I was on the river a few days this week, and last Saturday saw unfavorable conditions for most anglers. Today was a whole different experience. The water clarity has gained up to 3.5 feet, but still off in a poor looking color. The flows have been great right around a 1,000 cubes, though today they dropped it down to 760 after 12pm, then up to 909 cfs. Deer creek has tamed down to 36 cfs. The dirty water is coming from all forks of the Yuba and brewing in Bullard’s Bar Reservoir, and Englebright Reservoir. With the increase in clarity I was able to hook 6 fish from 1 to 4pm all on the skwala dry. What it’s all about. The smallest fish I have ever seen on the Lower Yuba River took a skwala today and put on the biggest fight, these rainbows are so powerful for their size. Remarkable. Nymphing has been spotty; I’ve received both good and bad reports. Those with success have been using San Juan worms in red, flesh, and golden brown, and small dark mayfly patterns with some flash to them. If you’re going to swing, go with a salmon fry or fingerling pattern, they are still in the system and available.
With this intensely warm weather I thought I would see more
adult aquatic insects about. I have seen the skwala stoneflies around, but in
small numbers. I’ve also seen some fishing rising for skwalas on the water’s
surface. Today in the early afternoon there was a very light bwo hatch #18 for
about 45 minutes, enough to get a few fish up on the surface. Covering water no
matter your rig will be more successful in numbers. In my ventures today I studied
the lower river and there have been big changes with the streambed there as
well. Huge loads of freshly moved sand, gravel, and cobble are noticeably evident.
There is some new habit for the local wildlife from the high flows receding
leaving sloughs and ponds far from the river in the cobble fields. The plus
side to these drastic changes is I have noticed way more holding water off the
bank, with depth, and a current flow of about 3 mph. I’m excited to fish the
new side water as the winter season carries on. There you have it, get out
there - see you on the water.