Thank god for the tournament though my bracket is in shambles and I have no chance of winning any pool I am in. With every river working its way up to flood stage with this storm there is no where to fish and I have been thinking about what this spring and summer are going to hold. With all this water it is going to be a different year and will require some adjustment. There is no reason to stay home just re think where you are going.
The Lower Sac is presently at 41,300cfs from Keswick this is really high...like a good intestinal flush this will definitely clean out all the homeless encampments through Redding along the river but will need to drop to at least to 25,000cfs to fish. Some people will fish it around 30,000cfs but it is a bit tricky. The Lower Yuba is raging as well with releases from Englebright hovering around 15,000cfs and Deer Creek pumping 1500cfs it is gonna be a while before the L. Yuba drops. Even the low flow of the feather which is usually the river of last resort as it never blows out blew out this week. There is a few lakes that aren't snowed in that offer a glimmer of a chance at catching a few but most reservoirs and lakes are muddy from run off or hidden behind walls of snow and ice. This is all added to with a forecast that is nothing but rain as far as accuweather will show me.
So what does this mean....Well hopefully the lower sac will drop into fishable flows some time soon and allow us to get some fishing in on the top few floats. The Lower Yuba will probably slowly drop over the next few weeks or month but I imagine we will not see flows below 2500cfs for a while. The Lower Yuba will see some scouring and re-arranging of rock creating some new runs with the sustained high water. This can mean good and bad things. It usually means once the water gets fishable fishing will be amazing (though this is because the fish are famished and will eat anything around) and we will most likely see another great summer of hopper fishing as that maybe one of the only menu items around. High water years like 2006 usually mean the Lower Yuba fishes great all summer though hatches are sparse and intermittent and water levels rarely get below 2500cfs all summer.
I imagine it will be another high water shad season which can be tough as fish move through the system quickly with high flows. Though the same high flows make for a good striper season as migratory fish move higher in the river system and food is more spread out for the resident fish making them easier to catch. This is one fishery that as long as the clarity is marginal fishing can be really good. High water allows us to get back into sloughs and ponds for largemouth that are usually cut off at lower flows from the river and stripers don't mind minimal visibility as long as you know where they congregate you can catch them.
All that said in previous high water years I have had to adjust where i fish in the spring and early summer as run off and late storms make the normal trout spots a no go. Areas like Fall River and a few local spring creeks usually remain fishable and fish very well through the spring once they open. I also target lakes like Lake Almanor for smallmouth and trout along with Lake Davis (which should be full this year). Also some west side lakes that will remain nameless with all this water will flood timber and provide amazing largemouth and crappie fishing.
Bottom line is many of us are just going to have to change our game a bit I think this year. There will be plenty of fishing this spring and summer and lots of water is never a bad thing. Though we will have to change our game early in the season. Go fish some new spots or old ones we haven't fished sense the last high water year.
That is my Sunday morning rant. Over and out.