While Winter is still officially here the last few days in Chico have felt like spring is right around the corner. Many of our Nor Cal rivers are finally dropping down to traditional winter flows after all the early winter storms and this warm weather should kick the early spring hatches in to gear. Here is what is coming up.
While the lower yuba is still sitting at 3000cfs I have had some great days out there over the last few weeks. That said the flows are scheduled to drop January 31 starting at 8am by 400 cfs and then again on Feb7 at 8am by another 400cfs, bringing the flow down to a great 2,200cfs. This is a great flow for the Lower Yuba. Plenty of current in the flats for fish and not to high that the riffles aren’t fishable.
There has been mixed reports of the skwala stone fly hatch. I have caught a few fish on big dries and seen a few bugs but nothing really epic yet. If you are going to fish dries this time of year on the Yuba you have to commit to it and fish them hard all day or pick your spots. Look for the skwala hatch to REALLY get going when the flows began to drop. This will trigger a big migration of nymphs to the bank. Also look for baetis, early March Browns and Gray Drakes along with some caddis over the next few weeks…maybe even earlier if we keep getting 65 degree days.
Feb – May is a great time to be on the Lower Yuba with hatches of PMD’s, PED’s, Tons of Caddis, Little Yellow Sallies, Golden Stone Flies, March Browns, and Gray Drakes.
The Lower Sac has dropped down to its normal winter flow, hovering around 5000-6000cfs. Fishing has been good to fair with the warm then cold weather. Usually winter is when we chase the big rainbows up through Redding, but this is best during over cast cloudy days as the baetis get going and we haven’t had many of these days. I would expect with the warmer weather we are having the big “spring caddis” hatch will start up in the coming month and fishing should only continue to improve on the L. Sac. Feb – mid April is prime spring fishing on the L. Sac.
Not much happening here but the spring steelhead season is right around the corner. By Early to mid march there will be good numbers of wild spring steelhead in the river. The weather will be beautiful and there is usually very little pressure. Great change of pace sense most of the days this fall were bitter cold or pissing rain. Early March –early May is best.
Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Carp
As always spring is the time to target bass and carp…many many options from still water to rivers to sloughs and back waters. Late April through Mid June is best but with early spring weather things can start up in Mid March. Many many options…call or email to set up exactly what you want to do.
Spring Stripers and Shad
With full reservoirs and plenty of snow we should have another great striper and shad year. Late April through May the first Migratory stripers will show up around Chico and by Late May the Shad should be going strong as well. Evening, half day, and full day trips are available.
Stripers Late April-September
Shad Mid May-mid June
Summer Preview of Fishing –
Striper fishing all summer…hot weather = good striper fishing
I will be working up at the Clearwater Lodge again this year. Check out their website for some summer specials like free rods and such. www.clearwaterlodge.com
Also I will doing some raft trips on various free stone rivers this summer…. Stay tuned for more information on this…dust off your life jackets and old bike helmets…maybe even get caught up on your swim lessons.
Here is the first shot at spring and summer dates. Both are limited so book early!!!!
Feb 5, 6
March 13, 27
April 2, 3, 9, 10, 23,
May 7, 14, 15, 22, 28, 29, 30
May evening or half day trips 23-27
June 4-16, 22-26
July 1-3, 6, 9-31