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Lower Sac and Yuba Forecast

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Hogan Brown Reports on 3.17.2016

Well most of the water I fish is some where between blown out and flood stage or shades of a mocha with heavy cream and melted milk chocolate…I have found myself having to remember what a “normal” year or weather pattern is. The last few years, say 4-5 years, March on our valley tail waters like the Lower Sac and Lower Yuba have been some of the best fishing of the year. The March Brown, PMD, and caddis hatches on both rivers have been phenomenal and March and April have become some of the heaviest booked months of the year for most guides…Well that isn’t how it use to be, back before the drought and during a normal weather pattern The Yuba for example was blown out most of February and March and on a less then idle water year the river would fish starting early April to mid April, but take the last big water year we had in 2005 I think…I didn’t get on the Yuba with any consistency until Mid June and even then I was fishing the river at around 3000cfs. The Lower Sac was the same deal…while I don’t remember it with as much clarity I do recall fishing was pretty off and on based on storms and when the river blew out or not. It was definitely NOT this consistent good to great fishing from Redding down to Red Bluff we have seen the last few springs. So while all the recent rains have put a hamper on fishing it is for the best as the states water situation continues to improve and it is more of what “normal” should be for this time of year. Here is what I am keeping my mind on…

Spring/Summer Striper fishingThe Striper fishing on the Lower Sac out of Chico, CA from April (or when ever the river comes into decent shape) through October is going to be very good. The resident fish will have plenty of water and water temps will not be an issue as they started to last summer with low flows and the migratory fish will make big runs this year up through Butte City and on up into the Chico and Capay areas. If you are a Striper fishermen and have not fished the rivers systems in the summer for the resident fish it is a similar, but at the same time very different game then the delta. Prime Time is June - September

Shad Fishing - Not sure how this will all shake out on the Sac. Fish move fast on high water years and Who knows what the water conditions will be April-Early June this year…
Open Dates:May 14, 21June 6, 9, 10, 13, 17, 27, 28, 30July 6, 11, 13, 14, 25, 29, 30, August 1-3, 5, 6, 9, 27

Spring on the Lower Yuba River

Everyone gets bummed when the lower yuba blows out like it is right now and will be for a while…The internet chatter over the last few weeks would lead one to believe that the river is going to be dead when the flows finally drop. Well yes huge flows on the Yuba change the bug life and scour the bottom BUT this is not a bad thing…Change is good. High flows clean out debri, Will move all those huge logs that have been put on the bank by some government agency around to create habitat, bring in new spawning gravel for trout, steelhead, and salmon, and create side channels and all sorts of ares for juvenile rearing of all fish species. When the flows do drop the fish will be VERY hungry and usually NOT very selective. Fishing big attractor dries, streamers, big attractor nymphs will all work for months through the summer. The best summer i have ever had of dry fly fishing on the Yuba came after a big water spring where the river was blown out for months. Yes the bug life will change, your favorite riffle may be gone or change, your favorite hatch may be washed away but that is the Yuba. If an angler is looking for a river that abides by the rules of consistency the Yuba has never and never will be a good choice, these types of years just reinforce that a bit.

Open Dates:May 14, 21June 6, 9, 10, 13, 17, 27, 28, 30July 6, 11, 13, 14, 25, 29, 30, August 1-3, 5, 6, 9, 27

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