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Trinity, Yuba, Feather, American River Fly Fishing Report

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Brian Clemens reports on 12.19.2016

Trinity River:

Clarity: Good to getting perfect

Flows:
Lewiston - 300cfs steady
Bucktail - 500cfs and dropping
Douglas City - 775cfs and dropping
Junction City - 1600cfs and dropping

Wow, the past few weeks on the Trinity have been extremely good to Nor Cal Fly Guides clients. While others have been working hard to find fish, we have consistently hooked a half a dozen adults on a daily basis, with my last 2 days up there hooking 16 adults and landing 8 of them, this being right after the big rain last week. This recent storm has blown the river out again, but as I type it is already back into fishing shape. What does this mean……time to get up there and hook some chrome. We are still finding some willing fish to take a swung fly, but its all about right place at the right time, as well as water temps. This last rain storm did help bring the water temps up slightly. The indicator with nymphs below has really been cleaning house, and if you have the right flies, the right drift and the right float, there can be some epic fishing. Look for the Trinity to be the go to steelhead fishery for the next month or two, especially if you want to get away from the crowds, and try you hand at swinging. I still have some prime dates in Jan, Feb and March if you are interested in booking a steelhead trip you wont forget.Nymphs: Stones, Psycho Princes, Eggs, Worms, Copper JohnsSwinging: Ho Bo Speys, Bread Crust, anything black/blueGuides Tip: “Be the report, dont believe the report!!!"This will be my go to steelhead fishery for the next 3 months

Feather:
Clarity: Brownie Green

Flows:
Low Flow - 800cfs
High Flow - 1700cfs

As some of you know, I did spend a bunch of time on the Feather this year, but when it became to crowded, I decided to head up to the Trinity. There were some epic early season egg bite days, but once the egg bite become full swing you would see 6-8 boats, and a bank angler in every fishable spot. This made for tough fishing for everyone. Despite all that, the fishing was pretty good up until early Nov, then came the fishing pressure, and the fishing definitely suffered. Now that the pressure all but disappeared, the fishing as picked up slightly, and will be looking good come the New Year,. This is also when the upper river opens. Currently the river is experiencing a bit of color, which I would call a brownish green, it is fishable at this point,, but give it a week or 2 and it will be that steelhead green that we all seek. Once this happens, this place will fish extremely well, and Ill be guiding it on a regularly daily basis. PLEASE, dont forget the salmon are done spawning now, so please try not to walk through the tailouts where are their eggs are. The winter run started to show their scales prior to storm and will continute to trickle in throughout the next few months. Want to try swinging, the Feather is definitely the place, and in about a month or so, the salmon eggs will hatch, and swinging an alevin pattern will give you that tug that we all search for. Prime time for this is the end of Jan to mid March.  If you are looking to get out and learn how to fish the Feather in the winter/early spring book your trip now while prime dates are still available. If spring is your thing, book well in advance as this is my busiest time of year. Nymphs: Princes, Caddis, Eggs, Worms, Copper Johns, MaysSwinging: sculpins, olive streamers, flesh flies, alevins, white or olive wooly buggersGuides Tip: Dont stay in one spot, the fish are spread throughout the entire system. Fish a spot for a while with the usual bugs, if nothing happens time to move.  

American:
Clarity: Chocolate Milk

Flows: 30,000cfs and steady

I would not recommend fishing the American right now, flows are a touch over wadable level, LOL. However, we are all hoping that the flows come down to fishable levels for Jan 1st, this is when the upper river opens. We are currently booking trips after Jan 2nd for the opener. If you are looking to hook big winter steelhead and do not want to travel, this is the river for you. Steelhead pushing 15lbs are available, most averaging 6-10lbs. Personally I think the only way this river will be fishable after Jan 1, is going to be out of a boat, its still going to be pretty high. Several years back, we experienced these same flows on the American in late Dec at 30k, come Jan 1, it was down to 6k and the upper river fished extremely well. Lots of fish, only fishable from a boat, boy was it good. I am hoping for the same situation this year. Guide Tip: Keep an eye out for this river to be good to great after the opener. Ill be fishing it as long as the flows are under 15k, yes I said 15k. The fish sit is specific areas at these flows, and if you know where to look, and how to fish for them, you can have some great fishing.  

Yuba:
Clarity: Chocolate Milk

Flows: 9000cfs and dropping

Again I wouldn’t recommend fishing this until the flows come down. When they do, look for the these trout to start keying in on the skwalas. With steady weather over the next few weeks, I would give the Yuba about 2 weeks before it becomes fishable again. I am already booking dates for the Skwala and March brown hatches, this is where you can not only have fun swinging for trout, but throwing dries all day as well.

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