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Lower Yuba Fly Fishing Report

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Jon Baiocchi reports on 3.21.18

Lower Yuba

The Lower Yuba River was fishing really well with the continued success that I have been getting my guests into for the last few months, then heavy rain slammed the northern California region and the river blew out big time. On the 14th the Yuba got up to 7,627 cubes, while Deer creek reached 2,859 CFS adding a whole bunch of muddy water. Typical of this type of storm, Englebright spilled over and the river has been running high ever since and currently flowing at 4,493 cubes. Just like last year, I’m rescheduling a bunch of trips, I just want to thank my guests for understanding that Mother Nature has full control of the situation.

So let’s recap the conditions on the Lower Yuba River just before the blowout. Skwala stoneflies were in the phase of waning, there were still adults in the drift during the late afternoon, and of course, the fish were still aware of them. Strong hatches of PMD’s and the trout were on them. A few March Browns, seemed like there was more the first week of March, but you know how every day is different. Little green stones were out a really cool and relatively unknown stoner. A little bigger than a yellow sally, with a medium green color in a size #12. The neatest aspect of this stone fly is that it mostly emerges mid-stream, and not on the rocks. I learned all about this bug years ago on the Middle Fork Feather River where it typically hatches in May into June. Yep, conditions were awesome, and my clients still were not using nymph rigs; Confidence and dry flies, with the total visual experience.

We are going to get slammed again this coming week starting on Tuesday with heavy precipitation. The flow predictions for our latest storm on the Yuba River is expected to reach 27,000 cubes. Records are going to be broke after this next storm, and March of 2018 will be the snowiest one on record and beating overall monthly snowfall in January 2017. 6 to 8 feet of snow fell from the last storm in the upper elevations with more on the way, we got lucky this year.

Speaking of high water, in the April issue of California Fly Fisher I wrote an extremely informative article on “Tactics for High Water” It’s a recap of last winter and how we relearned to fish gigantic flows with Short Line Nymphing, and Streamers. You’ll learn about leader formulas, equipment, water to target, techniques, and flies. The article is definitely a keeper that you will be referring to over and over. Check it out. Looking forward to getting back on some moving water with good hatches, seems like it will be later than sooner. 

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