Boca Reservoir Fishing Guide: Unveiling the Rich Bounty of Sierra Nevada Waters

Boca Reservoir invites you to embark on an angling adventure amidst the picturesque landscapes of Sierra Nevada in California, where the tranquil waters hold the promise of exciting fishing opportunities. In this comprehensive guide, discover the diverse array of fish species that call Boca Reservoir home, gain insights into its rich history, and equip yourself with essential tips and tactics for a successful fishing expedition.

Latest Fish Plants

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How To Read Fish Plant Graphs

To interpret fish plant graphs effectively, consider the following key elements:

  1. Blue Vertical Bars and Numbers:
    • Representation: The blue vertical bars on the graph represent individual fish plants.
    • Weight Measurement: The associated numbers indicate the total weight of the plants in pounds (lbs.) that occurred during a specific week.
    • Significance: Monitoring these bars helps identify weeks with higher planting activity, aiding anglers in selecting optimal times for fishing near recent plantings.
  2. Orange Trend Line:
    • Purpose: The orange trend line represents the moving average of all fish plant activities at the specified location.
    • Indicator of Activity: A rising trend line suggests a consistent increase in planting activity over the designated period. This indicates the potential for more catch opportunities and signifies a growing fish population over the weeks.
  3. Interpreting the Moving Average:
    • Upward Trend: A rising moving average implies an upward trajectory in planting activity, indicating an increasing number of fish being introduced into the area. This suggests a positive outlook for anglers, as it implies a larger and potentially more accessible fish population.
    • Downward Trend (Not Specified): The description does not provide information on the interpretation of a decreasing trend in the moving average. It might be beneficial to include information on what a decreasing trend could signify in terms of fishing prospects.
  4. No Data Present:
    • Possible Explanations: If no data is visible on the graph, it may indicate that the location had no fish plants in the last three months. Alternatively, the absence of data could be due to non-disclosure of fish plants for that location.
    • Natural Population: Some fishing areas in California rely on the natural growth of fish populations, and graphs may not show plants if this is the case.
  5. Graph Disclaimer:
    • Data Source: The graphs reflect a combination of publicly disclosed data and estimates. Some locations may disclose fish plants without specifying exact amounts.
    • Not Universal: Not all fishing areas have fish plants, and the natural growth of fish populations plays a significant role in many California fishing locations.

Understanding these elements will empower anglers to make informed decisions about when and where to fish based on historical fish plant data.

Note: If no data is present in the graph above, this location may not have had any plants the last 3 months, or may not have publicly disclosed plants. Graphs reflect both publicly disclosed data and estimates, as some locations disclose plants, but not exact amount.

Map & Fishing Location

Kokanee salmon, prized for their vibrant coloration and delicate flavor, reign supreme in Boca Reservoir, particularly during the spring and fall seasons. Joining them are rainbow trout, renowned for their vivid colors and fighting spirit, making Boca Reservoir a year-round haven for anglers seeking thrilling fishing experiences.

As you explore the rich history of Boca Reservoir, you’ll uncover its legacy as a reliable producer of kokanee salmon and rainbow trout. Accessible just off I-80, Boca Reservoir may often escape notice due to its dam facing away from the road. However, the west side of the lake, from the dam to the north side where the Little Truckee River enters, holds promising prospects for eager anglers.

For first-time anglers, Boca Reservoir offers a wealth of opportunities to hone your skills and reel in some impressive catches. Whether you’re exploring the tranquil coves along the west shore or venturing out for ice fishing adventures in winter, Boca Reservoir promises excitement and adventure at every turn.

To optimize your fishing experience at Boca Reservoir, consider employing strategic tactics such as trolling near the dam, focusing on the west shore for rainbow trout, and exploring the calm waters of the reservoir’s coves. With the right gear, including trolling equipment, medium-weight spinning rods, and ice fishing gear for winter excursions, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle whatever Boca Reservoir has to offer.

Explore the beauty and bounty of Boca Reservoir’s waters, where each cast of the line brings you one step closer to the thrill of a successful catch. As you navigate its serene waters and picturesque surroundings, remember to respect the environment, adhere to local regulations, and savor every moment of your angling adventure. With its diverse fish species and unparalleled natural beauty, Boca Reservoir invites you to immerse yourself in the joy of fishing and create lasting memories along its tranquil shores.

Types of Fish You Can Expect to Catch Here

  1. Kokanee Salmon (Silver Salmon): Prized for their vibrant coloration and delicate flavor, kokanee salmon dominate the waters of Boca Reservoir, especially during the spring and fall months.
  2. Rainbow Trout: Renowned for their vivid colors, fighting spirit, and delicate flavor, rainbow trout thrive in Boca Reservoir and are active in both spring and fall.
  3. Brown Trout: With strength and resilience, brown trout are a popular catch in the reservoir, particularly in the summer and fall when they prefer cooler water temperatures.
  4. Brook Trout: Smaller in size but valued for their delicate flavor and beautiful coloration, brook trout are most active in the spring and fall.
  5. Mottled Sculpin: Though not a primary target for anglers, mottled sculpins inhabit Boca Reservoir and serve as a vital food source for larger fish.
  6. Crayfish: Abundant in the reservoir, crayfish are a significant food source, providing additional opportunities for anglers.

A Glimpse into History

Boca Reservoir stands as one of the Sierra Nevada’s reliable producers of kokanee salmon, with intermittent stocks of rainbow trout and occasional bonus stocks of larger rainbow trout and kokanee salmon fingerlings. Accessible with a quick hop off I-80, Boca Reservoir often goes unnoticed due to its dam facing away from the road. The west side of the lake, from the dam to the north side where the Little Truckee River enters, offers the best prospects for anglers.

Top 5 Tips for First-Time Anglers

  • Explore West Shore Areas: The west side of Boca Reservoir, comprising a series of coves, provides excellent opportunities for catching rainbow trout and brown trout.
  • Adjust to Seasonal Variations: Different fish species are more active during specific seasons. Spring and early summer are productive for rainbows, while fall sees the migration of kokanee salmon.
  • Ice Fishing in Winter: Boca Reservoir transforms into a hub for ice fishing during winter, offering access to trophy kokanee salmon and rainbow trout.
  • Check Stocking Information: Be aware of stocking patterns and seasons as they can significantly impact fishing prospects. The west side of the lake is particularly promising.
  • Avoid Peak Personal Watercraft Times: If you prefer a quieter fishing experience, plan your visit to Boca Reservoir before Memorial Day or after Labor Day to avoid the influx of personal watercraft.

Top 5 Strategies and Tactics for Optimal Fishing

  • Trolling Near Boca Dam: The area around Boca Dam is ideal for trolling, especially for kokanee salmon during the spring and fall months.
  • Focus on West Shore: The west shore offers prime opportunities for catching rainbow trout, particularly during the spring and fall seasons.
  • Explore Tranquil Coves: Calmer waters in the coves around the reservoir are often frequented by rainbow trout and brown trout, providing a peaceful fishing experience.
  • Near Little Truckee River Inlet: Target the area near the Little Truckee River inlet for brook trout, especially in the spring and fall.
  • Adapt to Early and Late Fishing: Fish are most active during the early morning and evening hours when water temperatures are cooler. Plan your fishing trips accordingly.

Top 5 Recommendations for Fishing Gear

  • Trolling Gear: Invest in trolling gear for targeting kokanee salmon, including downriggers and lures designed for deep-water trolling.
  • Medium-Weight Spinning Rod: A medium-weight spinning rod and reel setup is suitable for rainbow trout and brown trout.
  • Ice Fishing Equipment: If visiting in winter, equip yourself with ice fishing gear, including augers and insulated shelters.
  • Crayfish Traps or Hand Nets: Take advantage of the abundance of crayfish by using traps or hand nets for an additional fishing experience.
  • Explore Our Gearlist for Specific Recommendations: Visit our Gearlist for detailed recommendations on rods, reels, lures, and other essentials tailored for optimizing your angling experience at Boca Reservoir.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.


Boca Reservoir has long been a haven for anglers seeking adventure and excitement amidst the stunning landscapes of Sierra Nevada in California. As we reflect on the wealth of fishing opportunities and natural beauty that Boca Reservoir has to offer, it’s clear that this hidden gem holds a special place in the hearts of outdoor enthusiasts.

From the vibrant colors of kokanee salmon to the spirited fights of rainbow trout, Boca Reservoir’s diverse fish species never fail to captivate anglers of all skill levels. Whether you’re trolling near the dam, exploring the tranquil coves along the west shore, or venturing out for ice fishing adventures in winter, Boca Reservoir promises excitement and adventure at every turn.

As we delve into the rich history of Boca Reservoir, we uncover its legacy as a reliable producer of kokanee salmon and rainbow trout. Accessible just off I-80, this reservoir may often escape notice due to its dam facing away from the road. However, for those in the know, the west side of the lake holds promising prospects for eager anglers seeking their next big catch.

For first-time anglers and seasoned veterans alike, Boca Reservoir offers a wealth of opportunities to hone your skills, connect with nature, and create lasting memories with friends and family. As you cast your line into its serene waters and soak in the breathtaking surroundings, remember to respect the environment, adhere to local regulations, and cherish every moment of your angling adventure.

In conclusion, Boca Reservoir stands as a testament to the enduring allure of fishing and the beauty of the great outdoors. Whether you’re drawn to its tranquil waters for the thrill of the catch or simply to bask in the serenity of nature, Boca Reservoir invites you to immerse yourself in its splendor and discover the joys of angling. So pack your gear, grab your fishing rod, and set out for an unforgettable journey along the shores of Boca Reservoir.