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Lower Yuba Fly Fishing Report

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Jon Baiocchi Reports 11.24.16


I finally got a big project finished I started a few weeks ago, and accomplished a brand new PowerPoint that I will be showing at fly clubs, and the fly fishing show at Pleasanton, Ca for 2017. Creating a new presentation from scratch is hard work, but I enjoy every bit of it, it’s like tying a complex articulated streamer with stunning results.

I’m back on the Lower Yuba River and today (the 22nd) did not disappoint. Let’s first talk about the flows on the main river that were jacked from 800 to 1600 cubes on the afternoon of the 20th. During our last storm Deer Creek rose to 803 cfs, but has mellowed out again and is currently down to 25 cfs. Deer Creek travels a long way from Scott’s Flat reservoir and into Lake Wildwood before entering the Yuba. During its travel, the creek has dozens of other creeks (some seasonal) that add even more water. The old rule of thumb was to add the flows coming out of Englebright Dam ( and then adding in the Deer Creek station ( to get the total cfs. There is another station located at the Parks Bar/Highway 20 Bridge ( that combines the two and gives a more accurate reading of the flow down to Sycamore Ranch. Keep in mind there are other creeks flowing in this section like Brooks Creek (the one that blows out the washout on Hammonton Road), and Dry Creek that splits Hammon Grove, and Sycamore ranch. Be sure to bookmark all three of these sites for your future endeavors on the Lower Yuba River. Water clarity was really good today with a slight tint to it and a visibility of about 4 to 5 feet.

These are less salmon in the river and more spent carcasses on the banks, the seagulls and turkey vultures are doing a great job of cleaning things up, and other critters like bears. I found a few big poop piles from those guys today. Bacon and Egg rigs are still effective under a bobber, but with the higher flows make sure to add some more weight to your leader to get down. A good egg color right now is peachy king with an eye spot. This time of year to early spring, baetis nymphs become more active with hatches and spinner falls. Most anglers forget about the behavioral drift that occurs in the morning and evening. Make sure you have some BWO Hackle Stackers and Film Critics in your box in case of an emerging hatch. So if the egg is not working for you, try Hogan’s Little Amigo, or his staple S&M nymph, both are great BWO imitations. Today while scouting the river I stuck with a gold cone head Bunny Leech that has a gray/dirty blond with a copper flash scheme to it. It’s an all-rounder type of fly that could be taken for a minnow, or a flesh fly. Swinging and just enjoying the day was the perfect therapy after being in my office for so long. I received far more tugs than anticipated, a few LDR’s, and a humiliating break off. That was fun to experience today. There is nothing that bums me out more than coming upon a pile of beer cans, and other remnants of a party scene. Most of today’s youth just do not get it. You should always bring a trash bag with you for occasions like this, though I picked it all up, it’s still a sour thing to have to encounter.

Fishing pressure was light today and I only counted 5 anglers from the bridge down to just above Hammon Grove, I did not see any boats on the water as well. No reports from any of those anglers as they were too busy at the task at hand. I would rate the fishing condition of the river as fair, but being the Yuba, anything can happen at any time. My aquatic sampling today revealed the two bold players that have been dominating since the big floods from last winter and are still out in force, the free living caddis, Rhyacophila, and baetis. I was surprised to see even a few skwala stones in the mix. A few March browns and PMD nymphs were also present in the sampling. Precipitation is forecasted for tonight, and through the next week, so if you plan on fishing the Lower Yuba River keep an eye on the river with the links I provided. See you out there…

Jon Baiocchi

The Premier Fly Fishing Guide Service for the Northern Sierra;

(530) 228-0487

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