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Lower Yuba River Fly Fishing Report

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Jon Baiocchi reports on 1.19.17

Releases from Englebright reservoir were cut drastically last Monday evening and the river went from 14k down to 5,165 cubes. Knowing there would be more clues revealed as to how the river may have changed, I drove down to get an accurate picture of such. I studied the river below the Parks Bar Bridge down to near the Hammon Grove Park area. The river’s course did not change that dramatically, but there are some interesting new side channels and islands popping up. It seems there could be more braided areas but no one will know for certain until the flows are down to 1,000 cfs. I’m by no means an expert hydrologist but the river structure has definitely been changed. We’ll know a lot more when the clarity improves as we will them be able to determine the bottom structure more accurately.

The willows really got hit hard. Many were ripped out from their established homes, while others that made it are in a frozen state of leaning downstream from the heavy flows. The woody debris fields are an impressive sight. There is also a lot of garbage lining the banks like plastic bottles, and other household garbage. In the future anglers should bring a trash bag and after a day’s session, make an attempt to fill it up and dispose of properly.

Access on the Hammonton road is good, high clearance vehicles can get through the washout, and other spur roads that lead down to the river. It will take a while, but added traffic will wear these areas into better shape. The “put in” seems easier now but again this area will need to be packed down by multiple vehicles to smooth things out. Right now, the Lower Yuba River is up and flowing at 10,383 cfs after the first storm that rolled through yesterday. I know its torture waiting for our rivers to clear up and come down throughout the entire state, but my streamer box is filling up quite nicely with some fresh patterns, and some long overdue tying sessions are being completed.

Be safe out there if you’re near big water, or getting some face shots on the board with all that fresh pow.

Jon Baiocchi
(530) 228-0487

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