Thursday, December 2, 2010


As you folks may have heard, the Reno Fly Shop is closing its doors. We're still going to be running the guide service, but the retail operation after some 30 years will be over in around a month. We're going to be clearing out the inventory so stop by and maybe score some goods while they're here. Thank you to all the people that stopped by the shop over the years, friends and customers alike, (Those lines often blurred.) It was a privilege to help you people with your fly fishing tackle, fly tying, casting, or just sharing stories. We're going to be keeping the same phone number for the guide service, so if you folks ever want to get in touch with any of us, feel free to drop a line.

(775) 825-3474

I'll still periodically post thoughts and nonsense about fishing here, so check by now and then. Here's a little fish porn to soften the blow.

32" Lake Trout from Boca Reservoir. I missed the hook-set and ended up snagging her in the side, so much like the rest of this post, it was a mixture of good a bad feelings. A bittersweet moment, especially considering that she wouldn't revive in the warm, early fall water. I guided her up to the cold inlet and tried to revive her for a half hour, but she kept listing to her side. This was the first fish I cropped in probably 10 years. It broke my heart.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Big snows this fall. Hope everyone has a big meal with friends and fam and is safe out there.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

We just got 2-3 feet of fresh powder up in Truckee. Winter is officially here. Glad I got my Nevada license, its been pretty amazing trout fishing down there the last few years. It's also time to start tying some Pyramid flies that put disco lights to shame. Anything that looks like a little chub is worth throwing. See you guys out there!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Spawning Redds

When you're out there wading in the rivers, especially this time of year, be very mindful of where you step. Any parts of the river bottom you see that have been cleaned off can be spawning reds. Sometimes they can be hard to see, but usually they'll be a different color from the rest of the river bottom. Protecting spawning redds and fish will help the future of our fisheries. Good luck out there.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fly Tyers

Why are fly tyers such odd folks? I think it must have to do with the constant exposure to lead wire, paint, glues, fumes etc. I don't think I've ever met a guy that tied a lot of flies that most people would consider "normal." The more the guy(or gal) ties flies, the more quirks they have. I know quite a few commercial fly tyers and one or 2 of them that have been doing it in excess of 20 years. They are probably the most eccentric people I know, but there's very few people I'd rather spend time with. (barring exceptional individuals like brazilian female volleyball players and the like.) Sharing a few beers with a fellow tyer and mulling over patterns is pretty close to heaven for a guy like me. :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Truckee River Day

Is this Sunday, hope to see you guys out there. :)

PS - been lax on my blog posting lately, but have some new material I should be sharing with you guys pretty soon, hope all is well with everyone,


Monday, September 6, 2010


Well, kinda not really. Been on a big streamer and popper kick lately and found this. Not fly fishing, but I found it interesting, and anyways Larry Dahlberg is one of my heroes.

btw - sorry if the link isn't working, just highlight and copy/paste, I'll figure out what's not working with it soon enough.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Nice day with the boys

Had a good day last week with a return client. Pete and his friends Adam and Larry. Adam had never really fished moving water with a fly rod. Living in Reno he had always focused on Pyramid Lake for the big Lahontan cutthroat . Nice way to start your river fishing experiences, I had a blast with you guys.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kids these days...

Took out Michael here last week. He told me he had only gone fly fishing a couple times, yet when we were on the water, he understood drifts, and advanced mending better then a lot of people I've seen who have fished for decades. He tied his own flies and had a decent grasp on what worked. I couldn't figure out how he had all these innate talents without ever really doing these activities for much time. His secret; he studied youtube vids of other people fly fishing and tying. Ahh, the modern era. Great job Michael. I'm happy to see young folks like you that are inquisitive and dedicated to the things they enjoy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Last night I had two clients hook three browns around 24" in the same run in a 5 minute window. Two were broken off on avoidable rocks and one just sheared the tippet. They were completely random and I'm not quite sure why three fish of that size were in there, but when a guide says "GET THAT ROD UP" listen to the man, hes not trying to sell you real estate, he's trying to help you catch fish. We still ended up catching a good number of smaller to medium size fish, but lost the ones we really wanted. Feelin' heartbroken today. Some days I wonder why I do this, but most days it's as plain and obvious as the smile on my face. It was still a good outing, I think I'm just too caught up in helping people catch the"fish of their year" or the "fish of their life." The next time I'm with some friends and were thinking of what to toast to, its going to,

"the ones that were caught and the ones that got away"


Monday, August 2, 2010

River's been having some thick caddis and yellow sally hatches. Little Truckee and the other creeks are getting low but still fishing well. Low light conditions are usually best. Was driving home through the canyon on hwy80 the other night and my windshield was getting pelted with pugs. Haven't seen a hatch that thick in quite some time.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Prime time

Fishing's been great around Truckee lately Nice caddis hatches and yellow sallies on the main stem(also streamer fishing is picking up) and a good mid-day pink mayfly hatch on the LT. Smallmouth are picking up on the reservoirs and carp fishing in Nevada is getting pretty good too. (along with the trout of course) See ya out there!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Beginners luck?

I had 2 first-timer guide trips the last couple days, and both somehow managed to land larger browns. Beginners Luck? Maybe, but Im thinking my quick learning students had more of an influence then the luck. I see a good number of those fish hooked by clients every year, but with beginners its tough to have the necessary abilities to land bigger fish, especially with how smart the browns are around here. They see it all and know a lot of tricks to separate the connection between angler and fish. Luckily for me, both of my guys retained what I told them. They kept the rod up with a good amount of pressure, lead the fish by his head. They manuevered them away from rocks and snags pre-emptively before they could make a break for cover. They didnt try to check the fishes hard, early runs and instead fought with patience and control. They stayed parallel to the fish and brought them into slower, shallower water to facilitate netting the fish. To put it short, they acted like pros and made me proud out there.
well played gentleman, well played indeed.

Here's Mark with a beauty of a brown from the LT. Bear in mind hes 6'5" and 250 and Im just a little guy at a hair under 6'3". Awesome fish on 6x in about 8" of water.

And here's the young master Nick on the Truckee River with a gorgeous fish he caught high sticking in the fast water with a sculpin I had tied the night before.
PS On the flip side of the coin, on another day, one of my guys hooked 3 decent fish in a short period and they all shook loose, despite hooking quickly from a good angle and playing the fish properly. They just came unbuttoned. I wouldn't try to claim luck has no part in it, it always will, but making the best of every opportunity is something we should all strive for as anglers.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1st on the River

After we closed the shop today, a few of the staff of the Reno Fly Shop went out to the Truckee to get out there and throw some lines. Although the fishing was slow, the hatch was surprising. Four different species of bugs were spotted popping off the river: Evening Duns, Yellow Sallies, Green Drakes, and Caddis. Once the flows come down a bit more, the dry fly action will be spectacular. Because the fishing was slow, we spent most of our time playing with our new favorite toys-Skagit lines on Switch rods. Come on by the shop and we will help you prepare for the next couple of weeks on the river.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

6 Must-Have Early Summer Truckee Patterns

In anticipation of the Truckee coming down to productive fishing levels, (maybe less than a week if we are lucky...) I thought I could share my 6 favorite early summer patterns for the Truckee. These flies will give you the best shots at fish, and I will do everything short of guaranteeing hook-ups. Here they are in no particular order.

1. Flav-Green Drake Sprout Emerger-Once the G.D.s start hatching,
you will want to have this fly in your quiver.

2. Burk's Hunchback Green Drake- Certainly the best G.D. nymph for the Truckee.

3. Barr's Jumbo John- A juicy looking fly that will get down to the fish in fast runs.

4. Mercer's Micro Mayfly- Big fish eat little things...

5. Chernobyl Ant- May not be as productive as the nymphs, but will certainly be more fun.

6. Stanley Streamer- Gotta give it to the boss, this fly always produces big fish--especially when they start planting fish on the Nevada side. (The fly is still in the Brown's mouth)

Thanks for reading, and make sure to stop by the Reno Fly Shop to pick up these must have early summer Truckee patterns, we might even show you a few more. -JM

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

First Post

The Author with a 29" Brown from the Nevada side of the Truckee
Caught last July on a Micro Mayfly Nymph
Hi All,

My name is Jake Manoukian. Since this is my first post I should give you some background info about myself. I am a 19 year old student at Middlebury College in Vermont. I work in the fly shop in the summers mainly opening shipments from Simms and cleaning the fly bins; but sometimes Dave lets me organize the size labels for our apparel. Anyway, when I'm not working or building model airplanes, you can find me fishing one of our local rivers, usually swinging nymphs and landing hogs. The Truckee is my favorite river, but I fish the Little Truckee, the Carson, and even the Sparks Marina pretty frequently. So if you like talking about fishing, or anything else I suppose, feel free to comment on any of my posts and we will be able to get a little rapport going. Thanks for reading, and you will hear from me soon. -JM

Friday, June 18, 2010


Took my guys out to the LT for the morning. Got too crowded for our taste so we went to the river and caught just as many fish there as the LT, in less time. What did we get them on? A foam ant fished in the seams behind some split shot. Haha. Saw one other angler on the other side of the river, but we had plenty of room so it worked out fine. The Truckee is a truly amazing fishery if you're willing to go out there and try to learn her mysteries. SO many anglers get stuck in their comfort zone that is the Little Truckee and really limit themselves as anglers. This time of year there's so many rivers, creeks, lakes and ponds out there that are fishing well or just starting to fish with trout that haven't seen flies in months. Hopefully I can spark a little fire in the people reading this and you guys get out there and explore, cause there is no time better than the present. Good luck in your early summer adventures!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Truckee Update

Despite being fairly blown out through Reno, the Truckee is high but fishable once you head west a ways and fish the CA side. Proof of this was sent to me by Michael who's been sticking some beautiful fish up there on brown colored stones and wd-40's:

That spotty rainbow looks like something out of an advertisement for an Alaskan guide trip. Awesome.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

They're here!

The annual carpenter ant flights are starting up now that we're getting some warmer weather. The river's high, but fishable, especially further up. Try some big ant dries on the banks, or fish a drowned one like a nymph. This hatch isn't long lasting, but can be epic for a few days.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Don't miss this!


Catch and Release Fly Fishing Tournament

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Presented by Nevada Fishing Service, all tournament proceeds will benefit JDRF of Northern Nevada to fund research to find a cure for diabetes and its complications.

$250 fee per person—includes:

- Minimum of four (4) hours of fishing in private trophy lakes

- NY Steak sandwich lunch with keg beer (provided by Blue Ribbon Meat Co. of Sparks) and --Nevada Fishing Service (Shaun Gilbert)
- Great prizes (will be posted at

- Amazing fly fishing — at last year’s tournament a contestant caught 65 fish in one round!

Cast for a Cure will be limited to 30 fly fisherman and will occur at Sand Hill Lakes , located approximately 30 minutes North of Reno. These are private trophy waters operated by Nevada Fishing Service that include Rainbow Trout hybrids up to 16 lbs., Brook Trout up to 3.5 lbs., Brown Trout up to 7 lbs. Largemouth Bass and other large species which will cause even the most experienced fisherman to be challenged!

Sand Hill Lakes at Ross Creek Ranch— 90 Saddle Lane , Reno , 89508

Located 17 miles East on Red Rock Road from 395 off the Red Rock Exit

The tournament includes at least four hours of fly-fishing time; the group will be split into two and will each fish one of two trophy ponds to see who can catch the most fish in two hours. Then, the groups will switch ponds for another two hours. At the end of the four hours, the eight fishermen that caught the most fish will advance to a third round for another two hours to again battle for quantity of fish caught. At this time, eliminated fisherman can buy in to keep fishing for $100. The final round will consist of the top four quantity winners, who will compete for the largest catch.

Official tournament rules and information will be posted at

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Little Truckee

Don't forget to check out the reports tab from time to time to see how things are fishing in the area. And take a look at this beautiful trout from the little truckee so you can wish you were fishing while sitting in your cubicle all day (ok maybe that's just me...):

This is Mike who got into some fish this last weekend on the little truckee with Dan the man Lecount:

-- BJ

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spring Skwala Dry Fly

Here's another pattern from Dan Lecount for those springtime skwallas. In these high, turbid water conditions, this is a good bet to cast to a rising fish -- or any time there are a lot of skwalla stoneflies hanging around :-) Come in to the fly shop and talk to Dan about his flies and stock up on the materials to tie them!

Springtime Skwala Dry
(by Dan Lecount):
thread: yellow 3/0
hook: standard dry fly hook #6-10
Egg Sac: black 2mm foam
body dubbing: Olive & brown dubbing blend
body foam: 2mm brown foam
ribbing: yellow 3/0
Wing: web wing (or other wing material) +
natural grey deer or elk hair
Head: bullet style head with brown deer hair
coated with head cement at the end
Antennae: 2 deer hair fibers pulled out
Legs: standard brown rubberlegs
Site Dot: Any brightly colored foam

Here's the underside of a skwala-- think it's a close enough match? I'm going to say the fish will be surprised when they eat one and it has a hook:

--photos & post by Brian J.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hero Shot - how to shake the skunk

Having been skunked 3 times in a row at pyramid Jim (below) shows us how to shake the skunk with this 30", 11.5 lb beast. He was using an 8wt with a shooting head and throwing an olive bugger with a purple beetle dropper-- the fish took the dropper... but really I think it was persistence that caught this fish:

Awesome fish Jim.

Any more? send pics to

--Posted by Brian J.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dan's Early Season Flies

We're lucky in the tahoe region, as we are blessed with a wide variety of aquatic invertebrates that hatch on our local waters. Some of my favorites are our early season mayfly hatches. We have grey drakes, march browns, callibaetis, green drakes + flavs, all happening in spring/early summer. Whats best, is you can copy most of these hatches with a few large, drab, impressionistic imitations-- a couple of which I've posted for you below.

The classic parachute adams in 10-14 doesn't seem like it should work in our technical watersheds, but it does. It's close enough to multiple hatches that trout usually seem to think its food of some sort. Most of the green drake imitations I see are waay too green or olive for our local variety. Especially when the insect has first emerged, a more drab, greyer imitation will often work better. I tie a dull, greyish/tan snowshoe cripple in size 8 down to size 20 and effectively fish that almost all season long if mays are hatching. The only time I swap it out as far as mayflies go is when the really light colored mays like the PMDs, PEDs or serratella (mr. pinky) hatch. Sometimes if the hatch is in its later phases I might throw a hackle stacker as a spinner imitation but that's usually not necessary.

The only drawback to these hatches is they usually occur near early season high water. Even then, with the size of the bug, that's often enough to pull the fish up in rough water. So unless the river is chocolate milk, you have a solid shot at trout on the surface once the big mayflies are hatching and for that I'm more than thankful. :)

Snowshoe Cripple:
thread: tan or grey 6/0 (or other)
hook: standard dry fly hook #8-20
tail: tan grizzly marabou
body: tan grizzly marabou
ribbing: small gold wire
thorax dubbing: Callibaetis antron dubbing
Wing: Dun snowshoe rabbit
hackle: grizzly or speckled dark dun

Snowshoe Humpy:

thread: olive 6/0 (or other)
hook: standard dry fly hook #8-16
tail: moose or coastal deer hair
wingcase: moose or deer pulled over with a
touch of head cement at the end
body: golden olive floss
Wing: Dun snowshoe rabbit
hackle: grizzly or grizzly + dark dun

--posted by Dan Lecount
(Photos by BJ)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pyramid Lake Flies

Since I've been on a pyramid lake kick-- here's some video tutorials from Andy Burk-- specifically his pyramid lake ties that are posted on youtube. Come into the shop and hear more about flies for pyramid lake and buy the materials to tie these (or pick some up already tied!).

Pyramid Lake Woolly Bugger:

Pyramid Lake Tadpole:

Pyramid Lake Glitter Midge:

--Brian J.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Caught last Sunday on Streamers. MRW

Monday, April 19, 2010

A different sort of fish ladder...

Pyramid Lake. The place has some sort of alien magic to it. Whenever I'm there and remember to take the time to breathe in deep and take a slow look around I get the feeling that being on the surface of a different planet wouldn't look a whole lot different. Except I bet they wouldn't have trophy cutthroats swimming in the water:

Most guys who have fished Pyramid a lot would look at Justin's fish above and say casually "yeah, that's a nice fish." I still hold it in high regard as I've never managed to hook a fatso of this caliber. It was caught on a sparkly green woolly bugger fished on a sink tip. For my part I've only managed a couple of small ones on some sparkly nymphs fished a lot higher in the water column.

Now I know there's a lot of you out there dedicated to the pursuit of these cutthroats-- let's hear from you! E-mail me your big fish stories with a hero shot picture... and while you're at it let's hear about that secret fly that "gits'em" everytime! (

-- posted by Brian J. who now thinks casting a 30ft shooting head in the wind is fun

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shout out

Here's a quick shout out to Michael who's been one of the brave few sending me photos of fish ( hint hint)-- seems a SJW with a pheasant tail dropper was a good combo for these greedy, fat truckee rainbows. I love this first shot:


One fish day

Last week I made it out on the truckee a couple of times. I put a few fish in the net with a BWO emerger fished with a downstream presentation way back in the tailouts of a few pools, but for the most part it's been tough fishing through the downtown area. One particular day I was able to fish with Justin for 4 hours or so-- and between the two of us only one fish was hooked and landed.

I got the skunk but watching this fish lose it's mind and come flying out of the water multiple times made my day. I'd like to say we stayed cool and collected and got this guy netted and back in the water with a nod and a handshake but... instead I think I did that stupid high-pitched laugh that we all some of us do when we get excited. Justin and I also yelled "Soonnn!" a lot-- which is something I am truly proud of.

In the end this one fish made it an awesome day on the water:

25" brown trout taken by a generic dark-colored #14 mayfly nymph trailed behind a stonefly nymph.

posted by Brian J. who thinks this is a considerably higher quality post than the last one.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

kinky fish.

Local angler Michael sent me this picture of the elusive boomerang trout caught near Verdi. These rare fish are pursued diligently by a rare few and are desired for their odd tendency to return to their original hold to get caught and thrown back again:

Posted by Brian, who knows this is the dumbest shit you've seen all day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The East Walker in March

I had a great time on the east walker the weekend before last. The weather man said "snow" and I think that thinned the crowds but it ended up being overcast yet warm. This brought out the bwos as well as put the fish in the disposition to eat things. The best producing flies (for me) were a #18 disco midge and a #8 stonefly nymph tied on a scud style hook:

My Stonefly nymph:
a chewed up disco midge:

There were BWO's, and midges hatching galore and lot's of various mayfly nymphs and cased caddis underneath every stone. The disco midge did really well in the morning and then afternoon and evening the fish really started keying in on the stonefly nymph. It became apparent why that evening when adult skwalas were spotted crawling about on the shore.

trout snack:

My two best (or perhaps just "favorite") fish of the day were two browns that weren't quite 20" long -- one of which was quite skinny-- but were feisty and, I think, quite healthy. In the end it was Justin who caught the fish of the day though-- he put away a large number of fish on small attractor dries including a beautiful 21" brown trout.

Truly a great day on the water! --BJ

Friday, March 12, 2010

Recent Ties

I had a great time on the EW last weekend but I've also been tying up a few things at the vice. I've really been digging John Barr's tung teaser and have tied up this modified version in hopes it will be a killer green drake pattern (tied with tungsten to be a lead fly):

thread: Danville black 6/0 (or other)
hook: #10 -14 tiemco 3769
beads: 1/8" black brass or tungsten
underbody: .015 in lead wire to center the bead
tail: golden colored goose biots
body: Arizona synthetic peacock (dark)
ribbing: Br or Sm gold ultrawire
Thorax: pearl tinsel with thin skin pulled
over the top and epoxied at the end
Legs: hen back fibers

I also tied up some a lot closer to the original tung teaser prescribed by John Barr and have actually caught a lot of fish recently in the truckee on small sizes (14-16) of the fly described above:

Something closer to the original with white biots
and lighter Arizona synthetic dubbing:
Caught a lot of fish on this guy last week:

Lastly I've been tying some big heavy jumbo johns to use as lead flies this upcoming season. Last season when the caddis were coming off a Stonefly with a caddis dropper was fast-riffle dynamite: