Little Truckee River - Sierra Tahoe

Little Truckee River

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Little Truckee River
Suggested Flies for Little Truckee River:
Sierra Tahoe Hatch Selection

Loopwing Parachute, #16-18
Hackle Stacker, #16-18
Brooks' Sprout, #16-18

A.P. Nymph #10-16
BH Copper John, #14-18
Pheasant Tail Nymph #14-18

Fox's poopa (tan, olive)
Pulsating Caddis
Peeking Caddis (#12-16)

Dave's hopper
Parachute Hopper
Bullet Head Hopper (#12-14)


Little Truckee River Directions

The Little Truckee can be accessed from Hwy 89. There are two campgrounds that give acess to the river west of Hwy 89 and Henness Pass Road will provide access to the river between Hwy 89 and the headwaters at Webber Lake. The "Wild Trout" area of the Little Truckee between Stampede and Boca Reservoir can be reached by Stampede Meadow Road off Hwy 80 or by taking Hobart Mills Road from Hwy 89. Access to Sagehen Creek is at the bridge off Hwy 89, a trail can take you downstream. Sagehen Road comes off Hwy 89 and goes upstream 4 miles to Sagehen Campground.

Notes:Little Truckee River
Little Truckee River: The Little Truckee River is a tailwater that starts from the outflow of Webber Lake and fills two Reservoirs, Boca and Stampede, prior to emptying in the Truckee River. Most of the flyfishing opportunities are between the two Reservoirs in the "Wild Trout" area. The fish are very selective on holding areas so that 90% of the fish are within 10% of the water. Best areas are heads of pools, knee deep riffles, and on either the front or back of mid stream boulders. From Stampede to Highway 89 is private water. The upper section is available west of Hwy 89. The flows above Boca Reservoir are usually 25-350 cfs. They are controlled by the water releases of Stampede Reservoir. Safe wading flows are less than 200 cfs. Ideal flows are 125 to 250 cfs. Check the link above for Current conditions. Long-line Indicator Nymphing is the most consistent way to fish the Little Truckee. Cast upstream with a water-load or roll cast and immediately make an upstream mend placing the fly above the indicator.
Early in the season, there is a Little Yellow Stonefly hatch. There are also good hatches of caddis and pale morning duns during most of the summer. Generally, the PMD's will hatch in the morning from 7:00am to noon. An adult PMD with a PMD emerger dropper will work well. During the afternoon hours, caddis nymph or pupa patterns will work. Both PMD's and the Caddis will hatch during the early evening hours. A good Green Drake hatch usually occurs in June and peaks during July, although the hatch usually only lasts about 2 weeks once it commences. In June, try Green Drake Nymphs such as Black A.P. Nymphs or Prince Nymphs. When the Green Drake. size 8-10, hatch takes off at dusk, try some dry fly action using Green Drake Paradun or Brook's Flavilinea Sprout. In mid-summer, try to use terrestrials such as hoppers and ants throughout the day. Around mid-August, there is an early morning Trico hatch and PED's in the evening hours. BWO's, size 18, will show around September and continue to the end of the season in October. Use 5x Leaders or smaller. Sculpins are present within the deep runs and under-cuts.
Upper section: This area is west of Hwy 89. It is pool and riffle type water flowing through a small canyon and opens up into a meandering stream through large meadows to Hwy 89. The stream is heavily planted near the campgrounds. Some large Browns and Kokanee Salmon wll make spawning runs into the river from Stampede in the Fall. There are also some large resident rainbows in the pocket water of the canyon during the early summer and large browns in the undercut banks of the meadows where Perazzo Creek enters. Flows tend to drop off by midsummer. Fishing the upper section of the Little Truckee west of Hwy 89 is accessed by Henness Pass Road. You can get further access at the Jackson Meadows Road and Perazzo Meadows turnoff about 5 miles from Hwy 89. The canyon waters will be upstream from there.
Wild Trout area: This is tailwater with flows controlled by Stampede Reservoir. Above the Boyington Mill Campground is a grassy meadow of undercut banks with Browns and Rainbows residing. Below the campground is a rocky canyon with deep pockets. Spring and Fall spawning runs bring large trout into the river system from the lakes. Kokanee Salmon will enter the river from Boca in the Fall followed by some rainbows feeding upon their eggs. There are numerous hatches, particularly Mayflies, along the river. These hatches tend to be disrupted by the periodic water releases from Stampede.

Wild Trout Section of Truckee: At the eastern edge of the town of Truckee where Trout Creek enters the Truckee, the Truckee River begins a "Wild Trout" section with restrictions of barbless flies and lures, a 2-trout limit of 15" or more. Most fishing this water embrace a strict catch & release policy . Most of this section is accessed by Glenshire Drive which parallels the river for 4 miles. The water is mainly riffles and runs with open areas for casting and easy wading. Just downstream from the Glenshire bridge is a private reserve owned by San Francisco Flycasters. This private water extends to the first bridge at I-80 at Prosser Creek. After the second I-80 bridge, there are deep pools, one known as "Horner's Corner" for Jack Horner, inventor of the Humpy fly. The "Wild Trout" section was extended from the confluence of Gray Creek to the Nevada state line in 2014. The best time to fish this area is after the Spring run-off has passed and the water starts to clear to the end of June prior to the hot July weather. Due to the large number of emerging caddis, a wet-fly swing of a Grey Hackle works as well as nymph patterns such as Bird's Nest and Prince Nymphs. The prime lies are the pocket water and heads of pools. Within this section about 20% of the water contains 80% of the fish.

Lower Section of Truckee: From the Boca Bridge to Gray Creek, about 10 miles, there are deep pools for streamer action. This area has large rainbows and smallmouth bass. It remains a 2-trout limit of 15" or more but not restricted to barbless flies or lures. The flows are somewhat greater due to released water from Stampede and Boca Reservoirs. Fishing this area during the Fall is much easier when water levels are lower. Fishing is best before 9:00am and after 3:00pm when the canyon is shaded. You can get access at Boca Bridge but most of this area is private and access is difficult. There is a railroad line for 7 miles to Floriston that you can follow alongside the river. The flow gauge is at Boca Bridge, typically at 250 to 740 cfs. The best fishing flows are 300 to 500 cfs. Check the link above for Current conditions.

Sagehen Creek: A spring creek that runs through a long, shallow valley with pools and runs. Contains Browns (8-12 inches), Rainbows (7-11 inches), and Brookies (6-9 inches). Near Sagehen CG, the brookies and rainbows are small. Closer to Hwy 89, there are undercuts holding larger browns. From Hwy 89 to the Gauging Station, it is C&R only with barbless hooks. There is no fishing allowed 1/2 mile above the gauging station, a section which ends 1/8 mile above the Sagehen Creek Station Headquarters. This is a spawning area for the trout. Below the bridge at Hwy 89, the stream flows through a forested canyon and then opens up to a meadow as it nears Stampede Reservoir. There are many beaver ponds and undercut banks which hold large Browns in the Fall and Rainbows in the early Spring while they are making their spawning runs.The trout get smaller as the streams nears Stampede.

Boca Reservoir: At an elevation of 5,700 feet, Boca covers 1000 acres and is open year-round with a five fish limit. It is planted with about 11,000 10-12 inch rainbows each season. The lake contains Browns, Kokanee and some Mackinaws. This is mostly a trolling-type lake with many bait fishermen. Flyfishing is best from the point opposite Boca Rest and the inlet of the Little Truckee River. Like Stampede Reservoir, early Spring after ice-out and Fall are the best times to flyfish when the fish are feeding in the shallows. Nymphs and Streamers are effective. In late winter or early Spring, use Streamer patterns at the inlet cove. Try Olive, Black or Yellow colorations.
A Little Black Stone Fly hatch occurs during the late Winter/early Spring. Try using black nymphs and stimulators (#12-14).

Stampede Reservoir: Stampede covers 3,400 acres and is heavily stocked with 10 to 12 inch Rainbows throughout the season. Thousands of Kokanee Salmon and Mackinaw fingerlings are also planted each year but ,Stampede is particularly reknowned for some very large Browns that take residence there. The lake is open year-round. For flyfishing, it is best at ice-out when the trout come into the shallows to feed. Flyfish the points between the launch ramp and the dam with Black Woolly Worms (#12) with a sinking line droping the fly to 15 to 20 feet of water and a pull pause strip. When the water warms in May, try the flat area across from the boat ramp. The Summer can become quite iffy since the lake is drawn down to maintain water in Boca Reservoir and the Truckee River.Try Black Ants (#12) and Daves Hoppers(#10). This works well throughout the Summer. However, Fall is another good period to fish this lake. Concentrate on the weedbed areas along the northern shoreline which also contains Springs.

Prosser Creek Reservoir: Contains a large Brown trout population and is planted with Rainbows. The lake is open year round with ice fishing popular during the winter. It can be fished from a float tube working along the banks and near the Dam. This reservoir is particularly good during ice-out in mid-March to mid-April. The trout that were trapped under the ice flow feed ravenously. Small Buggers with nymph droppers are very effective using a sinking line and a slow retrieve. Good fishing areas are the points on both sides of the dam. If the lake is full, good hatches come off at the mouth of Alder Creek during July. The Fall months can also be good when low water conditions exist causing the fish to become concentrated.

Prosser Creek: Prosser Creek consists of a North and South Fork as well as a main stem that enters the reservoir. The creek is heavily planted with Rainbows at the Highway 89 crossing. Your best flyfishing opportunities are further upstream. The main stem consists of mostly rainbows and browns in the 9-12 inch class. It is mostly small pools with runs. The North Fork begins about 4 miles from Hwy 89. It consists of mostly Rainbows with some pocket water. The area consists of mostly private land but a trail runs along the creek from the bridge above the forks. The South Fork has Rainbows, in addition to Brookies (7-9 inches) and Browns (9-12 inches). It flows through a canyon above the forks with small pools, runs, and pocket water. Further upstream, the South Fork is a small flow through private meadowland.

Alder Creek: Alder Creek is a small meadow stream with some dense brush along it's banks west of Hwy 89. A trail as well as the Alder Creek Road run alongside it. The creek consists of rainbows (6-10 inches) and some browns(6-8 inches). On the east side of Hwy 89, the creek runs through an open meadow.

Fishing Regulations (Effective March 1st, 2021)

Little Truckee River (Sierra and Nevada cos.) from Stampede Reservoir Dam downstream to Boca Reservoir.:

Open all year. Artificial lures with barbless hooks. 0 trout

Little Truckee River above Stampede Reservoir :

From the last Saturday in April through November 15, 5 trout daily bag limit, 10 trout in possession; and, from November 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April, 0 trout bag limit, artificial lures with barbless hooks only and trout must be released unharmed and not removed from the water.

Sagehen Creek:

From the stream gauging station (located about one-eighth mile below Sagehen Creek Station Headquarters) upstream to about one-eighth of a mile above the station headquarters at a point where the stream splits into two sections. Closed to all fishing all year.
From the Highway 89 bridge upstream to the gauging station at the east boundary of Sagehen Creek Station. Open all year. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used. 0 trout.
Above the Station Headquarters: From the last Saturday in April through November 15, 5 trout daily bag limit, 10 trout in possession; and, from November 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April, 0 trout bag limit, artificial lures with barbless hooks only and trout must be released unharmed and not removed from the water.

Prosser Creek (Nevada Co.) from the Prosser Reservoir dam downstream to the confluence with the Truckee River.:

Open all year. Artificial lures with barbless hooks. 0 trout

All Lakes and Reservoirs:

Open all year, 5 trout daily bag limit, 10 trout in possession.

All other creeks and tributaries:

From the last Saturday in April through November 15, 5 trout daily bag limit, 10 trout in possession; and, from November 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April, 0 trout bag limit, artificial lures with barbless hooks only and trout must be released unharmed and not removed from the water.


Prosser Creek Reservoir Bathymetric chart


Stampede Reservoir Bathymetric chart

© 2019 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.


Lower Little Truckee Campground Little Truckee inlet at Stampede Stampede Reservoir at Logger Camp Little Truckee at Boyington Mills Sagehen Creek Truckee River Truckee River Independence Lake Prosser Creek Reservoir Truckee River at RV Park Boca CG Boca Rest Little Truckee entering Boca TP Bike Dam Truckee at Cyn 24 Truckee at Farad Truckee at Floristan