Sunday, April 13, 2008

Early Action on the Yuba

Highway 20 crosses the Yuba River at Timbuktu which seemed as remote as the original Timbuktu when, about ten years ago, your Dad and I chased a phantom pod of steelhead up river from the bridge. Now Highway 20 is, sadly, much improved because is links the rapidly growing Foothill cities of Auburn and Grass Valley and the the equally expanding Central Valley cities of Marysville and Yuba City. Happily, however the river above the bridge remains inaccessible except to the more intrepid anglers.
When the c.f.s. from Englebright Dam is at 1000 or less the river is crossable at certain spots. This makes the 2 mile hike up or down river from the bridge considerably easier. I became aware of the "spots"only after traveling the hard way three times. Well, I guess that makes me an expert on the hard way and one of the few who can access the upper river when flows are above 1000 c.f.s.
The first day the skies were partly cloudy and there was a chance of rain. PMDs began coming off at about 10. The fish followed the bugs to the surface and the telltale popping and splashing of hungry fish was everywhere on the river's surface. PMDs gave way to larger March Browns and at the apex of the activity, around 1p.m., I saw a few black and silver and black steelies join in the fun, clearing the water, just like there resident brothers. Various hatches fade in and out until 4 p.m.