LITTLE TRUCKEE RIVER
Updated - 7/6/20
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Current River Conditions: Flows are 486 CFS and clear
Fishing is very good: Tony at Mountain Hardware in Truckee says that fishing the edges is where you are going to find the most fish. Great patterns right now are Scudds, Worms and Caddis Pupa. Expect some company.
We have guides who are on the Little Truckee every day no matter what the season. Give the shop a call (800)410-1222 or click here and we will set you up.
Generally Recommended Patterns for the Little Truckee
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A crawdad pattern might get you a big one.
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.