Little Truckee fishing well after new regulations
The popularity of the Little Truckee River between Boca and Stampede reservoirs is pretty remarkable. This was once a stream that held very few large fish after the spring spawning run of rainbows this time of year. Now many large fish can be caught year-round in this water.
The reason for this is the introduction of special regulations some years ago. A barbless hook limitation with artificial lures or flies only, and a two-fish bag limit with a maximum size of 14 inches, were put in place during the general trout season. Since these regulations were put in place, anglers have been catching some very nice fish year-round.
The winter season allows zero kill and runs from the close of the regular season, Nov. 15, until the day before the opening of the general trout season, which is the Friday before the last Saturday in April.
Prior to the special regulations, the large fish that were in the system were generally being removed by anglers. Bait angling was permitted and many fish were taken. Many of the large fish were also spawning rainbows, which compounded the problem. As a result, the river seemed to have few quality fish in it after mid-summer.
Nowadays, the water is so popular that it is often hard to find a place to fish it. In fact, the water is so popular with fly-fishing enthusiasts, it is one of the top spots for local guides to take their clients. On any given day one can see at least one guided group on this water. Most times there seem to be multiple groups.
When you get the opportunity to fish this water, you will find that the fish can be super selective at times. This makes it a difficult water to fish because with so many anglers frequenting the spot, the fish have probably seen just about every fly pattern imaginable. Small flies and exact imitations seem to be the rule here, although there are times when large flies can work very well.
If you do find the right fly and present it properly, you will be rewarded with one of the beautiful rainbow or brown trout that inhabit this local water. The trout can be very large as well.
Such has been the case the past two trips of mine this year. Once the right combination was found, a number of nice trout were hooked. They do not always get landed, but fooling these wary fish is more than half the battle.
The Little Truckee River is a tail-water fishery, in that cool water from the bottom of Stampede Reservoir feeds the Little Truckee that runs into Boca Reservoir. As a result, the water temperature is almost always pretty cool.
This makes this fishery good even during the dog days of summer when other waters are not producing. If you have never fished the Little Truckee River, check it out.
Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.