High Water Year
By President Jim Black

Having been through the massive winter rain, we now have the snow melt impacting the rivers we love to fish, with the exception of the Lower Sacramento, which is fishing well for trout, and currently for shad and stripers, if you can find them.
Some observations: Our planned overnight Fishout, below the dam in July on the Yuba River Shad trip was cancelled because it was too dangerous to fish from a boat and our campsite was and probably still is underwater. However, the high water did not stop the shad from migrating into the American, the Yuba and the Feather Rivers as they have done for a number of years. Both the shad and the stripers begin their return to the salt in June and July, so if the water is too dangerous for a boat, it does not change their migration patterns. In fact, guides have told me the shad, in particular will probably migrate in much larger numbers this year than in the past years of the drought.
I try to float tube fish Henderson Springs once or twice a year for trout. His ponds are spring fed and receive run-off as well. During the drought, Henderson fished well. However, with all the rainwater, Henderson experienced a really different phenomena, in all his four lakes, and one in particular. The lower lake was overwhelmed with thousands of minnows! While I was there recently, Henderson experienced an evening hex hatch. The minnows would voraciously attack the hatching hex flies, in large numbers similar to pirana. If the freshly hatched hex fly stayed on the surface of the lake for more that 10 seconds, it would be devoured by the minnows. It also seemed the trout were not eating the minnows. We tried several different patterns, including streamers, with little success. Henderson Springs is consulting with Fish and Wildlife as well as University of California at Davis to identify the minnows, their source and a method of controlling or eliminating them. There are still no answers as of June 15. I am interested to learn if the minnows can be identified and controlled.
Good fishing to everyone.

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