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Yuba River

A great fish from the Lower Yuba River
Guided Float Trips
$550 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
August 25, 2020
Yuba River Report by Ben Thompson

In the last few days the hopper fishing has peaked on the Lower Yuba in my opinon. These photos are all client fish caught on hoppers from recent trips this month. I have had three trips cancel in the next week because of fears of smoke. The smoke is not that bad on the Lower Yuba, I have had clients over the age of 70 in the last few days and they have been fine. At times the sky is blue and you can see the sun, other times the sky is hazy which acts like cloud cover and turns up the bite. Additionally I have recently secured private access water to float both a little bit above highway 20 and then all the way down to Daguerre Dam, which has some prime hopper water.

Yuba River Fishing Image
July 3, 2020
Yuba River Report by Ben Thompson

Hopper season is in full swing on the Yuba River! I was out there three times in the last week and each time they have been looking up taking big hoppers and attractors off of the surface. They have also been eating a wide variety stones, caddis and mayflies sub surface. We should have this good action continue on top and July is a great month for it. There is no better way to fish hoppers than from a drift boat.On a side note- those who have had to cancel big fishing trips out of country/state this year may want to consider doing more local trips instead. The Lower Yuba is just over 45 minutes from most parts of Sacramento, and less than 2 hours from many parts of the Bay Area. To throw these big dries for fiesty wild trout mid summer feels a lot like Montana. 

Yuba River Fishing Image
February 6, 2020
Yuba River Report by Ben Thompson

Had a great Yuba trip with Steve on Thursday. We nymphed in the morning and got into some fish, but the day really kicked into gear when we started seeing skwalas on the water and fish rising at about noon, which is a little earlier than we have been seeing it lately. We commited to the dry from then on and it was the right move. There was a bunch of different bugs coming off, but the fish were clearly keyed in on the skwalas as we could watch a live one float by and then see a fish eat it. They continued to rise to them steadily and then it slowed a bit just after 4pm but there were still some fish willing to come up to a good presentation in the right locations until the end of the day. 

Yuba River Hatch Chart

March Browns
Salmon Eggs
Steelhead Present
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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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