Holiday on the Yuba
Fishing and hunting
I took a break from the grind of retirement this week, to go fishing with my buddy, Steve Kyle. Both of us were eager to go fly-fishing somewhere, but it is, after all, Thanksgiving week, so we could not make it a multi-day expedition.
We called guide Bill Lowe, who has taught many locals at Leland Fly-Fishing Ranch, and got him to agree to take us for a day trip on the Yuba River just east of Marysville.
It is an easy two-and-a-half-hour drive from Sonoma to the put-in spot near the Highway 20 Bridge, and we shoved-off under mostly cloudy, but not rainy, skies.
I’d like to say the fishing was fantastic, and it was, but the catching left a little to be desired. We used dry flies all day, and even though there weren’t many bugs flying around, we managed to entice a few rainbows to come up after our offerings. We caught and released some feisty little rainbows, the largest of which was probably 14 inches.
We stopped a couple of times to use our Spey rods and swung some flies across the current, and this too produced a few hook-ups. Along the way, we saw lots of salmon paired up for mating and generally enjoyed the ride.
This particular stretch of the river has a lot of fish, but they are particular and we had to work to get some to take our flies.
Bill Lowe is an excellent guide and a super fly-casting instructor. Steve had his usual full-day-drift’s worth of fish tales to share, and we all agreed it was a good day on the water.
Bill guides in a lot of Northern California rivers. The American River and Yuba are his “home waters.” For more information go to his website billloweflyguide.com or call him at 916-966-0999.
Steve also went over to the Russian River last weekend, but didn’t see any steelhead. Reports indicate that a few fish are in and have been caught by anglers using roe for bait.
Closer to home, anglers can make a short drive over to Port Sonoma on the Petaluma River or on Cuttings Wharf Road to fish the Napa River, where, according to Joel Sinkay of Leonard’s Bait Shop, there are lots of opportunities to catch striped bass right now. Joe added that sturgeon are starting to show in the Napa River and Petaluma River and that bites should pick up this week. He has plenty of live bait.
Joel also has a direct connection to a commercial crab fisherman and he is offering fresh, large, live dungeness crab at his shop (at Port Sonoma) for $6.50 a pound. Call him at 762-7818.
Keith Fraser said that recent storms have kept most anglers off the Bay this week, but the post-Thanksgiving tides will favor those going after sturgeon. One of his party boat captains said there are lots of sturgeon in the North Bay. He reportedly saw dozens jumping near Buoy 11 this week. Call Keith at 415-456-0321 to book a party boat.
Anglers who want to catch their own dungeness crab, along with tasty limits of rockcod, should call Capt. Rick Powers, over at Bodega Bay Sportfishing (875-3344). Rick’s clients have been bringing home full limits of fat crabs and rockcod virtually every trip this week.