The river I have been focusing my attention on this winter has been the Yuba. The fishing has been great if you are there on the right day. Probably one of the best winters I have seen thus far. The fish have been very moody though from day to day. A couple days ago it was tough going on a Monday and lights out on a Tuesday (moody fish).
The fish are in really great shape. Very healthy and full of energy. They seem heavier this
winter which shows they are eating. Keep an eye on the weather it looks like we have some
rain this weekend and next week. The river could get muddy but we will know when we know.
For those of you wondering a home how to tell if the river will be muddy download the fishhead
app onto your smartphone. Look at the Yuba gauge near smartsville and the Deer Creek
gauge. Add the two together and you can get the cfs for the river. Take a look at Deer Creek
flows if it gets over 400 in a short time frame it will put some color into the river. If it gets over
500 it will probably be real muddy. When Deer Creek drops and the main water source is
Englebright the river will start to clear.
Swinging small leeches or alvin patterns at first light has been producing a few fish. By mid
morning through the rest of the day has been nymphing game. The fish have been eating a big
mixed bag of flies. They are still eating eggs, there was a late push of fresh salmon towards the
end of December. I have found a good number of fish on a skwala nymph, san juan worms,
baetis nymphs, and alvin patterns.
The skwala hatch is just around the corner. I have not seen any real ones yet but they are
eating the nymph. In deeper runs I like using a heavier stonefly nymph. . For shallow runs (4’
or less) I a standard olive rubber legs.
On most days there has been a decent mayfly hatch from about 11:00 on. The color and size
has been tan and 18. I am a big fan of the split case bwo because it has a thin profile. I also
like Hogan’s military may because of the flash for overcast days.
Something new that I have been doing well on is a modified balanced leech. The pyramid killer
in white looks a whole like a bait fish to me. Take a red sharpie and lightly color the head
section. The way this fly sits under an indicator and floats down a river makes it look wounded.
The fish are on it.
I have Monday and Tuesday open next week for a guided trip. After that I will be busy presenting at the ISE show. The end of month and first week of February should be good too as long as the river stays in shape. The skwalas will be in full force then.