The dry fly fishing on the Yuba in 2018 has been the best i’ve ever seen. Sure the fish are smaller than normal but the action is incredible. The average size fish has increased lately to about 12-13 inches. We’ve hooked, landed, and lost a few better ones too.
I haven’t been seeing a ton of skwalas but my view is skewed. I see the river from a boat and do not walk the shores very often. Remember skwalas do not hatch out in big numbers like mayflies. The nymph crawls to the edges and hatches on land. Mistakenly they end up back in the water the fish pounce on them. Throw the skwalas in key spots and get grabs.
If you see actively rising fish they are not eating skwalas. They key in to mayflies during the hatch and eat them in a rhythm. The key hatches have been March Browns, BWOs, PMDs, and some PEDs. Make sure to have an assortment before heading out. Watch the rise too, the fish might be eating the adults version of the bugs or the emergers. Change flies often until you figure out what they want.
I’ve been playing around with different dry fly floatants. It’s been a science project really. There are several key things to do to keep you fly floating. You can mix and match products to keep it up, but your casting and presentation should be your first areas to address. On your cast make sure to hit your stops on both sides. When your stops are hit correctly your bug will spray out the moisture on the fly. Plus this will make your presentation cast land softer. Be aware of how you start your casts. If you strip your fly hard on the water it will sink and get waterlogged. Constant gentle strips are the ticket here.
The next week or so shows some bad weather. Things could get a bit dirty for a few days but the river could use a color change. Keep an eye on Deer Creek for a spike. That will tell you if it is muddy or not.
I am putting on a Dry Fly clinic on Sunday March 25 on the Yuba. This clinic is based for all levels of anglers. Up first, we will do a casting tune up. I’ll look at your cast and we will figure out where you need improvements. We will go over fly selection and a bit of entomology. I am a big believer in approach to the fish. We will go over how to choose a downstream or upstream approach. You’ll learn the importance of a reach cast. We will also take a look at rigging, leaders, and what floatants to use