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Fishing Report

Lost Coast Outfitters Fishing Report April 2023

Lost Coast Outfitters Fishing Report 4/15/23

Spring Fishing has begun! We are stoked to have the report back up and running. We are now working with additional independent guides throughout Northern California as well. Ready to provide a consistent source of up-to-date information for all of of our local waterways and beyond.

The Bay/Beach: The beaches are on the edge of turning on. The bulk of our beach adventures have had to occur further away from home.. areas such as Monterey and Santa Cruz have found schools of striped willing to take a fly. As the bay clears up and water temps begin to rise slightly, more fish will become readily available off of Ocean, Baker and Crissy!

Take a look at our Local Surf Clinics or Call the shop for more info!

Lower Sacramento River:
The Lower sac is currently on fire and fishing great. The section above Highway 44 closed on April 1st and will remain closed until August 1st when it reopens. It does not matter though because the rest of the river is putting up some big fish. The flows are sitting at 3,120 below Keswick and the higher up tributaries have already cleared up. Most of our trout waters are already back in play. In the last week we have seen big hatches of PMDs, march browns, BWOs and black caddis, varying day to day based on sunlight and clouds. We have been catching fish on size 14 march brown pheasant tails, size 16 black fox's pupas, size 16 olive S&Ms, peaches and cream, tech junkie, black birds nests, sweet peas and sucker spawn variations. As temps continue to rise the hatches will get bigger and little sallies will be in play, as well as hopper dropper being a good option in the feeding lanes of the skinnier riffles. 

Lower Feather River-

The Lower Feather River flows just dropped to around 1100 in the low flow but it still around 9k in the high flow. We have been catching fish in both. There are a lot of fresh spring steelhead in the system and April and May are some of my favorite months to be out there. I was out there three days ago and fishing was great, lots of suckerfish are stacked up and getting their black stripes on the sides in their normal haunts, putting the steelhead on the chow. Go to flies have been sucker spawn and alevins as well as red headed step childs and caddis. Similar to the Yuba's current big water state, soft seams and slower runs will often be the best producers. The spring is the best time of year out there to swing a fly out there and they eat it aggressively. 

Call Ben Thompson to get out on the Lower Sacramento Or Feather River: 916-743-8290

Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta

Delta is still challenging to fish, been managing around 10 fish or so over the past week. Finding cleaner water can be difficult as silt is floating around with the tides. Water temperatures are around 60 degrees but clarity is only around 2’ or so. The Steve Adachi Black with grizzly hackle Clouser has been doing the trick in dirty water! On a positive note, each day this past week we’ve had shots at a 10+ lb fish, a few solid 3-5# fish & some shakers in the mix. Hopefully the waters continue to clear up & more fish show up for the Spring Spawn!


Call Bryce Tedford for trips on the Delta year-round: 206-696-2437

Lake Berryessa - 59-63 f
7-9ft via
Float and fly bite is solid and will continue to be for the next two weeks. Right now the best bet for lakes in the Bay Area. Lake is 9ft below spillway. 
Lake Sonoma - 48-55f
2-5tt via
Float and fly bite is also happening, but only on dry creek arm, warms spring side is still very dirty. Bait is abundant and the lake is full! 
Napa River / Bay 58-61f 
Water still dirty in the SP bay/Central Bay. There is clean water and stripers to be caught, but we won’t see a big push of fish until second or third week of May. Stay tuned. 

Call Patrick MacKenzie year-round for guided trips on the Napa River: 707-721-6700

Hogan Brown Reports Lake Oroville Bass- 

The lake is nearly full, water falls are flowing, and timber is flooding. Fish are on the feed during the morning and afternoon with a bit of a slowdown from 11am-1pm. Fishing the float n' fly is catching the most fish but fish are shallow enough that a popper dropper or streamer rig is also getting fish. Fishing should remain good through April into June

Ryan Williams Reports Lake Oroville- 

The prime spring season is slowly shaping up. Water temps are still cold at 52-56. Once the temps hit 60 the action will really turn on. When this happens the 50-100+ fish days will start on the main lake. Still waiting on the topwater & streamer bite to begin. Should begin around the 60 degree mark or even a bit less. For the time being it's all float n fly. Going anywhere from 6'-9' leaders. Currently we're getting about 20-40 fish per day between two anglers. Lots of really nice bass being caught lately, hard to find small ones. Big full bellies getting ready to spawn in the next month or so. The bite is going all day. Mornings and evenings have been best, but we are catching fish throughout the afternoons. Some afternoons have really shaped up to fish really well, producing bigger fish. As far as structures go, we have been fishing lately on points, tributaries, and shade in various canyons.

If you are itching to try Float and Fly Fishing with a fly rod The Cal Bass Union can get you Dialed in! 


Matt Heron Reports on the Truckee River- 

Although the Truckee River looked like it was going to blow out last week with the warmer temperatures, in the end, it didn’t. The water definitely came up on the CA side but has been receding by the day.

With all the snowpack this year, I’d still call current conditions pre runoff. The river is up, a bit off color (2-5ft of visibility) depending on day and location but is nowhere near what it’s going to be when we start to see consistent air temps in the 50-65 degree range…it’s coming.

Flows are hovering just under, and just over 1,000 cfs. in town and through the canyon.

As far as fishing goes, it’s exactly as we’d expect…size, not numbers (with exceptions!). Most fish our guides are running into are in the 13-20 inch rage with opportunities each day for a true Truckee River giant. These conditions are why we love the spring! Typically, the Truckee kicks out way more rainbows then browns but the tides are turning. Browns love the spring and big water and it’s starting to show with more browns in the net by the week.

Flies- Our crew is getting fish on a variety of nymphs: rubberlegs, skwalas, eggs, worms, march browns, and of course baetis and midges. If the water starts to get muddy, you can typically take baetis and midges off the menu and go bigger with more flash. 3-4x tippet will do the trick this week.

If you get lucky you may run into a few noses even with the water being up. Look for baetis, march browns, midges and skwalas. You never know when that 24in brown will let is guard down on a well presented dry. And yes, it does happen this time of year.

Not surprisingly most fish are being landed on bobber rigs, Euro set ups and streamers. If you’re a streamer angler, now’s the time.

This season’s bookings are in full swing, here’s a taste of what we have going on: full and half day guides trips, NV side float trips, our daily classes on the ponds will start around mid May, and our wildly popular 2 Day Truckee Trout School dates were just announced for this summer (101, 201 and Youth/Family).

Putah Creek

Slow start to our Putah Creek Fishing Season. The rains kept us at bay due to limited visibility. Current conditions are challenging as Hwy 128 is currently CLOSED. This is a note pulled off of The Cal Trans Website:


Join us Wednesday April 26th from 5:30pm and on at the Shop for our

Putah Creek *Shop Talk* 



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Lost Coast Outfitters Fishing Report 12/14/22

Lost Coast Outfitters Fishing Report 12/14/22

Upper Sacramento: It’s winter, who knew?! Access is tough on upper river just due to snow. If you’re sniffing around the Upper Sac, stay below Conant for less snow and easier parking/walking. Anglers fishing the McCartle area have reported decent catching. Stick to small mayfly nymphs #16-18, Rubber Legs #8-10 and small yellow egg patterns to boot. Nothing unusual to report, fair fishing if you are willing to put in some time. The water is a little lower than normal, but that’s largely due to the cold temps and no snowmelt/rain.

Pop in or Call Ted Fay Fly Shop for up to the minute reports. 

Lower Sacramento: Fishing well, as it often does in winter. Strong BWO hatches and good nymphing, S&M, Psycho May. Small Pheasant Tails #16-18 mayflies, anything olive baetis looking. Attach a bobber, and just add water. While strong hatches don’t always translate to good dry fly fishing on the Lower Sac, it’s certainly possible and it pays to keep an eye out for heads sipping adult mayflies. Releases out of the dam are on the low side for this time of year hover around 3000cfs.

Call Dustin Revel for a day on the Lower Sac: 530-921-1563

Putah Creek: We are under a voluntary spawning closure right now. It runs December 1 st through March 1 st every year. Yes, the creek is technically open to fish, but please give these wild trout a break and venture elsewhere. If you want to watch some spawning activity, take a walk along the trails next to the creek and look for big fish in pairs or pods over clean gravel in moving water. Super cool and educational.

The Delta: Beautiful conditions post storm. Clean water through much of the Delta, but a fairly tough bite. It’s between season out there, and the fishing is marginal as expected. Water temperatures are below 50 degrees and fish are in their winter pattern. Look for flats where the water will warm a bit through the day. Sometimes it only takes a couple degrees to turn on the bite. 10-20 fish/day for the boat is a good day right now and you need work for them. This isn’t big fish time, but still some decent fish reported, in the 5 pound range. Nothing to get super excited about currently, but well worth fishing on decent weather days. Not much pressure out there either, so if you want to have a pleasant day without any competition winter is where it’s at!

Call Bryce Tedford for trips on the Delta year-round: 206-696-2437

The Bay/Beach: It’s perch time on the Bay Area beaches. In between storms, look for calm days without a big swell. Sinking lines with an array of small brown/tan/orange crab patterns will net you a few of our palm sized native beach dwellers. Stop by the shop and pick up a couple of our custom perch patterns and we’ll line you out on a good stretch of beach to check out.

Eastern Sierra:

The East Walker is closed for the season. Opens again on the last Saturday in April.

Upper Owens: Snow and more snow on the upper river. This is good, but makes access tough. The river is accessible by snowmobile, skis or walking in on snow machine tracks. The water and conditions are COLD. However, it’s worth the effort, because trophy trout swim up from Crowley Lake in winter and hang in the river. The drought has affected the river as it enters the lake and made it tough for fish to get up into the river, but the fish want to get out of the lake as it freezes over and they will make it up eventually. The big fish are parked in the deeper pools and cut banks. To find them you need to be systematic and fish each spot thoroughly. They won’t move far to eat a fly. They are lethargic due to cold temps, but just keep casting and you’ll find them. San Juan worm in pink and red is the number one pattern. Eggs, tiny Pheasant Tails and other small mayfly nymphs under a small indicator are the way to go. Be patient, fish hard.

Lower Owens: The lower river, near Bishop, is much warmer and fishing well. Bonus: no snow on the ground. Air temps are in the 50’s and water temps only a little lower. BWO’s are showing in the late morning and the window is short, but if you want to get fish on dry flies in December, this is one of your best opportunities. Fish a #18 parachute BWO, Quigley Cripple or Sparkle Flag on a long leader. Drift the foam lines, the fish are there. On the nymphing side, fish the deeper buckets with #16-20 Pheasant Tails, midges, Hares Ears and other standard nymphs under a bobber or tightline.

Report From Jim Stimson


As expected, the water is low and cold. Anywhere on the California side is hard to access right now just due to snow. Much-needed recent storms have dumped feet of powder on the Tahoe region and most of the locals are skiing. However, if you cruise on down to the NV side, east past Sparks, you’ll find no snow and some decent fishing (remember to buy a Nevada fishing license). The Nature Conservancy section is a good option, with more flow and access. Not much in the dry fly category right now, but streamers and nymphs will put you in the money. If you’re chucking streamers, concentrate on the slower water and pools and throw standard patterns, like black leeches and various Bugger patterns. Nymphing with Zebra Midges and egg patterns under a bobber is the ticket if you want to go that route. Or, do both, and fish all the water. Find yourself a two-footer for Christmas.

Call Matt “Gilligan” Koles to fish the Truckee, year-round: 775-351-6665

Lower Yuba: The last storm blew out Deer Creek, and therefore most of the lower river. Good news is it’s already clearing up and fishable. It will keep dropping and clearing as conditions dry out. Anytime you see a high water event, strap on a Rubberlegs and a worm and throw it under a bobber. That’s a foolproof recipe. You may still see a few salmon spawning and various egg patterns are still in the mix. Mostly the trout are keyed on small baetis and midges, as is standard for winter. Small Pheasant Tails, Zebra Midges, S&M BWO or anything small and olive/brown will take fish. Anglers are catching a few steelhead here and there so stay cool if you set the hook on something substantial that rips some line off your reel. Dry fly action is possible 365 days a year on the Lower Yuba. It’s a little inconsistent right now but if you’re patient and keep your eyes open you’ll find fish sipping BWO’s here and there. Tie on a #18 Parachute Adams on a long leader and make an accurate cast. Streamer fishing produces throughout the winter too. Buggers, Zonkers, soft hackles will all produce, stripped or swung.

Call Ben Thompson to get out on the Lower Yuba: 916-743-8290

Trinity River: Good days and tough days mixed in. When a good rain storm hits and freshens up the water, anglers are getting good numbers of fish, but when it’s cold and dry most folks are only getting a handful of hook-ups a day. Still, 2-4 fish a day doesn’t suck and if you play your calendar right with the water conditions, you can hook triple that number. Still a few spawning salmon around so a glo bug or bead will take fish. Most folks have been fishing smaller nymphs like Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Dark Lord and of course stoneflies like black/brown Rubber Legs. Flows out of the dam are spot on normal for this time of year at 297cfs.

Call Dustin Revel for year-round trips on the Trinity: 530-921-1563

Klamath River: Fishing is fair to good depending on the day and time of day. The upper 30 miles are sporting excellent water conditions, albeit a bit low compared to the long-term median flow. All the recent precipitation has come in the form of snow, so the water clarity is good and stable. Water temps are solid, in the high 40s to low 50s. The bite is kind of tough mid-day just because of cold weather. Both swinging and nymphing are producing fish. If you’re swinging think sink tip and smaller wet flies. If you’re nymphing stick to stoneflies and egg patterns. Fish the water appropriately, meaning, swing the riffles and runs and nymph the seams and pockets. Cover all the holding water you can find and you’ll find fish.

Call Chuck at Wild Waters Fly Fishing for Klamath River trips: 530-859-3474

Napa River: Clean water mid 50s temps with good fishing before the before the rain blew it out and muddied up the water. The Napa is often off-color, but if it’s too brown it can be unfishable. As soon as we get a few dry days in a row it will be game on. Watch the tides and don’t get stuck in the mud.

Call Patrick Mackinzie year-round for guided trips on the Napa River: 707-721-6700

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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.


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.


- 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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