Happy New Year! We are almost through the holidays, we’ve eaten well, and hopefully a brighter and better world looms on the horizon. I’ve been juggling many things here in the office including an all new Skwala power point (you can check my presentation schedule HERE), guiding, fishing on my own, and other fish business related items that are never ending. Fishing is decent on the Lower Yuba River, though in the last few weeks we’ve had to work a little bit harder for them with some days being better than others.
Currently the river is running low at 758 cubes and clear. Even though we have had some weak systems push through, they have had little effect on the Yuba River rising, or even producing off colored water. We have wet weather ahead, but still too early to really tell just how much. Fishing pressure has been heavy near the easier access areas, after all it is Christmas break, and it seems there were lots of new fly rods under the tree this year. Two things will get you away from the crowds, hiking far, and fishing areas that are remote and hard to navigate.
On 12/26 I found the first Skwala adult sunning on the cobbles next to the river, so the hatch has begun! In 2019 I found my first one last year on the 12/27, so I beat that by one day. There are many nymphs active with a behavioral drift in the early mornings trying to relocate to the shallow calm side water where they can hatch. It will take the resident rainbows and steelhead a little while before they figure out what’s going on, and key in on this major food source. It’s only a matter of time.
If you haven’t read my latest article, “Skwala Primer for 2021 ~ Lessons Learned” in the December issue of California Fly Fisher, now would be a good time to do so. There is a ton of good usable info in the article. Check it out.
Other food items in the mix right now are a sparse BWO hatch in the afternoons. They are small too, size 18-20. I’ve heard of some good PMD hatches upstream of the bridge near the UC Davis property too, though really inconsistent. Alevins and salmon fry are now present in the system and the fish are starting to key in on this major food source as well. Last Monday while fishing solo, I was Tight Lining an alevin jig and hooked into a beast with wakes coming off the surface as it headed for Marysville, it was gone in a matter of seconds. Not much you can do with an animal like that and 5x. Still, it was really cool to experience.
Really looking forward to 2021, I have many workshops that will happen, hosted trips, regular guide trips (get on the calendar now for Skwala trips, dates are going fast!), a few more articles coming out, zoom presentations, and more time at the vice. Give me a follow on Facebook at JonBaiocchi, or Instagram @baiocchistroutfitters. As always, shoot me an email if you have any questions, need info, or if you want to book a trip at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you on the water…