To be quite honest, the Lower Yuba River has been extremely tough the last week. I’ve thought of dozens of possible scenarios that could be affecting the river, but one fact remains; their staple diet of the usual aquatic insects has changed due to the high flows that have scraped most of them away downstream. I don’t pump the stomachs of the wild rainbow trout, never have, though I’m curious just what they’ve been eating. I’ve tried to play the small ball game with tiny midge pupa thinking that was the most available and preferred food item, to rubber legs, and worms. Nothing really seems to be the go to fly right now. My guest and I have had the most success with the Skwala adult, with little to show in the numbers department. Reports from my crew told me a few fish have been caught using Salmon fry patterns, but again in very low numbers.
I got a report from a past guest of mine form last week, here is what he had to say; “Today I fished the UCD section with the club. Fishing was not easy today especially in the morning with clear skies. Caught three 15-16" fish indicator fishing using the rubber legs in the Yuba fly set. BWO hatch started about noon probably extended early afternoon when cloud cover and air temp dropped. Found a pod of fish and caught three more on flashback PT nymphs. One angler had good luck with Skwala dries in the afternoon.”
The Skwalas are still out, I’m finding a couple dozen during a session and it’s just so damn frustrating that most of the fish are still not looking up. A few pinkies today brought a few risers up with their famous “one and I’m done” behavior. A few bwo’s as well, but I’m seeing more spent spinners in the back water than emergers in the film, and adults riding high down the micro currents. The water has really cleared up, almost too clear. Flows have been steady around 1,070 cubes, and deer creek has not been an issue with the lack of precipitation of late. Yesterday my guests and I saw no other anglers except one boat, today was different with 3 anglers on the bank, and two boats. That says a lot right there.
This will all change during the next 10 days as a series of
strong storms will be pounding the region, even though the wildflowers are
blooming with Pipevine swallowtails flying about. Nature says spring is here with
the melodies of songbirds, and both Sandhill cranes, and Canadian honkers
flying north. Weather forecasters are call for 6 to 8 inches of rain here in
the foothills, and 5 to 10 feet of snow in the Sierra. Another miracle March
may be happening again, though I have read that a ridge of high pressure may
dominate the latter half of the month. I expect the Lower Yuba River to blow
out several times. It is what it is; time to find some other water with a hope
the river will come back into shape. Looks like I’ll be doing a lot of tying
and writing in the near future. See ya on the water… Jon Baiocchi