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Lower Yuba River Fly Fishing Report

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Lower Yuba River Fly Fishing Report

Jon Baiocchi Reports on 10.22.2019

I traveled back down to the Lower Yuba River from the Northern Sierra for a few trips, and just as expected, the river is fishing really well. Saturday’s weather was cold in the morning with a stiff east wind, but there was an ample amount of cloud cover, and with it, all sorts of adult aquatics out. Sunday was super nice and warm with bright conditions, not the best trout weather but that didn’t matter at all – Those silver bullets were chowing down all day long. Fishing pressure has been heavy at times, and you may have to go off the beaten path or wait an angler out if you care to fish a particular spot at the more easy access areas. There have been no new redds where I’ve been guiding on the river, yet I still see salmon migrating upstream through the riffles at various times during the day. The water is very clear and the flows from Englebright reservoir have been right around 1,350 cubes. The rainbows are podded up and where you find one, you’ll find five of them. From "Da Dean" of guides Frank Pisciotta, "When the fishing is slow, move fast, and when the fishing is fast, move slow". Sage advice. Many of the wild resident rainbows are in the 10 to 14 inch class and super-hot. A real handful for those new at this game, and my best advice is to not horse them in and let them take plenty of line out when they want to run, while still keeping tension. It’s tough for a rookie to take everything in at once, and there are so many steps involved until the fish is in the net. Everyday fishing techniques that are second nature to many of us, are serious summits for beginners to conquer. Think about it. A new fly angler needs the right rig with the right fly, the proper presentation to get the grab, a solid hook set, then fighting the fish effectively, and lastly sliding it softly into the receiving end of a net. I'm always so proud of my guests that put all the pieces in place to get the job done.

As for the bugs I saw a few different size caddis, BWOs, some really small PMDs, and larger Mahogany duns. I have heard of a few reports of Gray Drakes but I have yet to see one myself and cannot confirm it firsthand. The boys from GuideBox Fly Fishing also told me there is some decent dry fly fishing just before the sun sets, so keep that in mind. All types of rigs are working right know, and sub surface indo set ups are consistently producing the best. With more spawning salmon in the system, EGGS are a must right now and the best bead colors have been mottled natural roe, tangerine dream, and dark peach blood spot. I’ve also got some new innovative coatings with various shades of nail polish that really seem to do well and all I can say is “think outside the box” – Try different coatings the trout have never seen before. So with the indo rig, I’ll start with an egg about 9 inches down from my split shot, then I will trail a #16-18 Hogan’s S&M or Military May in dark olive, brown, or black, 14 to 18 inches below. Rubber legged stones have been picking up a few fish too. Try a dry dropper rig with something bushy on top in yellow or orange trailing a small baetis pattern in the shallower water below major riffles and the side water, you will be surprised. Lastly, solo dry fly, and depending on where you are fishing on the river will dictate what fly you will use for that. Observe more, and look at what type of bug the trout are actually eating and at what stage before making a selection from your box. Every section and riffle from the highway 20 Bridge downstream to Daguerre dam can have totally different hatches, and quantities of them, from prolific to sparse. I want to thank John G. from Diablo Valley Fly Fisherman for organizing another great outing, the Lower Yuba River Dry Fly Workshop. We are planning many more events for the club in 2020. If your club would like to do the same, just contact me at / 530 228 0487 and we can set up a totally custom event to cater to the club's needs. My full 2020 schedule for special events like the Native Sons Fly Fishing Tours which include the Truckee, Lower Yuba, North Fork Yuba, the Lost Sierra, and the Middle Fork Feather, and other specialized workshops, outings, and clinics (many in collaboration with Lost Coast Outfitters) will be up just before the first of the new year so you can plan ahead and get on my calendar. Well, a few days off to prepare for a week long battle, and then back up the hill to the Northern Sierra in search of large stillwater trout. I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of my boat the “Lilly Bob”. See you on the water…

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