Thursday, November 30, 2017
Called to duty, I was on the Lower Yuba River today and it did not disappoint at all. The flows have been humming along at a little over 2,000 cubes for the past 3 days until the percent of capacity in Englebright Reservoir reached 94%. Just before noon today they cut the flows drastically which will fall to around 1,200cfs when the YCWA scheduled flows have stopped coming down. Before the flows were cut the river was extremely fishable, but the fish were more spread out. Water clarity is perfect, mostly clear with a slight tinge of color. With the flows down it will be much easier to cross in the preferred spots and will bunch the fish up tighter in select areas of the river.
With bright sunny skies today, there were just a few spent wing BWO spinners on the water with the occasional “one and I’m done” risers. Then the clouds began rolling in and lower light levels ignited a decent hatch of size 20-22 Pseudos at round 1pm. The hatch intensified in the next hour and then suddenly a larger BWO was coming off in a size 16. The trout quickly switched over to the bigger mayfly and it was game on for my guest. It was short and quick and lasted another hour before the switch was turned off. It’s so much fun to be able to witness and experience nature when she wants to put on a show, it truly is the best.
The trout were not that selective with patterns, but they did mind if your presentation was not up to par. We also had to drop down to 6X. While on a guide trip at Frenchman Lake this past fall with legendary pro tyer Bud Heintz, he introduced me to Enrico Puglisi’s Trigger point fibers. Leave it up to an Italian to come up with a great material for dry fly bodies and wings. I’ve replaced the standard deer hair on my Sparkle Duns and Comparaduns with the EP Trigger fibers. They kick ass. Treated with Watershed waterproofing agent right out of the package, the material floats extremely well, and best off all is the durability aspect. The fibers stand true and tall and are easily manipulated and will not crush and fall apart like deer hair. I’m totally sold on them. Try the EP Trigger fibers on your own patterns and see for yourself.
30% chance of showers on Saturday with 70% of precipitation into the evening, and just a chance on Sunday. Sounds like perfect mayfly weather to me. See you on the water…
Saturday, November 25, 2017
Perfect trout weather the past few days with mild air temperatures and clouds. The Lower Yuba River is fishing pretty darn well. Flows have stabilized and are running at 1,123 cubes, water clarity is mostly clear with a slight tinge to it. My guests have had some killer dry fly fishing casting to selective risers on the calm flats both in the foam line and on the edges.
One day the hatch may happen in the afternoon, and the next day it could happen in the late morning. An angler needs to be flexible, and having two rods set up for both surface and sub surface presentations will be an advantage. I saw a few more salmon in the river this week, and a few more redds. Still though, there should be more in the system.
Wild rainbows from 8 to 14” are keying in on Blue Wing Olives (baetis) #18, and tiny Blue Wing Olives (pseudocloeons) #20-22. It’s best to make a few casts to a specific target, and if you don’t get a take, rest them a while or move to another target. 5X tippet is working just fine, but you may need to make a fly first downstream presentation to get a grab. Sparkle Duns, Hackle Stackers, and Loop Wing Parachutes have been getting the most attention. We have been getting a few rainbows on the swing as well using Alevins, and salmon fingerlings. Remember to strip your fly after your initial swing is done, most of the fish came on the strip. There is a few female Stub Wing stone flies drifting among the currents ovipositing, we saw two bigger fish that were out of reach hammer the floating prime rib dinners. To learn more about the Stub Wing stone fly click here; http://jonbaiocchiflyfishingnews.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-stub-wing-stonefly.html
More rain coming in tomorrow morning through Monday morning, an inch is expected to fall. We’ll see what that does to the river, if anything adding a little color from Deer Creek would be an advantage to the fly angler as those rising trout were extremely skitterish today. Partly sunny weather through the week with cooler temperatures. I’ve got some dates open for December, if you would like to learn more about the river, and increase your chances with technical dry fly presentations, or how to cover water effectively swinging, give me a call at 530.228.0487 and let’s get a date on the calendar. See you out there…
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Over the past few months I've come to the realization that there are too many ways to rig a leader for high stick nymphing, let alone the origins of such. It's really confusing for those new fly anglers that would like to participate in the craft. No matter the rig, the basic drift is the same employing depth, angle, and the drop. The link below is the last word on the history of high stick nymphing. Eric Palmer of Granite Bay Fly Casters (http://gbflycasters.org/) wrote an article on the history and the colorful characters involved from the beginning with HSN, and it's absolutely fascinating. The amount of research alone is mind blowing. Northern California's roots lie deep with HSN, and as a Nor Cal native, I'm extremely proud of that. Give it a read...
Ted Towendolly and the Origin of Short-Line Nymphing on the Upper Sac
Mild weather at Frenchman Lake yesterday, cloudy, sunny, misty, showers, windy, calm, and a mid day rainbow. We saw it all. Because of the warmer conditions, there is no shore ice to speak of, and muddy conditions exist for the walk and wade angler. The good news is that there are still plenty of fish in the shallows, we found they are scattered for the most part, but some coves have more hanging out in the neighborhood than others. There were a fair number of very small black flying beetles that were active and the trout were keying in on them. Rising fish and targets in the early afternoon, and many were very selective. Another observation was that the trout were not staying in one particular spot within a cove, they were roaming quite fast from spot to spot, searching for those beetles.
Effective patterns were pheasant tails, Jay Fair stripping flies in fiery brown, and dandelion emergers in black (closest fly I had that matched the beetle). All flies were unweighted due to shallow water we were focusing on, many of the trout were in 6 inches to 3 feet of water. Fishing pressure was non existent, just a few bait guys at Salmon Egg shoal. Be careful on the drive up the canyon when freezing temperatures are present, some of those tight curves do not have guard rails. Time is running out on the little desert lake, get some before it's gone...
Thursday, November 16, 2017
My annual Trinity River vacation/trip was pretty damn good this year for many different reasons. First off, it was some quality "Jonny B" time, and even more special my 52nd birthday. After grinding out a full season of guiding, living out of a truck, and being away from home, this trip was all about enjoying myself and having fun. Secondly, the river was in pretty good shape with some decent reports coming from both the upper and lower parts of the river. The stage was set, and the best part was my buddy Jimmie Marchio coming along for the trip who had never been to the Trinity River, or hooked into a steelhead. We stayed at the Red Hill Motel and Cabins, a step back in time with perfect accommodations for the no frills steelhead bum.
Heavy rain was in the forecast for our trip on the 15th, and the flows were right around 400 cubes. We dressed for conditions with our best rain gear and met up with our guide Brian Clemens of Nor Cal Fly Guides, who I would highly recommend. We floated the lower river under a steady rain all day, basically fishing for 8 hours straight. We did not eat, we did not drink, and only focused on strict drifts with the Jaydicator rig. Jimmy Leg stones, Golden Stones, Psycho Prince nymphs, and Red Copper Johns were all effective. Though we were soaked to the bone and a bit cold, it was a fantastic day.
The most satisfying part of the day for Brian and I was watching Jimmie fight and land his first steelhead of his life, he was stoked! He hooked into another beast of a fish that was estimated at 15 pounds, it cartwheeled and flipped out of the water providing a stunning aerial display, and then just as fast, it broke off, and headed for the pacific ocean at full speed. It was unreal. We hooked a few more adults, half pounders, and a few dinks during the rest of the day.
We were surprised that the river did not blow out, and that Canyon Creek remained clear. There was a ton of boat traffic, and we had many inexperienced oarsman drift right over our fish, or in our lanes. All the experienced guides were extremely polite and showed good etiquette towards us. We worked slow and methodically down the river and let most of the boats chase each other downstream to the take out, which gave us the opportunity to clean up their mess and reap the rewards.
That evening I was treated to a birthday dinner and was joined by Mike Brugh and Trevor Fagerskog of the Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers, Jimmie, while Brian and another top Trinity guide, Peter Santley sat adjacent to us. It was quite the celebration from the Indian Creek Lodge Cafe filled with fishing stories, smiles, and lots of laughs. Plans are already made to be there again next year for November 15th. Special thanks to Brian for giving me a few dozen of his deadly patterns! See you next time Trinity River. What a beautiful place to be.
In the past 24 hours, areas surrounding Grass Valley and Nevada City have received 5.2 inches of precipitation resulting in the Lower Yuba River to more than triple than the previous flow. Currently at 4:30 pm the flow at Parks Bar Bridge is at 3,232 cubes. Deer Creek jumped up significantly as well rising from 17.5 to 1,221 cfs. Water is very off color with about a foot and a half of visibility, just enough to get a few grabs if you put it on their nose. The forecast is calling for continued rain until tomorrow morning, then clearing through Sunday. Monday brings more rain. The upcoming weekend looks to be your best shot at a chance of the river somewhat clearing.
UPDATE: The river crested at 7,078 at 1 am on the 17th, it is falling rather quickly and now at 5,600 at 9 am.
Steak & Eggs would be a good place to start; dark rubber leg stones, and mottled yolk colored eggs proved effective in the last week. Look for soft side waters and BWO hatches to occur.
The concrete boat ramp at Sycamore is back to being usable, with higher river levels, and the fact Dry Creek has come up, you won't have to poach your boat over the lawn. I'll be out there working and getting into my winter time mode of reporting on the Lower Yuba River for the greater public. See ya out there...
UPDATE #2: The Lower Yuba has fallen down to 1300 cubes as of 6 am on the 19th.
Friday, November 3, 2017
In the upcoming months I will be speaking at the fly clubs listed below on a variety of different topics to be announced. In the works right now is an all new presentation for 2018 on "Fishing High Water/Spring Runoff Conditions" as requested by the Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers. Meetings are free to the public, and you're encouraged to join your local club, which I highly recommend as they have a lot to offer, especially to those that are new to fly fishing. I will also be making an appearance at the International Sportsman's Expo in Sacramento with presentations and casting demos. Make sure to click on the orange highlighted links for more information on locations and meeting times. More presentations may be added down the road, you can always check my schedule on Baiocchi's Troutfitters News Page HERE. I look forward to seeing you at one of these distingiushed fly clubs!
- Shasta-Trinity Fly Fishers, 11/8/2017
- Lincoln Hills Fishing Club, 11/13/2017
- Russian River Fly Fishers, 1/10/2018
- ISE, Sacramento, 1/19 & 20/2018
- Ca Fly Fishers Unlimited Tech Class, 1/25/2018
- Fresno Fly Fishers, 2/1/2018
- Kaweah Fly Fishers, 2/2/2018
- Santa Lucia Fly Fishers, 2/8/2018
- Grizzly Peak Fly Fishers, 2/14/2018
- Peninsula Fly Fishers, 2/15/2018
- Mount Tamalpais Fly Fishers, 3/8/2018
- Tahoe Truckee Fly Fishers, 4/19/2018