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Lower Yuba Fly Fishing Report

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Jon Baiocchi, Baiocchi Troutfitters

I’ve been out on the Lower Yuba quite a bit in the last week; mornings have been foggy, and cool. When it does finally burn off the air temps have been incredible, almost too warm, and this past weekend was t-shirts and sweat. We need rain so bad it’s getting really scary, last I heard is dry conditions will continue through the middle of February. The river is still bouncing back and forth between 575 to 585 cubes. I like lower flows for walk and wade opportunities but this is ridiculous, drift boats are grinding, and prosperous riffles in the past are unfishable now. There is a ton of moss in the river since we’ve had zero flushing flows. It’s slippery, so bring your studs and your staff. Overall fishing has been a bit slow and fish are podded up in small groups. I’m finding more skwala shucks on the banks but very few adults, nothing like last year so far. I’ve seen a few fish take skwalas and you can’t mistake the rise as it is very aggressive most of the time. The good news is there have been some decent BWO hatches with fish keying in on them and rising with a rhythm. I spotted a few pinkies too, but not very many numbers. There are opportunities out there to get into fish; you just have to find them first.


The indicator rig has been the most productive, fishing transition zones and drop offs is key, and the best flies under the bobber have been small ball stuff. Hogan’s S&M, and Military May in sizes 16 and 18 are doing really well. The Red Copper John has been saving the day as well, again using smaller sizes. For the few skwala eaters, the Skwala Unit has been getting some fish if you make the right presentation. When targeting the BWO hatch long leaders and a loop wing parachute in a 16 or 18 is getting some serious attention. I have not seen a fish caught by my guests with larger stones, or worms in the last week; that’s really strange. We’re still having fun fishing on the Lower Yuba, it’s a special fishery that teaches an angler something new with every trip. That alone is worth the price of admission.  


Hogan Brown, Hogan Brown Fly Fishing

Yuba River Report…Flows are low and we need rain that is no surprise. The good news is fishing is fair with lots of options. There has been decent dry fly fishing, swung fly fishing, and nymph fishing, lots of options for anglers. Personally I have been nymphing the runs that I can and then getting clients out and swinging with switch rods or throwing dry flies in the pockets. The fish we have been catching are good size, healthy, wild rainbows. Hatches have been a mixed bag mayfly hatch with brown drakes, gray drakes, a few Baetis, and even a few PMD’s on warmer days. With 70 degree weather forecasted this weekend I imagine the March Browns and maybe some PMD’s and Caddis will get going.

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