Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Hidden Gem

Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club
   An argument could be made that Golden Gate park, in the heart of San Francisco, is the epicenter of fly fishing.
     Okay - maybe that's a tad dramatic, but it is home to a certainly influential place.
     The Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club is a hidden gem in the heart of the San Francisco bay area that most avid anglers across the nation do not know about. In fact, most bay area anglers don't know it exists.


John Till
 I recently visited the casting ponds and old lodge at the club.
     They were completed in 1938 by the Work Project Administration. The casting pools are still considered to be some of the best in the world, and home to national and international casting competitions.
      The fly fishing talent in and around this club is amazing. My visit was mostly unannounced, and yet I met one of the preeminent bamboo fly rod experts and collectors in the world, one of the top spree casters in the world, and master certified casting instructor John Till.
          He has been a member for decades, was a past president, and is still chairman of the casting program.
      He showed me around the club and did a quick roll cast lesson. 

Stone Fireplace

   The lodge is simple, small and rustic, yet warm, welcoming and functional.
    There are lockers, a long table for fly tying, and a big stone fireplace for those cold bay area days.
    Hot coffee is always brewing.
    There are fly fishing books and videos, and samples of the world class fly tying that takes place in the club.

Fly and Rod Shadow Boxes

Some of the best fly tyers you will find, craft their creations in the old lodge. And several displays of their artistry can be found mounted on the clubhouse walls.

Casting Ponds

On any given day, amazing talent could be casting in the pools, strolling through the lodge, or chatting on the park benches.
   Some of the big, big names in the business frequent the club. In fact, the club plays a big part in what you and I use, or buy in the market place.

      Major vendors come so that these anglers will test the feel of a new rod, or the handling of a new reel, or even a new vice for fly tying. Much of what we buy might have been tested or designed based on the opinion of the greats at the GGACC.
          And yet, the members are welcoming. I found them tremendously inspirational, helpful and accommodating.
     You need not feel intimidated at all if you should ever venture a visit. The club hosts luncheons and dinners with guest speakers. There are casting tournaments year round. There are free casting and fly tying classes, open to the public. In fact, the entire club is open to the public, although you can become a member for as little as 40 dollars.
     Swing by sometime for a lesson or inspiration, or check 'em out at http://www.ggacc.org/


Friday, August 24, 2012

My Secret Fishin' Hole

       Most every angler has one. That secret fishing hole where they always do well - where they always catch fish. And they don't want anybody else to know about it. The location of that special fishing spot is a closely guarded secret. If you take friends, they must be your most trusted friends. Or you blindfold them so they don't know where you have taken them.

My Favorite Hole
    I had a secret fishing hole. It wasn't a "top" secret place. People knew about it. But I could count on going and probably not see another angler.
    I always caught fish. Always. Sometimes I felt like it was so secluded I was a little worried about going alone.
       It required a little climbing. What if I fell and broke something? What if I fell in the river? What if a bear or mountain lion ate me? Who would ever know? How would they even find me?
  But I went anyway. The fishing was too good, and the beauty of nature too alluring.

Netting a trout
  Why am I telling the world about it?  Because my secret fishing spot is no longer secret!
   I recently took a few members of my family. I loved to fish the middle fork of the Yuba river, near Sierraville, CA.
   We came to a bluff where I could see the river below. It looked great. The water flow was excellent. The natural beauty was breathtaking.
   We drove down the canyon along a rugged dirt road - and came to a pond where there are a handful of campsites. Nobody is ever there.
 But as we rounded the bend - TENT CITY!
    There were people everywhere. Every campsite was full - and people were in the trees, and the meadow, and along the river. It was packed.

A Nice Brown
There were anglers all along the river. Every few yards there was somebody fishing - and kids swimming - and dogs. It was a circus. No longer my secret fishing spot.
   I didn't catch a thing. It was a fly fishing only spot, but people were using worms and power bait.
    It was catch and release, but people had trout in their coolers and on the campfire.
  I didn't see a fish all day. Never got a bite. It was all fished out.

Got Another
      I have mentioned I have noticed a decline in fishing productivity in California over the years.
    I believe that due to the bad economy, people are turning to cheap, fun family entertainment.
    They are going back to camping and hiking and fishing - which is great. But they are not following the rules. They leave trash everywhere and fish illegally.
   With drastic budget cuts in California, I suspect they don't have the funding to stock fish as they once did.
   And I hear reports there are very few if any wardens on duty anymore. Some wildlife areas are patrolled by a single game warden, tasked with covering hundreds of square miles.
    I posted pictures of my former secret fishing hole, but not of the way it was the other day. I posted a few from the good times I remember, just a few years ago.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Where are the fish? Return to the Little Truckee

   I spent a few hours on the Little Truckee this weekend. The conditions were great. The flows were good.
The water was cold. And there were bugs. Lots of bugs. The good kind of bugs. Especially a nice hatch of PMDs - Pale Morning Duns.
  There were also a lot of fly fisherman. But nobody was catching fish. All up and down the river. I spoke with several people who had not seen a fish - or hooked any - or landed any.
Dry Fly Water on Little Truckee

I saw one guy net a nice trout, but given the number of hours I was there, the great conditions, and the number of people fishing - which included a few guides with clients - there were very few trout caught.
    My photographer Walt Colby was with me (http://www.waltercolby.com). We watched countless numbers of PMDs flitting and skimming off the surface of the water. Often times they just sat on the surface and drifted along.
   Under normal conditions I'd expect to see trout feeding - grabbing the easy, tasty meal.
 But I saw nothing. Other than the trout I saw being netted, I didn't see any feeding, nor did I have any "hits" or "takes".
Scoping the target

I saw one guy with a spinning rod. Now, I did not personally check it out, but I had to wonder what he was
using for bait. The water was about shin to knee deep, and there was lots of thick green moss - as is typical on the Little Truckee. I had a dry and a small nymph dropper and had to clean them off every couple of casts.
    I didn't think there was any way the spinning rod guy could cast a lure or spinner. It would have been useless.
Changing flies
   It is possible he rigged his rod with a fly as I have mentioned in another post. But unless it was one of those things - was he fishing with bait - which is illegal.
   It makes me wonder. With state budget cuts, how many, if any Wardens are in the area.
Patroling a large area like the Truckee River Wildlife Area is a big task. With few if any Wardens, makes you wonder about poaching and overfishing the Truckee and Little Truckee.
The faster water

I could be wrong, but the thought crossed my mind. If you have specific and acurate information, feel free to share.  Better luck next time.

Casting in slight breeze

Thursday, July 5, 2012

How to Fly Fish without a Fly Rod

   Fishing with a fly rod, fly reel, fly line and the lure, or flies - is different than fishing with a traditional spinning rod and reel.
   In fly fishing, the lure - the fly - weighs mere grams. Light as a feather, literally. The fly line is the weight. Momentum and the physics of a "loop" propagating along the line is what carries the fly to it's destination and target.
   With a spinning rod - the weight on the end of the line is hurled to the target. There may be a lead weight, or a heavy lure, or the weight of bait that allows the line to be cast long distances.
    It is very difficult to cast a heavy lure with a fly rod. And very difficult to cast a light fly with a spinning rod. Neither is practical.
    But it is possible to rig a spinning rod to be able to fly fish. When I was a young boy and had not mastered the art of fly casting or managing a rod that can be nine feet long, my dad helped me rig a spinning rod and reel to fly fish.
    A couple of feet up from the end of the line he attached a split shot. Then he slid a clear, egg shaped bobber onto the line. It was the kind of bobber that can be filled with water. We'd fill the bobber, and then attached a second split shot below the bobber. That way, the bobber was "trapped" between two split shot.
      We then tied a fly to the end of the line, about 18 inches or so below the bobber and two split shot.
  You can easily cast up stream due to the weight of the split shot and the watter-filled bobber. You just let it drift downstream, through any particular "hole" you wanted to target. 
   Once the fly had drifted as far downstream as it could go, simply reel it up, and cast upstream again.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One That Got Away

Evening on the Truckee River

Don't let one get away.
    It happened to me just the other day. That's why I'm posting a beauty picture of the Truckee river instead of a shot of a great trout.
      I spent a long hot, non productive day on the Truckee around Farad.
    They say they've been getting some nice trout this year.
   I went, but due to my schedule I could not get on the river until nearly 11am. It was already getting hot.
    I fished deep pools, hoping for big fish. But things just shut down. I even had a guide with me, and he had no luck.

My first set up

   The next evening I was on the river by 7pm.
   I tossed a three fly set up and got a hit almost immediately.
    By 8:15 the hatch was in full swing. I saw it all. Various "stones" and other caddis. An occasional salmon fly - and a few mayfly.
  Fish were rising. One "mauled" my middle fly - and made a birds nest out of my line!

 I altered my set up - and despite conventional wisdom I put a blue winged olive dry as the bottom fly. I had a yellow stone dry, and a new caddis emerger I saw in the fly shop earlier that day, up above.

My second set up

        I let it drift through a seam. I felt it snag on a boulder, and went to retrieve the line to save my flies. It wasn't a boulder. I had a fish on! I set the hook, but barley could tell. My stiff 6wt rod didn't react much. I reeled in all my slack, and could still feel the small trout on the line.

     I decided to quit playing him and net him. Bam! The rod bent down and nearly jerked out of my hand. This was no little trout. It was a big one, and he had been swimming in my direction. Now, he was going his own way - and I could hardly stop him. He jumped and surfaced. I not only got a good look at his size, but could tell it was a nice German brown.
   I also could see my top two flies - meaning he hit the BWO dry on the bottom.
     And then it was over. The line slacked, and he was gone. On the verge of netting nice one, my knot slipped. I had not tied a good knot. My bad, and it cost me.

The moral of the story - learn good knots. Tie them well, and tie them tight.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Saving Endagered Fish

We aired this report on efforts to save endangered Coho salmon and steel-head trout in the San Francisco bay area.

Check it out at:  http://youtu.be/gos8pgNnHrA

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Boy's First Fish:

    This is a special fishing story for me. I have to admit right now that we did not catch this fish by fly fishing. But this weeknd I took my boy fishing for the first time. We caught only one, but it was a beautiful rainbow. Jack and I were thrilled.
Father & Son's 1st Fishing

    Jack is only 3.  Still too little for fly fishing. He has seen me practice casting, but this was his introductory outting. This is the first time he has even seen a trout up close. He has heard dad talk about going fishing. And he has been promised to go some day, but this is the first time he has experienced what it's all about.
      I took him to an old stand-by. A place where I have never been "skunked".  I just wanted him to have fun, enjoy the outting, and feel success. So, we went to a pond in the rear of Donner Memorial State park in Truckee, CA.
     I brought my fly rod, but it was fairly gusty, making a good cast nearly impossible. So I resorted to a spinning rod and salmon eggs.
      I showed Jack how to cast. The hardest part for him was being patient. He wanted to shake the rod - and reel the line - and above all - throw rocks.
Jack's first trout

Fishing was slow. There was a break in gusts. You could see them coming by the chop on the surface of the pond. So, I took the opportunity to get a good cast.
    As I threw - I noticed a fish break the surface - and my line hit just a few feet from him. Pure accident.

   Within moments, I had a hit. I waited. I called for Jack, and he ran over. Then I had another hit - and another. I set the hook and the tip bent. I felt the power of the trout, and knew it was a good sized one. I let Jack take the rod - but assisted with reeling, as it was still a little complex for him.  
        Soon, I had the trout near the bank. The water was clear and Jack could see him well. I landed him and Jack was thrilled.
   The fish was hooked deep, so I could not release him. I measured. He was 18 inches long - and he was thick. We landed a beautiful raibow trout. Jack's very first. We took the fish home right then and there - and cooked him on the grill for dinner that night.

Jack meets fish

      It took 51 years for this moment to arrive in my life. It was perfect. I had not planned it before I took Jack, but this is the same spot I took my dad a few years ago. It was the last time he and I ever fished before he passed away. My dad loved to fish. He taught me all I know about the sport. He left us before Jack was born. I wish I could have shared this moment with dad, but to bring my little buddy to the place grandpa and I once fished - and to have success the way we did was quite special.

I shall never forget this day. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Family Fun Fishing: Balch Park, CA

I have wanted to fish Balch Park outside Springville, CA for many years. I have seen some beautiful pictures and wanted to see it for myself. I finally did it.

Road to Balch Park
 The park is not really that far outside Spingville, but getting there takes some time. After about an hour on a small, paved but rough road - we arrived at the park. There are a few good sized camp sites - and on this weekend, they were just about filled.
    There are two main ponds. One is partially surrounded by the main campground. The other is just across the road, and is about one third the larger, main pond.  Both are occasionally stocked, mostly with rainbows, or a hybrid stock trout called a "Shasta" trout.
Marshy area in distance

This a great family and kid friendly place. If you want to get away from people and fish naitive trout - this may not be the place for you. If you want  a nice, public camp ground, and a place where the kids can fish and actually catch something - this is ideal.
     Most people use bait - worms, salmon eggs, and power bait. Some people try spinners. And every now and then somebody tries a little fly fishing. It did it all.

Giant Sequoia

I had no luck with salmon eggs and spinners, but I did well fly fishing and using power bait.
     If you fly fish, bring waders because you will have better access, and can get away from bushes and trees that line the bank.
    I waded into a a marsh. Luckily there were no mosquitos! I threw a yellow stone dry fly with an orange body. The trout loved it. They swarmed the fly and nipped, bit and chomped on it. The only problem - I was getting hit by dozens of small fingerlings.
      They'd nip and tug on the fly, pull it underwater and drag it around, but were too small to even swallow the number 14 hook.
     I eventually got a small little trout who was big enough to hook, and promptly let the little guy go.
    I then worked my way around the pond. I came to a fallen giant sequoia.  The trunk extended into the pond. I climbed on and used it as a natural made dock. About halfway along the fallen tree I spotted a nice sized trout swimming parallel to the tree, heading to deeper water. I quickly started stripping fly line and trying to get a good cast going. By then the fish was about out of my range, so I had to cast.   

My second trout by fly

The fly hit about 3 feet behind and to the left of the fish, but he turned and spotted my fly. He circled back around - swam briskly to it - and hit. I hooked and netted him. I could have legally kept him - but I let him go.
    By now, the day was hot - and the fishing slowed. Most fish had moved to the center of the pond, to deeper cooler water. I did not think I could cast a beadheaded wooly bugger far enough to reach them, so that was the end of fly fishing for the day.
   I switched to split shot and powerbait, and caught a few more.

Hedrick Pond - Balch park

My overall assesment: if you want to take the kids and family, Balch Park is a great spot. If you want to fly fish, you certainly can. I would suggest early in the morning and in the late evening, and if you can fish off season - say September or October, you might avoid the crowds.

Here is some other useful info. No reservations at the camp ground. You can call the site manager at 559- 539- 3896. Not far away is the Balch Park Pack Staton. You can book various horseback rides by calling 559- 539- 2227 or go to http://www.balchpark.com/.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fun Facts

I found these two links which I think are very interesting. "Fly Fishing History" and "Fly Fishing Museum". Both come from the UK - but are well done and interesting.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Environmental Concerns

Oil leaks in the san Francisco bay area might impact trout. Check it out as reported by NBC.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Trout Food

      Trout love to eat little bugs. They eat just about anything that falls into – or flies near the water. They eat ants, and beetles, and grasshoppers. They eat mayflies, and caddis and midges. I break my fly boxes into five basic groups: Stoneflies – mayflies – caddis – terrestrials – and nymphs.
     In my terrestrial box I have things like ants, beetles, and grasshoppers. But I also put in things like San Juan worms and crayfish.


    My mayfly box is obviously for mayflies. The caddis box is for caddis flies. My nymph box has nymphs – but also midges as well as small flies that work better for lakes than for streams.
   Stoneflies are a staple. I do so well with stoneflies that I keep them in their own box. I have stone fly dries as well as nymphs. I even have a few “madam x” because they can look like a big stonefly or salmon fly.

     When I get to a river I start looking around and observing. What is in the air? What is in the water? What is on a rock or a tree branch? If I can grab a bug out of the air, I do.
     Mayflies are usually slow and easy to catch. I check them for size and color in order to find the best match. Mayflies are small and fragile. Their bodies often curve up like a sideways “j”. Their wings are folded neatly, straight up.
   Caddis can be a little trickier to catch. They usually fly a lot faster. But they have a distinct look in the air. They tend to be larger and “meatier” than the dainty mayfly. And their wings are a larger “blur” than the mayfly. Caddis can often be, or look like a moth. If you catch one, or see one on a tree branch, their wings are folder straight back – kind of making a tent over their long, straight bodies.

   Stoneflies are easy for me to recognize. You can usually find their “shells” all over the rocks from when they have molted out. But that tells me adults are in the air and nymphs are in the water. Stonefly adults look a lot like some caddis adults. I’m no expert, but they may even come from the same family. Don’t hold me to that. But they sure look similar.
    I recently discovered http://www.troutnut.com/. Check it out and you can see good pictures of mayflies, caddis and stoneflies.

Nymphs are just ‘infant’ stages of caddis and mayflies. Caddis nymphs often look more like a caterpillar or worm. So, if there are NOT a lot of bugs flying in the air (a hatch) – then chances are, a nymph will work. In fact, they say trout feed under the surface of the water 90 percent of the time. Most of the time they are eating nymphs. So if you play the percentages, nymphing is a highly productive way to fish.


    When nothing else seems to work – try a terrestrial. Try an ant – just to mix things up. Trout might see it as a rare opportunity, and go for it. If you see crayfish along the river bottom – toss one of those out. Worms, beetles, and grasshoppers all make nice alternatives that trout just might hit. So don’t forget to go to your ‘terrestrial box’ from time to time too.  

Stonefly shells

The bottom line is – look around. Notice what is happening. Is there a hatch? Should you nymph? What alternatives do you have? What size and color are the bugs? Observe what is going on – and adjust accordingly. Make a good presentation, and chances are you’ll have some luck.

Truckee River Crawfish

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Estes Park, Colorado

   I have really come to love fishing near Estes Park, Colorado. The town is great with lots of fun shops and great places to eat and stay. And there is so much great fly fishing within minutes. You can fish rivers, meadows, ponds and lakes. You will likely see plenty of wild life including bears, big horn sheep and elk which often can be seen in town. Rocky Mountain National Park is nearby and there are so many rivers and streams and little mountain lakes to try it might take me a lifetime to get to them all.
     I have already written about fishing the Big Thompson downstream of town. This time I took an early September trip above town into the park. I first stopped at Kirk's Fly Shop. They have everything you need including guided trips, supplies, maps, and suggestions on where to go. Check 'em out at www.kirksflyshop.com. Kirk set me up with some of the most recent flies and showed me a couple of rivers within RMNP.
       My first stop was at the Lawn Lake Trailhead. I intended to try the Roaring River. I had estimated a fairly steep climb and about a half hour hike to where the terrain flattens out. Kirk says the river is very small and you wouldn't think there is good fishing, but he says there are plenty of brookies and "greens". When I arrived, I double checked with a park ranger who told me I should plan at least an hour to reach that part of the river. I simply didn't have that much time so I opted for the nearby "Alluvial Fan" near the "Endovalley" picnic area.
      The Fall River flows through. It is a very slow, meandering river and is very, very clear. There are not a lot of boulders or logs so the fish settle in low spots in the center of the stream and can clearly be seen from the grassy banks. (in one photo you can see the trout in a pool). But these brookies are very wary and if they spot you they scoot to shelter under the banks. So, stealth is essential. I quickly learned to approach from behind (downstream) and crawl through the grass to the river bank. I also cast from my knees.
         You do not need waders here. In fact stay out of the water and you'll have much better luck. I only fished a couple of hours. I started with a BWO dry with an orange parachute, and a size 22 red copper john nymph dropper. I netted a nice brook along the far bank, but I noticed he hit the dry. 
        In the picture you can make out the orange parachute on the fly. So, I decided to just fish with a dry fly the rest of the day and cut the dropper. I didn't get much more action on that dry so I switched to the deer hair caddis dry. I caught two more real nice, colorful fish with that. And it was so fun to spot the fish cast to them and watch them attack my fly.
       The scenery is beautiful as well. But my time was up and I had to meet family in town for lunch. By the way I had a big juicy bacon cheese burger and fries! Yum.
      After lunch I simply went to one of the rivers that flow right through town. I tried the Glacier Creek just above where it merges with the Fall River. I did not feel like putting on waders so I just flipped my line from the sidewalk!
     There was a nice hatch of caddis and I saw nice trout actually leaping out of the water. I had two hits, but missed 'em and then the trout no longer seemed interested in my caddis dry.
     So, I walked upstream via the sidewalk a few yards and tried another good looking spot. I added a bead head nymph dropper that Kirk had suggested earlier in the day. From my vantage point I could see the trout chase my set-up and hit the nymph. It was really fun. But since I was on an elevated sidewalk with a railing - I could not net any of the trout I caught. They flipped off as I tried to lift 'em up. But I had several on and had a great time, right there in town. I got to play them a bit but the bad part was not seeing exactly what I caught. The trout had dark spots and a golden yellow color. I believe they may have been browns? Maybe a version of brookies?
       There are so many places left to fish in the area. Next time I hope to try the Moraine Meadows area or maybe one of the high country lakes. And I am still looking to see my first big horn sheep!

Yuba River, California

South Fork
      The South Fork flows along Interstate 80 outside Truckee, California. There is a place called the Rainow Lodge and fishing along there is supposed to be decent at certain times of the year, but I have never tried.
   I usally pick it up along California Highway 49 outside Grass Valley and Nevada City, California. The road comes to a state park and over a picturesque bridge. There are many hiking trails, and I have seen trout in some of the large pools in the river below.
  On my most recent stop, I saw fishing rising in a pool downstream. It was about 7:00 in the morning and nobody was around. So, I decided to hike down an try. The hike down was a bit rough. In fact I went through a thicket of bushes and ended up getting poison ivy.
     I used a deer hair caddis dry with a brown soft hackle nymph below. I cast to the rising fish. They were along a large boulder in the shade. I caught two, but they were not trout. I believe they were a white fish and I put them back. I decided to return to the first-aid kit in my car and tend to my poison oak.
     This section of the river is a favorite swimming hole. Temperatures can get quite hot in this area and people come to swim and cool off here so unless you come early the fishing is almost impossible. And due to the number of white fish this may not be the best fly water to try.

North Fork

    If you continue up the highway another 45 minutes or so, you reach the north fork of the Yuba river - a few miles below the town of Downieville, California.
    I usually stop at a pull-out at the Canyon Creek trail-head. I fish upstream of the bridge.
   On the far side of the river there is shade most of the day and lots of green vegetation. Not only is it pretty, but it makes great trout water. The water is usually about shin to knee deep with plenty of pockets and boulders for trout to hide.
    During the early summer I like to use a stonefly dry with a stonefly nymph dropper. The fish go wild! This time I was there in late August. There were still a few stones on the water but I saw a few fall caddis larva - a big juicy caterpillar - (see terrestrials under "trout food") and lots of teeny tiny nat-like bugs.
   In fact there was a massive hatch of these and I could see many trout rising and feeding. I saw a few pale morning dun mayflies so I put a small dry on top with a size 22 zebra midge below. Right off the bat I got a really nice rainbow. But then things slowed and I could not get a hit so I switched to a size 22 red copper john and netted another 'bow. In about two hours of fishing I had three hits and netted two.
  By now it was really getting hot. The car said 103 outside! So, I drove upstream, through the quaint town of Downieville, where I got a bite to eat and stopped in the local hardware store next to the US Post Office. They have all the fishing gear you'll need.
       More small streams feed the Yuba above town and the slope is a little more steep so the water flows faster - doesn't get too stagnant - and thus is cooler. Since the day was hot, I needed the coolest water possible in order to catch any sluggish trout.
   This time I used a deer hair caddis dry with a size 22 gray midge. I tossed into water that was flowing over a boulder dam and into a pool. Bang - got one - and he was a fighter. I had a chance to capture this one with my camera while he was fighting. By the way the rod is my 3 piece, 3 weight replacement rod from Loomis. Check out details under "getting started - rods".
    After that - no action - so I switched to a black royal coachman dry with a red tail and a size 22 zebra midge and netted another one a few yards downstream. Look how clear this water is! Stealth and good presentation is key. Despite the hot temps I saw a few fish still rising in the cool shade and along the banks. But believe me - on a hot day like this I really wanted to just jump in the pool myself and cool off. If it didn't involve waders and boots and vests being put on and off I would have.

       While checking out the conditions, I observed dozens of fall caddis larva. These are the little bugs that live in a cocoon made of tiny pebbles. They are all along the bottom of the river - on boulders and logs etc. I plucked one out and set it on a log for you to see. (see caddis under "trout food").
I often hear people call these "helgremites" but they are really fall caddis larva. There are several nymphs you can use to imitate this stage. Trout eat 'em up. later - you'll see the black or gray colored adults during a hatch. The deer hair caddis dry works well then.
   Anyway the Yuba is a good old standby. Even when it is fairly late in the season the water is a bit down and it is very hot. I still caught fish and saw plenty of action.