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Monday, December 1, 2014

Lower Yuba - Opener Above Parks Bar Bridge

December 1st, 2009

With much anticipation I hooked up with my friends Blake Larsen and Frank Rinella to fish above the Parks Bar Bridge today, December 1st. We all have been looking forward to fishing above the bridge to see what kind of shape the upper river is in. The river below the bridge has been fishing pretty tough for a while now and we were excited to see if some of the fish from the lower river had possibly moved upstream. With flyboxes organized and full, rods strung up and ready to go I drove to meet them in town. We met at 6:00 had a cup of joe and headed for the river. Our plan was to float about 2 1/2 miles of the river down to the Highway 20, Parks Bar Bridge. We took care of our shuttle and left Frank's truck at the bridge and headed to the river to launch my drift boat.

We arrived at the river at about 7:30 to the sight of a number of fishermen already on the river. It was a little brisk in the morning requiring a sweater or wind shell but warmed up pleasantly as soon as the sun climbed higher by about 9:30. During the day of fishing we saw a number of pontoon boats and a three drift boats including mine. We were able to float downstream before them and had the 1st drift at most of the runs. All in all it there were less people on the river than I had anticipated and compared to my past experiences for the December opener.

Frank fished using his 6 weight switch rod and nymphed without an indicator using the "Tight Line" method. Blake started with an indicator setup but switched as he wanted to try this method. We were able to fish casually and non-pressured for most of the day with many stories told and experiences shared. I think this is what I like about a day on the river as much as fishing. There are always new things to be learned and wisdom's to be shared. It was a great day with great camaraderie with old and new friends.

Well, what about the fishing?

Some of my observations and thoughts are;

  • We caught enough fish to keep smiles on our faces

  • We lost enough fish to be able to give each other a hard time about losing them.

  • I was a little disappointed that we didn't see much evidence of salmon redds on the stretch we floated. There were some small fields of redds but not near as many as last year

  • We saw two or maybe three salmon.

  • We did not see much bug action although we did see a few midges, BWO's, and Baetis

  • We were able to hook up using quite a few different patterns."Troutbeads", PT nymphs, Hogan's Olive Military May, Hogan's Red Headed Stepchild, Golden Stone, Prince of Darkness, Burks HBI. The fish seemed willing to eat what was put in front of them although the "Troutbeads" were our best producer.

  • The trout were where we expected them to be and were located in the runs below riffles, deeper slots and eddy pools. I don't remember seeing a caddis at all.

  • We didn't see much action when fishing the riffles or the tailouts. 1 fish caught in a tailout.

  • A lot of the runs were fished by wade fisherman prior to us fishing them and when rested still produced hook-ups

  • We were able to fish a number of areas that could only be fished properly from a boat and were probably the first to fish these areas.

  • A crew working on salmon carcass surveys said that the amount of salmon carcasses were low and they seemed disappointed in the run this year, hoping for bigger numbers.

  • We still need some weather to change the current pattern and to hopefully bring additional fish into the system.

The Yuba is a wild and beautiful river and we all need to work to protect and enhance this fishery so our grandchildren will be able catch a native trout and steelhead here close to home.


December Sunset on the Yuba

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Have any Questions or Comments? Let me know, Clay.