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Monday, January 21, 2019

Lower Yuba River Update 1/21/2019

7 day flow graph from 1/13 to 1/21 at 6:00 PM

The past week has seen some gnarly weather here in Northern California. Big wind, heavy rain, and as of Monday morning low elevation snowfall like here in Nevada City. Before our last round of storms, the Lower Yuba River was fishing well with consistent mayfly hatches from noon until 3pm, and the start of seeing Skwala stoneflies drifting downstream in the foam lines. Nymphing with small dark flashy nymphs, and swinging soft hackles and salmon fingerling patterns was productive as well. Currently we are waiting for the flows to come back down and the river to clear, which the Yuba does quickly when Englebright dam is not spilling over the top, and Deer Creek is not pumping in sediment. At this time, Englebright dam is at 93% of capacity and not spilling, but Yuba Water Agency is dumping water. Deer Creek kept rising this morning into the afternoon from all of the low elevation snow melting into micro watersheds that eventually add up to larger flows. Deer Creek is dropping as of this evening. I’m thinking by this coming weekend the river should be fishable, and even if it is a little stained it will be better fishing as the trout and steelhead aren’t so shy and spooky. I’ll know more when I scout the river later in the week. 

As I've done in the past, I'm listing the important gauges for the Lower Yuba River for you to keep tabs on. You'll want to look for spikes on Deer Creek that will affect the conditions on the river. Many anglers and guides overlook what the South Fork is pumping into Englebright Reservoir, and also releases from Lake Spaulding. The SF Yuba is a very long watershed that receives a lot of water that heads downhill on the west slope to the greater central valley. It's not all about how much the percentage of capacity is in Bullard's Bar Reservoir, or the outflow. There is much more to the picture. 

Deer Creek: 

This is for the gauge at Parks Bar Bridge, a combination of Deer Creek and the outflow of Englebright Reservoir:

This gauge will let you know if Englebright is spilling over the top or not. Scroll down and look at the "% of Capacity" column, also check out the inflow, a combination of both the North Fork, and the Middle Fork of the Yuba River:

Yuba River Flow Forecast:

Gauges for both the South and Middle Forks of the Yuba River, scroll down towards the bottom of the page:

Best winter forecasting ever:

Like Crack for weather nerds like myself. Totally interactive:,-121.616,5

If you’re looking to improve your skill set, or learn more about the Yuba River, give me a call at 530.228.0487 or shoot me an email at to set up a date on the water. See you out there…

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