Lake Boca, Prosser and Stampede. These three “gems” are only one half hour from Lake Tahoe, but are often overlooked by all but the local trouter. Each lake has its own “personality“, so to speak, with different ecologies and trout populations.
Boca, at just under 1,000 acres, is best known for its German browns and rainbow trout. Best areas to fish are from the Boca Rest Camp to the dam and from the point across the lake from the Rest Camp. Fast troll Rebels and broken back Rapalas in these locations. Augment this with trolling blades pulled ahead of small spoons for planter quality trout.
The action is usually concentrated in 10 to 20 foot depths for browns and rainbows. Gold Kastmasters and Hopkins spoons in larger sizes with single hooks can be thrown and retrieved through deeper strike zones at Boca for bigger fish. The top baits are an inflated ‘crawler, peeled crawdad tail, or “Shasta Fly” fished on a sliding sinker rig.
Boca also has decent Kokanee action on lead core line. Ford Fenders ahead of Kokanee King, Triple Teazer or Knobby Wobbler lures is the hot set-up. Add a kernel of white corn for extra insurance. All types of boating is permitted and there is a developed campground.
Prosser is primarily a trolling lake for rainbows and browns. It has 750 surface acres of water and there is a lOmph boat speed limit. The same offerings used at Lake Boca pretty much produce at Prosser. Troll plugs on the Highway 89 arm of this lake. Trade off, and use blades fished deep in the warmer months.
A Wooly Worm or a mylar streamer can also be effective at times on the slow troll. The area near the mouth of Prosser Creek is a consistent producer. Late summer deep trolling is good near the dam. There is a good launch ramp, campsites and a picnic area. Prosser Creek, above the lake, is a very good trout stream.
The main stream is accessible off Hwy. 89. The north and south forks (near this junction is good fishing) are reached via a Forest Service Road. Prosser Creek flows cold and clear, even in late summer. Small lures and nymph patterns on a light leader are excellent choices.
Stampede, at 3,500 acres, is recognized for its larger browns. Troll deep with plugs in the summer using lead core or a downrigger. The steep banks across the lake from the ramp are prime territory. Baits identical to those outlined for Boca can also be productive at Stampede.
There is also some decent action on kokes at Stampede. Lake regulars prefer lead core line and the Wedding Ring spinners as one of their top lures. There are excellent camping and lunching facilities at the south side of the lake. Prime spots include the Little Truckee inflow area and near the dam. Stream trout anglers often find the Little Truckee River to be a good producer.
Access is via Rte. 89 and Jackson Meadows Road, which both parallel the stream. Small spinners are effective. The Little Truckee runs above and below Stampede Reservoir.
All three of these lakes should be considered strong candidates for some cold fishing’ action, since ice fishing often can be very good here. For information on the area north of Lake Tahoe, contact the Truckee Chamber of Commerce, Box 361, Truckee, CA. 95734, (916)587-2757, and the Truckee Ranger District, Box 399, Truckee, CA. 95734, (916)587-3558.