Tuesday, December 1, 2015
LG&C Pontoon Workshop A Huge Success / Lower Yuba River Report 12/1/2015
Yesterday Lance Gray and myself held our second pontoon workshop on the Lower Yuba River teaching our guests on how to safely navigate and operate a pontoon boat on moving water. We met at Sycamore Ranch, set up our crafts, and shuttled them up to the Parks Bar / Highway 20 Bridge. We explained the best way to set up your boat including carrying your rod, dry bag storage, proper inflation of bladders, oar specifications, and anchor systems.
We followed that up with the basic paddling strokes, pivots, and how to move from one side of the river to the other. Most people think rowing is easy until they get in the cockpit and then realize there is more to it. That's the great thing about our pontoon workshops, you get to experience real time floating conditions while learning the river, and the famous runs.
We took to the water and began our float under an overcast sky and a chill in the air. The skill set by our students was greater than anticipated, and they quickly learned the dynamics of proper floating. There was a few tense moments where some of them panicked a bit with obstacles in their way, but I kept enforcing to keep your cool, look ahead, choose your line, and commit.
Lance and I have another pontoon workshop scheduled for March 6th 2016. Only five spots are open at this time. Click here to see some videos from yesterday's workshop. Also check out the October issue of California Fly Fisher Magazine where I wrote a very detailed article on the finer points of piloting a pontoon boat. The experience of the workshop is very informative, and most of all fun. You'll learn techniques like feathering your oars, back strokes, forward strokes, jogging, scissor pivots and one oar pivots, slowing down your speed, tackling rapids, avoiding obstacles, and setting up your boat. To get involved, please contact Lance for booking and click here; Lance Gray and Company. Specail thanks to Outcast Boats for providing our students with dry bags, the gesture was very well received by all.
Though the day's main focus was on pontoon boats we did manage a few hours of fishing resulting in a few tugs while swinging flies, and indicator fishing. We had a slight rain shower and after it stopped a sizable blue wing olive hatch commenced with a few heads poking up. Getting the dry fly eaters to eat was another story, but our students learned some very valuable skills that will aid them in the their future trips on the river.
At this time the Lower Yuba River is in transition as the resident rainbows are switching from eggs to aquatic insects. Typical conditions exist from a decent day to very slow fishing. For swinging I suggest an olive Slumpbuster or salmon fry / fingerling patterns. Nymphing; Hogan's S&M nymph, San Juan worms, and Tom's Mangy Prince. When it comes to the bwo hatch try a very small parachute with a flat wing spinner trailer in the size of #20. It's going to be a painful wait until the skwala stones pop out and hatch, and speaking for myself I get amped just thinking about it. A cold storm with heavy precipitation will be coming in this Thursday, then clearing for the weekend. Make sure to check the flows from Englebright Dam, and Deer Creek, combine the cfs flow to get an accurate measurement before you go. Best of luck and I'll see you on the water.