days on the road (round trip) and flyfish at the Bozeman area for around 5 days. We will meet there a friend of mine who´s brazilian too.
    After we come back to Reno, We´ll stay there for around 2 days, before fly back to Brazil.
    If we get the chance to fish Walker River, I´d love to!

    How is Walker River at mid August?

    take care!

    Alexander

    • The East Walker should be flowing pretty high, but it’s usually fishable. Lots of bugs, so the fish have plenty to eat and you have to get a fly right on their noses. Read this post and it will give you an idea of what it may be like.

      You can use my contact page to send me e-mails directly.

  9. Fantastic stuff, thanks! Question; is this the Hot Creek in California near Yellowstone, or the Hot Creek in mid-eastern Nevada?

    Trying to pick between a trip there or to Zion Park in Utah (I live in Las Vegas).

    • This is the Hot Creek in California near Yosemite. Zion is nice, but if you are after fishing you can’t beat the Yosemite/Mammoth area. Lots of geological things of interest too. Good food and great camping, but if your planning on staying near Yosemite, you’ll need reservations. Plenty of other spots and 395 makes traveling between them quick and easy.

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