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Fall Fishing Best, Writes Dean of Nevada Anglers
Nevada State Journal, September 19, 1926, page 2

Season Near CLose of Best Year Reno's Sportsmen Have Had


The fishing season is about to close on the justly famous Truckee river. Never in late years has the sport been so good, the baskets trimmed and full of fine fish, the environment never better and the disciples never more numerous than during this season. Even the fact that the new highway running right along the stream, where hundreds of travels have tried their skill, has made no difference with the regulars and their friends, who have fished the Truckee river diligently all season.

Big Ones Prevalent

At this writing the stream is at its lowest mark of the year. It always is before the rains and snows of the equinoctial period again swell the feeders. It is at this period that many bait fishermen make their best catches of large fish. Of course, every old angler that uses flies and sticks to them all year knows that right now is the best time of year for the best sport, the best fish, and that the cool water makes the best pan and bake feast, and that the entire trout family are at their wickedest, gamest fighting spirit as they prepare for their long winter ahead. They are in better shape, respond more quickly to lures, adn without argument give more sport than at any other time during the long season. It is also true that the larger fish, having cleaned up all the feed in their own particular home grounds, are out prospecting for feed, and moving about adjacent to the great deep pools and deep riffles, where the waters are more quiet along the shores, that is, little bays, where the minnows take refuge, and the small frogs have sanctuary.

The Truckee river, and earlier in the season its many tributaries, were well peopled by camps. As many as thirty tent homes have been assembled in one place along the upper Little Truckee alone. The big Truckee had many weekend parties, and month outing camps were plentiful.

In and about Reno the fishing was premier. Today, as this is published, many of the regulars from Reno have no trouble at all taking a full creel from any of the favorite grounds between Newlands Hole to state line.

Dry Fly Best

It is true that at this time of year the dry fly is by all odds the best lure, when properly laid upon the water. The small patterns will certainly take big fish. It is the fall of the year that the small hatches cover the streams, and naturally the trout of all spieces will rise more readily to 20s, 18s, 16s and 14s than any other size fly. Matter of fact, the regular feed of the trout is, and always will be, the very small flies and insects.

When alleged anglers tell you that is nothing in sizes and colors to close match the flies of the hatches that are upon the water, or in the air, that come from stream or nearby hatching grounds, put him down as a man that fishes for fish, and knows nothing of the real sport of fishing for these game fish and killing them or the 50-50 sport. Any one of the hundreds of known fisherman in Reno, and they are legion, wet fly, dry fly and bait and spinner, know from years of observation and experience that one makes the best baskets, takes the best fish, plays his fish to a killing, must be keenly alart. He must know the habits, feed, environment, and study very closely every detail of stream and trout.

The most noticeable feature along the nearby streams this past season was the preponderance of women and girl anglers everywhere. [xx] dainy miss shooting a long cast, with Leonard rods, lightest of tacket, taped lines and leaders skillfully placing a small number fly, delicately, and with precision over a dimple made by a good fish. Time and time again making a perfect target. At last the fish made a graceful turn, merely breaking water, turning down again toward his hiding place, and the little lady making a short pull hooking hime, then the battle. "The song of the reel," as the pounder, at a mile a minute, speeds down the pool. Then the easy pressure and the beginning of the takeup, when the fighting trout changes his direction up stream, or perhaps on a swerve towards his old hiding place and home near a great boulder where the waters rush with heavy swiftness. Again and again breaking water, after making curves of living silver and scarlet as the sun strikes his sides. Another rush. Out of the water a couple of feet, shaking his head, endeavoring to loosen the barb as he attempts to hurtle his body between feathers and leader. The boring down into deep water, sulking, until the angler adds pressure and heels the rod. Another run, not so swift this time. His battle is over, and with care the young lady angler slowly reels up, and brings in the colored beauty. Dry fly fisher? Nothing But.

Women Like It

Most all of the women and girl anglers are from Reno, too, although quite a few of them are women who are in Reno for a short year and have taken up the national pastime. It is very hard to distinguish thjese folks from the male anglers. They rig out in the same Truckee river uniform as the men and one has to make a close up to recognize them. It is also true that the language of the male contingent has come down out of the tree tops, and they all have the habit of taking a good loo, around before they start to untangle a wind snarl or start to climb a tall cottonwood, or willow after a hooked back east.

Taken all in all, the waters of the Truckee river furnished the best sport of any and all waters within a radius of a hundred miles of Reno this season, as it invariably does. This is due to the wonderful work of James Vogt, state hatchery, and James Morrell of Washoe county hatchery, who have kept the streams well stocked with the fighting rainbow trout.

Along the Hills

Have you ever taken the trouble to center your interest upon the high hills this time of year, after the first frosts and freezes high up? Have a look. There are immense splotches of vivid yellow, scarlet borders in great splashes of green, in the gashes of the mountains - the heralds of winter soon to be. Where moisture drains from the ice cold springs near the summits, colorings that are variegated in splendor, that cannot be duplicated by the best landscape artists of the world. Bald knobs, little bare areas, pile upon pile of primal granite, dotted here and there by the pine, grouped in pleasing display and a picture long to be remembered.When the blood-red run of the early morning strikes and makes shadows fantastic, amid the many rainbow tints that fade and then grow strong, as shadows disappear, and the fire-like glow of the sun brings on the beauties of nature. Then in the evening, when the great ball of furnace red drops down behind the rugged skyline of the Sierra Nevads, another, and perhaps more wonderful view may be had. The dark purple shows along the horizon, bringing into relief the jagged peaks, and rough timbered outline of the high hills. Now comes the evening tints from the setting sun. After the purple there is a dark line, then perfect laminations, the delicate, wonderful shadings, mergin in parallel, superb, high into the eastern heavens, until they merge with the lovely baby blue of the high ether, the trimmings of nature, and then the stars, and the Alice blue of the sky. The rising moon, with the pure silver. The cries of the many birds going to their nightly sanctuary. The plover, high up, with his queer croon. The squawk of the night hawk feeding. Then the peace and quiet pureness of a Nevada night.

Beauty Near

Along the Truckee river there is beauty on every hand. The many trees are now works of art in coloring. The beautiful greens, into all shades of yellow, then the falling leaves, and bare limbs and branches that betoken farewell to summer. The grasses that slope down to the water's edge are still lovely and lawnlike. One may still find flowers where the little springs come forth. The birds from the high mountains are all down in the valleys and along the streams. They, too, have their winter coats in the making. Most of the songsters are dull gray, or rather a nun's gray, and their usual markings are pretty well covered. They are difficult to identify. The fires in the back country have been the cause of their early pilgrimage into the lowlands, and the truckee river is their favorite ground for feed and protection. They have arrived almost two months earlier than usual. The small fur tribe also abounds along this fine stream. They are busily engaged in preparing for winter, too. Their coats are beginning take on the gloss and thickness that protects them through the coming months of cold and storm.

It is surely worth a day's picnic to trail along this river at this season. Visualizing, picturing, resting, forgetting worries, trials and tribulations.


Of course, there is a local fisherman's language. In part, so the strangers may become familiar with the most common expressions, the following will enlighten:

"Stick," the Leonard rod, highest art in bamboo.
"Garden Hackle," earth worms.
"String," expensive tapered line.
"Windlass," expensive reel.
"Bugs," helgramites.
"The Pacer," a bull that chases.
"Jumpers," grasshoppers.
"Set-up," to rig the rod.
"Take down," to dissemble the rod.
"Snarl," when line or leader tangles.
"Shooting," making a cast.
"Ground," favorite fishing waters.
"Feathers," flies.
"Floater," dry fly.
"Rigs," bait casis.
"Flat water," pools.

Of course, there are many other very-much-used expressions that would not get by the postal authorities, and are certainly taboo in polite society, not to mention what the editor would do with his blue pencil. Believe me, they use some stout stuff when they miss a good fish, or miss a strike and have the back cast hang high up in a tree.

There are many dark flies out now. The March brown is here aplenty in about a 12, the black "smut" in less than a 20, and all the quills in these same numbers, and patterns like red ant, ginger quill, blue quill, red quill, olive quill, blue upright. Try any of these, you will find one that they will rise for. The bait fellows are using the same old spring stuff with success, helgramites, rainbow eggs, worms and spinners. The wet fishermen are using the above patterns in 6s down to 12s. The dry fly men stick to 14s down to 20s.

The best grounds for taking good fish now is perhaps over the waters named below:
    Newlands Hole.
    Hog Pen.
    Chalk Bluff.
    Italian Riffle.
    Above three bridges below Verdi.
    Adjacent to Verdi power house.
    From the Verdi power house dam up to Fleisch.

The Loch Leven have been spawning, also the white fish. Good fish are being taken every day. Take a day before the season closes at midnight, September 30, and enjoy the wonders to be seen along this famous stream. Every bit of ground may be reached easily by car.

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