Lower Yuba River
Lower Yuba River – Drift Boat/Walk and Wade
Full Day: $550 (1-2 Anglers) / Half Day: $450 (1-2 Anglers)
Nestled in the foothills of Yuba county, winding its way into the Sacramento valley, lies one of California’s best year-round wild trout rivers. Englebright Dam releases cold clear water to the Lower Yuba River. The river has something to offer anglers of all calibers. Whether you’re new to fly fishing or you have fished all over the world, this river has something for you! Hands down pound for pound, inch for inch, the fish here are some of the hardest fighting fish in the state.
The Lower Yuba River is a tailwater fishery that fishes like a spring creek. I swear, the Lower Yuba River fishes differently every time I fish here, you never know what to expect. There are no hatcheries on this river, it is wild trout, wild steelhead(with an occasional Feather River stray), and wild salmon. Downstream below Daguerre Point Dam, you will find shad, and striper in the summer months. The River is gin clear and has a diverse yet healthy insect population, which produces some epic insect hatches. Don’t be fooled though, these fish are educated, cautious, and particular about what they want. Everything has to be a downstream, fly/indicator first presentation; these fish refuse to take anything behind your fly line. The average size of fish here on the Lower Yuba River are 12”-14”, with 18”+ fish being caught consistently.
Our private access ramps provide an extended drift and opportunities to fish some less pressured water. We primarily focus on the waters from just above Hwy 20 Bridge down to Daguerre Point Dam. The Lower Yuba River offers a variety of methods, during your trip, to target these feisty trout. We target fish using 9’ to 9’6”, #5 or #6 weight rods, unless we are swinging, then we use 10’-12’ switch or 11’- 12’6” spey rods. Preferred methods from the drift boat are indicator nymphing, streamer, and dry fly with some opportunities to walk and wade. Preferred methods during a walk and wade are tight line nymphing, indicator nymphing, swinging, and dry fly fishing.
In my opinion, the best time to fish the Lower Yuba River would be any time between October and May. In the fall months, September – November the trout feed heavily on salmon eggs and Baetis, remember above Hwy 20 bridge to Englebright Dam is closed October 1 thru November 30. In the winter months, December – February look for the fish to eat Alevin and Baetis, with the infamous Skwala hatch starting in late January thru March. The springtime, March – May brings trout out in search of March browns, PMD’s, and Caddis. In the early summer months, the end of May – June fish will look for Caddis, Yellow Sally’s, and Golden Stoneflies. In late summer, July – August fish will key on Hoppers, Caddis, and Streamers. Don’t forget that summertime also brings opportunities for shad and striper, below Daguerre Point Dam. A word of caution for the summer months, it is blistering hot with little reprieve from the sun, fish early or late and stay hydrated.