The Yuba seemed to be everyone’s favorite valley trout stream. With the devastation of the flood this past spring it has been somewhat forgotten. The word on the street has really put a bad taste in the mouth for anglers.
Reports have told the story that the fishery is ruined.
I have a different opinion for what the you may have heard. Rather I have a different outlook on it. First of all, let’s be thankful there are still fish in the river. We are fortunate that somehow the resilient fish found a way to make it through armageddon. Second, the bug life is back. The floods may have washed a bunch of the food down to the delta. Life found a way to return to the upper trout waters. This fall we saw a mix of good caddis hatches, mayflies, and plenty of midges. The good news is that the fish have something to eat.
The next rumor out there is that all the fish are small. For a while that has definitely been the case. It was unusual, we have been finding good numbers of fish. No one can complain about the numbers and the action. However, the sizable 16” average turned to about 10”. Lately, we have been seeing and hearing about some bigger fish being caught. Still the average size fish is a bit smaller but signs of life has proven there are still some better fish in there.
The real saving grace to the fishing has been the dry fly action. The bwos have been out in big numbers and the fish are responding to them. I went out for about two hours yesterday and saw fish chowing on the surface. In total I raised 6 fish to a Film Critic. When the hatch petered out I nymphed through a run and hooked two. I missed the first, but hooked the second. The second was an 18” fish that I lost at my feet.
This is a good time to get out and work on your dry fly game. A soft 4wt like a Scott G2 is such a beautiful way to spend a day dry fly fishing. I spent so much time on rivers with limited dry fly action that when I get a chance I get giddy. Think about it, when you test or buy a new rod from a shop you think about it in terms of how it will cast a dry fly. You test it with false casts. Rarely do you pick out a rod and imagine how well it will throw a bobber.
To conclude my report. I think we should be thankful we still have fish to catch. I think the Yuba is a great option right now. I’ll be pushing trips that way and personally fishing there myself.
If your planning a trip up to the Yuba over the next few months leave the boat at home. Sycamore Ranch will be closed for maintenance. This includes access for walk and wade anglers.