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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fishing the Lower Yuba 05/26/10

I had made plans and was really hoping to get out and fish the Lower Yuba River with Blake Larsen on Wednesday. It was raining all Tuesday night but the forecast for Browns Valley was partially cloudy with 20% chance of precipitation. We talked it over and decided what the heck, the worst thing is we could get wet. It's better than working. The Deer Creek flows weren't too far up and the Yuba flows hadn't changed much with the flows charting at about 2300 cfs. I had a feeling that the river would be clear enough to fish. The flows on Deer Creek had only risen about 15 cfs, so it looked good. It's always a bad sign if Deer Creek flows pump up.

We headed down to the river and got our first glimpse of the river and it was running clear. With as much rain as we had in Grass Valley last night it was surprisingly clear. There was sunlight beaming down through big broken clouds and the view to the west forecast a beautiful day for fishing.

As we were getting ready to put the boat in the water at about 10:00 the swallows started swooping down on the river which meant the PMD's were just starting to come off. We've been having good luck recently using nymphs under indicator so we set up for deep nymphing with a thing-a-ma-bobber, seven feet to an SSG shot and various nymphs under that. We made sure that we had good representative PMD nymphs rigged.

I'm usually behind the oars but I got ready rigging my rod with a with a red San Juan Worm which has been working well with the higher flows, a black copper john and a two-tone HBI nymph that I picked up at Kienes in Sacramento. (This is a good looking bug). Blake rigged up with a San Juan Worm at the top and trailed a Dark Lord, and a standard HBI behind. We fished using the deep indicator nymphing method in the deeper runs and switched to tight line nymphing in the tailouts and some of the dropoffs.

Blake got off to a hot start hooking up but had the LDR blues (Long Distance Release). We anchored and I was able to get the skunk off the boat with a strong fighting bow. My day was already complete. It was about 10:30. Funny how that is when you get accustomed to rowing a drift boat. I get as much satisfaction watching other friends catch fish.

The prominent bug of the day was the PMD. We noticed a strong hatch coming off at about 10:30 that lasted for about 1 1/2 hours and we also saw PMD's in scattered numbers throughout the day. Even though there was a good amout of duns on the surface we didn't notice many rising fish during the hatch. The nymph bite on the HBI was strong all day. There was also a period when the BWO's were coming off along with a some hydropscyche and brachycentrus caddis. There was a short time about 2:00 when the caddis were coming off but not in enough numbers to really get the fish up in the riffles. There were enough that we switched to adding caddis nymphs to our riggs. I added an olive Caddis Pupa and the Shop Vac.

In the early evening at about 6:00 I rigged up to swing caddis in the drop offs and had success using caddis emergers. I used an "Iris Caddis" and the Antron Caddis Pupa. I was able to hook up a number of fish but my success rate to the net wasn't great. We had anchored the boat 20 feet from the takeout and I fished a drop off about 30 feet from the boat. I hooked and landed a nice fish right off the bat. It was a little tough because I had to keep the fish from bolting downstream. I managed to keep it in the soft water near the bank and bring in to the net. I wasn't so lucky after that. I was hooking up but the fish got the better of me.

I believe that we helped our fishing successes by adapting our rigging based upon the water type and the bugs present.
(1) We used deep nymphing techniques in the deeper runs
(2) We used tight line nymphing in the tailouts and the drop-offs
(3) We were conscious about adding and removed split shot depending on the depth and the flows.
(4) We raised and lowered indicators depending upon the depth
(5) We swung emergers at the tailouts and drop-offs in caddis type water.
(6) We didn't rigg up a dry rod as there was little indication that the fish were interested in duns or adult caddis.

If you are observant the river will tell you what to do. You just have to listen!

We wrapped up, loaded up our gear and watched the sunset and remarked what a great day it was to be outdoors fishing. Oh by the way it was snowing in Truckee.

Go west young man!

Here's a short "Flip Video" of our day. Just press the arrow to play.

1 comment:

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