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Friday, January 27, 2017

Lower Yuba River Update 1/27/2017

I went down to the river today to poke around and it's still flowing good at 5,150 cubes and water clarity is poor and brown in color. Many of the new side channels are just a trickle, so when the flows drop even more they will be non existent. Still curious to see the topography of the bottom once the river drops and the water clears up. It will be very interesting to say the least. 

The two pictures above are of Long Island, the top photo is from two years ago and the bottom photo is from today. You'll notice that the top of Long Island has washed away a lot of cobble stones and willows. On the far bank down near the tailings a tree has been washed away, and you'll notice that the tailings themselves have changed. I looked for skwala adults today and found none. I did see a few BWO spinners fluttering in the wind. It will take a while but the aquatic insects will come back.

I'm going to wet a line before the next storm system comes in on Wednesday. I'll be using streamer tactics with an all black bunny leech I call "Darth". As for the storm, we can expect a good amount of precipitation into the weekend of the 11th. 2-3 feet of snow is expected on the crest as of now, forecast models could change either way by next Tuesday. See you on the water...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lower Yuba River Update 1/19/2017 ~ So Close!

Releases from Englebright reservoir were cut drastically last Monday evening and the river went from 14k down to 5,165 cubes. Knowing there would be more clues revealed as to how the river may have changed, I drove down to get an accurate picture of such. I studied the river below the Parks Bar Bridge down to near the Hammon Grove Park area. The river’s course did not change that dramatically, but there are some interesting new side channels and islands popping up. 

It seems there could be more braided areas but no one will know for certain until the flows are down to 1,000 cfs. I’m by no means an expert hydrologist but the river structure has definitely been changed. We’ll know a lot more when the clarity improves as we will then be able to determine the bottom structure more accurately.

The woody debris fields are an impressive sight. There is also a lot of garbage lining the banks like plastic bottles, and other household garbage. In the future anglers should bring a trash bag and after a day’s session, make an attempt to fill it up and dispose of properly. Access on the Hammonton road is good, high clearance vehicles can get through the washout, and other spur roads that lead down to the river. It will take a while, but added traffic will wear these areas into better shape. The “put in” seems easier now but again this area will need to be packed down by multiple vehicles to smooth things out. 

Right now the Lower Yuba River is up and flowing at 10,383 cfs after the first storm that rolled through yesterday, and more precipitation is headed our way tonight through Tuesday. Hammon Grove and Sycamore Ranch are still closed to the public. I know its torture waiting for our rivers to clear up and come down throughout the entire state, but my streamer box is filling up quite nicely with some fresh patterns, and some long overdue tying sessions are being completed. Be safe out there if you’re near big water, or getting some face shots on the board with all that fresh pow.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Lower Yuba River Flood Report

I went down to the Lower Yuba River today to check out the changes so far as the river is just a tad under 16k, down from the big surge of 81k plus. I worked from the Parks Bar Bridge down to the bottom of Long Island. It's possible to cross the washout with a high clearance 4x4, but it is very soft and muddy. I do not recommend it. Major changes so far and we'll know more once the river comes down to 2,000 cubes (might not be until fall) and the water clears. Major shifting of gravel and cobblestones, with additional sediment loads all over the place. The willows were hit very hard with many ripped out and wrapped around other standing willows and trees. The Army Corps / USFWS habitat logs are gone and a few are scattered about. There is so much destruction and new channels forming that it is utterly amazing.

I then poked around Hammon Grove and Sycamore Ranch for some more images. This is looking into the boat ramp and the picnic area where Dry Creek meets the Lower Yuba. I don't think we will have a boat ramp left to take out on. The river in front of Hammon Grove is pushing to the south. I did not get a chance to get up to Clay Banks but I'm sure it has changed too. I've posted some other pictures below of the carnage, and it's not over yet being that it's only January 14th. Another atmospheric river arrives Tuesday evening into Thursday. More water, and more changes ahead. Be safe out there...

To be continued.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Pyramid Lake Closed! ~ Press Release



Nixon, NV 01/11/17 – Effective immediately, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe has closed all fishing and boating activities at Pyramid Lake until further notice. This action is to ensure public safety due to hazardous road conditions, and power and water outages in the Sutcliffe area. We thank the public for your cooperation. 

Please check the following sources of information for the most current information; 

Emergency Contact Numbers: 

  • All Emergencies: 911 
  • Emergency Tribal Operations: 775-574-2426 
  • Washoe County/Tribal Dispatch: 775-574-0444 
  • Pyramid Lake Ranger Station: 775-476-1155 
  • Marine Distress: Channel 16 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Lower Yuba River Update ~ XL High Flows!

The great atmospheric river of 2017 (so far) started its wrath on the region early Saturday morning with light rain, and intensified into the evening. By Sunday morning the precipitation was heavy, along with very windy conditions here in Nevada City. The Sierra started off with snow in the morning which then turned to rain, and snow levels increased up to 9,000 feet by the evening. During the day I checked out the river at 36,000 cubes, and Deer Creek ripping at just under 8,000 cfs. I shot some video and have provided the links off my Facebook page below which delivers better quality than what Blogger can;

Lower Yuba River 36,000 cfs 1/8/2017 1pm

Deer Creek 7,889 cfs 1/8/2017 2pm

I was glued to the internet on Saturday evening checking out all the updates on social media, weather sites, and the gauges keeping track of this large event. The Carriage Inn located in Downieville was receiving encroaching flows from the Downie River and later flooded. The heavy wind and rain stopped about 10pm here in Nevada City, and creeks, rivers, and reservoirs kept rising, in fact at one point Lake Oroville had over 150,000 cfs of inflow. I woke up early this morning around 5:30 and headed down to the Lower Yuba in the dark. I took Hammonton road on the south side and could only get as far as the washout. There was not a soul around, and only the roar of the river. It was eerie. I shot some more video there, then walked out on Parks Bar Bridge and took some more footage. Click the links below to see the Yuba River at 82,000 cubes, just after the peak.

Lower Yuba River 82,000 cfs 1/9/2017 7am

Lower Yuba River 82,000 cfs 1/9/2017 7:35am

Lots of local areas were flooded like Hammon Grove Park above, including Sycamore Ranch as well. Yesterday I tried to video Englebright dam, they had the top gate closed so I parked and walked down. Just past the ranger station driveway the water levels became apparent. There was no way to legally get to the observation post as everything was flooded, even the toll booth was completely submerged.

Rivers all over the state swelled to massive proportions like the South Fork of the Yuba River above. I -80 near Truckee and on Donner summit closed twice in the last 12 hours due to mudslides. They had a big mudslide at Pyramid Lake too. Reno also had their fair share of carnage. There is endless news stories floating out there as I write, all over the northern state. This was a pretty big event. Those Know-It-All types will always make sure you're aware that this latest deluge was not as big as 1997, or 2005 while in a conversation. What about those high water events before the white man came, as passed down by generations of Native Americans? Think about it.

More weather is forecasted through Thursday with colder air temps and heavy snow in the mountains. Could see a break after then with sunny to partly cloudy skies. 

So let's get to the fishing and the future. For now the river is unfishable, it may be for a month. Even longer if we get more heavy rain or another pineapple express. The river has changed dramatically, aquatic insect life will be altered, and hopefully most of the fish got into some side slack water as the river did rise on the slow side. The river started out at 10k before this big water came through, so I would like to think the fish were already on the banks playing out the waiting game. Hammonton road on the south side has been affected near the washout and Miner's corner. Other access areas may not be usable anymore. Lots of questions with no answers until the flows come down to at least 2,000 cfs and clarity returns. When that happens I'll be drifting the Lower Yuba River and taking notes, that's for sure. The only game right now is Pyramid Lake, in the weeks to come the Truckee river, and maybe the Lower Sac. Like a wild trout, us fly anglers will adapt to changing conditions, and the challenge to be in the game.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Denis Peirce Fishing & Outdoors News Interview

Check out this video of an hour long interview with KNCO 830's celebrity Denis Peirce as we talk a little bit about the Lower Yuba River and the encroaching high water on the way, the Truckee area, the Middle Fork Feather River, and a whole bunch of good useful info on Lake Davis, including the late Jay Fair. I used Facebook's new live feed, and for this type of scenario it was a perfect match. 

KNCO 830am Jon Baiocchi Interview

Keep a close tab on my personal FB page for upcoming live broadcast videos and events!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lower Yuba River Update 1/5/2017

The Lower Yuba River is blown out again with flows reaching 19,247 cubes on Wednesday evening, and is currently at 16,727 cfs. The big news is that a pineapple express is on the way with heavy precipitation and high snow levels Saturday through Monday. The current snowpack on the ground from 3,000 to 7,000 feet will be melting and is of concern as this may duplicate the floods of 1997. I'll be down on the river through the storm and documenting the event. Get your PFD ready and batten down the hatches!

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