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Lower Yuba Fly Fishing Report

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Hogan Brown, Hogan Brown Fly

I spent two days on the Lower Yuba River over the weekend and fishing was poor to sorta fair. The river is low 550cfs and clearing everyday. I would say that it is about a few days away from gin clear. There are bugs out and fish eating but I think the low and clear flows are starting to really affect the fishing. I have yet to see a skwala adult but have risen a few fish to skwala dries, nothing I would term as “good skwala dry fly fishing” …. that said I am of the opinion that the skwala hatch is one of the more overrated hatches on the Yuba. I think many anglers get blinded by the throwing of big dry flies in january and forget about how many fish they actually rise or catch on a skwala dry…that said there are good days but it is pretty inconsistent compared to other hatches. 

Most fish that I saw come to the surface were taking Mayflies. There are some darker traditional BWO’s in a #18 coming off at times, some lighter size #16 mayflies coming off in what seems better numbers, and there are some bank emerging mayflies in a size#12-14 that around. They look like gray drakes but I think they are some sort of Isonychia. I saw a ton of them on rocks right at the rivers edge drying their wings and then got a picture of some schuks on the rocks as well.  We tried fishing #14 may fly and a #16 in likely mayfly water and did not rise a fish. Most of our fish came nymphing with rubber legs, egg patterns, and variations of flash back Pheasant Tails in sizes 16-14. One thing I did have to do with the lower flows is lighten up my weight and go to a much smaller nymph rig…smaller indicator and lighter weight. 
With the current flows I think the wade angler has the advantage in most spots as banging a boat down a run and then fishing it is a little tough and there is not enough flow in the flats to make the deeper water a likely holding place. I think the best thing for a boat angler is to actually get out and wade fish the runs before putting the boat down them. Just my 2 cents.

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