Fishing has been very good on the Lower Yuba River, and all reports have been excellent through my Yuba Guide Network. Water temps are running 49-52 degrees, water clarity is very clear with a slight tinge to it. Flows are currently running at 576 cubes, with a meager inflow from Deer creek. The Skwala stones are still staging on the calm side water below the riffles. I spent 2 hours last Monday flipping rocks, and combing the riparian habitat. No evidence of adults were to be found. It's only a matter of time though, a wee bit late as I usually see them in the last few weeks of December. Remember it's been cold, and they are not fond of that. For a better understanding on the Skwala hatch, please refer to my outstanding article on this legendary hatch in the December 2014 issue of California Fly Fisher. There is so much good useful information that will definitely help those unfamiliar with the Skwala hatch, and the tactics needed to be successful.
Cloudy days have revealed a strong bwo hatch, not a lot of heads showing though, but my guests and I have had some great sessions with pods of active feeders rising with a rhythm for up to two hours in the middle of the day. Nymphing and swinging is getting the big numbers, especially if you are drifting with a superior guide and covering water. Bobber rigs with a Jimmy Legs stone in a #10, followed with Hogan's Military May, caddis pupa, or a San Juan Worm has been the go to rig. For swinging, alevin and minnow patterns are dominating, along with black buggers. There is not as many salmon fry in the system as last year, and I believe the onslaught of rain in early December pushed many of them downstream, just as nature is intended to do.
I have plenty of open dates for trips on the Lower Yuba for the month of January, and I expect them to fill up quickly once the Skwalas get going. Only a few days in February are available as many of them are booked already, March is fairly open though so do not hesitate in contacting me. Teaching dry fly presentations to selective feeders is my specialty, remember, I'm a walk and wade guide who takes it to the next level in sharing the secrets of the Lower Yuba with my guests, so they can approach it, and fish it with confidence on their own. Sharing the knowledge is of the up most importance to me at this stage of the game.
Finally I have met the girl of my dreams, Shelly Ehmer who will be joining me soon after her gig is done at Big Horn Anglers in Montana. Shelly will be guiding on the Lower Yuba with her custom Adipose drift boat, and also working with me on Tahoe, Plumas, and Lassen National Forests. We are so excited to see what the future brings for us, and I have to pinch myself at times to feel if this is really happening. On a deeper level, I get to close a very dark chapter in my life, while I get the opportunity to start another one full of joy, and fresh adventure. The future looks bright! Happy New Year, make the most of it!