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North Fork Yuba River Fly Fishing Report

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Jon Baiocchi reports on 8.10.17


Flows are still a tad high for this time of year, but overall the fishing is great if you love small wild rainbows that shimmer like jewels in the Northern Sierra sun, and top water dry fly action. Water temperatures remain prime running 56 degrees in the morning and 63 in the afternoon for the upper watershed. It’s so awesome to see my guests truly appreciate a wild setting, the roar of the white water as it echoes off the canyon walls, and the Sierra Buttes standing guard to the west. Fishing pressure has been light, and now that the Downieville Classic bike race is over, the canyon is somewhat quiet once again. These rainbows are a hoot to fish for. They get so excited when a properly drifted dry fly comes through their lane, often throwing backflips over your fly and completely missing it. I have said this a thousand times, but if you’re new to fly fishing the North Fork Yuba River is the perfect classroom, it will teach you much about all the details of fly fishing for wild trout. During August it’s all about finding where the cold springs come in. Trout will congregate where these 42 to 44 degree flows come in. Downstream from a large spring we had the best action of the day last Monday, even though the water structure was not the best. Trout are just like any living creature including us, they’ll go where the A/C is, and other favorable conditions exist to be comfortable and happy. Same flies are working from my last blog post. Believe it or not ants are getting more attention than hoppers, strange but true. There are smaller dark crane flies out as of late, and still plenty of little yellow sallies. An interesting observation worth sharing again, my guests asked me why empty October Caddis casings were on top of the rocks for this time of year. It’s not from emergence, but from Water Ouzels (also known as the gray bird, the dipper) picking them from below the surface off the bottom substrate, and pulling out the pupa and eating them, leaving only the pebbled case behind as evidence. It’s fascinating how birds, mammals, and the fish rely on aquatic insects for their diet.  Conditions are prime on the North Fork Yuba River now, so get after it!

Jon Baiocchi
Nevada City, CA
(530) 228-0487

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