The Yuba has been flowing at a stable 3,600 CFS for a few days now so with rod in hand I decided to check it out and try my luck. For those curious about the what the river looks like I can confirm that the Yuba has completely changed but is it for the better or the worst?
The key changes I noticed were:
1. The majority of the willows along the bank have been ripped out and washed away.
2. The river above HWY 20 bridge has pushed itself closer to the bank of the public access.
3. A lot of cobblestone and sand movement.
4. No insect life observed.
With two megaflows above 65,000+ CFS the Yuba has been washed into the the Pre-Cambrian era. Needless to say I didn't catch anything but I did see an osprey carrying a branch to make it's nest and a tail splashing beaver.
Although I haven't been fly fishing long enough to track the Yuba's cycle, I can already tell that it's going to be a long time before it begins fishing well again. The Yuba River as you knew it is now gone but like a rising phoenix the Yuba will slowly come back to life one insect at a time.
Until then it'll be best to focus our art elsewhere.
Here are a few pictures of the river:
|Notice the width and the depth of this section.|
|The river below the bridge remains relatively similar.|
|Above the bridge. The willow jungle is gone.|
|At the bend above the bridge. Completely flatten.|
|The bend is now a long shallow riffle.|
|I netted this small pikeminnow. Looks like it didn't survive the big bang.|
|The run above the bend. No more side channel on the private access. Notice the river has shifted towards the left bank.|
|Further upstream. A completely new area. At these flows looks deep and difficult to access.|
|A little further upstream. Recognize that rock formation on the left? It's now part of the river.|
|Further upstream past the rock formation. A whole new river. Notice that the cliff bend is still a ways ahead.|
|Looking downstream towards the bend.|