Fly Fishing Traditions

Fly Fishing Traditions Blog and Website
"It's about Life & Fly Fishing"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fishing Report Lower Yuba River 08-15-11

I fished the Lower Yuba River after returning from my time in Montana with friends and family. As it turned out when I left in mid July the Lower Yuba was running at over 6,000 cfs and wasn't really fishable and while I was gone it finally came into shape. I heard reports from my local friends of having big days casting hoppers to the banks. This seems to happen every year that I'm in Montana. Darn it!

I took a new friend, John Davis, down the river to give him some pointers on rowing a drift boat. John was here on a backpacking trip to Yosemite and we hooked up right before he headed home. He has a friend who is a guide on a steelhead river on a tributary to one of the Great Lakes up north. He rowed his friends boat once for about 20 minutes and decided he wanted to get a better handle on drift boat rowing techniques. Good idea. For those of you that have friends that are guides, learning to be proficient on the oars will get you a phone call whenever the guide has a day off and wants to go fishing. Guides spent all their time on rivers, rowing their clients and like everyone, they want to fish sometimes too. If that isn't a hint, I don't know what is.

We found the river running at about 3,000 cfs and in great shape. The water has good clarity and with that much water the deeper slots and runs have a deep blue color. It was a bright clear day and not overly hot.

We sort of took turns with practicing rowing techniques and fishing. So I'd say that 50 percent of our time was spent practicing how to do basic rowing strokes, pivot turns, ferrying and moving around obstacles. The other 50% was spent fishing. We started off rigging with a Fat Albert to imitate the grasshoppers that are all along the river and trailed a Red Headed Step-child or other attractor nymphs on a dropper below it. We found hungry fish quickly along the deeper banks and lines of willows. When I say hungry, I guess I should say maybe starving fish. Most every fish we caught were very thin and "Snaky".

My feelings are that the bug population has been decimated by the continuous periods of high flows. On almost very run you can see long tongues of bright fresh gravel laid on top of the river bottom. I believe that this has basically buried the bugs where they live. This could mean for some tough fishing in 2012, but time will tell. Bugs are remarkably resilient. The fish move around and the river will evolve.

Usually at this time of year you will see the beginnings of the salmon run with a few salmon here and there but we didn't see any. As far a bugs go, I saw a couple of PMD's and that was it. No hatches what so ever. I can tell you one thing for sure, when the salmon do show up the trout will be gobbling up eggs like their lives depend upon it, and they probably do!

We found that when fishing the willow lined banks, the fish where holding in water that was from 2 to 4 feet deep where they could find a bigger rock to hide out and watch for an opportune item to come floating by, aka our Fat Albert. They also were hanging in deeper water in the runs among larger boulders and you could actually see them coming up from the deep to aggressively take the dry. This is exciting fishing. The fish also took the trailing nymph once in awhile. We also spent a little time fishlng under indicator, but when fish are coming up to a dry like they were, what would you choose to do? You got it, keep banging the dries!

We had a great day. John got a good head start on his rowing skills. The only thing he needs to do now is to beg, borrow, or steal a pontoon boat, get out on a body of water and practice the techniques and he'll be good to go. We caught fish too!

A pretty good welcome home I'd say!

No comments:

Post a Comment

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