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Lower Yuba Fly Fishing Report

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Jon Baiocchi reports on 1.19.2016

It’s the calm after the storm(s), but it finally happened, and not just on the Yuba, but on many watersheds throughout the state were affected by raging high flows. That will happen when snow levels are high and it rains on an already decent snowpack. On the night of the 17th continued heavy rain pounded the state and I was up every few hours to check the gauges for Englebright dam, and Deer Creek. They kept rising and rising and the Lower Yuba topped out at 7,777 cubes by morning. Deer creek spiked as well reaching 3,130 cfs for a combined total of 10, 907 cfs. That’s beyond being blown and getting a good flushing. I’ve heard through reports that trees and other debris were seen floating down the river in a torrent of chocolate water. Cobble has moved and there will be some new structure formed with the hydraulics of such a flow. I’m sure the skwala stoneflies took a serious beating as they were beginning to stage on the side water and are easily swept away during such events. Only time will tell. This event is perfect timing for Ralph Cutter’s latest article in California Fly Fisher in where he writes about major flooding events and the effects to fish and the entire ecosystem of a river. Give it a read, it’s really good.

Before all this happened there was some fish caught on the skwala dry, and also with Quigley’s hackle stacker during the sparse “pinkie” mayfly hatches. It’s too bad but Mother Nature rules the roost, and I for one am not complaining – We need the water. Currently the combined flow this evening is around 3,250 cubes. So right now it’s a waiting game, and with another system due Friday into Saturday, it could be a while before conditions settle down into fishable water. On another note, just a reminder that I and many other contributors to the LCO fishing report will be presenting at the International Sportsmen’s Expo this coming Thursday through Sunday. There will be casting demos as well, and booths where you’ll be able to talk to guides and outfitters. I will be speaking at the fly fishing destination theater on Friday the 22nd at 4:30pm (Lake Davis), and on the 24th at 1:30 (Lower Yuba River). I hope you can make it to ISE, it’s the primer for the Pleasanton show. Enjoy the rain, I’m loving it!

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