Stream temperature plays an important role in many biotic and abiotic processes, as it influences many physical, chemical and biological properties in rivers. As such, a good understanding of the thermal regime of rivers is essential for effective fisheries management and the protection aquatic habitats. Moreover, a thorough understanding of underlying physical processes and river heat fluxes is essential in the development of better and more adaptive water temperature models. Very few studies have measured river evaporation and condensation and subsequently calculated corresponding heat fluxes in small tributary streams, mainly because microclimate data (data collected within the stream environment) are essential and rarely available. As such, the present study will address these issues by measuring river evaporation and condensation in tributary 1 (Trib 1, a small tributary within Catamaran Brook) using floating minipans. The latent heat flux and other important fluxes were calculated. Results showed that evaporation was low within the small Trib 1 of Catamaran Brook, less than 0.07 mm day−1. Results showed that condensation played an important role in the latent heat flux. In fact, condensation was present during 34 of 92 days (37%) during the summer, which occurred when air temperature was greater than water temperature by 4–6 °C. Heat fluxes within this small stream showed that solar radiation dominated the heat gains and long-wave radiation dominated the heat losses. © 2015 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada. Hydrological Processes. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.