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Lower Yuba River Fly Fishing Report

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Hogan Brown,

Hogan Brown Fly Fishing

Spent the last 4 days or so on the Lower Yuba River guiding clients. Fishing was fair to good depending on the day it seemed and the mood of the fish. Water clarity is about 2’ with a nice green tint and flows are at 750cfs. Fish seemed to be podded up, atleast actively feeding fish, and working a run that has fish in it I found to be the key. Our “grabs” came all at ounce in certain runs and then not at all for a while. Bug activity was pretty good but really mixed MANY different types of mayflies were out…a few march browns, PMD’s, Baeits, Brown Drakes…and I am sure some more I didn’t know. Skwalas are about done as the ones I did see were spent on the water after laying eggs and I did not see any in the rocks. I also saw a decent number of caddis and fish eating the caddis at times. They are the small early spring tan body dark winged caddis, like a number #16…For flies I couldn’t find any pattern day to day or even throughout the day. Fish were caught on march brown nymphs, baetis nymphs, olive caddis pupa, red copper johns, rubber legs, and a few different egg patterns. I switched patterns up ALOT trying to find a pattern and the pattern seem to be there was none, seemed more important to find feeding and willing fish. Dry fly fishing was poor on most days I think based on the clarity but we did get a few fish to bump a low riding skwala pattern. Tried fishing caddis and mayfly dries with no luck, that said I never did find consistently rising fishing just typical yuba one and done fish. 

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Jordan Romney, Jordan Romney Fly Fishing

The Yuba has been interesting as of late.  The skwalas didn’t show up in the numbers we had hoped but the fish would still take a well presented imitation.  It seemed like most of the fish we have gotten as of late have been on midges.  The fish are looking up in the afternoon making the dry fly fishing tempting but frustrating.  Trying to figure out what bug they wanted has been puzzling.  I like using a size 18 film critic but it seems like it works well one day but then refused the next.  The fish have been liking alevin patterns and san juans under the indo as a back up plan.

With the rain we got the river spiked and got off color but not the usual chocolate milk we are used to seeing.  The river is still very fishable if you know how to attack the edges well.  When identifying holding water on the Yuba you need to approach with stealth.  All the fish want is a little bit of current to break up the surface.  A lot of fish like to hold where you like to stand.  Make sure to work the edges before you go trampling through the deeper holding water.  

The march brown hatch is lurking, any day now really.  This is my favorite hatch on the Yuba, swinging a march brown soft hackle in shallow riffles takes patience but is by far the most rewarding way to catch a fish on this river.  

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