Now that I have kids – it is difficult to get away and fly fish the way I use to. But I recently got a “2 day pass”.
With the California drought – fall fishing is difficult. But I thought of a place where I would have a decent chance.
|Yuba River below Jackson|
I decided to try the Middle Fork of the Yuba River – below Jackson Meadow Reservoir.
I was in luck. I got a good weekend. It was post-Labor Day, so fishing pressure was light. In fact, I never saw anybody in this hole.
Water was still flowing out of Jackson – and it was ice cold. The air temperature was in the high 70's to low 80's.
I decided to fish a pool – almost like a small pond. It is one of my favorite spots – but it is a little hard to get to. The short hike in is not easy, due to rocks, fallen trees and thick brush.
The water enters over a small "fall" over some boulders. Then opens into a pool framed by cliffs on either side. The water was clear and moving very slowly.
The pool is awesome. I arrived one afternoon at about 4:30 and saw several fish rising. I could not see what they were hitting, but I thought I saw a stone fly in the air, so I tried that.
|Stone fly I caught|
The hatch only lasted a few minutes. Then the pool fell silent and I didn’t see any other activity the rest of the evening. As I packed up – I actually saw a stone fly in the air – and caught it.
I went back home. Since water levels in other near-by rivers and creeks were drastically low – and since I had seen active trout – I decided to return the next day.
This time I arrived by 3pm. I knew stones would hatch around 4pm. I was determined to get those rising fish to hit. And I was going to be ready. I rigged up – and then waited.
Sure enough – 3:50pm, the first fish broke the water. Soon, another - and another. I grabbed my rod and waded every so stealthfully into the pond. But on the way – I saw a bug on the surface of the water, and snatched it up.
As you can see – it’s not a stone – it’s a mayfly!
|Mayfly "Exhibit A"|
I quickly re-rigged. I eventually saw three types of mayflies. One was green (probably a drake or BWO), another was grey – and one was light yellow to orange (probably a PMD).
|Mayfly "Exhibit B"|
I matched each version in terms of color and size. The trout rose and fed for about an hour. Not interested in the least in my offerings. Not a single hit.
I thought my presentation was awesome. Almost every cast was on target and zero splash. I had fresh, nine foot, 7X, 2lb test tippet. The fly line didn’t seem to spook ‘em. Heck they rose and fed and splashed right next to it.
I added droppers - nymphs, emergers etc. But I could not get a single hit. Not one. Two nights in a row. Nothing.
|My stone fly selection w/ dropper|
So, I ask – what did I do wrong? Look at the flies I saw on the river and in the air. Look at the flies I tried. You’ll have to trust me concerning the presentation etc.
What more cold I have done? I am stumped.
|Patterns I attempted|