Sunday, November 18, 2018
Obviously smokey air quality conditions exist on the Lower Yuba River but fishing still remains decent for those that put in the work. Flows are stable at 993 cubes, just a tad up from my last report. Water is clear but not for long. Finally a storm system will impact the area beginning on Wednesday, it's been 6 months since we've seen the skies open up. The foothills are forcasted to receive 4 inches of rain. Fishing pressure is moderate to light, and not too many boats drifting down either. Lots of bird activity including many bald Eagles looking for salmon carcasses to Bluebirds feasting on caddis in the evenings. Great observations abound right now.
The last few weeks has seen an abundance of "joey's", 10 to 13 inch wild rainbows. As you know the Yuba rainbow pulls like no other resident trout. Strong steelhead genes combined with being on a treadmill (the current) 24 hours a day makes for a very conditioned athlete. All types of presentations are effective right now. Dry fly fishing remains good from 10am to 2pm, and sometimes even later into the evening. Mahogany duns are waning but still present. There is a thick Psuedocloeon spinner fall starting at around 11am. Day in and day out the BWO has been the most consistent hatch, duns are a size 18. A few pinkie mayflies here and there are also in the mix. The trout have been very selective especially on the flat calm water. We did better yesterday in water that was broken up, yet had a little depth to it. Dry/Dropper rigs continue to perform well, I've been quite surprised how many fish have blown up on the orange Stimi. Nymphing is all about eggs and legs. Jimmy Legs in mottled yellow/brown, brown, black, and egg patterns in peachy king, natural roe, and tangerine dream have been killing it. Other good nymphs include red copper johns, free living caddis, San Juan worms in flesh and red, Hogan's S&M in olive, and Juju baetis. Trout are taking both small and big flies at this time. Swinging the minnow will become more important in the next few months, make sure your box has some.
There continues to be more and more new salmon redds through out the system, and I'm sure after this rain it will push even more salmon up river. I've been educating anglers on the proper etiquette when encountering a salmon redd while wading. Believe it or not, many have no idea what a redd is (by definition), or what they look like. One young couple I educated had no idea either, but once they were able to identify a redd they just sat and watched the salmon do their thing. Look at the picture above, this is a slamon redd, note the very clean gravel and cobble. Do not wade through these areas as you will crush the eggs, go around them and give them plenty of room. Remember the eggs are in the gravel for approximately 50 days so you will still want to avoid walking through older redds. With such low counts of salmon in the last 20 years, it is imperative that we do all that we can to help the species survive.
The Camp Fire has really been tough for me to deal with, emotionally I'm a bit shook up and in disbelief. We moved to Paradise in 1967, my father wanted to be closer to the great fly fishing the Feather River system provided, and to raise his young family among the conifers and the natural world. In 1971 we moved to a brand new house off of lower Pentz road (see above). I lived there until 1986 when I left to chase my professional snowboarding career, mom stayed on until 91 before moving into her mother's home on the other side of town. Lots of fantastic memories have resurfaced since the fire broke out on November 8th, I was so lucky as a kid to experience everything that Paradise had to offer, it was awesome! So many of my high school classmates, friends, and family have lost everything. The destruction is unbelievable, my little town is gone with the wind. It will take decades to rebuild Paradise, in the meantime I will continue to pray for everyone affected, and a true hope for all.
November Lupines blooming? Mother Nature continues to amaze me, even after 53 years. Plan on fishing the Lower Yuba River after the rains have passed, a little flushing and color in the water will rejuvenate the system. See you on the water...
Sunday, November 4, 2018
Warm days and cool nights have been the norm on the Lower Yuba River, and the fishing has been pretty good, especially the dry fly fishing. The flows were bumped up to 1,470 cubes last week and with the added flow along with a full moon phase it attracted more salmon up the river having a dramatic effect. Currently the river is flowing at 967 cfs, and the water is very clear. Until YCWA jacked the flows up the salmon return this year was at a all time historic low, it will be interesting to see the final tally of numbers come January 1st. Flow regimes and loss of habitat (spawning gravel) have had a severe impact on the Lower Yuba River.
Hatches are most active from 9am to 2pm with the Mohogany duns being the most prolific, they are the first to hatch. A few hours later the Blue Wing Olives come off, and an overlapping masking hatch of the Pinkie mayfly. If you stay late the last hour of sunlight provides a good caddis grab, the caddis are a size 16 and have an olive body with dark smokey wings. Nymphing - Eggs, stones, worms, and small dark and flashy may fly nymphs have been very effective. Swinging has picked up in the last couple of days now that there are salmon fry and alevins in the system. Like I said the dry fly fishing has been pretty good, but on the flat water stretches it has been extremely challenging. Longer casts with fly first presentations and the right fly will definitely give you an edge. If fishing from the bank, being stealthy and keeping a low profile goes a long way. Dry/Dropper rigs are great when you are searching with no rising targets.
Fishing pressure has increased due to good reports and the time of year. Salmon = eggs = hookups. Enjoy the beautiful weather and get out on the Lower Yuba River asap. If your looking to increase your skill set, and learn more about the river do not hesitate in contacting me for a trip. 530.228.0487 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Blazing fall colors and wild trout fattening up for winter, it just doesn't get any better. The weather has been fantastic in the high country with warm days and cold nights. The feeding schedule for trout has changed and an angler will want to fish during the warmest time of the day, or when water temperatures rise where both bugs and trout become more active. Fishing pressure is light, and solitude is easy to find.
Lake Davis - water temps are now down to 51 and the Fall bite is full steam ahead. The Northern end of lake is where it's at. You'll want to move around and cover water. Best action has been making presentations while stripping in 8 to 25 feet of water, 3 feet down. Brown and olive buggers, plus some minnow patterns is all you need. There are a few fish in the skinny shallows and I expect more to be in there in the weeks to come.
North Fork Yuba River - don't even get on water until noon, wait for water temps to climb to 51 degrees. Dry dropper rigs have been great! Orange Stimis with a bwo nymph hanging off the back has been very effective. Hatches include bwo mayflies, October caddis, and smaller caddis. Fishing pressure is light.
Middle Fork Feather River - same conditions as the North Fork Yuba River, except fishing pressure is nonexistent. Concentrate your efforts downstream of the Two Rivers access. Red copper John's have been hot and orange Stimis as well. Good hatches from to 2 to 4pm, bwo, and lots of different size caddis.
I'm done guiding the Northern Sierra and will be on the Lower Yuba River full time. Hit me up if you want to learn about the river, or a private tour that will teach you everything from access areas, rigging, flies, entomology, and one on one guiding. 530.228.0487/
Saturday, October 13, 2018
My guests and I have had some great days on the Lower Yuba River since my last report. Yuba County Water Agency have bumped the flows up a tad and the river is currently at 865 cubes. Water is crystal clear. A little bit more fishing pressure but not too much where an angler can't find their own spot. Last Thursday I finally got a chance to fish on my own and Shwood Eyewear rep Gregg Shaw joined me for some fishing, and to discuss a new special project he will be launching in the next few months. We were pleasantly surprised how good the fishing was, and best of all we had some killer dry fly action with active rising fish, even on a windy day.
Lots of bugs out from 11am to 3pm including Mohogny duns in a size 14, BWOs size 18, and Psuedocleons in a size 20. There were also a few random smaller caddis as well, but the trout were podded up in slower water and keyed in on the mayflies. Dry/dropper rigs were also effective while walking the banks and fan casting, searching for active sub surface feeders. Hogan's S&M #18 in olive, and Copper Johns in the same size have been very effective.
There are some Salmon in the river, but the redds and numbers of them are few in the lower river, maybe there is more upstream of the Highway 20 bridge. Some salmon have already done their thing and have expired. Foothill black bears have followed their nose and have come down to feast on the spent adults in the slack side water. It's really cool to see bear prints and scat on the valley floor. To think we had Grizzly's here at one time with flourishing runs of salmon must have been the sight to behold. For nymph rigs, eggs and legs (Jimmy Leg stones), and small mayfly nymphs are receiving some attention from the trout in the riffles.
Approaching rising pods of fish from the bank should be done tactfully with a heavy dose of stealthiness. When you do make an attempt to make presentations to a pod, make a few casts and if you do not get a grab, take a break, shake your fly, and let them eat some more naturals to gain confidence in their surroundings. If you continue to make cast after cast you may put them down but often they will just push out further away, or drop downstream of your position. A fly first reach cast presentation is often best for rising trout in calmer water.
I have plenty of open dates as we head into November. More than just a guide trip, I will teach you the ways of the Jedi in learning a more successful presentation for wary fish with the dry fly, and dry/dropper rigs. Education on the resource is a big part of my approach for each and every one of my guests, good intentions and actions carry their weight for the future, and beyond. Call or email me if you wish to take it to the next level. 530.228.0487 ~ email@example.com
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Fishing has been really good on the North Fork Yuba River. It's that time of year where nearly every body of water is on fire, fall ball is the best and an angler has so many choices to fish here in Nor Cal. Water temperatures are 53 to 58 degrees. Fishing pressure is pretty much non existent, and the campgrounds are empty. You'll want to fish downstream of Downieville in areas that are open and receive sunlight, those October caddis prefer a good warm sunny bend in the river. The type of water is different in the lower watershed than the upper, longer runs, riffles, and less pocket water - Bigger fish too. Fishing during the warmest time of day is also a wise choice, 11am to 4pm. BWOs, October Caddis, and other smaller caddis are active and being consumed by trout. Tight line nymphing, dry/dropper, and dry fly presentations have all been effective. I've yet to see any brown trout on redds but I'm sure in another month we'll see them. It's going to warm up for the weekend and a camping/fishing trip with fall colors on the NFYR will be hard to beat.
Friday, October 5, 2018
You are invited to Yuba Fest, which will take place Oct. 13, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sycamore Ranch County Park on the Lower Yuba River. Yuba Fest will showcase fly fishing guides, fly clubs, fly shops, environmental groups, and state agencies that all are working hard to make the Lower Yuba River and her watershed the best that it can be. Yuba Fest is all about giving back to the river that has provided wonderful memories to us all. The Lower Yuba River is wonderful place to recreate, fly fish, drift, and hike. We want to protect it for future generations. The key to the Lower Yuba’s success and future is educating all who love the river. We are hoping that Yuba Fest will become an annual event for years to come.
Admission to Yuba Fest is free to all who would like to participate! We will have workshops to learn about fly fishing and to enhance your fly fishing skills. Our “Fly Fishing for Kids” element will include fly casting, fly tying, and lessons about the bugs that trout eat. Yuba Fest is for those individuals who recreate, fly fish, protect, and enhance the Lower Yuba River. Yuba Fest is co-hosted by Fly Fishing Traditions, the Gold Country Fly Fishers, and The Reel Anglers Fly Shop.
I will be providing an entomology class for both the kids and adults, and also technical rigging for “Tight Line” nymphing, and for dry flies. I will also be offering a Dry Fly Workshop on Sunday the 14th from 10am to 2pm in conjunction with the Yuba Fest. A special price of $40 per angler (all proceeds go to Gold Country Fly Fishers conservation fund) will get you an informative handout, rigging supplies, and complete instruction. Limited to 6 anglers on a first come, first serve basis. Contact me in person at the Yuba Fest on the 13th to sign up.
I hope you can make the Yuba Fest! See you there!
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
It sure is nice to be working close to home again, in another month I will be making another transition to guiding the Lower Yuba River full time until the end of March. Currently the flows are at 750 cubes and the water is clear. Flows are perfect for the ability to cross the river but know your limits and be careful. Yesterday an older fly angler was crossing upstream of Shaw’s riffle and fell. He was quickly sucked into the current and tumbled for about 150 feet. My client and I saw this happen and quickly went for the rescue, we were lucky to be able to grab his wading staff and pull him in. He panicked which made the situation worse, but thankfully he will live to fish another day, though he’ll have buy another rod as his is lost at sea. His legs were very banged up with goose eggs and blood, it was gnarly. If you do happen to fall in, go with the current on your back with your legs in front of you while back paddling with your arms to the closest side of the river. Never panic and keep your cool.
Fishing pressure is extremely light with plenty of access areas void of other anglers. The salmon are in the system and are already on redds, one particular redd had 3 adults on it yesterday, today I counted 7. For walk and wade anglers, be sure to avoid walking through any redds and give them a wide birth. Remember this is an entirely wild population of salmon, steelhead, and trout, and they need all the help they can get to perpetuate the species.
Seine samples were light with free living caddis (Ryacophila and Hydropsyche) being the most prolific, other nymphs included PMDs, Baetis, Stub Wing Stones, and tiny scuds size 20. In the air a few summer stones and sporadic BWOs. There is some fish rising in the afternoons in known areas where fish tend to pod up. For selective eaters try an ant pattern. Hoppers are still being taken, especially on windy afternoons. Swinging Black leeches has seen some action as well, an old standard on the Lower Yuba River. Conditions will continue to get better on a weekly basis as we go deeper into fall. It’s time to start painting those beads up with your favorite recipe. See you on the water.
Monday, September 24, 2018
The Truckee River and Trout Unlimited need your help! Come help restore a part of the Truckee River on Sunday, October 14th at 9 am as part of the Truckee Watershed Council's annual Truckee River Day. This project will include re-vegetation, trail work, and road decommission at a popular fishing spot known as "Horner's Corner" or "The Loop" (directions below) to complete the Truckee River Fish Habitat Enhancement Project. Afterwards we will take a tour of the completed project. 70 volunteers needed. Please tell your friends and share this event! Make sure to register at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TruckeeRiverDay2018 and RSVP to the Facebook event located HERE for updates. Please bring sturdy working clothes and a get it done attitude. Please contact Sam Sedillo if you have any questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A huge thanks to all those that have supported this project including the Sagebrush Chapter Trout Unlimited, TU Embrace a Stream, Granite Bay Flycasters, Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers and the Flycasters of San Jose. Make sure to check out our project video for more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sh3UA4tiZM
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
I would like to invite all anglers that fish the Truckee River to participate in a survey for a future road map that will help Trout Unlimited Truckee Chapter 103 on future in-stream projects. As a TU Truckee Board of Director, and a decades long angler of the river, I feel it is important to reach out to the fly angling public and ask for providing critical comments on a variety of topics that effect the health of the Truckee River, macroinvertebrates, trout, riparian zones, and good habitat for all. Take the survey and make your voice heard!
An important message from the President of Trout Unlimited Truckee:
Dear Truckee River TU member,
First off I would like to say thank you for your continued support of the Truckee River Trout Unlimited Chapter. Below you will find a link to a survey I am asking each of you to take. It’s not long.Your views on the health and well-being of our local waters are important, and will be used as a guide to create a road map for our Chapter’s growth and conservation efforts going forward. The Board is going to use your feedback to create a strategic plan for the Chapter, and it will serve as a road map in our efforts to protect and enhance our precious fresh water resources in the Truckee/Tahoe region.
Many thanks in advance,
Trevor S. Fagerskog
Trout Unlimited, Chapter 103
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
The canyon was buzzing with people over the holiday weekend and the river was fished over well in the more popular access areas. Change is in the air, and the seasons are shifting into the fall pattern, the second season is under way. Water temperatures have dropped in the upper watershed due to colder nights, now at 56 in the morning, and 62 in the afternoons. Flows are at an all time low for the season, in fact some creeks like Salmon creek is done. Fishing has been good using dry dropper rigs, and nymphing is much better now in the big deep pools. The river is in a transition period where fishing the middle and lower sections of the watershed will produce better.
Fall fishing on the NFYR requires a different approach. You’ll want to fish in the middle of the day and choose areas on the river that receives plenty of sunshine. It’s a known fact that the October Caddis adult thrive in sunny sections of a river. Their still in pupation sealed up in their fine pebble cases, you can expect them to hatch at the end of the month. The same dry flies and nymphs listed in my past reports are still effective, but switch that yellow Stimulator to an orange color. It’s wise to choose the hard to get to sections after a long summer of fishing pressure. Keep it real and find your water. See you out there…
California Fushia ~ Epilobium canum
Thursday, August 30, 2018
This coming October 13th, the Yuba Fest is a transformation of the Yuba Jubilee that focuses on purely a conservation theme instead of self promotion of guides and businesses. What the first intentional thought from myself, is now becoming a reality. The Yuba Fest is for individuals who recreate, fly fish, and protect and enhance the Lower Yuba River. Yuba Fest is co-hosted by Fly Fishing Traditions Gold Country Fly Fishers, Reel Anglers Fly Shop.
The festival will run from 9am to 4pm at the Sycamore Ranch County Park on the Lower Yuba River. Yuba Fest will showcase fly clubs, local guides, and conservation orgs that I'm involved with like Trout Unlimited, and the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), and other non profit environmental groups, and state agencies that are connected to the Lower Yuba River.
The Lower Yuba River is a great place to recreate, fly fish, hike, and drift. We want to protect the Yuba watershed ecosystem for future generations. The most significant aspect of the Yuba Fest is educating all those involved for a healthier environment of the river.
Admission to Yuba Fest is free to all who would like to participate! We will have workshops to learn about fly fishing and to enhance your fly fishing skills. Our “Fly Fishing for Kids” element will include fly casting, fly tying, and lessons about the bugs that trout eat. Yuba Fest is for those individuals who recreate, fly fish, protect, and enhance the Lower Yuba River.
I will be providing an entomology class for both the kids and adults, and also technical rigging for “Tight Line” nymphing, and for dry flies. I will also be offering a Dry Fly Workshop on Sunday the 14th from 10am to 2pm in conjunction with the Yuba Fest. A special price of $40 (all proceeds go to conservation measures through Gold Country Fly Fishers) per angler will get you an informative handout, rigging supplies, and complete instruction. Limited to 6 anglers on a first come, first serve basis. Contact me in person at the Yuba Fest on the 13th to sign up.
Thursday, August 23, 2018
This link will hook you up to all your needs when fly fishing in Northern California. From fly shops, fishing reports, fishing licenses, road conditions, stream flow data, Northern Sierra visitors information, and much more. Also included on the Baiocchi's Troutfitters fly fishing resource page is specific areas including the Graeagle area, the North Fork Yuba River area, the Truckee area. and my home town of Nevada City near the Lower Yuba River. Great information for the fly fishing angler on the road!
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Conditions remain the same for the North Fork Yuba River with a few slight changes. There is a Trico spinner fall when air temps reach 65 to 70 degrees. The trout are rising to spent spinners in the film, Also, the little western Green Drake is out in very small numbers. Now that the kids are back in school there is very little fishing pressure on the river. Another consideration now that the days are getting shorter is starting out at around 9am.
It’s weird, those rainbows actually prefer sun on the water, and your catch rates increase because of such. I’m finding more trout in idle calm frog water just slowly finning and looking for terrestrials. To catch these fish one must be extra stealthy. I tested the Sage Dart 0 weight rod last week and what a sweet little rod! You can read my review here;
As we creep into fall, you’re going to want to focus on the middle and lower sections of the NFYR watershed. There are bigger October caddis hatches in these areas, and overall bigger fish in the system. In late October into November brown trout will be swimming upstream to spawn downstream of Downieville to sections of the river that follow the Cabin Creek trail. A good tactic is to spot fish in the tail outs of runs using binoculars high up on highway 49. When the sun is overhead, they can be easy to spot in the gin clear water. I hope I have some time to do this myself. See you on the water…
Lewis's Monkey Flower ~ mimulus lewisii
Sunday, August 19, 2018
I’m a huge fan of lighter weight fly rods, small wild trout, and complete solitude while picking pockets in Sierra canyon water. A day off during the summer grind is an invitation to lose myself and explore more unknown sections of the North Fork Yuba River. But this trip was even more special because my small water weapon was the Sage Dart 0 weight. Thanks to Sage and RIO Rep Alex Ramirez of Outdoor Specialty Products, he offered me the opportunity to test and review this awesome little rod.
The Sage Dart series features a short-range fast action for chasing wary trout in still and clear water, close quarters, or obstacle-ridden streams. This innovative rod is specifically designed to drive precise loops under the branches of a conifer while still providing delicate presentations and delightful feedback to the angler. The KonneticHD materials combined with performance-friendly fast action gives fly anglers the ultimate competitive advantage against highly selective trout. The 0-4wt models at 7'6" provide the backbone of this family with ultra-light performance. These rods come in 3 piece sections allowing for a truer action without sacrificing a ferrule in the middle of the critical flex zone.
In the first 5 minutes of fishing it was apparent that this was not like any other small water rod I had ever casted. The overall flex pattern felt a little less than full action with a softer tip, yet a hearty butt section. The first noticeable difference was the pin point accuracy. I could deliver my #10 Stimulator with a dropper to technical pockets with ease, over and over again. Secondly the rod was perfectly balanced with the smallest Sage Click reel in a 0/01/02 size. While holding the rod in the center of the Snub-Nose half wells grip it was as level as can be.
The rod was so much fun to cast and make presentations with, but the real pleasure was playing small fish. I could really feel the weight of the fish and the rod was bent over in a beautiful arc, yet the backbone was powerful enough to land each wild rainbow quickly and easily. I never knew fighting an 8 inch trout could be so exciting!
The Sage Dart 0 weight exceled even more with higher performance, matched to RIO’s new Creek line. This line has an aggressive head which loads the rod quickly at a shorter distance, but keeps a nice loop while casting at a greater distance. It was a breeze to be able to cast 40 feet with the little Dart. The Creek line will open doors for any lighter weight rods. I plan to buy this line for my vintage Walton Powell first generation graphite 8’ 4 weight and cannot wait to see the difference. For the 7’6” Dart I used a 7 foot leader to 5x which made a big difference with effective turnover rates.
The lightest, most precise casting small water rod I’ve ever fished, the Dart is destined to become a cherished tool in the small water trout angler’s quiver for years to come. I rate this rod at 5 stars.
-Sapling Green blank color
-Bronze thread wraps with Gold trim wraps