So, February first is approaching and it looks like it is going to rain outside but at this point I am have no faith that water actually falls from the sky. That said the weather man says there should be some rain in the next few days. I also looked at the extended forecast on Accuweather through March 14 and it shows some rain coming in through the month of February. I think the bottom line though is that we are so far behind in rain/snow that not matter what happens the next few months we are going to be experience drought like water conditions through the summer.
What does the drought mean? Well to be honest I can only hypothesize what fishing will be like as I have no frame of reference in my life for these type of conditions. I was not around the last time we had this bad of water situation and I have never fished many of the rivers I guide this low. The general consensus around here, among those that fish and live up here, is that spring is going to be pretty darn good fishing, especially if we get the rain we all hope for. If the rain and snow comes most water agencies will hold back water and the rivers will most likely not change much during the spring. If we get enough water the creeks and smaller tribs to the valley tailwaters could pump some color but the ground is so dry I highly doubt it. So…Spring will be good fishing even if we get very little rain and the drought conditions remain fishing should be pretty darn good fishing until about late may or June. Trout fishing on the L. Sac, L. Yuba, and Steelhead fishing on the Feather should be good. I think ounce the weather gets warm and water is low, say come June, we will start to see the true results of the drought on the tailwaters. I imagine for those that venture up to the sierra trout water the reality of the drought will take place sooner, that said as long as the air temps remain low during the spring fishing should be decent. Unless we see about 90 straight days of snow and rain I would plan my sierra trout trips this year for the spring…I think by early to mid June trout fishing on bodies of water that rely on snow melt are going to be in sad shape.
With regards to Striper and Shad fishing many old timers say low water years are good shad years and high water years are good striper years…that said I heard a guy in chico say the other day that striper fishing is going to be amazing this year with the low water. Again I have no reference point for the current conditions. I think shad fishing in May and June should be pretty good as the schools will concentrate with low water but I am not sure how far they will move up river…I have heard in low water years the Shad can hang up but who knows. I can’t imagine the migratory striper run will move very far up river this year and the lower water should concentrate the resident fish making them a bit more skittish. I have been tying some smaller, sparser, and lighter clousers for the summer and spring. I think smallmouth fishing on the Sac will be pretty good this year as lower water should concentrate the fish and make fishing for them a bit easier as they will be easier to locate. Carp fishing I am not sure on the various reservoirs how that will pan out or how the river will be affected. I am sure the flats will not have water on them in most places but that may create new flats with low water who knows.
Current Fishing Reports
The Lower Sac – is fishing fair I would say. Each days seems to be different with some days being better then others. Most fish are coming on Baetis and general Mayfly Nymphs. S&M nymphs #18, Trim Flash Back PT’s #14, S&M PMD’s #16, Little Amigos #16, and a few fish still coming on beads. Overcast weather should help and any rain can’t hurt.
The Lower Yuba – is fishing fair as well. The skwala hatch is going but most of the skwalas seem to be concentrated above the bridge and the hatch has not really migrated to far down river. I have seen skwalas as far down as sycamore but I have not seen them in any consistent number. Small nymphs and the occasional rubber leg are still catching the most fish for me. On some days there can be a decent baetis hatch with fish eating in the flats as well. Overcast should turn some fish on over the next couple of days.
Culture Reports – For those needing culture.
Super Bowl week is upon us and my one Denver Bronco fan buddy is pretty pumped…probably been wearing some form of bright orange all week. Personally I will be fishing on super Sunday and counting days until pitchers and catchers report and I can start reading random baseball news from spring training. I have been catching a few NBA games and college basketball games but nothing to serious. This is kind of my down time…signing day for ND is coming up and I have been following that but not much Sports Watching lately.
So with no sports really grabbing my attention I have been catching up on TV programs…Here is my list.
The Following – gruesome, suspenseful, and addicting
Girls – on HBO…pretty damn funny.
True Detectives – On HBO with Matthew Mcconaugheyand Woody Harleson, great new show with good acting and story.
Revolutions – everybody loves a post apocalyptic Sci Fi show
I have been all over the place lately. Got into two new bands Into It Over It and Have Mercy….Good indie/emo rock….but then I watched Jason Isbell on Austin City Limits and started listening to all his CD’s over again. He is one the best song writters I listen to. There is no other artist that I know of that writes more songs I connect with then him. Any of his CD’s are great albums and have a place for any mood or trip.