Kayaking the Yuba River for Trout
Written By: Headwaters Fishing Team, March 12, 2013
I was fortunate enough to get out on the water today. Originally I had trip plans with Dan, but a jury duty notice in the mail meant that fishing was on standby. Lucky for me I was not summoned today and already had the day off work. I wanted to do a float, but couldn't find anybody to float with. I spoke with a coworker and he mentioned that there are a few guys that live in Marysville that offer to shuttle your vehicle from the put in to Sycamore Ranch RV Park on the Yuba River. Decision made!
I dicided to be nice to my wife, since she was nice enough to grant me a fishing day, and help her in the morning rather than leave super early. I arrived at the put in at 8:30, and got in touch with Chris, the gentleman that was going to shuttle my truck for me. I had lucked out in choosing him to be my shuttle guy because he also has a kayak, and suggested a launch spot that did not require 4wd. I pulled my Coosa out of the truck bed, strapped on my wheelies, paid Chris and gave him my keys, and off I went.
The river was a little high at 1,400 cfs, but still very wadeable. As much as I enjoy the controlled catastrophe that is fighting and landing a fish in a river setting out of a kyak, I prefer standing on solid ground. The river was also quite clear, with about 6 feet of visibilty. This was my first time fishing the Yuba so I don't know if the water clarity was normal for that river, but I knw that the clear water would make hooking a fish more difficult. Due to the water clarity, I stuck with small flies, and used fluorocarbon tippet. I decided that my goal for the day was to land one fish.
As I floated down the river, I focused my efforts on deep areas, where trout could stay hidden. After floating through the fourth likely spot with not so much as a bump, I realized it might be a tough day of fishing. On the bright side, at least I was out on the river instead of in jury duty, and I practically had the place to myself.
After about 2 hours, I floated into a gigantic hole. If there was a trout in this river, it surely lived here. I parked my boat, got out my switch rod and found a nice point to cast off of. After about 2 casts, one of the biggest trout I have ever seen lept into the air to grab an insect. "Well at least they're here," I thought. Alas, no luck. I floated another hundred yards down, side drifting the whole way. Right when I set down my rod to adjust the boat, "zzzzz," my reel went off. I grabbed the rod just in time to feel the fish and then it was off. In the back of my mind I thought, "that was my one for the day." As luck would have it it was not. At the last possible place to catch a trout before the take out, I saw a fish rise as I was floating. I quickly cast my nymph rig upstream of the fish. Wham! Fish on. I had foolishly put my anchor in the back of my tank well. So with fish on the rod, I battled with one hand and paddled to the bank with the other. I made it to shallow water, jumped out of the boat, still fighting the fish, grabbed the anchor and chucked it out. I gently coaxed the fish into the net. What a beauty. It was only around 14 inches, but extremely deep bodied, and best of all wild. Mission accomplished!Back To Reports