Monday, December 31, 2018
Happy New Year! After a couple of rough months I'm back in the saddle doing what I love, instructing anglers on the finer points of fly fishing and sharing my passion. What a turn of events, but thanks to the Lower Yuba River, sunshine, and good company I'm super stoked right now and in a better place mentally. The river has been fishing pretty decent depending on the day (typical Yuba) and I've seen numerous anglers hooked into a few in the last week. For whatever reason there has been reports of some very large steelhead being caught with some landed. I know of 5 reliable reports of fish between 25 to 30". Serious athletes are in the system. It's been a long time since we've seen nice big steelhead in the river, and it's so awesome to see.
The flows have been stable since the 27th of December running at 860 cubes, but last evening they were ramped up slowly to 1,050 cfs, just a slight bump with nothing to worry about. Yuba Water Agency (check the new website HERE) plans to run these flows for the next fifteen days or so unless we receive some major precipitation. Fishing pressure has been heavy above the bridge, yet my guests and I have had no trouble finding multiple spots to fish. With the clear low water the fish are playing small ball so use smaller mayfly and midge patterns. Eggs are still being consumed and most of the steelhead that have been hooked have been egg eaters.
Skwala nymphs are pre staging in the idle side waters below riffles to prepare for emergence. With that said they will be in the drift so a smaller rubber leg stone will become more effective in the weeks to come. In the last few days I have found a few shucks so there are a few adult skwalas out. I'm thinking by the 3rd week of January the trout will be keyed in on the adults ovipositing in the side water from noon until early evening. I'm really looking forward to it. The skwala hatch is often over hyped, but don't get me wrong, it's why I moved from Graeagle down to Nevada City - To play the best game in winter for wild trout!
Day in and day out in the last week PMDs and BWOs have been hatching from 12:30 to well that depends on the day. Thursday saw north winds and there were bugs and rising fish for a few hours. On Sunday the PMDs started off strong with a few fish working the surface and 20 minutes later the switch was turned off. Yesterday the north wind was much stronger and only a few bugs popped with very few fish rising. One key is watch for a small black and white bird known as the Black Phoebe (pronounced pheebee). They will sit riverside on a willow branch and fly out to capture a mayfly, then return to sit on its perch. If they are really active they're telling you there is an ample amount of adult insects flying about. Also when playing the dry fly game from the bank do not beat the water over and over. Find an active feeding fish and make good presentations to it, if you do not get a grab rest the fish and possibly change your fly pattern, or try a fly first presentation. Remember with a lower sun in the sky your shadow is much longer and may spook your quarry if you're not careful.
Possible storm coming in this weekend though the Canadian model and the European model are in vast disagreement with just how much precipitation will fall. We shall see. I've got some open dates through the end of January, so if you're looking to improve your skill set and learn more about the Lower Yuba River, give me a ring at 530.228.0487 or email me at email@example.com
Let's hope 2019 is a good one! See you on the water...
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
After the success of recent fish habitat projects in Truckee River watershed and 2 years of planning, Trout Unlimited Chapter and Staff completed a large-scale fish habitat improvement project this Fall on the main stem of the Truckee River at Horner’s Corner, also known as “The DFW Loop.” This project, aptly titled the “Truckee River Fish Habitat Enhancement Project” constructed 3 major rock structures which greatly increased the available habitat for large adult fish and available fishing opportunities in a quarter mile long stretch of river.
The Truckee River itself is a mecca for anglers from all over that want to fly fish for abnormally large brown trout and rainbow trout in crystal clear mountain water and this project put new structure in the river that provides the best possible habitat for these large specimens.
This project materialized in 2016 to build off of momentum from previous Trout Unlimited fish centric projects. Horner’s Corner was identified as a suitable site for fish habitat by TU and CDFW staff. The site itself (on the upstream stretch of the loop) was devoid of natural habitat because of previous human usage in the form of logging and ice trade and rarely held large catchable trout.
The project went into construction in October 2018 and three large rock structures were placed in less than a week. These three rock structures completely changed the composition of the project site and created prime fishing spots in areas that previously had none. In addition to the rock structures, a few dozed boulders were placed throughout the project to create even more holding water, especially in the lower flows of late summer when fish need a place to escape to hold in deeper, cooler water. After construction was complete over 85 volunteers came out and helped put the finishing touches on the project by decommissioning illegal roads and building trails to help focus human usage on this stretch of river.
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Looking for the perfect gift for your favorite fly angler from beginner to expert? Look no further! Gift Certificates from Jon Baiocchi of Baiocchi's Troutfitters will surely be a big hit when opened on Christmas morning, and it also makes a great stocking stuffer!
It's easy to purchase and set up. first, click HERE to download a copy of the Gift Certificate, then click HERE to pay for the trip or trips you desire to gift, they can be full or half days. Then contact Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your special authorization code. Finally, write the code on the back of the Gift Certificate, fill out the "To" and "From" and your set! Come Christmas morning your sure to see a great big smile once they know they will be going fly fishing with Baiocchi's Troutfitters! Merry Christmas everyone!
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
I was reluctant to post, but now I know kind of how 70+ of my classmates, close friends, and family feel after the Camp Fire. Last night my truck was stolen from a hotel in Sacramento and all of my personal gear, important papers, and all my guide gear is gone as well. To make make matters worse I have been camping out of my truck since the last week of October when my landlord told me she was selling the house and wanted me to vacate immediately. I have never ever been in this deep of a hole before. CHP came and took a report and from the video surveillance it was done by pros, they were in my truck in 3 seconds and driving away in 15 seconds. I hopeful my truck can be found, but during situations like these I often expect the worst possibilities.
Many friends on social media have stepped up with offers of support to get me back on the water where I belong, to be able to continue sharing fly fishing and guiding. Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated. Gregg Shaw and Ashley Shaw are more than good friends, they are angels who care about those who reach out and give back. The paragraphs below were beautifully written and so very true. When I get my sanity back and am able to stand on my own two feet, I will give back even more and share my knowledge to its greatest extent. I have no choice but to reach out to you all at this time, and I'm truly humbled by your generosity. Thank you for all the support!
See the "Go Fund Me “account and click here;
|Help the teacher get back to doing good things like this, The Cliff Frazier Memorial|
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Conditions remain good on the Lower Yuba River and this past week gave us some wild weather from heavy rain, to extreme wind, and a few breaks in the action. Lots of anglers out on the river yesterday, you'll get that after a series of storms keeps you inside and getting the shack nasties. The much needed rainfall raised the river up a tad with a few minor spikes to 1,507 cubes being the highest. Currently the river is flowing at 1,021 cfs, and the water clarity is really good with just a tint of color, it's actually perfect. More rain today, then another break with more weather coming in this coming Tuesday through Thursday. More mayfly weather is a good thing. Birding has been excellent on the river with Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Copper's Hawk, Red Tails, Flickers, black Phoebe's, bluebirds, marsh wrens, Canadian honkers, yellow and white crested sparrows, California gulls, and the U2 of birds: the Turkey Vulture.
The Lower Yuba Fishery is a special fishery, and most of that has to do with the diversity of aquatic insects. Being that it is a tailwater on the Central Valley floor the water stays within a pretty even temperature, and mild air temps allow much more profuse hatches. Everyday is different on a tail water, though a few hatches like BWOs and Skwalas for example run their course for months, day in and day out. A good example would be the Pale Morning Dun pictured above, a sub species that has three tails but are a different color than a standard PMD. Tail configuration with adult mayflies is one clue as to what kind of mayfly it is, a true Pink Albert mayfly has only two tails. From nymph to dun can be rather confusing for fly anglers. The BWO nymph has three tails but when it emerges into a dun it only has two tails.
All types of presentations remain effective, and an angler can switch it up during day and fish all three. Nymphing has really picked up in the last week, probably due to the rain flushing more aquatics in the drift. One tip I'd like to share is many fish are being picked up at the head of the riffles in swifter water. This makes sense since many salmon redds are usually in the tailouts of a run directly upstream, and remember when salmon cut their redds many bugs are stirred up and race down with the current. Jimmy Legs, FB Pheasant tails, Copper Johns in red, black, and olive, worms (red & flesh), Military Mays, S&M nymphs, eggs, and free living caddis patterns are receiving the love right now. Dry fly fishing remains extremely good when you have targets to cast to, a good presentation is often needed to get a take. Loop Wing bwos seem to be the most favored, but sparkle duns in bwo, pmd, and pinkie schemes are also being taken. For extremely picky risers try a flat wing spinner in the film. Swinging has not been as effective as the latter two but it is such a simple and fun way to fish. Softies, alevins, and salmon fry in gray and white are staple flies to use right now. 22 days of fall left and we are not even into the legendary winter dry fly fishing yet, exciting to say the least.
During the past week of storms I've actually seen a few salmon coming up through the riffles, so there are salmon swimming upstream and most others are spent and going with the flow downstream. I've heard many anglers say how good the salmon run is this year but if you were at the Yuba Fest you would have heard Melinda Booth from the South Yuba River Citizens League state that this year's run (as of October 10th) was the worst on record. It was the pulse flows that occurred from 10/17 to 10/24 in conjunction with a full moon phase that triggered more salmon to make the journey upstream making this year's run salvageable. Walk and wade anglers still need to steer clear of salmon redds and not wade through them. If your out on the river and see anglers walking through redds, be a real steward of the river and calmly explain the situation and educate those that are not in the know. You don't have to be a dick and yell at other anglers, that attitude is not the most effective.
Anglers are hungry for knowledge and really want to learn about the Yuba River. My guide service is based off just that, sharing the knowledge from reading water, rigging, nymphing, dry flies, swinging, entomology, and fly selection to name a few. If you're looking for a better understanding of the Yuba River give me a call at 530.228.0487 or email me at email@example.com to book your trip. Thanks for all the emails of praise lately, and all the support, it is much appreciated! See you on the water...