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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fishing Report - April 10th, 2014

I swamped out my drift boat and fished the Lower Yuba the other day with my fishing buddy, Frank Rinella, and we had a pretty decent day. The river was running about 650 cfs. and was murky, green. The visibility was about 2 1/2 feet. I'm thinking that Englebright is all mucked up and releasing all this off colored water. With the weather we've been having lately the visibility should be better. The weather was clear and we had a slight breeze throughout the day.

 Lately I have been teaching a group of spey casters the "how to's" of spey casting and haven't been able to get out much to fish, so this was an opportunity I was exited about. I'll tell you that once you're a captain of a your drift boat, you row and get your kicks that way, at least I do anyway. So, although I was behind the oars about 90 percent of the time I still managed a few fish myself when we anchored up or when I took a turn up front. I was good with that, usually I catch one fish say, "OK, I'm good" and hop back in my rowers seat. Such is the life of many guides.

We caught fish in the 15" to 17" range, all using tight line nymphing techniques running flies right on,or near the bottom. The fish we managed to hook up were located in the middle to lower ends of the runs in medium to walking speed water. The fish took;

  • Sucker Spawn - Oregon Cheese
  • Maroon Spitfire
  • Red Copper John
  • March Brown Soft Hackle
  • March Brown Nymph
  • Tan Caddis Nymph
All of the fish were very colored up, which I take as being "Pre-Spawning" Their colors were much darker and had pink on their fins. We carefully scouted the areas where we have seen our resident rainbows spawn in past years and did not see any fish on redds or podding up in or near the spawning areas. My guess is that it is probably a week or two away. 

With that thought in mind, it's my personal opinion that once these fish are on their redds we should let them be. I know it's hard to pass up fish when they are all podded up, but this is their time to repopulate the river with their offspring and we really should let them do their thing. If you can't help yourself then fish a dry with a short dropper and at least make them come up to take it instead of dredging nymphs right on the bottom through the spawning fish. Enough said, I'll get off the soapbox.

I did a seining of the surface film when we saw a few fish rising at about 1:00 and did not come up with much except an few Pale Morning Duns that were about size 18. We didn't spend much time using dries although we had one nice fish take a March Brown Soft Hackle that was trailing off a Skwala Dry. 

We did not encounter anything that you could really call a hatch until about 3:00. There were swallows buzzing the water and taking bugs off the film and in the air. They were very small and I could not identify what they were. We were floating through some walk and wade anglers so I didn't stop and seine the water to do a positive identification. I believe that fishing dries or dry droppers would have been successful though.. Unfortunately I had to get off the river and could not find out.

I'll get back out soon and have an update.

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