Spring has sprung in the Northern Sierra, and the seasons are changing. In the last week, I’ve noticed a major shift in bird migration with robins, and other songbirds seeking the foothills and higher elevations. It won’t be long before the warblers infiltrate the Sierra meadows for late spring and summer. Many rivers are high with flows but no matter if they are clear or dirty, these types of conditions often produce the biggest trout of the year as those fish they have the power to navigate big water, and the agility to feed efficiently. Plenty of water will be in the many systems for the summer and fall, we may be out of a drought, but we all know how California is and the future of precipitation is always in question. So with that bit of good news, let’s dive into current and future conditions of my native Northern Sierra.
Lower Yuba River
Current flows are at 4,500 cubes and have been creeping downwards in the last week. Though a tad high, the water is clear. A few fish are being caught, mostly with streamer patterns like minnow and sculpin patterns, and the standard black bunny leech. Hatches have been light in the last week and I have not seen a riser. Yuba Water Agency will continue to release flows from Englebright dam in the 3,500 cfs range and they expect that Englebright will keep spilling for the next week at the earliest. These higher than normal mean flows will most likely keep on going for the next month or more, and then YWA will continue with the agriculture flows through the end of August. Trout have to eat. Don’t let high water hamper your efforts.