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Monday, February 10, 2014

Fishing The Lower Yuba "Skwala Time"

Hey Guys, are we having fun yet?

I've had the fishing bug lately and I just have been too busy to get out. I hate that! With the weather as of late, doing my office/fly fishing den addition and of course work, I haven't made it out for awhile. Well today I got out. I hooked up with Frank Rinella and Blake Larsen to hit the Lower Yuba.

Blake was amped up and ready to try out his new switch rod, a 6 weight 11 foot Sage Z-axis. I had bought him a Buelah Switch rod as a bonus for Christmas and he decided to upgrade to the Sage. As a result we had an arsenal of Sage switch rods aboard as Frank and I have the same 11 foot switch rods. I also had my Sage XP 6 weight, my Sage 5 weight and Blake had his Sage Z-axis 6 weight on board, so heaven forbid I flipped the boat, we had between the 3 of us about $4200 worth of Sage rods on board. Un-believable. I guess you could say we were prepared.

Blake with his 1st fish on his new switch rod

I was also stocked up on Skwala dry patterns. Between us I think we had at least 10 variations of Skwala Dry patterns. Only problem is the fish didn't really like many of them today, go figure. Frank had fished the river yesterday and had good success using one of the patterns he carries but today, no go. No takers. Oh, except a couple he missed (asleep at the wheel, Ha!). We did get one fish on a Andy Burk's dry stonefly pattern. I busted off a large fish with one of the patterns I had tied up. It was the smallest and most slender of the patterns I had tied up. But for the most part our offerings were refused.

I caught some female Skawla's in the drift and took some home and after taking a good look at them and comparing then to my patterns the thing I have noticed is that almost every Skawla pattern that you buy are just too big, not slender enough and the wrong color. I'm afraid what this adds up to is refusals. I caught 4 adults and the length of the body from the head to the end of the abdomen was 7/8" to 1 1/8 long. The wing extended about 3/16 longer. That made the longest bug about 1 5/16" long at the most. The body widths were a consistant width of about 1/8". Almost every pattern in my box is longer and much wider. Looks like I've got some work to do at my tying bench.

There were not a lot of bugs hatching today but there was a modest hatch of PMD's mid day. The bugs had a distinct yellowish body ( as opposed to pinker). We ran into a couple of friends that were wade fishing and their comment was that the fish had been refusing our standard Yuba River PMD pattern (a pinkie). When changing to a lighter wing color they started having success. Goes to show you just need to stick with it and keep switching up till you find what they want.

Blake had a good day breaking in his switch rod and connected with some nice fish with another Andy Burk pattern the HBI nymph. This has been a good producer for us in the past this time of year. Frank also connected with a nice fish using a A.P. PMD nymph.

Nice fish Frank, are you getting hungry?

Blake caught this on a Andy Burk's Stone, dry

We used indicator techniques in the runs

We used tight line nymphing techniques in the tailouts

All in all another fun day on our local favorite river.

See you out there,


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