Fly Fishing Traditions

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ladies Clinic on the Lower Yuba River

The Gold Country Fly Fishers club has recently formed a ladies group that has been spearheaded by Anna Lee Lantz. She organized a ladies fly fishing clinic on the Lower Yuba River for the newly formed group and invited lady fly fishers from the Granite Bay Flycasters.

It was a gorgeous day on the river with the sun finally out in full force. The group met at 9:00 at the Hammon Grove County Park right on the Lower Yuba River. We all introduced each other and shared background information. There was a diverse level of experience of the ladies from beginners to many years experience. With the river running at over 7000 cfs we spent the 1st 3 hours doing tabletop clinics. We spread out with each guide taking about 2 to 4 ladies. It was our goal to review the knots that every one uses every day on the river, how to rigg your rods for dry fly and nymphing and to review each persons personal gear.

Keith Scott of West Slope Drifters worked with some of the more advanced ladies and reviewed their gear, showed them how to rigg for nymphing and dries and reviewed the common knots used everyday on the river.

Here's Tom Page of Foothill Fly Fishing Expeditions showing Anna Lee the intricacies of knot tying.

Frank Rinella of Sierra Guide Service worked with the lady beginners and introduced then to the world of flyfishing, the bugs, the flies, knots and the basics.

Here I'm showing the ladies the basic knots, the blood knot, the surgeons knot, the clinch knit, the improved clinch knot and the non-slip mono loop knot. These are the knots every fly fisher needs to have up their sleeve.

In the afternoon after a wonderfull lunch provided by the ladies, Tom Page and Keith Scott took some of the ladies down to the river to work on their presentation techniques and try their luck at fishing. Frank continued to work on the basics with the beginners and I worked on basic casting on the lawn.

I know that the time was well spent and I encourage the group to continue their quest and become life long fly fishers.

Granite Bay Fly Fishers Presentation

At the invite of Bill Carnazo of the Granite Bay Fly Fishers, three of my guide associates from the Grass Valley and Nevada City area and myself presented a slide show and Guide's Panel for their members. The other guides were Frank Rinella, Keith Scott and Tom Page.

What is a "Guides Panel? The Guides Panel is a question and answer session following an introductory slide show to allow fly fishers to ask questions about fishing the Lower Yuba River. There is a two person panel that moderates the questions and answers, including one of the guides and a three person guides panel to respond to the questions. We did this for the first time at a Gold Country Fly Fishers meeting earlier in the year.

Here is a sample of the type of questions that may have been asked.

(1) When going out for a day on the Lower Yuba River, how do you tell which locations on the river are the best places to fish on any given day?

(2) What is your routine for deciding what flies to use on any given day?

(3) How do you determine what is the best fishing outfit to use on a given day, dry rod, nymph rod, switch rod etc.

(4) How often and when do you suggest changing rigging, tactics or flies?

(5) Speaking of tactics, what tactics do you employ on a regular basis in the late spring and summer?

(6) If you were going to make a suggestion of the best, all around outfit for fishing the Lower Yuba and you could only afford one, what would you choose? Rod, Reel, Line.

(7) What time of year would you say that the average fisherman would have the best chance of being successful on the Lower Yuba?

(8) What is your favorite hatch on the Lower Yuba and why?

(9) What is the most productive method of fishing the Lower Yuba River in the late spring and summer? (1) When walk and wading (2) When fishing from a boat.

(10) How do you like to rigg for indicator nymphing and why?

(11) What is high stick nymphing and when would you use this technique?

(12) What tactics do you employ for an evening caddis hatch on the river? What type of water do you look for and where?

(13) Wet flies have always been effective for fishing a caddis hatch. Do you use wet fly tactics? When and how do you rigg and fish them?

(14) What is the difference in deep indicator nymphing and deep tight line nymphing and when would you employ each technique.

(15) When drifting in a boat, is the Lower Yuba a good place to “pound the banks” with hopper/dropper tactics?

(16) Do fish hang out close to the river’s edge on the Yuba?

(17) If you had to pick one thing that most anglers need to improve on to become more accomplished anglers on the Lower Yuba River what would it be.

(18) For the lay fisher person, what is the difference between a steelhead and a trout on the Lower Yuba River. (b) How do you tell the difference?

(19) When fishing the Lower Yuba most people think of the area from around the Parks Bar Bridge down to the Daguerre Point Dam. Are there fishing opportunities below the Daguerre Point Dam and how does it differ?

(20) Should I fish for trout and steelhead when the salmon are on their redds? How about when the rainbows/steelhead are spawning?

(21) What is a trout bead and how should you rigg to fish them properly and ethically?

(22) What the heck is steak and eggs?

(23) Is it necessary to carry specific patterns to match the hatches on the Lower Yuba River? If so, which hatches?

(24) Why would you suggest that someone hire a guide for a day on the Lower Yuba River.

For the Granite Bay Club we changed the presentation up a bit. I presented a slide show that was a virtual journey down the Lower Yuba from the Parks Bar Bridge down to the Sycamore Ranch County Park. The actual float covers about 5 miles of the river. As the side show progressed the guides chimed in with observations of water types, fishing methods and general tips. I believe that this was a good format as the slides provided excellent reference for the guides observations. Once the slide show and commentary was completed we provided a period for questions from the audience.

The Lower Yuba is a very technical river and the methods and rigging change during the seasons. We hope that our presentation demystifies the Lower Yuba and will encourage more people to get out and discover this jewel.

I want to personally thank Bill Carnazo, Frank Rinella, Tom Page and Keith Scott for there excellent help and expertise for the "Guides' Panel"