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Fishing Report

Central Valley Fly Fishing Report

Central Valley Fly Fishing Report

Valley Striper Fishing -

With stable and hot normal summer weather the last two weeks fishing has really hit its stride. Fish are eating and up in the feeding zones most days. We are seeing trophy fish most days but if we get them to eat or a smaller fish beats them to the fly is a crap shoot. Bottom line is they are there and up in the feeding zones. Our shots at the trophy fish only increase as we move forward from here on out. We are catching fish on heavy sink to lighter intermediate lines just depends on the day. 



Lower Yuba River Trout Fishing -

I got a few days on the Yuba the last month and fishing has been decent. Flows came up July 1 to between 1800-1600cfs depending on the day. My clients have had the most luck throwing nymphs under an indicator but we have gotten a few fish each day to come up to a caddis, golden stone dry, or hopper pattern. With the good flows hopper fishing should be good this summer assuming last weeks heat did not bake them on the rocks. The bottom line is that as long as the water stays up summer fishing should be good on the Lower Yuba...if they cut the flows it can get tough. 

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Central Valley Fly Fishing Report

Central Valley Fly Fishing Report

Capt. Hogan Brown Reports on 6.21.20

Valley River Striper fishing has been really turning on with the stable hot weather. We have been having a great time out on the river! Lots of fish, some swimming, and fishing hard to find the trophies. Fish are actively eating throughout the day and we are seeing good numbers of quality size fish and even some of the true trophies. Most fish are coming on heavy sink lines but there is opportunity to throw some lighter type III and Intermediate lines at times. Fishing will only continue to improve over the next 2 months and we should see an incredibly good summer on all rivers for striped bass. With some cooler weather next week but still stable hot weather fishing should only get better. 
Lower Yuba Trout Fishing has been GOOD! I spend a day out there last week and found quality trout throughout the day. Average size fish was a bit smaller then a few weeks ago but fish ate nymphs through out the day and when the wind died down we could find some fish willing to come up to a dry. The river is coming up July 1 to around 1800cfs which is a GREAT flow for wading and floating, plenty of room for everyone. I would imagine with some cooler weather next week fishing should be pretty decent. 

 

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Central Valley Fly Fishing Report

Central Valley Fly Fishing Report

Capt. Hogan Brown Reports on 5.28.20

Lately, I have been spending the last few weeks back to guiding on the Lower Yuba River rowing the drift boat. In the next few weeks I will be transitioning to my normal summer/fall routine of striper fishing through October. I have plenty of openings still for some late spring early summer Yuba Trout trips and Summer Striper trips. I will post those dates below as well as my “COVID Era” adjustments to my guiding that I am practicing for everyones safety.

OPEN DATES

May 29

June 6, 8-10, 12, 17, 22-27, 29, 30

July 1, 6, 9, 10, 13-17, 20-25, 29-31

August 5, 22

Valley Striper Fishing – Fishing has been getting going on a few of the valley rivers as others have seen some BIG flows jumps and mud with the recent rains. Also anytime it rains and the temps drop like it did water temps drop as well slowing the bite.

The Feather is starting to enter into its summer fishing program with some stripers, Bass, and Shad. The feather is a really cool fishery and one that not many people fish…it is VERY challenging to navigate in the jet boat and fishing can be pretty technical but rewarding.

The Lower Sac blew out with the recent storms and is just coming back into shape. Clarity and flows are fishable but the water temps dropped slowing the bite down a bit. There are also good numbers of shad around and that can affect the bite but also pull our resident fish back up river so things are shapping up for a GREAT summer out here.

Early June on lower water summers can be AMAZING fishing on the Sac and Feather and I am definitely looking forward to getting out there more!

Lower Yuba River – Fishing has been good to great. The last storms added some color and flow to the river and we had some pretty silly fishing with the off color water. Even before and after with flows around 1300cfs and the water bordering on gin clear fish were feeding and active. Hatches have been mixed and inconsistent with the wind and weather of a normal spring. The last few days the most prolific hatches have been flights of little yellow sallies in the mid morning but I am sure with the heat forecasted hatches are going to be pushed to the morning and evening. I did see my first few golden stoneflies flying around and there was plenty of dark caddis when the weather cooperated as well as a few late PMD’s but the fish were not up any of the days I was on the water…we managed a few fish blind casting caddis dries but there was no consistent risers that I could find. I am sure the bite will tighten up with the heat but consistant weather should get some hatches going even if they are early and late. Ounce the weather goes back to mid 80s next week I am sure fishing will be good again. The average size of fish on the Yuba has been very good as well. We are seeing numerous FAT 16-18” fish each day and then plenty of hard fighting 12-14” fish.

Most of our fish are coming on nymphs under the indicators but in spots we are blind casting caddis dries and pulling some smaller fish up. Rubber legs, Red Copper Johns, birds nests, Amber Wing Dictators, and Yuba Pupas have been getting the most fish. Fish seem to be caddis and atttractors that fit the “little Yellow Sallie” profile. Riffles have fished better then flats and that goes with what the fish seem to be favoring as there are not mayflies coming off in any number to pull them to the flats and mayfly nymphs are hard to get a grab on.

June can be a great month on the river and I usually spend a few days out there as long as it doesn’t get too hot so I am looking forward to throwing some big golden stone dries and nymphs myself.

MY COVID PRORAM

- I ask that anyone who books a trip be healthy and have not been exposed to anyone that is sick or has been heavily exposed. 
- Clients can cancel at any time without penalty if they are not feeling well, feel they have been exposed, or are not comfortable with coming or traveling. 
- I will not be providing lunch, I will ask that clients provide their own lunches. 
- Water will be provided in disposable water bottles. While this pains me, I think it is the safest thing and is the recommended thing to do. 
- I will sterilize all gear and my boat everyday based on recommendations.
- Hand sanitizer will be provided in the the boat for clients to use. 
- Face covers in the form of "Buffs" is recommended but not required, and if it makes clients more comfortable I am OK wearing my own N95 mask.
- Clients will be met at boat ramps and not transported in my vehicle (short rides from meeting spots will be an exception on drift trips) from hotel/motel with drift boat trips shuttles are TBD.
- I will be offering half day, full day, and evening trips with flexible meeting times to allow for same day travel. 
 
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Lower Yuba Fly Fishing Report

Lower Yuba Fly Fishing Report

Jon Baiocchi Reports on 3.10.2020

Fishing still remains to be good on the Lower Yuba River, and spring has sprung with more wildflowers out, and new birds returning to the region. The cliff swallows are back, and I saw my first Osprey yesterday circling above the river looking for a vulnerable rainbow to snatch up. Songbirds and warblers are making an appearance as well. I love watching the birds and how they interact with the current conditions for food sources, like the hermit thrush patiently waiting on the cobblestones next to the bank anticipating a Skwala snack. They’re not dumb.

It was nice to see some light and steady rain grace the land this past weekend, just enough to keep the dust down and recharge the green colors of the foothills. We had nearly a half inch of precipitation fall in Nevada City for the last 48 hours. Not nearly enough, but we’ll take. The flows out of Englebright dam remain stable, and Deer creek barely bumped up during the storm so no new color was added to the system. Currently the combined flows are running between 970 and 980 cubes. From Yuba Water Agency’s website “Current snow survey data and long-range forecasts indicate dry conditions. For water conservation purposes, releases from Englebright Reservoir have been decreased to maintain Lower Yuba flows above the required minimum flow of 788 cfs. If weather conditions change, adjustments to flows will be re-evaluated.” Fishing pressure has diminished a little and there were very few anglers out this past weekend compared to the weekends of the past month, yet last Tuesday there were 10 vehicles on the north side of the Hwy 20 Bridge. Go figure, it must be the weather. 

As for the aquatics, there is still a ton of Skwalas out, and as I’ve said before I’m seeing more spent adults. When it comes to Skwala activity, it all depends on the warmth of that particular day. Yesterday it was cooler and there were not as many adults running around the cobbles like last Tuesday and Wednesday. I flipped rocks along the shoreline and sure enough I found a little over a dozen in a few minutes as they were seeking shelter and waiting for some solar radiation to heat things up. I’m seeing more March Brown mayflies (Rhithrogena morrisoni) during the middle of the day, the same PMDs (Emphemerella infrequens) too with the pinkish abdomen and the orange thorax. Many factors such as diet or natural selection may influence the coloration of mayfly species. The Yuba river streambed having a slight reddishpink coloration due to the type of algae coating the cobblestones, impart to the nymphs, and in turn the duns a pale pink staining.  There are some Pink Alberts (epeoris) in the mix as well and also some BWOs (Baetis) which were more prolific over the weekend with the rain and cloudy conditions. On our float yesterday I saw those rusty PMD spinners near the Aquarium section again around 10am, yet this time nobody was eating them. I’ve also noticed an increase of multiple species of caddis out and have definitely witnessed fish eating them here and there while the females are returning to oviposit on the water’s surface. I have not seen any Brown Duns (Amelitus) in the last week and no new shucks on the rocks, but I’m sure there is still a few around. Yeah, lots of aquatics in the mix for sure with a daily and constant dose of midges that is so prolific within a tailwater system. It’s fascinating when drifting on the river for miles how each riffle and run has different hatches, especially when it comes to the mayflies. It has made me realize that a basic fishing report is kind of obsolete. You got to be there in “real time” to see just what is happening as every hour is different, as well as the day.

There are many new trout/steelhead redds that have been constructed in the last week with visible fish on them. Please do not interfere with them by fishing, and be extra careful while wading around the redds. Though flow regimes and loss of habitat is the main culprit for low populations of trout and steelhead in the river, wading through the redds and crushing eggs and alevins doesn’t help either. Please be aware, and help educate those who are new to fly fishing about spawning beds. 

My guests and I are still not nymphing so I will have to recommend those indo rigs from the last report when I drifted with Brian Clemens. Big and little rubber leg stones, baetis nymphs, zebra midges, red copper johns, Hogan’s flies (S&M’s, Red Headed Step Child, Military Mays), and JuJubees. As for dry flies, just carry different emergers and adult mayfly patterns for the species listed above. The Unit Skwala tied in my own personal way is still crushing fish, especially those that see less pressure, or are in the rougher crap water most anglers just walk on by. 11am to 4pm on most days are the magic hours to be head hunting with fly first presentations. Oh, and btw – 5X makes a big difference when it comes to receiving eats on the Skwala dry, but you got to be careful on the hook set or you’ll pop the fly off.

Looks like it will warm up again and dry out heading into Friday where there is a chance of another small storm which will move down from the north this coming weekend. Colder air is the easier part of the forecast, though the exact track of the system and snowfall amounts are harder to evaluate this far out. We should see this system move in Saturday into Sunday. For the fantasy range forecast, the models keep the trough over the West with negative height anomalies over CA through the 3rd week of March. That would keep the door open to more systems dropping into CA from the north/northwest. That could bring us another weather system for early the week of the 16th, and possibly another system later that week into the 24th. No Bid Daddy storms looking ominous on the horizon, but we’ll take any kind of precipitation at this point. So many fisheries and watersheds all over the state are producing right now. Get some while the getting is good! See you among the cobblestones of the Lower Yuba River…  

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Lower Yuba Fly Fishing Report

Lower Yuba Fly Fishing Report

Jon Baiocchi Reports on 2.6.2020

It’s been pretty good on the Lower Yuba River, but the air temperatures will greatly affect Skwala activity, and also the mayfly hatches. The last two days with the extremely cold north wind really hampered the dry fly fishing. In fact last Monday was the coldest day I can remember on the Yuba River. That north wind cuts right through you and it’s enough to give one an ear ache for days. Here is an example of how the air temperature and wind chill affect Skwala activity. On Saturday, the first of February, I was hosting group #2 from Tri Valley Fly Fishers at Hammon Grove. That day we saw dozens of stoneflies in the willows, on the rocks, and in the drift. We saw many blow ups from the trout eating them as well. This past Monday, I saw one Skwala out, with only a few rise forms. Where do they go? They simply hide out under the cobbles and wait for another day that is warmer. For the mayflies, it’s a different story. They have a 24 hour life cycle, where as a stonefly can live for a month or longer. Cold wind can affect the water temps from coming up a few degrees which is part of the trigger mechanism that mayflies use to hatch. The other aspect is that with a strong wind, the duns are not on the water as long and are simply blown off the surface, much to the trout’s dismay.

The flows have come down and Yuba Water Agency has cut the flows back a little from the lack of precipitation and is currently running at 1,093 cubes – Love it! There’s more to come too, from their website this morning: “Current snow survey data and long-range forecasts indicate dry conditions. For water conservation purposes we will decrease releases from Englebright Reservoir on Tuesday 2/4, Wednesday 2/5 and Thursday 2/6 by 50 cfs per day, from 1,000 cfs to 850 cfs. If weather conditions change we will reevaluate and look at adjustments to flows. Releases from Englebright Reservoir are managed to comply with license flow requirements.” Fishing pressure has been busy especially on the weekends. The lack of fishing etiquette has been disturbing, especially from new guide boats, and new pilots of public boats. We had three boats drift right through a foam line with rising trout that my clients were fishing last Saturday, and they didn’t even acknowledge that we were there. I’ve been in the same situation before where veteran drift boat guides would drift behind us as to not disturb the feeding lane we were fishing in front of us. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again – Communication from those behind the oars goes a long way.

So I’ve been working closely with Brian Clemens on trips where our clients do a day with him in the boat, and then a more instructional day with me on how to best approach the Yuba River on their own as a walk and wade angler. Brian has been doing really well nymphing from the boat. He’s covering the most productive water, with the right flies, and at the right depth – for miles. The best bugs for the indo rig have been Clemens’s Skwala Stone, Clemens’s Bad Ass Baetis, Jimmy Leg Stones, and the worm. The upper river has a little more color to it than down below, so switching to 5X has its advantages when the water is clearer. I’ve been on the upper part of the river a lot, and there is a ton of fish stacked up there right now. According to Brian the top and bottom sections of the Yuba down to Daguerre dam have the biggest amounts of fish in the system, while the middle section is just ok. You know how the Yuba works, the trout can be here today, and somewhere else tomorrow. If you’re not catching – Move!

For me and my trips, it’s all about the afternoons. Hunting selective trout from the bank is so much fun! It’s very challenging and technical, but when you do have some success it’s simply so rewarding. That type of situation is what I live for whether it is me fishing, or my guests. Mayflies start appearing round 1 pm or so, look for the songbirds being active to help guide you. Two PMDs are out, a size 14, and a size 16 that is a little more yellow, and the BWOs in a size 18 as well. Once the fish are keyed in on the mayflies and are looking up, it then becomes Skwala time with the best fishing from 3 to 5pm. You’ll have better results with broken water than the flat calm water. The trout have more time to inspect your fly on the flat calm water. With more fishing pressure on the river you’ll often see the fish take a natural Skwala and refuse your artificial. Try changing patterns and see if they take it, if not, move on and find another fish. I’m totally booked up for February with regular guide trips, workshops, and the Pleasanton Fly Fishing show, but have a few dates open for March as of now. If you really want to learn about the Yuba, I can teach you the ways through Jedi training and mind tricks. See you on the water…

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Lower Yuba Fly Fishing Report

Lower Yuba Fly Fishing Report
Jon Baiocchi Reports on 1.30.2020 Conditions on the Lower Yuba River remain the same as the previous weeks except the trout are fully engaged on the Skwala stonefly, and actively looking for them in the drift. Fishing pressure remains to be moderate, and as expected, heavier on the weekends, but there is always plenty of room to find your own section of water too. The flows came up a tad during the last storm reaching 1,650 cfs. Nothing major at all and just a good little micro flush to disperse food items for the trout. Continue reading

Lower Yuba Fly Fishing Report

Lower Yuba Fly Fishing Report

Jon Baiocchi Reports on 1.11.2020

It’s been fun fishing on the Lower Yuba River the past couple of weeks. I really enjoy sharing the rhythms of the river with my guests and improving their skill set. My approach to guiding the Lower Yuba River is so much different as it is from a walk and wade perspective, where deciphering hatches and the clues that Mother Nature provides to usable information for the common fly angler. Reading water, proper presentations, casting, the best access, river history, local flora and fauna, flies, fish handling, the best flows, hook sets, fighting fish, and special leader formulas for every application known. I take pride in my trips, and not once in the last 23 years of guiding have I woke up at 4am and said “I don’t want to go to work today”. I really do love it.

Flows have been stable, right around 1,370 cubes, which is good as the trout can set up some long term homes and feeding lanes. Fishing pressure has increased, and some days are downright silly. I see way too many anglers racing upstream to try and beat the next guy, when they are passing up some really good water. All types of rigs are working right now but if want to play the dry fly game, you can take your time getting to the river ‘cause those heads and rise forms don’t even appear until after 12pm. Effective pattersn for nymph rigs include brown/gold rubber leg stones, red copper johns, Hogan’s S&M and Military May in BWO and PMD colors, and with this week’s weather and rising flows – worms in flesh, pink, and flesh colors. Swing salmon fingerlings and black egg sucking leeches near the head of runs.

So, what’s on the surface menu? BWOs, PMDs, Brown Duns, and Skwala stones. In the last week I’ve been observing more with my guests and helping them identify when a hatch is about to go off (it’s all about the song birds), the different species of mayflies, and trout behavior. The mayfly hatches have been really short, about 20 to 30 minutes, a little longer on cooler moist days as it takes longer for the mayflies to dry their wings from emergence and be able to fly off – Trout like that, they can take their time eating. One key to being more successful is to actually watch what specie of mayfly an individual trout is eating.  With 4 different aquatic insects to choose from, it varies. Here is an example; last Sunday my guest and I were fishing multiple foam line/feeding lanes in an area, and there were about eight different fish rising consistently. We were close, like 10 feet away so you could see every detail – To be honest it was incredible! Most of the fish were eating BWOs, but a few ignored them and would only take PMDs. There were Skwalas and a few Brown Duns circulating in a Merry-Go-Round foam patch, and the fish ignored both of them. Just plain weird. Trout behavior never ceases to amaze me. A classic “Masking Hatch” was happening, where other aquatic insects mask what most of the trout are really eating. To complicate matters even more, they can switch to a different preferred food item at any given moment. This is what trout fishing is all about – Solving the ever changing riddle.

Not many Skwalas out yesterday as it was too cold and not a lot of abundant sunshine. They chose to hide out under the cobblestones until a better day. They sure do like it warm. I’m amazed at how many anglers do not see them crawling around or in the drift. But then again you need to be on the water often to pick up the subtle clues and train your eyes to be able to pick up on those particular variances.

When it comes to that, I might as well be an Osprey. I just see the surrounding conditions of such so clearly – it’s all about putting in time on the water, and I’m very fortunate to be able to have those skills, and the time/job to hone them. I want to help other anglers though, and why I created affordable workshops to help increase a fly angler’s skill set. On February 12th I will have a Skwala Workshop on the Lower Yuba River. You’ll learn identification from male to female, habitat for the nymph and the adult, where and when they hatch, plus other rivers that hold good populations of them, emergence behavior, egg laying behavior, trout response to the hatch, recommended equipment, leader formulas, flies, presentations, and a highly informative handout that covers everything within the workshop. $150 per angler, limited to 4.  You’ll walk away after the workshop with a clearer understanding of the Skwala hatch, and how to be more successful when plying the water. Shoot me an email if you want in: baiocchistroutfitters@yahoo.com I have other upcoming workshops in the mix, so keep tabs on my blog:  https://jonbaiocchiflyfishingnews.blogspot.com/ or on my website’s news page: http://www.baiocchistroutfitters.com/fly-fishing-news/

It looks like we are getting some real precipitation this week, with rain, snow, and below average temperatures. We’ll see what transpires with the flows, and just have to wait and see how much falls from the sky. Feel free to contact me with questions, it’s that time of year when I have a little more time to answer emails (ha ha! up at 3am this morning to do so and get caught up!). Put the resource first, give back, help a newbie, and I’ll see you on the water…

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