Fly Fishing Traditions

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fishing The Lower Yuba, What a difference a week makes!

I fished the Lower Yuba today with a couple of buddies. It's the first really warmer day since our recent snowstorms here in Grass Valley. My driveway looks like a huge frozen slip and slide. The decision as to when to hit the river was based on letting the temperatures warm up a bit. We made it down, dumped the boat in the river and started fishing a little after 11:30.

It had warmed up considerably by then probably in the mid 40's. It was 28 at my house when I left. The sun was shining and not a cloud in the sky. The good thing is that the temps had warmed up, The bad is that the sun is up and mostly overhead so we lost some stealth. Fishing is often a series of trade offs. Today was a great example.

The river has been running at about 850 cfs, and gin clear, winter sustaining flows for the salmon spawning. The salmon spawning has tapered off to the point that we saw about 3 salmon in the course of floating about 2 1/2 miles and over many redd areas and they were really beat up. So the egg bite is done. That doesn't mean that a fish won't take an egg, but they are not hanging out in the buckets and the redd areas especially mid day. The fish we landed all took Troutbeads. They've moved into the runs, dropoffs and flats. .

 It's been my observation over the years that the fishing on the Lower Yuba can get a little tough after the egg bite tapers off. The fish go into a little funk for awhile. It's an adjustment period. Trying to figure what the next thing on the seasonal menu, what's the next meal going  to be?

What is the next best thing? Well typically this time of year on warmer days you see PMD's out and about, We did see a handful and one fish slurp a dun down. There will also be Baetis on the overcast or drizzly days. We saw a couple. There are also midges. In the late afternoon they started coming off. This is when we started to see a few more rises. So my guess is that right now the best choices are still a eggs as more of an opportunistic attractor, a rubber leg stone for the same reason, small mayfly nymphs, and you guessed it midge patterns.

On December 1st there were still salmon in the system, not a lot, but enough, the fish took Troutbeads, Pheasant Tail nymphs and Baetis nymphs with regularity. Ten days later where the heck did they go. We had a tough time finding them today. Quite a few ratatat takes, a few nice fish on and gone, and a number to the net. Back to the tough, work hard to pick up fish Lower Yuba.

This doesn't mean its time to take a break, it just means we have to work harder and try more things. There's also the Skwala Hatch coming, so start tying!

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