Fly fishing in Nevada

Key Takeaways:

  • Nevada offers diverse and picturesque fly fishing destinations, each with its unique charm. These locations are home to various trout species, bass, catfish, and more, making the state a haven for anglers.
  • The optimal times for fly fishing in Nevada are typically in spring and fall when water temperatures are ideal and fish are more active. 
  • The fish species you can target while flying fishing include brown trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout, tiger trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, crappie, and sunfish.
  • Nevada’s fly fishing rules and regulations vary by location and species. You’ll be required to obtain a license or permit in order to fish legally.
  • Be sure to consult the Nevada Fishing Regulations publication for specific rules, including catch limits, size restrictions, and fishing seasons for each species and location.

Fly Fishing in Nevada: List of 19 Places to Go

Fly Fishing in Nevada: List of 19 Places to Go

Nevada offers diverse destinations that promise to fulfill your angling dreams. Here’s a list of 19 awesome places to fly fishing in the Silver State, each with its own unique charm.

  • Beaver Dam State Park
  • Carson River
  • Cave Lake
  • Crittenden Reservoir
  • Eagle Valley Reservoir
  • Great Basin National Park
  • Hobart Creek Reservoir
  • Jarbidge River
  • Knott Creek Reservoir
  • Lake Mead
  • Lamoille Canyon Beaver Ponds & the Ruby Mountains
  • Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area
  • Pyramid Lake
  • Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge
  • South Fork of the Humboldt River
  • Topaz Lake
  • Truckee River
  • Walker River State Recreation Area
  • Wild Horse Reservoir

Now, take a closer look at the 19 great fly fishing destinations in Nevada.

1. Beaver Dam State Park

  • Situated in eastern Nevada, encompassing over 2,000 acres along Beaver Dam Wash in Lincoln County.
  • Known for its abundance of rainbow and cutthroat trout.
  • Offers a tranquil natural setting with abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation.

2. Carson River

  • Flows through northwestern Nevada, passing through Carson City and traversing five counties.
  • The East Fork of the Carson River is a popular fly fishing spot for rainbow and brown trout.
  • An urban fishery easily accessible for both beginners and families, with locations like Ruhenstroth Dam and Centerville Bridge providing excellent fishing spots.

3. Cave Lake

  • Found in the Schell Creek Range near Ely, occupying over 4,000 acres adjacent to Humboldt National Forest.
  • Rainbow and tiger trout can be found in Cave Lake’s serene and scenic surroundings.
  • Besides fishing, you can enjoy camping, hiking, and wildlife observation in this picturesque setting.

4. Crittenden Reservoir

  • Located in Elko, a peaceful fishing spot offering a variety of species.
  • Known for its pristine waters and an abundance of fish species like largemouth bass, rainbow trout, and panfish.
  • The tranquil environment and diverse fish population make it an attractive destination.

5. Eagle Valley Reservoir

  • Situated in Spring Valley State Park in southeastern Nevada and covers 65 acres.
  • It’s primarily a put-and-take fishery featuring rainbow, brown, and tiger trout
  • Spring Valley State Park provides camping facilities and additional amenities for a comfortable fishing trip.

6. Great Basin National Park

  • Located in White Pine County, near the Utah border.
  • Offers a unique fly fishing experience with alpine lakes and streams that house trout species like rainbow and brook trout.
  • You can explore the unique landscapes, caves, and hiking trails within the national park in addition to fly fishing.

7. Hobart Creek Reservoir

  • Located near Carson City, Nevada, offering a scenic destination for fly fishing.
  • Known for its rainbow and brown trout, providing a serene and picturesque environment for anglers.
  • Offers opportunities for hiking and enjoying the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

8. Jarbidge River

  • Flows through Elko County, Nevada, and Owyhee County, Idaho.
  • Renowned for its wild trout, offers opportunities to catch olive green fish, red bands, brook, and rainbow trout.
  • It is set in a high-elevation, stunning landscape, providing a unique fly fishing experience.

9. Knott Creek Reservoir

  • Found in the Pine Forest Mountains of northwestern Humboldt County, near Denio Junction.
  • Offers rainbow, bowcutt trout, and Lahontan speckled dace, a diverse location for fly fishing.
  • You can enjoy the remote, picturesque setting while casting your lines in this tranquil reservoir.

10. Lake Mead

  • A massive reservoir formed by the Hoover Dam, situated in the states of Nevada and Arizona, just 24 miles east of Las Vegas.
  • Provides diverse fishing opportunities, including striped bass, rainbow trout, catfish, and more.
  • You can enjoy water-based recreational activities such as boating and swimming while enjoying the natural beauty.

11. Lamoille Canyon Beaver Ponds & the Ruby Mountains

  • Set in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada, only 20 minutes away from downtown Elko.
  • Ideal for fly fishing with the presence of brook and cutthroat trout,
  • Aside from fishing, you can explore the stunning scenery of the Ruby Mountains and hike in nature.

12. Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area

  • Nestled in the western part of Nevada, near Yerington.
  • Provides excellent fly fishing opportunities with bass, catfish, and trout species.
  • The management area is a hotspot for wildlife enthusiasts, offering bird-watching, wildlife viewing, and fishing.

13. Pyramid Lake

  • A geographic sink of the basin of the Truckee River, located 40 miles northeast of Reno, Nevada.
  • Renowned for its Lahontan cutthroat trout, including some of the largest cutthroat trout.
  • The unique landscape of Pyramid Lake, with its ancient tufa formations and vast expanse of water, offers a one-of-a-kind fishing experience.

14. Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge

  • Located in southwestern Elko County and northwestern White Pine County in northeastern Nevada.
  • Renowned for its brown and rainbow trout, providing a peaceful and natural setting for fly fishing.
  • Besides fishing, visitors can explore the refuge’s diverse wildlife species and natural beauty.

15. South Fork of the Humboldt River

  • Originates in the Ruby Mountains in northeastern Nevada
  • Offers excellent fly fishing opportunities, particularly for brown and rainbow trout
  • The remote setting and pristine wilderness surrounding the river provide a true escape to nature.

16. Topaz Lake

  • A man-made reservoir, located on the California-Nevada border and is about a 75-mile drive south of Reno.
  • Picturesque and accessible fly fishing destination with a variety of trout species, including rainbow, bowcutt, brown, and tiger trout.
  • Provides a serene atmosphere for fishing, and the surrounding area offers opportunities for camping and enjoying the natural beauty.

17. Truckee River

  • Flows through California and Nevada, and offers year-round fly-fishing opportunities for locals and visitors alike.
  • Known for its rainbow and brown trout, offering diverse fly fishing conditions.
  • Accessible locations along the river and its proximity to Reno make it a convenient choice for local and visiting anglers.

18. Walker River State Recreation Area

  • Located near the city of Yerington and is a 12,856-acre state park unit of Nevada along the East Walker River.
  • Known for its large trout, especially at the “Elbow” at Nine Mile Ranch.
  • The park also provides camping and other outdoor activities along the riverbanks.

19. Wild Horse Reservoir

  • A man-made lake, located in Elko County, Nevada.
  • Offers fly fishing for rainbow and German brown trout, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and catfish.
  • The stillness of the high desert waters and the tranquillity of the remote location make it a great place to fish.

When is the optimal time for fly fishing in Nevada?

When is the optimal time for fly fishing in Nevada

The best times for optimal Nevada fly fishing depend on the season and location. Spring and fall are generally ideal for fly fishing in Nevada, as the water temperatures are just right, and the fish are more active.

In spring, places like the East Carson River, which is stocked with rainbows in March and April, offer fantastic angling opportunities. With its large trout, the Truckee River also becomes more productive in early summer and fall.

When autumn arrives, Eagle Valley Reservoir, known for rainbows, browns, and tiger trout, is a great spot. Even in winter, Cave Lake and nearby waters provide excellent fly fishing for rainbow and brown trout.

So, whether you’re casting in spring, summer, fall, or even winter, Nevada offers year-round fly fishing opportunities in various stunning locations.

What fish species can you target when fly fishing in Nevada?

When fly fishing in Nevada, you can target diverse fish species. Depending on the location, you’ll have the opportunity to catch rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout, tiger trout.

You can also catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, white bass, crappie, and sunfish.

What are the fly fishing rules and regulations in Nevada?

In Nevada, fly fishing rules and regulations are diverse, and they vary depending on the body of water you plan to fish in. The state’s Fishing Regulations Book is a crucial resource, providing information on permitted fish species, bait types, and more.

To fish legally, you need to obtain the appropriate license or permit. Among them are the Resident Combination License, Serviceman’s Specialty Combination Hunt/Fish License, or Nonresident Combination License

Special licenses are also for disabled veterans, Native Americans, and seniors. Nonprofit organizations can apply for a Nevada Special Fishing Permit. Fishing is free on Nevada’s “Free Fishing Day“, usually in June.

Specific rules for each location, including catch limits, size restrictions, and seasons, are detailed in the Nevada Fishing Regulations publication.

However, these regulations are subject to change, and it’s advisable to consult the most up-to-date information from official sources. Before embarking on your fly fishing adventure, you should check out the Nevada Department of Wildlife website or the Nevada Fishing Regulations publication.