Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Update: Fly Fishing the Yuba River

I must admit, I underestimated the Yuba. This was my first longer trip devoted strictly to fly fishing and when i imagined the trip i figured i would be slaughtering some fish! I had my small box of flies, my new fly fishing rod and even some waders. I was ready to conquer the Yuba river but really, it taught me a lesson in respect for the Yuba and fly fishing in general.

Now first off, we arrived at the camp at around 1pm last Wednesday. Our campground was right on a small peninsula ( I think that’s what it would be called) with small creeks running on both sides of us. Nice little place. Anyway, before even putting up the tent I pulled a beer out of the ice chest (had to get the vacation started right!) and threw in a pole for blue gill. Right away I got into my first blue gill and I was ready to set up camp. 

After camp was set we hit a different blue gill pond and fished some more. As it turns out there were not only bluegill in there but redear sunfish, green sunfish, crappie, and all sorts of hybrid sunfish as if they were all in there having a giant sunfish orgy!  We got into a good number and saved the bigger ones for dinner.

After dinner we drove out to Hammond Grove Park to try our hand at some fly fishing. While we were there we saw some guys from “Yuba River Charters” wading up. They were pretty nice guys. Joked with them a bit and talked a bit about fly fishing. They also witnessed (and screamed) when Russell pulled his fly rod out half way and the tailgate closed right on the tip of his brand new fly rod! We tried to ghetto rig it up with tape and the tip off of one of his spinning rods but (of course) it didn’t work. Russell Sat this one out but he didn’t miss out on anything. Even the pros weren’t having any luck that day. Later on, Russells Dad decided to bring him a new fly fishing Rod so Russell wasn’t as unlucky as he thought he was that day!

The next morning we slept in a bit, got some breakfast and cleaned up camp. Then we went over to the day use area of Sycamore Ranch and waded up! 

We decided to practice a bit before hitting the actual river. We hit the boat launch area which had some ponds around it. Russell hit the side right by the boat launch, and on his first cast he caught what he thought was a small trout. It turned out to be a Sacramento pikeminnow. He was still pretty happy with his catch. 

I went over to the opposite end and tried a bass popper hoping for some largemouth bass. I didn’t get any bass but I was surprised at how much sunfish like bass poppers! They attacked it tons of times but I finally got into a nice one.  I must admit, the feeling you get when a fish hits your fly, the line tightens up and you instinctively pull back on your fly line, bringing the fish in is incomparable! I absolutely LOVE fly fishing!!  Maybe its just the fact that it new and different to me but I find it to be pretty darn fantastic.

We finally hit the main river and I snapped a couple of pictures. I hit a small pond on the southwest end of that stretch of the river first. I had on a crawfish pattern under an indicator and tried fishing close to some trees on the bank. At one point I was getting closer to the bank and stepped right into a hole and went in waist deep which got my pants a little wet. That cold water sure woke me up!

When I met up with Russell again, he told me that he was tossing in a black wooleybugger and had a trout on for a second. Apparently he was unable to keep his line tight and it got away. That was it for our action on the Yuba. The rest of the time we continued to cast but there were no more bites to be had. We wrapped up around 4:30 because I wanted to run home and watch the Niners pre-season opener. Isn’t it crazy how quickly the summer flew by?

At the end of the day I felt a bit defeated. Even though I caught the biggest bluegill I have caught on the fly to date, I really wanted a Yuba river trout! I guess I could have gone out earlier in the day but I guess I will have to wait until next time. I have a new respect for the Yuba and also for fly-fishing. It’s definitely harder than I thought but with enough practice I think I can find the right combination for the Yuba and any other river that I visit in the future.

Well anyway, that’s it for the beautiful Yuba river. Hope you guys enjoyed the report. Hopefully next time I will be able to report some trout or even a bass! So until next time, break that bank, folks!


  1. J
    Nice outing and great catch--is the Yuba river near Yuba City? thanks for the comment

  2. Hey Bill, this stretch of the Yuba river is about 20 minutes east of yuba city. You just drive right down highway 20.

  3. Interesting place Hammon Grove Park. Many years ago I got stuck in that area and had to call AAA to pull me out. To get the true advantage of trout fishing on the Yuba, you need to get further up the hill maybe around Downieville or Sierra City. There are also some interesting creeks along Marysville Rd. from where you were to Brownsville.

    1. I have caught a few natives in dry creek before. i have to try it on the fly! I will definitely have to go out there. actually somebody had previously recommended the North fork of the Yuba to me and showed me pictures of that beautiful area. i definitely have to squeeze in a trip before the summer ends!

  4. I have heard good things about Yuba, don't worry about not hooking up. The first time I went trout fishing in a river on the fly rod I didn't catch much until the 3rd day, its a learning curve like anything else! Sorry to hear about your friends rod.

    1. As have I. I need to learn the river first and visit different spots. Soon I will conquer that river! lol as for my buddy, he ended up getting two fly rods (one from his father, one from his sister)so he was fine! thanks for reading!