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Lower Yuba Fly Fishing Report

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Jon Baiocchi reports on 2.17.2016

Finally our false spring is coming to an end today with a forecast of up to 3 inches of precipitation for the foothills. We’ll have to watch the Englebright and Deer Creek gauges closely to see what transpires in the next few days. Regardless of how much of a flow is coming down the river and being blown out, the clarity is still not good; Englebright Reservoir keeps pumping out fresh brewed coffee in various degrees of visibility from 1.5 to 3 feet. I’m finding the water is a little cleaner in the lower Yuba River below Dry Creek (which is running clear). Flows at this time are 1,093 cubes out of Englebright dam, and 33 cfs from Deer Creek. Since the river has changed in spots from the high flows, be cautious crossing areas that you are familiar with, you can’t see very well through the dirty water, so probe with your staff befor you take a step. The latest aquatic insect sampling continues to show small baetis nymphs, ryacafilia free living caddis, worms, and a few March Brown clinger mayflies in the riffles. No big stoneflies, or other larger bugs have been recorded since the 16k pulse release, it’s all small ball. I have found at least a half dozen dead sculpins 2 to 3” long in the shallow back eddies, most likely victims of the movement of gravel and cobble from the last surge.

The skwalas have also been on the light side since the big flows, but they are out there. I really have to spend a lot of time investigating the side water, willows, and dry cobble to be able to find them. I did well last week in a 2 hour window fishing the dry with 6 fish, and just happen to be at the right place at the right time (think 1 to 4pm). Even with dirty water, a dark colored skwala adult floating against a bright sky does stick out and creates quite the silhouette for a trout looking up. Another fact is not all skwala rises are explosive. If you have ever just sat on the bank and observed a productive run, you’ll see rises of trout that are just a nose popping out briefly while slurping down a skwala adult. The bigger fish can suck down an adult in the soft side water without even breaking the surface, something I observed and learned on the Madison River fishing hoppers a long time ago. Keep in mind the adult skwala stoner can drink water and eat as well, and they live about a month as long as a bird or a trout does not eat them. There are still other quality hatches coming up in the near future for those of us that like fishing dry flies no matter how many or little we hook.

Nymphing is going to get it done right now, and swinging some meat and potatoes flies are another fruitful prospect. I have a little over a dozen trips coming up until March 6th so I will be even more in tune with the river. There are 13 days that I have open in March at this time if you’re interested in learning the river, techniques, tactics, and a thorough understanding of the entomology, and the hatches. Shoot me an email at baiocchistroutfitters@yahoo.com to get the ball rolling. 

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