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Thread: Truckee and South Yuba

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Truckee and South Yuba

    Drove up to Truckee yesterday to fish the big T. It's in prime shape. Managed to hook several, lost a monster who is probably still racing downstream, missed numerous lightning-fast grabs/refusals, landed only two, both over 14 inches. Caddis pupahs were the ticket for me. Then caddis dries late in the day on the surface. Not much other surface action that I saw.

    Anyhow, as I drive up I-80 I see the South Yuba in the Cisco area. It's such a pretty stream and seems fishy. Been tempted to stop and wet a line. Anyone ever try that stretch?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    Hey Harlan,

    It's funny you mention the Yuba because that river is discussed every time we pass it on the way to the Truckee.

    It does look fishy, but I've heard it just get too warm in summer to hold good populations of trout. So says my buddy.

    Must be true cuz I've never seen a soul fishing it.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Truckee California

    Default South Yuba...

    Harlan----In my experience the South Yuba has always been known as a planted "put & take" stream, most especially around Kingsvale and near the RainBow Lodge. In the distant past I've had nice success in the Norden area near its headwaters...for stream-bread RainBows and Brookies.

    I'm curious what would happen if special regulations were instituted. Oh...better not open a "can of worms"

    Frank R. Pisciotta
    Last edited by Frank R. Pisciotta; 06-03-2012 at 10:15 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Nevada City, Ca



    I was part of SRYCL's (south yuba river citizens league) river monitoring crew a few years ago near Norden, Christine and I collected aquatic specimens for the report. During our time there I saw many wild rainbows in the pools of holding water. Though very small in size, I was still blown away at the populations.

    "I fish, I write, I travel, and I'm hungry for more!"
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Yuba City, Ca.

    Default South Yuba ?

    The Yuba around Norden just about dries up by late summer and I'm sure everything below there does too. We used to live at Serene Lakes in Soda Springs and had to cross the SF Yuba almost daily to go anywhere. Right at the dam there is some deep water (3'-4') along with a few holes as it heads downstream toward Lake Spaulding but for the most part it becomes too warm as it dries seasonally. Above the dam in that big meadow there are small brookies in the finger creeks that feed the reservoir. In years past that reservoir was much larger and deeper. I talked with Norm Saylor once and he spoke about water-skiing there.

    It's normal for ponds and small lakes to eventually fill in with sediment and become shallower eventually turning into marshes and then into meadows as they dry.

    Below Lake Spaulding it's a different story because of the controlled flows from the lake. Off Hwy.20, which parallels the lake there is also the Bear River which has a better population of planters.

    There are lots of places to explore in that area but the Truckee would be my first choice if I was going that direction.
    Feather River Fly
    Yuba City, CA.
    (530) 790-7180

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    East Sacramento


    This is a very interesting topic to me. I have a few questions about this river that I have never gotten answers to.

    My family has owned a place on the South Yuba in the Kingvale area since the mid-30's. I have personally been fishing this section for 25+ years now.

    The guest books/diaries at our cabin tell stories of great fishing on the river way back in the 40's, 50's and 60's. However, I remember it being very slow fishing as a kid in the 80's and early 90's. They started stocking the river every year with rainbows and browns sometime in the 90's. However, it seems they have only been stocking rainbows the last few years. Needless to say, I gave those planters a workout as a kid, and learned a lot about fly fishing in the process.

    The South Yuba is now a put-and-take river that gets extremely low, warm, and almost stagnant by August every year. The fish tend to congregate in the pools in the river and are basically sitting ducks for birds, bears, bait dunkers, and the occasional fly slinger like me. The fish seem to stay in the river until the snow flies, and then come spring, the river seems to be totally devoid of catchable size fish. No holdovers to speak of.

    As I remember, it didn't used to be this way. When I was young, I remember the river would get low, but it would continue to flow and stay relatively cool all year. I always heard that this was due to the removal of a small PG&E dam on the upper section of the river that formed the shallow Lake Van Norden. This may explain the observations of previous posters as to the emergence of the meadow in that area. I am not sure if this is true or not, but it would make sense.

    I have witnessed sizable schools of minnows in the Kingvale section of water that I assume are baby trout, so there is some sort of reproduction happening in the river. I have also caught a few fish of unidentified warm water species in the river. Not sure what they were or where they came from.

    Here are the questions I have always pondered. Any insight from the great fishing minds of this board might provide would be great.

    Where do the fish go? Do they all die from warm water/lack of oxygen, get eaten by predators, or move downstream to deeper/cooler water or Lake Spaulding?

    Would it make more sense to plant brown trout here, being that browns can handle warm water better than rainbows? Would browns have a chance of creating a sustainable population?

    Is there anyway a restoration effort of some sort could improve the trout habitat on this section of the river, or should I just come to grips with the fact that it is what it is?

    Thanks for letting me opine. This is a special place to me, even if it isn't the greatest trout stream. Thankfully, it is within easy driving distance of some world class water


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