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Yuba River

A great fish from the Lower Yuba River
Guided Float Trips
$575 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
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 Fishing Image
January 3, 2022
Yuba River Report by Ben Thompson

We had a fun day on the Yuba yesterday. We caught some fired up trout and landed two steelhead. January is often a quality over quantity game out there. We saw a few pmds coming off and most days recently there have been bwo hatches. More hatches will continue to come off as the month progresses and by the end of the month we should be seeing some skwala adults and having good dry fly action.

Yuba River Fishing Image
December 19, 2021
Yuba River Report by Ben Thompson

I have attached some pics of a few different steelhead from this fall so far on the Lower Yuba. Some of the fish we are finding are Yuba steelhead and some are lost from other rivers. The steelie season has kicked off with a bang and should get better from here. We just had a bunch of rain but the river is already cleared up and is currently fishing again. With deer creek already having been flushed twice, and much of the upcoming storms going to produce snow instead of rain, hopefully it will hold. If not, it clears very fast compared to other rivers in the area.Some days recently the fish have been looking up and eating bwos on top. We don't need a lot of vis and the river fished fantastic after the big storm at the end of October. December and January are some of my favorite months to chase steelhead out there and of course get into trout daily as well. February is generally prime time for the infamous skwala hatch. If you have not tried throwing hefty stonefly dries in the middle of winter from a drift boat out there, I recommend it. March and April will bring more hatches to throw dries and if it continues like last year we will find steelhead here and there all the way into May.

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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