Yuba Report

Spent Labor Day weekend guiding on the Lower Yuba. Fishing was fair to good I would say. I had high hopes for an early egg bite but it didn’t really pan out that way. The flows are now down to 820cfs and in two days I saw 5 salmon. One was near death the other two were milling around in a riffle hanging pretty deep. Most of the salmon I saw the last few weeks as the flows dropped must have shot up above the bridge pretty quick. I didn’t see one salmon redd and only a handful of fish ate a bead over the 3 days I fished the river. There was very little consistency to what the fish were eating which has been some what the case lately but nothing like it was this weekend. I did see more caddis activity this weekend as before, and even saw a few fish eat caddis or hoppers off the surface, but in typical Yuba fashion would not rise to anything my clients threw at them. Fish ate rubber legs, red copper johns, birds nests (olive and natural), Spring Fling pupa, Olive steelie caddis, and Petrified Pupas.

There was a lot of water that fish had been holding in a week ago that my clients didn’t touch a fish in and I found most my fish podded up in bigger holes and runs. I am thinking that a lot of the trout followed the larger pods of salmon up river above the bridge in anticipation of eggs spewing from them. I did find some random fish we pulled out of skinny water riffles and some water I was really surprised to find fish in. Not sure what the Also the avg. size of fish was a bit bigger with a few nice 18-20’ fish that were nice and fat.

I still think that the egg bite is a few weeks away and I will be honest I was a little worried about the lack of salmon that I saw in the deeper holes through the river. I think there are salmon in the river just not enough to fill down below the bridge.

Interesting events on the river -

The Lower Yuba is a pretty small tailwater river (800cfs) where all gasoline motors are illegal on the most popular stretch from the Englebright Dam to the Daguerre Diversion Dam. I was back rowing a riffle about half way through the drift and I hear a sound that sounds like some kind of slowly dying generator. I look down river and see this guy in a kayak like thing cruising up the bank…obviously powered by a motor. To my surprise it is one of those Mokai jet powered kayaks…this thing looked more like a jet powered hot turd blasting up river. It was even a nice brownish poop color. The guy blasted the kayak right up on the bank in the middle of the riffle I was fishing. I proceeded to ask the guy in a nice non-confrontational manner if he knew that it was illegal to run gas motors on this stretch of the river…It very quickly became apparent what type of person buys a Mokai jet powered Kayak. His response was that he had called the Dept. of fish and Game and that they told him they did not have time nor care about a kayak with an engine. Then a rant on how the DFG has more important things to do...He then went nuts…he went on diatribe telling me that he was sure I break laws on the river and in general in my day to life on a regular basis and that I was no better then he was…He was very sure he knew all about me and how I live my day to day life....interesting.....My response was that this is a county law and enforced by the sherif of Yuba County and that I do not blatantly and purposefully break any law. He then went off more…and I ended the conversation as rationalizing with an irrational person usually does not end well.

He then pulled out his kayak paddle and slid right below me in the run proceeding to low hole me over and over by blasting up and down the bottom of the run…Redemption came in about 6 fish from fishing right behind him as he tried to manage a drift and use a two sided kayak paddle…if you have ever tried to fish indicators out of a one man pontoon boat you know how effective this technique can be (this is a sarcastic statement as his drifts were a joke).

Why was this interesting? 1- Rarely do I encounter such a douche bag on the river. 2 - I finally have a picture of the type of person that buys one of those Mokai Jet Powered Kayaks 3 – I realized I am getting older as in my younger years when confronted with such a douche bag the whole encounter would of ended much different…me attempting to throw some blows or spouting off enough to require me to throw blows to defend myself, or even me giving him the “You better turn that thing around and get back to your car before I do”

Hogan Brown