The 11 Best Fly Fishing Spots Only Locals Know About

Natalie Faulk – Author – Only In Your State

Although Nevada has a reputation as a dry state, in reality, the Silver State has more than 200 ponds, lakes and reservoirs which provide almost 400,000 surface acres of sport-fishing opportunities. Whereas there are many places to fish around the state such as at Lake Mead, Lake Mojave, Mesquite, and the Colorado River near Laughlin, fly fishermen have fewer choices. Here are the 11 best fly fishing spots in Nevada that locals rave about. Take a look:

We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:

1. Pyramid Lake, Washoe County

Tim Lenz/Flickr

Pyramid Lake is one of the most popular still water fly fishing destinations in the world thanks to the huge Lahontan cutthroat trout which roam its waters. Anglers come from all over in pursuit of these giant fish. The average cutthroat caught at Pyramid Lake is around 22 inches long and weighs 20 pounds. This lake truly belongs on every angler’s bucket list.

2. Knott Creek Reservoir, Denio Junction

Ken Lund/Flickr

Fly fishermen routinely catch very large rainbow and tiger trout in this reservoir near the Nevada-Oregon border, especially deep down during hot Nevada summers. Due to an increase in shoreline vegetation, boats are recommended from July through September. Whether fly fishing from a boat or otherwise, Knott Creek Reservoir should be atop any fly fisherman’s bucket list.

3. Ruby Lake, Ruby Valley

Lovingly called “fishing heaven,” Ruby Lake in the Ruby Mountains near Elko is a prime fly fishing destination for anglers seeking giant cutthroat trout. Brook trout are as plentiful and ravenous at nearby Robinson Lake.

4. Truckee River, Reno

US Dept. of the Interior/Flickr

This 110-mile long river begins near Lake Tahoe and flows toward Reno and the northern Nevada desert. It also boasts among the largest trout in the lower 48 states. On the west side between Tahoe and Reno, dry fly fishing attracts monster brown trout, while rainbow and brown trout are more plentiful along the river’s eastern fork. Wherever you may end up, the Truckee River is prime fly fishing country.

5. Hobart Creek Reservoir, Carson City

Gary Gordon/AllTrails

Hobart Creek is, hands down, the best place to take beginning fly fishermen or young children to get them interested in fly fishing. While rainbow, brook, cutthroat, and hybrid trout are plentiful and easy to catch, they are not the monster fish many experienced fly fishermen seek. Regardless, you could do much worse than catching many average-sized fish in a truly beautiful area.

6. Little Truckee River, Reno

Steve Shupe/Flickr

The Little Truckee River is a great place for the patient sight fly fisherman to hunt large fish like the green drake hatch and the Kokanee trout.

7. Walker River, Lyon and Mineral Counties

Walker River Resort/Yelp

The Walker River fishes like a desert tailwater with plenty of large brown and rainbow trout. The experts tout dry fishing with hoppers for their success on this river.

8. Cave Lake, Ely

Maria R./Yelp

Some of the best winter fly fishing is found at Cave Lake (along with nearby Illipah Reservoir and Comins Lake.) The reservoir is stocked with nice-sized (10 to 11 inches on average) rainbow and brown trout near Cave Lake’s inflow.

9. Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area, Yerington

Rebecca O’Connor/Flickr

This area offers prime opportunities to catch sizable fish with a fly rod. Of the 36 ponds in the area, only four of them (Crappie Pond, Bass Pond, North Pond, and Hinkson Slough) are open for fishing. Rainbow, brown, and cuttbow trout; largemouth bass; and sunfish are plentiful here.

10. Wild Horse Reservoir, Elko

jodene e/Flickr

Wildhorse Reservoir is known for its rainbow trout, brown trout, bowcutt trout (rainbow/cutthroat hybrid), tiger trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, channel catfish, wipers (white bass/striper hybrid), and yellow perch. Fly fishermen flock to this area because of the stillness of the high desert waters. Fly fishing is best in early spring and late autumn.

11. Crittenden Reservoir, Elko

Crystal Creek Anglers/Facebook

This reservoir is relatively shallow yet crystal clear and has abundant insect life and football-shaped trout of which fly fishing dreams are made.


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