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Ben Thompson Outdoors Fishing Report 6/14: River Stripers and the Lower Yuba

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Ben Thompson Outdoors

River Stripers

River striper season is coming into shape for my favorite time of the year to chase linesiders. Some of the resident fish are starting to hang in their regular haunts, while a lot of them in the upper stretches are hanging around the large schools of shad. We have been having encounters with/seeing 10+ pound fish more often than not lately, and were fortunate to land a true giant this week. It has not been a huge numbers game most days, but covering ground and stripping those flies really aggressively with good pauses to make the clouser look wounded has been bringing us success.

It is important to make your fly stand out when there are so many baitfish around for them to eat. Standard Adachi style clousers have been the go-to, in a wide variety of colors that hasn’t seemed to matter that much from olive/white to chartreuse/white to black/purple. When the bulk of the shad leave the system, July, August, and September are my favorite months to hunt for big fish out there so we are just getting warmed up.

Lower Yuba River

Hopper season is upon us! The Lower Yuba has roughly 3300 cfs coming out of Englebright Dam. I very much enjoy these higher flows for hopper fishing from the drift boat. There is more flow all the way across the river, allowing us to fish the hoppers right on the bank instead of having to fish the middle of the river (i.e. during drought flows).

The staple of the Fat Albert with pink legs is always the go-to out there, but there are large grasshopper infestations in the area this year. As such, mixing in more naturally colored hoppers throughout the day can prove effective. Hopper dropper can be effective throughout the coming months in the riffles, and in deeper water try using two tungsten nymphs below the hopper if you can manage not to tangle it.

Look for caddis hatches in the evening throughout summer, and don’t sleep on the X Caddis or Mercer’s Missing Link during these hatches as well as the standard Elk Hair Caddis.

For nymphing, match the hatch and watch for little yellow sallies. When they come off, fish can get very aggressive eating them. Fox’s Pupa and Bird's Nests are always effective nymphs for the caddis, and when there is not a lot hatching I like to use a lot of Hogan Brown’s flies that were designed for the Yuba. Examples include the red headed step child, Hogan’s S&M in olive and the military may.

Other attractors like frenchies and a multitude of perdigon variations have also been proving effective in between hatches. For those who like to use a two handed rod, swinging Bird's Nests during a caddis hatch, leeches, and soft hackles in the riffles can get you hooked up.

My current open dates are June 20 and 29, as well as July 1, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 20, 25, 30, and 31. I have more information on my website and feel free to give me a call 916-743-8290.


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