LTFF Beginners' Main Yuba River Fish-out Description:
This fish-out is offered only to those GGACC members who are currently enrolled in this year's Beginners Class in the club's "Learn to Fly Fish" (LTFF) Program. Not all current Beginners will be able to register for this fish-out since only 12 students will be accepted in each of the two groups (Group 1: mentored fishing on Friday-Sat., 6/8-9; and Group 2: fish on Sunday-Monday, 6/10-11)
This fish-out will be held on the Lower (main) Yuba River. This river, from Englebright Lake down to the confluence with the Feather River near Marysville, is a 15-mile stretch of tailwater that hosts rainbows averaging about 12 to 14 inches. Some steelhead enter this river by way of the Feather River, but many of the good-sized rainbows are actually resident fish. American Shad also make a run upriver around late May, so if our mentors on this trip detect the presence of this largest member of the Herring family we might make an effort to catch a few. These fish can easily bend over a 5-weight fly rod so if you have a 6 or 7 wt. bring it along. Your fish-out leader (me -- Rich Stevens), will take care of your terminal rigging if we get into some shad, so don’t worry now about how to rig your rod for shad. Teaching you what you need to know is what the Learn to Fly Fish program is all about.
Most of us will be camping in a pre-paid group camp site "D" at Sycamore Ranch Campground in Browns Valley. Go to firstname.lastname@example.org then click on the "county parks" for more information. This campground is about 15 miles east of Marysville on Hwy 20. The GPS address is 5390 Highway 20, Browns Valley and it will be on your right if you are traveling east. It is easy to miss so keep an eye on the odometer out of Marysville.
The campground has paved roads, is lit at night, and has indoor plumbing and hot showers … how good is that? There is also water and electric hook-up if you have a camper, and there is a dump station also.
All students and mentors shall gather at the fish-out leader's campsite at 7:00AM each morning (UON) for mentor assignments, safety talk, etc. The plan is to for Group 1 to have mentored fishing on Friday and Saturday (after breaking camp before breakfast on that 2nd morning) and for Group 2 to have mentored fishing on Sunday and Monday (again, after breaking camp early on the 2nd morning).
Because our group camp area is reserved starting at 3pm on Thursday, those in Group 1 can get set up then if they choose to arrive that early and may be able to do some fishing, practice casting of poly leaders (sink tips necessary for fishing for shad) or practice casting in general, practice wading in moving water, or any other skill you need to develop or improve upon that evening. Same will be true for the Group 2 students arriving after 3pm on Saturday. We have to check out of the campground by noon on Monday, but those in Group 2 who arrive on Saturday will be able to get two days of fishing in as well.
We’ll have dinner for Group 1 on Friday evening in Yuba City and Group 2 on Sunday evening - also, in Yuba City. You are on your own for evening dinners on Thursday (Grp.1) and on Saturday (Grp.2) -- and for ALL breakfasts.
We’ll provide fixings for sandwiches (and salads) for lunch for you to make up each morning and take to eat at the river with your mentor so we have more time to fish.
Camping Gear or Lodging Options
If you are going to stay in camp, you will need a tent unless you are sleeping in your vehicle or camper. I don’t recommend trying to "Daniel Boone" it by sleeping out under the stars. There are critters out at night. A sleeping bag or other warm cover is necessary since it gets cool, and sometimes downright cold at night. It might also rain this time of year so be prepared. And don’t forget your favorite pillow. Bring a good air mattress (or pad or cot); a headlamp (or flashlight); maybe a lantern, camp chair, cookstove and cookware (if you are cooking for yourself); definitely a plate, bowl, and cup; eating utensils; and personal items such as some bug repellent, sun block, chap stick, a hat that provides some protection from the sun and a pair of polarized sunglasses with strap. I suggest that you look into buying a pair of sun gloves. They are available at any fly shop or online. You might also wish to bring firewood and a fire-starter, and maybe an evening libation to share.
If you don’t want to camp, there are several decent motels in Marysville and Yuba City. You can find these online easily enough and it’s not much of a drive to the campground where we will operate out of.
There will most likely be cell service at the campground so if you need to call or text me, my mobile number is 831-338-4843.
Your fishing gear for normal stream trout fishing should consist of either a 4, 5 or 6 weight fly rod with the appropriate reel and preferably a weight forward floating (or maybe a double taper floating) fly line. You should have at least one (preferably waterproof) flybox with some of your own flies now -- including dry fly patterns, nymphs, and Wooly Buggers. You may have flies from your earlier North Yuba fish-out that should work here and I will bring some additional flies, leaders and other necessary pieces to help you rig your fly rod.
Other necessary equipment includes waders, wading boots, a wading staff, a wading belt (one that you can cinch tight), a second "stretchy" belt (to wear in addition to the belt that came with your waders), a vest or a pack large enough to carry one or more flyboxes, a few leaders, tippet spools, tools (nippers & forceps), silicone floatant, "dry-shake" (desiccant floatant), split-shot, indicators, your lunch, and at least one bottle of water for each 4 hours on the water (and a rain jacket if needed). And don't forget your fishing license -- which, in California, must be carried on your person but need not be visible.
This is going to be a fun and informative fishing trip for us all. I’m looking forward to seeing old fishing friends and meeting new fishing friends. I have a standard speech that I always give to those who are new to actually casting a fly, with at least a modicum of skill, onto water that might have a fish lurking someplace.
It goes like this: Our main purpose here is to learn how to fly fish so there will be a lot of time spent on things like crimping barbs on hooks, tying a loop on your new leader (yes, I will give you a leader without a loop) to attach to your fly line, practicing our casting in terrain that looks nothing like the casting ponds, and maybe less time actually standing in the water.
If the only reason you sign up is to catch as many fish as fast as you can, I suggest that you forget about fly fishing, get some number 4 bait-holder hooks and some night crawlers and go fishing with the crowd.
I hope to see you at the GG casting ponds soon and look forward to meeting you all there or out on this fish-out. In the meantime, keep working on your casting and be sure to practice your knots. You must be able to tie at least these 4 knots using mono or fluoro tippet: the dbl. surgeon's loop knot, a (dbl. or triple) surgeon's knot, a good clinch knot (or the improved clinch), and also the non-slip mono loop knot -- all of which were taught to you in your March class days. Refer to your class hand-outs if you need a refresher.
Fish-out Leader: Rich Stevens email: email@example.com cell ph. 831-338-4843
Cost: $190 registration fee covers campground charge (2 nights), bag lunches, restaurant dinner (one night, including mentors' meals), and fly fishing supplies -- but NOT the cost of lodging offsite.