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About the Little Truckee River


The Little Truckee is the central Sierra’s little secret.  Though it’s larger sibling, the Truckee River gets all of the attention in the national media the Little Truckee can have some of the most consistent fishing throughout the spring, summer and fall.  Not only does it hold a large concentration of fish but it is very fly fisherman friendly as the low density of riparian vegetation along it’s banks lets you concentrate on what’s in the water rather than what’s tangled up in the trees. 


Because the Little Truckee is a tailwater its water temperature stays relatively consistent all through the summer.  When August and September come, the water in the main Truckee can get warm enough to make fishing tough once the sun comes up, yet the water being emitted from below Stampede Dam is always cool, which makes a great place to fish on a hot afternoon. 


The Little Truckee flows south out of the eastern Sierra into Stampede Reservoir, then upon its exit below the Stampede Dam, flows through about a three mile meadow section and a short canyon section to eventually dump into Boca Reservoir. 


Once it leaves Boca it travels another one hundred yards to its confluence with the main stem of the Truckee River just east of the town of Truckee. The “special regulations or trophy trout section” between Stampede Dam and Boca Reservoir is the magnet that draws fly fishermen to what is primarily a wild Rainbow and Brown trout fishery though it’s supplemented by hatchery trout that find their way up from Boca Reservoir. 


Though the Little Truckee is called a “river” it actually resembles a large creek and consists of a variety of water from riffles and pools to pocket water and flats.  The geology of the river bottom and surrounding area is volcanic, which is typical of eastern Sierra watersheds.  In fact, the porous nature of the volcanic rocks of the river’s bottom contributes greatly to its ability to host a huge variety of aquatic insect’s which contribute to the fertility that makes the Little Truckee very attractive to trout. 


The large variety of bugs however, can make fishing tougher as the fish have lots to choose from and can get quite finicky at times.  The aquatic life is typical of the east slope of the Sierra.  Blue Wing Olives, March Browns and Green Drakes start off the season then come the Pale Morning Duns, Little Yellow Stones and Caddis.  Towards the end of summer hoppers become a significant food source for the trout, and then the year finishes off with Blue Winged Olives making reappearance.  Chironomids are omnipresent throughout the year.

Anchor 1
Updated - 1/13/23
Scroll down for information about Lodging, Maps
and up to the minute Stream Flows

Current River Conditions: Flows are 70 CFS and clear.  Road from I-80 to the dam/meadows is closed due to snow.

Fishing is Fair?:  We're only rating it as fair because we haven't received any recent  report from anyone who has been up into the meadows due to snow on the road.  Our guess is that at the current flows, fishing might be pretty good.   Snow mobiles and cross country skiers can get back there however though keep in mind that cell service is weak.  Don't try to get in there with a 4x4 unless  you have high clearance and are accompanied with a friend who can pull you out if you get stuck.  If you do happen to get in there and are fishing at temperatures below ten degrees, remember to not remove the fish from the water as their gills will freeze up quickly and result in a dead fish. 

Click here to see PDF of CDFW 2021/2022 Regulations

Generally Recommended Patterns for the Little Truckee
Click here to go to our Fly Catalog


Parachute PMD pale yellow #16 & #18, Stimulator/Yellow #8,#10 & #12, Fat Albert/tan #8, Humpy/yellow #14 & #16, Parachute Blue Wing Olive #18. Adams Parachute #14 & #16.


Pheasant Tail #12, #14 #16 & #18, Hot Bead San Juan Worm, Epoxy Stone #12 & #14, Copper John/red or copper #14, #16, Mercer's Micro Mayfly #18,

Vinci's Depth Charge Bird's Nest in natural or olive. #10-#18

A crawdad pattern might get you a big one.

See Hatch Chart Below

Give our shop a call (800)410-1222
Little Truckee 
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