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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
July 10, 2023
Yuba River Report by Ben Thompson

Summer hopper fishing on the Lower Yuba has started with a bang. This is a very unique summer as recently the fishing pressure on the river has changed significantly. Over the last few years there has been a lot of riff raff along the river driving quads and polaris razors around causing a ruckus. The landowners have grown tired of this and put up a heavy duty locked gate at the highway 20 entrance. This means that the public access to launch there has been cut off so anyone who is not in the private club that I am a part of essentially cannot launch a drift boat. Additionally, public bank anglers will only be able to hike in at highway 20 and sycamore ranch/hammon grove. Being that the water is up and the river cannot be crossed in most spot and they cannot drive down the 4wd road to access the middle sections of river, there is going to be very little bank angler pressure. The sign on the new gate says that the gate will be up for an undetermined amount of time but they are going to try and do some work in there so my guess is it will be a pretty long time. While this is unfortunate for the everyday bank angler, it just happens to be good for us.All of our days out so far have resulted in a lot of dry fly eats. Hopper fishing is generally much better when there is good flow versus low water conditions. There are a lot of sneaky spots with so much water that we can tuck into. Sometimes the fish will miss the hopper and many people will set too early, but if you want to get some awesome California hopper eats then July August and early September this year is the time. Have plenty of dates open this summer but coming up soon I have July 18,21,24,25,26 to fill. Hope you have a great summer. Ben

Yuba River Fishing Image
March 29, 2023
Yuba River Report by Ben Thompson

I had my first yuba trip since the last big storm yesterday and it went very well. There was a suprising amount of bugs around- I saw skwalas, march browns, lots of pmds and a few caddis. The color of the water is excellent and the river is in good shape. If anyone says that it has been scoured out from the high flows- don't believe it. The river was just over 5,000 cfs yesterday and is definitely big. We hunted down slower water and found eager fish. Our outlook for the rest of spring is great, once the weather warms up the hatches will probably get huge and provide good action both nymphing and throwing dries. 

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 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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