Little Truckee River and Sagehen Creek

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Little Truckee River
Suggested Flies for Little Truckee River and Sagehen Creek:
Sierra Tahoe Hatch Selection

Click for Truckee, California Forecast

Current River Flows, Little Truckee River

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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. 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. The trout get smaller as the streams nears Stampede.

Independence Creek: A tailwater creek with small plunge pools, runs, and pocket waters. This creek contains a healthy population of Browns in the 9-12 inch class just below the lake. About 1 mile downstream, Rainbows (7-10 inches) are mixed in with the browns. The creek above Independence Lake is closed to all fishing.

Perazzo Creek: A freestone creek with small pools and runs. It becomes a meadow stream as it approaches the Little Truckee. This creek contains Browns in the 8-12 inch class and brookies from 6-9 inches. The better fishing is above the meadow as the cattle tend to degrade it.

Independence Lake
This is an excellent fishery with Browns, Rainbows, and Lahontan Cutthroats. There is not much fishing pressure due to the poor road from Jackson Meadows Road but fishing is good in the early season. Best fishing appears to be at the bar which separates the lake. DFG regs are for "single barbless hooks" to protect the Cutthroats and no 'cuts may be kept. The creek exiting the lake is very good in the early season. Caddis hatch throughout the Summer and a good amount of Stone Fly nymphs are present.

© 2018 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.