Spring Edition

Spring Edition
Spring Edition

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

North Fork Yuba River Fishing Report 5/19/15

The weather of late has vastly affected the North Yuba, last Friday water temps plummeted down to 42-46 just a few miles up from Downieville with a good amount of rain. As expected, fishing was slow. My guests did not really care because this was their first time exploring the most beautiful watershed in California, and they were so blown away! There are some aquatics out like Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies, and a few caddis but these fish will not be looking up until the water temperatures climb to around 54. The optimum water temps for the NFYR is 58 to 60.

It’s best to focus on the lower river from the highway 49 bridge to Goodyear’s bar and fish during the warmest time of the day. In this section you can also find brown trout up to 5 pounds in the bigger plunge pools, and catching them is not easy. Today (Monday) was totally different, a nice sunny morning and the water temps came up quickly. My guest and I had rising fish throughout the day and they were very selective, something I’m not accustomed to seeing on the NFYR. Lots of bugs out like many different kinds of caddis, Little Yellow Sallies (alloperla), PMDs, Golden Stones, Little BWOs (pseudocloeon), and the one those selective trout wanted, the creamy yellow crane fly in a size 18. Effective flies include E/C caddis, yellow humpy, bwo loop wing, Mangy Prince nymph, Copper John, and the Red Headed Step Child. 

The most impressive aspect of the river right now is the wild flowers like Indian Rhubarb, and the Live Forever succulents, mixed with the glowing greenery of our recent precipitation. With more trips coming up in the next week I’ll let you know about the water temperatures – It all revolves around the temps. I have over 2 dozen beats I know like the back of my hand from the many years on the river; very few know where the important feeder creeks, springs, and plunge pools are located. My July dates are starting to fill up for the NFYR. Allow me to guide you where the wild things are, you will surely be stoked! 

Live Forever Succulents Dudleya cymosa

Bush Monkey Flower Mimulus Aurantiacus
On the banks of the North Fork Yuba River


  1. hi jon,

    just wanted to thank you for your fishing report. my family and i spent the weekend in downieville this past weekend (5/28/15) and i was lucky enough to find a printed copy of you 5/16 report at the local hardware store. (the owner can thank you for the sale of the golden stone nymphs, flashbak pts and the copper johns) =)

    if interested, i was fishing upstream of the main bridge (1/4mi) just in town and during the early part of the day the flashback pt (#16) brought in a couple and then during dusk, just upstream of the bridge, a #16 mosquito pattern landed about 8 pan-size browns.

    thanks again,

    dave naves (www.davenaves.com)

  2. Dave, glad you had an awesome time. The North Fork Yuba is a special place! Thanks for the report. - J.


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