Monday, November 26, 2018
I will be speaking tomorrow at Lost Coast Outfitters from noon until 1 pm, then crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and presenting to Mt. Tam Fly Fishers at 7pm. My "High Water Tactics" program is one of my best and offers superior information for fishing during winter and spring run off. I'll talk about the causes of high water, safety, turbidity and a trout's vision, water to target, tight line nymphing, streamers, fighting big fish, rigging, and flies. Looking forward to seeing you all, I hope you can make it!
Mount Tam Fly Fishers - http://www.mttamflyfishers.org/
Lost Coast Outfitters at 540 Jackson St. San Francisco 415.483.2278
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