2017 Volunteer Fish-Out on the Yuba

Saturday June 3, 2017 featured the annual PCT Volunteer appreciation fish-out at the Lower Yuba UC Davis Field Station. It was a day I had on my calendar for months and looked forward to seeing my fellow board members and many volunteers who had the opportunity to participate.  THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!

The day had it ALL: beautiful weather, camaraderie, clear cold water (and home crafted beer), and of course some willing fish.

The flows were significantly higher than typical (~ 5000 cfs). It was immediately apparent that the river has changed dramatically from last season with a lot of gravel rearranged.

My first fish of the day hit my streamer like a freight train and made a fantastic initial run. I knew he was a big fish. I anticipated many runs to follow (typical of these athletic Yuba fish) but was disappointed when it came doggedly to hand… A two foot pikeminnow:

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Yuba pikeminnow

The annual PCT Board Meeting was productive.  The newest member, Shawn Yarnes, was welcomed. A variety of topics were discussed any many action items were developed.  There will be a lot of future volunteer opportunities soon…

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A working lunch….

As far as the fishing, some had success indicating the seams.  Hot flies seemed to be prince, dark lord, and rubber legs.

I personally had success swinging a fish skull sculpin bunny with a prince nymph trailer.    The smaller “silver bullets” seemed to like to take the prince on the swing as it found riffled but slower water.  I lost one really nice fish while letting the streamer sink on a VersiLeader into a deeper eddy and stripping back in fast but short staccato retrieves.  He SMASHED my sculpin and took one explosive leap before taking off with everything and flipping me the fin.  I yelled a shocked expletive and then sat down to contemplate my unfortunate decision to go with 3x tippet instead of something much stouter.

Come out and volunteer some time on the Putah this year and join on next year’s Yuba outing. I know I can’t wait!

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