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Lake Davis & North Fork Yuba Report

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Jon Baiocchi/Baiocchi’s Troutfitters reports on 5.18.2016

5/18 – Big changes were observed today at Lake Davis, namely the food source for resident trout was in abundance. Water temps have come up quickly and are ranging from 56 to 59 degrees; you’ll see slightly higher water temps in shallow flats/points with a dark mud bottom. Fishing pressure is moderate at the more popular areas, but solitude was found today by my guests and I in the more hard to reach coves. I’ve been expressing the fact that the populations of fish have been in decline for the past three years, much to the dismay of other guides and business owners. The simple fact remains; when you have anglers taking double limits, while the Department of Fish & Wildlife has not adequately stocked the lake, you have a reduced population. Lake Davis has a 5 fish limit, with 10 in possession. When in reality it should be a limit of 2 with 4 in possession. Voice your opinion such as I have by writing a formal complaint to the California Department of Fish & Wildlife commission requesting changes to be made to the management of Lake Davis. The bottom line is do not expect big numbers of fish right now, but do expect bigger fish, and the ultimate stillwater experience.

There are many choices on the menu in the way of aquatic insects. There are blood midges out from mid-morning to early afternoon in a size 12. Callibaetis duns begin hatching around lunchtime, and you’ll have spinners hovering overhead from the previous day’s hatch during the middle of the day. The spinner fall is in the late afternoon, but the fish are keyed in on the duns right now. Size 14, and dark. The carpenter ants are out and on the water in the late afternoon. The fish have already clued in on the ants and are taking them on the surface. They love that taste of formicidae. There are also smaller flying ants in red and black, and a few different beetles as well. Even more exciting is the fact that the damselflies have started to hatch. I saw swimming nymphs today and adults on the west shore. It will take a while for the fish to key in on them, and the bulk of the main migration is still weeks off.

Stripping is effective with a floating line as most of the fish are in the upper water column. Indicator rigs are getting it done though with your flies suspended 2 to 6 feet down. Fish are still scattered so cover water, and if you’re not catching – Move. Go to flies include the Albino Wino, Callibaetis flashback nymphs, Adams parachutes, Loco ants, and dark damsel patterns in hues of brown and olive. Look for resident rainbows to be more active in the weeks to come. The warmer the weather, the better for the damsel migration, and other bugs in the mix. Though I’m completely booked up until July 2nd, I’m taking reservations for the North Fork Yuba for July and August trips. I have some days available at this time but that will change very quickly once we settle into the summer mode. Contact me through my website at if you want in.

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