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Yuba River

A great fish from the Lower Yuba River
Guided Float Trips
$600 for 1-2 Anglers
  • Year-round
  • Drift Boat Trips

The Lower Yuba River is home to healthy wild trout and a variety of hatches. Open and usually fishable year-round, this crystal-clear trout stream is home to some of the best dry fly fishing in northern California. Scroll down to learn why our guides and fishing guests love to fish the Yuba!

Flowing from the bottom of Englebright Dam, the Lower Yuba River stays clear and cold all year long. Consistent flows provide for excellent bug life and predictable hatches. Baetis mayflies are present throughout the winter months and are joined by skwala stoneflies in January and February. Early spring is a great time for March Browns and Pale Morning Dun mayflies. Caddisflies become active in April and hatch throughout the summer months. Summer is hopper time and is also a great time to wet-wade and fish trout-spey techniques. Fall is time for salmon-egg imitations and blue wing olive mayflies.

The Yuba River is less than an hour from Sacramento and within a three hour drive of the Bay Area. Guided float trips begin near the Highway 20 Bridge east of Marysville where the river emerges from the foothills into the valley. Our guests float to Sycamore Ranch or all the way to Daguerre Dam. The Yuba River is a great place to wade and we frequently spend a fair time out of the boat during a typical guide trip. We fish dry flies on 5wt rods and nymphs on 6wt rods.

Trout on the Yuba River come in all sizes. Most days we connect with fish up to 16 inches and 18 inch fish are not uncommon. The biggest Yuba River trout are in the 24 inch range. Many of these fish are likely to be steelhead rather than resident rainbows. These larger fish come to the net more frequently during the fall and winter months. There is no hatchery on the Yuba River, so it's quite rare to hook into anything other than a wild, native rainbow here.

Mike Wright and Ben Thompson are our go-to guides on the Yuba River. Both have private access above the Highway 20 Bridge and also at Daguerre Dam. This private access makes possible a great full-day float of about 7 river miles. The section of river below the Highway 20 bridge is open year-round and excellent fishing can be had at any time of year. Every trip offers our guests numerous opportunities at quality wild rainbow trout.

Recent Yuba River Fishing Reports

Yuba River Fishing Image
January 24, 2023
Yuba River Report by Ben Thompson

Floated the Lower Yuba yesterday, and the river is looking good. The storms drastically changed certain runs and some of the normal routes have changed. Water was a nice tint of green with 3+ feet of visibility, sitting around 3200 cfs flows. We got into over a dozen trout and mostly caught them on big bugs and eggs. We found our first skwala adult of the season and hopefully this is a good sign for the skwala hatch in February. With the big water that came through there certainly is some steelhead that pushed up and we will be chasing and patterning them hard over the coming months. Flows are likely going to stay around 3k through next month so the walk and wade skwala game is going to be tough for most. Your best bet will be to fish it from a drift boat, ideally with someone who knows the river well. I have availability in February and would be happy to get you out there. 

Yuba River Fishing Image
December 16, 2022
Yuba River Report by Ben Thompson

I guided the Lower Yuba River today and fishing was very good. The river has cleared up since the last storms and the water is a great color. Fish were eating eggs and small attractor flies consistently throughout the day. We caught good numbers and had a quality grade of fish on the wild rainbows and also found a clip fin steelhead. There were some pmds and bwos that hatched and fish were up on dries in certain spots. Winter is a great time to fish out here, short drive for most people, good nymphing, dry fly fishing, streamer fishing and swinging can make for a fun day on the river. 

Yuba River Fishing Image
July 23, 2022
Yuba River Report by Ben Thompson

Had a a great day today with Chris who was a first timer and Seth who is from Georgia and never fished from a drift boat or caught wild rainbows. They were both impressed with the power and beauty of the trout they caught. We were also stoked to catch a small lost clip fin steelhead in July. The last 2 weeks we have been catching fish primarily on hoppers and nymphing. The flows are up for Ag purposes with plenty of water getting pushed down the river, it is a nice change of pace compared to how low and clear it often is nowadays. If you want to fish hoppers from a drift boat with only a 2 hour drive from the bay area, now or August is the ideal time. 

Yuba River Hatch Chart

Mayflies
March Browns
Baetis
PMD
Caddisflies
Brachycentrus
Rhyacophila
Hydropsyche
Stoneflies
Skwalas
Terrestrials
Grasshoppers
Other
Salmon Eggs
Steelhead Present
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Yuba River Photo Gallery

A Lower Yuba rainbow trout
A view of the Yuba River
A wading angler hooked up on the Yuba
We use drift boats on the Lower Yuba River
Wading can be very productive on the Lower Yuba
This fish ate a grasshopper pattern
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