Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fly Fishing the Feather At Shanghai Bend

Shanghai Bend Rapids

Shanghai Bend is a well-known access to the Lower Feather River in Yuba City. This area was once known to have had several beautiful wide waterfalls that were form from clay deposits. However in 2012, heavy floods caused the falls to collapsed and in effect reshaped the falls into a narrow rapid. The fishing remains good despite the collapse and crowds of anglers continue to visit Shanghai Bend during the peak of the striper, shad, and salmon run.

This was my first fly fishing visit to Shanghai Bend. After scouting the area a few months back, I  found that the river had an abundant amount of bushes and trees that would make backcasting difficult to perform. My switch rod would be the best choice to fish section of the Feather. After finishing my errands for the day, I packed my switch rod and drove to the Shanghai Bend access which was only five minutes away from my apartment.

Shanghai Bend Parking Lot

This section of the Feather is more seasonal as fishing varies from which anadramous fish is in the system. In the spring from March to June the stripers are in town eating everything in sight. In early summer from May to July the shad run is hot and a lot of fun. And in late summer to fall the salmon followed by the steelhead make their run up the river to spawn. From my visit, I found that nothing was really in season right now although there were a lot of spotted and smallmouth bass that were easy to find and catch on a fly.

Rapid Smallie

My day started fishing above the falls where there was a big pool before the tailout. Although the water was warm, I had some hopes of hooking into a salmon this visit. It didn't happen but I did manage to hook into a nice 4# spotted bass after dicking around in the water for small fish.

Watch Your Step!

After two takes with no hook ups, I found an odd looking fish that I've never caught before. The fish looked like a bluegill but it had a crappie coloration. Some kind of perch? I dropped my switch rod to the side and tied some tippet to the end of my wading staff. While attempting to catch these small disc shaped fish, a gang of huge spotted bass showed up. These big fish could clearly see me so my hopes of hooking into one was probably pretty low but hey what the heck? I grabbed my switch rod and threw my fly into the water. They weren't interested in chasing my streamer but once it hit the bottom they were on it. I watched as my streamer was inspected and finally sampled. I set the hook! Perfect timing!

Fat Spotted Bass

After hooking into the biggest spotted bass I've ever caught, I started fishing downstream. First the falls then the run that it flowed into. I managed to hook a nice size smallmouth at the falls and a few small spotted bass in the run.

Little Spotted Bass

Overall a productive day. This section of the Feather in the Yuba City area definitely seems like the spot to be in terms of fishing. I will be returning soon to Shanghai Bend to micro tenkara fish it in hopes of catching my first perch.

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