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Lake Davis And North Fork Yuba Fly Fishing Report

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Jon Baiocchi, Baiocchi Troutfitters

Lake Davis report

Cloudy, cold and unsettled weather haunted my guests and me last week, while dropping the water temps back down to 50 to 52 degrees. Fish are starting to rise, especially in the deeper water around the island. I have only seen a few surface next to shore which is a bit disappointing. Blood midges are out and they are big, a #10 pupa pattern is about right. Callibaetis mayflies are becoming more prevalent as well. The cold weather does not help with the Damsel hatch though, a few have been sighted swimming in the upper water column but in no way is it “game on” yet. Brown damsel patterns are very important during the early part of the hatch. Weeds are slowly starting to grow but we are a long way off from having those fertile underwater forests that grow to the surface. As far as fish behavior is concerned they are still scattered and not roaming in pods. One theory of mine is the rainbows are bigger these days, and tend to be loners while cruising for food. Stripping is starting to produce and keeping your fly about 3 to 4 feet down is best. Brown and olive wiggle tails, leeches, damsels, and Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ears have proved effective. Bobbicating is receiving the better numbers and hanging your bugs 3 to 8 feet down in 8 to 14 feet of water is sure to catch a few. Pheasant Tail flashbacks, Albino Winos, and balanced damsels are best. Overall fishing is fair. Warmer air and water temps will dictate favorable conditions. Stay tuned.

North Fork Yuba River

The weather of late has also vastly affected the North Yuba, last Friday water temps plummeted down to 42-46 just a few miles upstream from Downieville with a good amount of rain. As expected, fishing was slow. My guests did not really care because this was their first time exploring the most beautiful watershed in California, and they were so blown away! There are some aquatics out like Golden stones, Yellow Sallies, and a few caddis but these fish will not be looking up until the water temperatures climb to around 54. The optimum water temps for the NFYR is 58 to 60. It’s best to focus on the lower river from the highway 49 bridge to Goodyear’s bar and fish during the warmest time of the day. In this section you can also find brown trout up to 5 pounds in the bigger plunge pools, and catching them is not easy. Today (Monday) was totally different, a nice sunny morning and the water temps came up quickly. My guest and I had rising fish throughout the day and they were very selective, something I’m not accustomed to seeing on the NFYR. Lots of bugs out like many different kinds of caddis, Little Yellow Sallies (alloperla), PMDs, Golden Stones, Little BWOs (pseudocloeon), and the one those selective trout wanted, the creamy yellow crane fly in a size 18. Effective flies include E/C caddis, yellow humpy, bwo loop wing, Mangy Prince nymph, Copper John, and the Red Headed Step Child. The most impressive aspect of the river right now is the wild flowers like Indian Rhubarb, and the Live Forever succulents, mixed with the glowing greenery of our recent precipitation. With more trips coming up in the next week I’ll let you know about the water temperatures – It all revolves around the temps. I have over 2 dozen beats I know like the back of my hand from the many years on the river; very few know where the important feeder creeks, springs, and plunge pools are located. My July dates are starting to fill up for the NFYR. Allow me to guide you where the wild things are, you will surely be stoked!

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