Plunge pool after plunge pool, lush green forest, native grasses, monkey flowers, fascinating rock formations, crystal clear water, blue skies, and wild rainbow trout. Do I have your attention now? The North Fork Yuba is all that and more. It's the total fly fishing experience that will surely have you smiling while keeping the stoke alive. I'm so lucky to be able to share this with my special guests, and all of them are so appreciative of such gorgeous surroundings - That in return makes me smile for days on end!
Fishing conditions are in the dog days of summer already, and getting to your spot around 7am, and on the water by 8am is crucial. Water temps are ranging from 59 degrees in the morning, and topping out around 70 by the afternoon. Evenings and the last two hours of light bring some great fishing for the evening hatch. Fishing pressure is heavy in some areas and much lighter in others. If solitude is your quest, hiking into remote and hard to reach places will help you find it. It's there.
Rainbows are running 4-12", and just look at this specimen above! Purple parr marks, a crimson stripe, robust dots, and white tipped orange fins. These rainbows are the jewel of the Northern Sierra. To hold something this beautiful from the great creator is so moving, and part of the North Fork Yuba experience - A must have for the fly angler. If you're a "big fish" angler only and cannot appreciate true wilderness and adventure, do not come here, you'll be bummed.
Short line high sticking a dry or dry/dropper rig is producing. Obtaining a drag free drift gets the grabs, but also try twitching, skating, and swinging your flies. 5x for low light conditions, and 6x during the bright mid day sunshine is recommended. Dry flies; X-Caddis #14-18, Stimis in yellow and orange #12-16, Yellow Humpies #14-16, Foam hoppers in tan/brown combos #10-12, and Parachute Adams #12-16. Nymphs; The Mangy Prince #14-16 (only available from Reel Anglers Fly Shop), Spitfires #14-16, Copper Johns #14-18, Psycho Prince #12-16, and Prince of Diamonds #14-16 are working extremely well.
If you're looking for a short easy walk to some spectacular sights, try the PCT trail off Hwy. 49 to Loves Falls. Though the water levels are really low now, it's still quite impressive. The time to view the spectacular Loves Falls is in Spring on a normal snow pack year, the sound can be deafening, and the mist will soak you to the bone if you get too close. A must see.
Dark water is the prime habitat for these rainbows when the sun is shining and it's bright out. Look for vertical walls of boulders in the water with shade against them. Presenting your fly right next to these areas will lure out some nice trout. Hit every pocket you can, some of the bigger rainbows in the system come from small hidden lies that most anglers just walk on by. Don't be pulled into the big pools, fish it all.
Be a criminal and go pick some pockets on the North Fork Yuba River, you just might get rich!