Little Truckee River

 

The Little Truckee River is my #1, most favorite river to fish in the State of California. It's one of natural beauty and no matter what time of year you fish it, the sites and fish are absolutely beautiful. The LT is a tailwater fishery that is catch and release year round and wouldn't you know it, it fishes great year round as well. The LT's flow is controlled by Stampede Reservoir and eventually ends at the mouth of Boca Reservoir, where at times can be a great place to fish. Due to Stampede Reservoir being the only contributor to the flows on the LT, the flows fluctuate quite a bit to help provide water to Nevada when needed. So it's a good idea to check the flows of the river before hand, to make sure there wasn't a dramatic spike or drop in the flow which will give the fish lock jaw. Above Boyington Mill Campground to Stampede Reservoir is a grassy S shaped meadow of undercut banks, pools, runs and riffles where browns and rainbows reside year round. Below the campground the river is completely different from up top, it consists of a rocky canyon with deep pools and pocket water, but also holds big browns and rainbows. Spring and fall spawning runs bring large trout into the river from the lake, which produces larger fish than usual, browns pushing 30" and rainbows pushing the 24" mark have hooked and landed during these migratory runs. Kokanee Salmon (land locked salmon) also enter the river from Boca to spawn in late summer to early fall and are a blast to catch on a fly rod. With their arrival, they are followed by the bigger browns and rainbows from Boca that stage behind the Kokanee to feed on their eggs. If you have never experienced an egg bit for big browns and rainbows this is the river for you. In the past the river was stocked with browns and rainbows, but these plantinds have ceased. Since 1999 the LT has become the poster child of a self-sustaining wild-trout stream, and has been become one of California's premier "Blue Ribbon Fisheries". It is known to be one of the best in the Northern California area. The insect life that is found on the LT is very similar to what is found on the Big T., but it is fished a little differently. Short line nymphing is the most common and usually the most effective way to fish this river, although dry fly fishing with small mayfly imitations work great on cloudy days, evening times or when you see fish rising. The egg bit can be epic, which starts with the Kokanee spawning in early fall, browns in early winter and the egg bit continues all the way through to late spring when the rainbows finish up the spawning season. The LT great fishes year round, so I can't say when the best time is to fish the river, because it fishes that well year round. Whether fishing for brownies early winter, Kokanee early fall or rainbows throughout the yr, this is one river that you will remember forever.

-Brian

 

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