The North Fork Yuba River is fishing extremely well right now, and if you’re a dry fly freak like me you’ll be in heaven. Water levels are low, about what you would see at the end of July. This only concentrates the wild trout in the larger runs and plunge pools.
Water temps in the areas that I am guiding on with my guests are starting out at 55 in the early morning, rising to 61 by 1pm. There have been reports of higher water temperatures on a popular Northern California fly fishing forum, but these are reports from lower down on the watershed from nonprofessionals. When you hire a knowledgeable quality guide like me who has put in hundreds of days on the North Fork Yuba river, you’ll reap the rewards of being guided to where the important springs and spring fed feeder creeks come in. I’ve got it dialed.
Aquatic hatches are waning for the most part; Green Drakes, Gray Drakes, and Salmon flies are done. Currently the most profuse hatches are the little Yellow Sally (alloperla), and many different Caddis flies. There are still a few Golden stone flies buzzing around as well. The Dobsonflies are starting to be active, look for these giant bugs to be present at dusk. The nymph of the Dobson fly is commonly known as the hellgrammite, a food source that is a prime dinner for at least a table of four trout. A large burnt yellow crane fly is out in force lately, with hundreds of adults flying above the watershed and ovipositing on the water’s surface. A good clue why a large yellow stimulator works well right now.
The monkey flowers are just starting to bloom; the Lewis’s variety is the first that is starting to show right now. Seep Spring and the Scarlet Monkey flower will be coming on in the weeks to come, as will the Tiger lilies. Robins and water Ouzels have been feasting on the hatches as well. I have yet to see a buzz worm this season, but the wise angler will carry a wading staff and actively bang away the terra firma to alert the rattlers of their presence. Walk slowly and watch where you step.
Effective dry flies have been Yellow Stimulators #10-14, little Yellow Sally patterns #16-18, E/C Caddis #14-18 in gray and olive, and Parachute Adams #16-18. For nymphs, Psycho Prince #16-18, Copper Johns in green, copper, and red #14-18, and flash back Pheasant Tails #16-18 are getting the grabs.
Now is the time to experience the most beautiful watershed in California where wild trout thrive in the cool well oxygenated waters. I have a few dates left in July, if you’re so inclined to learn about the North Fork Yuba, and the techniques of fly fishing, allow me to guide you.