Yuba Winter Report

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I think anglers have been sleeping under the rocks lately because we have had the river to ourselves.  Winter is here, and it is starting out with a bang.  I’ve been rather pleased with the fishing on the Yuba the last few weeks.  The fish are healthy as can be and the numbers of fish is back to normal.  The size of the fish is still a bit smaller the we had pre-2017 flood.  However, I have seen some true Yubacorns caught.  Each trip I’ve had anglers are really happy with the action.  Plus, I’ve seen at least one big fish hooked every time (not always landed).  There are even a few half pound steelhead around.

There is still an egg bite going on.  The salmon run this year is very strong, it might be the best or equal to the best numbers I’ve seen in 10 years of guiding.  There are still fish moving in and I foresee the egg bite lasting a few more weeks. 

The nymph game is strong, it has been pretty straight foreward.  We’ve managed to get really grabby fish on flashy nymphs.  I am shocked how well the red Copper John has been fishing.  I have a real love hate relationship with that fly.  We also have been picking fish up on Sloan’s Micro Mighty May.  Don’t be surprised, that fly was invented for the Yuba.

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The real impressive feature is how good the dry fly fishing is right now.  I said good, not easy.  In the slow tail outs and pools we’ve been working fish all through out the day on the dry.  With a lot of patience and technique we are managing some really good numbers.  I think this is the best dry fly action I have seen in a winter in years. 

The moral of the story is there is a lot to do out there right now.  We can get fish on the egg, we can nymph fish from the boat in the fast water and throw dries in the tail out.  I guarantee you won’t find better winter dry fly fishing anywhere in the State.   Pretty soon the Alevins will start to hatch which will add another option.  Streamer fishing the Yuba or swinging two handed options will start to develop in the weeks to come. 

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It looks like off and on wet days through the month of December.  Don’t fret the fish are already wet and can handle it.  Can you?  I find it funny that anglers who have $400 Simms Jackets are afraid to fish in the rain.  Those are the best days out there.