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January 11th-2008

With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday once again over and gone, we usher in a new fishing season in the Yakima River Valley.  A Happy New Year to everyone!


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@ Easton @ Cle Elum
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@ Teanaway @ Ellensburg
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@ Umtanum @ Prosser



DB Stone-Skwalla #8-10

It’s January, our rivers slowest fishing month of the entire year.  Usually low lying fog banks nestle in the Columbia Basin this time of year, blanketing the river valley in a dense layer of cold winter haze. 

Until today we haven’t experience much of that.  Old man winter has been easy on us here in Ellensburg with mild winter days and plenty of that Central Washington sunshine.  As of now the fog has lifted and the sun is shining!

Much of the low lying hillsides were barren of a snow pack throughout the month of December.  The past week, a couple of winter storms moved across the valley and finally began lying down a snow base along the foothills and banks of the river. 

High atop the Cascade Range is a totally different story.  Heaping piles of snow pack have built a deep foundation, so water worries shouldn’t be a major concern this year.  Snow pack percentages are well above the average as of today.

The fishing on the river has been inconsistent from day to day so far this winter.  Some days fishing has been good, other days not so good.  We contribute it to unstable weather and temperature conditions. 

Slush ice and mounting ice jams haven’t been a problem this winter either.  The river is open and free of ice expect along the edges of course.  The majority of our winter trips have been postponed due to Snoqualmie Pass afternoon avalanche control closures.





Midge Pupa  












Klickitat River Wild Steelhead
Upper Yakima Klickitat River
Methow River Wild Steelhead Lower Yakima Smallmouth
Methow River Lower Yakima

The die hard fly fanatics have been hard at it during the day.  For the most part, tippets rigged with smaller Skwalla Stonefly nymphs and an assortment of enticing trailer flies has been the mainstay.  Working streamers in the deep slow moving waters with a short sink tip during the warm portions of the afternoon has also been part of the daily events.

The river is producing a mass amount of Skwalla Stoneflies this year.  They have been collecting along the banks since late November.  If spring conditions cooperate this year, we should have some very good adult Skwalla fishing.

December 22nd-2007

With only a few short days remaining before the holiday, a Christmas blizzard has settled over the Yakima River Valley insuring the residence of Central Washington, a beautiful white Christmas.  Big flakes of snow began falling late this morning and will most likely continue throughout the day.  With absolutely no precipitation and mild December fishing days this winter storm arrived just in time for the holiday.

The fishing the past couple of weeks hasn’t been typical of what we usually see this time of year, especially with the mild winter days we have experience so far during the month of December.  Some days the fishing has been good while other days not near as predictable.

The midge fishing has been inconsistent from day to day with afternoon sporadic feeding in some of the areas of the river.  We should start to experience better daily hatches after the new year.  The winter snow storms always seem to spur good hatches of midges.

Fishing with nymphs, wet flies or steamer patterns this time of year is much more reliable.  A tandem set up, rigged with a small stonefly pattern as your point fly accompanied by a second trialing fly works best for nymphing situations.  Choose appropriate patterns in size and color for water and stream conditions.

However, exacting fly patterns to duplicate any one specific insect are hardly necessary this time of year.  The trout are not seeing big hatches of aquatic insects and aren’t nearly as picky as they are other times of the season.  The most important factor is fishing the correct depth, the appropriate holding water and maintaining a drag free presentation during each drift. 

The fish aren’t everywhere during this month.  They hold in specific water.  Utilize the warmest portion of your day and target these key areas of the river to find Yakima River Rainbows.

The staff and management of Worley Bugger Fly Co. would like to thank everyone for your business this year and we look forward to seeing you in 2008.  We wish all of you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.   Thank you to all of the men and women serving in our military around the world. Your sacrifice, especially this time of year is greatly appreciated.  We wish all of you a speedy return.  A happy and safe holiday season to everyone from Worley Bugger Fly Co.

December 8th-2007

As the first week of December comes to a close, the first major winter storm of the season rolled across our state dumping several inches of precipitation.  Cities east of the Cascade Range never escaped the storm as the snow dumped several inches of powder on the Yakima River Valley, creating a virtual winter wonderland just in time for the Christmas season. 


Unfortunately, the snow turned to rain and the base layer of pack that was building in the foothills of the Cascades quickly turned to mush.  Several of the major tributaries of the Yakima filled quickly with water swelling bank to bank.  Discharge from these small mountain streams rushed into the main stem of the Yakima driving flows up, creating high, murky winter water conditions.


The dry weather over the past several days, accompanied by chilly December nights has the Yakima’s water conditions quickly dropping and clearing.  The river is returning to its winter mode as less and less water volume streams through the main stem. Today the river is in good shape and the winter fly fishers are out enjoying the blue skies and sunshine.


Before the sudden change in water conditions, the Yakima was fishing well for the start of December.  The Skwalla Stoneflies have begun amassing in their winter migration along the banks of the river, so stonefly nymph patterns fished appropriately were productive during the warmest portions of the day.  With the big drop in water, this productive type of fly fishing has resumed.

Sight fishing to rainbows and cutts, cruising the shallow edges of the current feeding on tiny midges was good as well.  The past couple of days these late afternoon sippers have returned to these aquatic beds and renewed their feeding activities.

Remember its also Whitefish and Sculpin spawning time so both of these species are busy during the day in specific areas of the river.  A sinking tip line is a good tool to carry this time of year if you want to try your hand at Sculpin fishing.

Rocky Ford Creek, north of the towns of Epharta and Moses Lake draws plenty of attention this time of year.  While the river was out of shape early this week, local Ellensburg fly fishers visited this small fly fishing only creek and found cooperative rainbows.  Most were fishing small midges and nymphs just under the surface.  Most times the “Ford” fishing consistently good throughout the months of winter.

The staff and management of Worley Bugger Fly Co. wishes everyone a safe and peaceful Christmas season.  Thank you to everyone that patronized our business throughout the year!
November 29th-2007

As the start of the holiday hustle and bustle begins, the first big storm of the season has blanketed the valley and surrounding hillsides in a deep insulating layer of snow.  The flakes began falling yesterday afternoon and continued on into the night, accumulating several new inches of base layer.  Today, the snow continues to trickle, creating a winter wonderland throughout the river valley.

This time of year it is nice to have the snow as it forms and builds our annual water reserves in the mountains of the Cascades.  The cold, nasty weather we sometimes experience around the first portions of the month was late showing up this year.  Much of the month of November provided warmer weather and excellent river conditions throughout Central Washington.  Fly fishing enthusiasts took advantage of the great weather and experienced some late fall fishing.

With the sudden changes in weather, water and air temperature, the aquatic insect hatches of fall have come and gone for the year.  Now another set of circumstances begins evolving on the Yakima.  Fish of all species begin forming in their winter holding lies and food forms, diet and their feeding activity changes.

Winter fishing isn’t for everyone.  Personally I enjoy this time of year on the river, I always have.  As a boy I spent every Sunday with family on the Jefferson River in Montana fishing from the ice shelves for rainbows and browns.  It’s peaceful, quiet and the fishing can be quite good.  To be comfortable and enjoy yourself you have to have the right gear and layer appropriately.  If you don’t dress for the conditions you’ll be miserable, cold and jaded.  During the winter months certain elements begin occurring that peak the interest of fish and keep trout on the feed.  Whitefish begin their yearly spawning cycle and take over the tops of the shallower riffles and runs of the river. 

Trout form behind them feeding on small fish eggs that tumble in the current.  Stonefly nymphs also become a big portion of the trout diet as Skwalla stones migrate along the bed rock bottom. If that isn’t enough, Sculpins begin their winter spawn and their activity increases making them more vulnerable and more susceptible to large aggressive rainbows.  These events will unfold throughout the winter months of December and January throughout the Yakima River Basin. more info

Winter is also a time when exacting fly patterns to match a specific hatch aren’t nearly as important as fishing the right water, the correct depth and the right presentation.  Low, clear water conditions give fish plenty of time to see and react to a fly.  A drag free drift the majority of the time will initiate a response.   Dragging your flies keeps you out of the zone and out of the fish.

This is also the period of the season when midges become an important food form for fish.  This can be a fun and exciting dry fly experience in the afternoons.  This week with the warmer weather, Yakima River fly fishers have found good midge hatches forming in the slow moving pools and foam lines of the river.  Fish of all species will take part in the feed, especially when a dense hatch of midges is occurring.

Steelhead fishing for the year comes to a close on the Klickitat on Friday.  I have to say it was a good year for fish despite the lack of fall salmon in the river.  It was fun to fish with everyone and we look forward to the opening of next year’s season in June.  I spent one day on the Methow last week with two local fellows.  Despite the colder temps and lower water conditions we did hook up two fish.  Unfortunately both came unbuttoned.  A quote from the famed steelheader, Lani Waller, “it happens, but I sure don’t like it”.  The Methow will remain open until the last day of March.  If conditions cooperate this spring set your sites on March fishing on this fabulous Northern Cascades steelhead stream.  It will be good

November 15th-2007

It’s the end of an era as our aquatic insect hatches on Central Washington’s, Yakima River begin to diminish and fade away for the season.  However, nobody has been complaining.  Fly fishermen from all areas of the state have been enjoying our warm weather the past couple of weeks through the first portions of November.  Typically by now, we experience thick, frosty mornings and snow covering the low lying hillsides of the Ellensburg river valley.  No sign of the white stuff yet even though they have predicted it over the past couple of days.

Each afternoon a small little window of Baetis fishing will open up and you will have an opportunity to experience some match the hatch fishing.  These tiny mayflies will begin emerging late in the day in the slower tail outs, foam lines and pools of the river.  Delicate, precise presentation is the formula for success.  It can be a fun and challenging, sometimes frustrating style of fly fishing , but mayfly match the hatch fishing at its best. 

Most days it lasts only a short time with a mixture of the bigger Mahogany Duns making an appearance as well.  This one’s hard to miss as they centralize with the Blue Wing Olive.  A larger, brown bodied mayfly, it’s cycle is short lived as the hatch of this slow water emerger is beginning to narrow for the year also.

Don’t get the impression that because our bigger aquatic hatches are finishing up for the year that the fish in the Yakima will begin some kind of seasonal hibernation through the winter.  Hardly so.  There are plenty of enticing details beginning to occur below the surface that will keep the trout in the Yakima preoccupied over the next several months.  If conditions allow and the river stays in good shape, winter fishing can be exceptional.

Steelhead fishing is still going strong, but the crowds of fishermen is beginning to thin on both the Klickitat and the Methow Rivers.  Not a soul wetting a line on the Methow yesterday.  The Klickitat has been the same.  A late arrival of Fall Chinooks has pushed up the Klick, however not in the big numbers like we usually see every year.  They were late this year showing up as they finish their spawning life cycle. The Klickitat closes for to steelhead fishing at the end of the month.

The staff and management of Worley Bugger wish's everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.
November 1st-2007

As the month of October comes to an end and the first day of November begins, the autumn changes have rapidly developed in the river valley.  The trees and shoreline vegetation that were in full bloom just a short time ago along the Yakima have been stripped of their fall flora.  The folliage has fallen to the canvas floor, blanketing the river banks in leaves, brush and other natural debris.

Mayflies each afternoon continue to steal the show in sections of the river.  Baetis and Mahogany Duns both appear in the slow tail outs and foam lines of the river.   The Light Cahill seems to have finished its incredible cycle for the season.

Size 16 in the larger, dark brown mayfly and patterns as small as a 22 are perquisite for fishing the river this time of year.  Tread lightly in the shallow edges and runs of the river and thread nothing larger then 5x during the hatch.  Fish will require patience and a fine presentation during their peak feedig periods.

Afternoon weather conditions are much warmer then usual for this time of year with highs reaching the upper fifties each day.  Cool evenings and frosty mornings are common, but the early afternoon sunshine warms things up quickly.  Weekend weather forecasts are calling for ideal November fishing afternoons, so we should see some good insect hatches lasting well through the week.  It looks like Saturday will be the ideal day to spend on your favorite river.

The October Caddis continues its hatch cycle during the day as well in some areas of the Yakima.  The Upper Farmlands and Upper Canyon are places to target to be specific.  This caddis is typically a late afternoon emerger, however I have seen them sporadically hatching throughout the day. 

This time of year on just about any Central Washington River or stream it makes good sense to have several Halloween Caddis patterns handy.  Be prepared with both the emerger and pupa portion of the insect.  Fish feed and key on this food form as it develops during the fishing day.

Steelhead fishing is going gang buster in the central area of our state.  The Klickitat, Methow, Wenatchee, Grand Rhonde and small tributaries of the Walla Walla River are all reporting good catches throughout the day.  With dry conditions this past week, these beautiful Pacific Northwest Rivers are low and clear.

The "Klick" is seeing a push of wild fish entering the system which is normal for this time of year.  The past two years in November the river has been completely blown out, but it looks like this year we are fishing.  The Silvers are also beginning to enter the river and the word is there are good numbers of them at the mouth right now.  The river remains open until the end of the month.

The Methow fished very well last week with warm over cast conditions.  October Caddis are hatching in the biggest numbers I have seen anywhere this fall in areas of the Methow.  Steelhead were boiling and proposing on pupa and emergers during the peak of the hatch.  Bring a good wading staff with you if you plan to fish the river.  Its slick and slimly and will test your river walking abilities.

We have been so busy the past couple of weeks I have yet to try my hand at the Wenatchee.  Reports have been sketchy and I have yet to hear anything consistent.  I am trying to plan a day of fishing their next week but I am not sure if it will happen or not.  I’ll give you an honest report when I do.

October 22nd-2007

Autumn has arrived in the river basin as a banquet of beautiful colors now adorn the banks of the Yakima River Valley.  The green summer foliage has now been replaced with the vibrant fall shades of yellow, orange and red, creating a feast of eye catching contrasts for those enjoying the day along Central Washington’s premier trout fishery.

This weekend we experienced the first frost of fall here in the Ellensburg river valley and our summer plants and gardens felt the full sting of the chilly night air.  Cooler temperatures with some intermittent rain showers blanketed the basin during the weekend.  However, the extended forecast for the week is calling for beautiful warm October days with day time highs reaching into the upper sixties.   Today is gorgeous with just a slight westerly breeze.

The Yakima continues along its fall schedule as river flows and conditions remain consistent for this time of year.  Irrigation return through the KRD ditches was concluded for the season late last week, so we will begin to see improvements in water clarity and color throughout the Lower Yakima River Canyon.  Wilson Creek will steady drop and clear for the winter.  The upper portions above this small tributary remain crystal clear.

Aquatic insect hatches so far this month have been fantastic throughout the river valley.  Each afternoon the river produces a mayfly emergence of Blue Wing Olives, Mahogany Duns and a persistent Light Cahill hatch on a daily basis.  The dry fly match the hatch fishing for Baetis Mayflies has been exciting as a variety of older generation class rainbows and cutthroats feed on this tiny olive bodied insect.  You'll be lucky if you get away with a size 18 this week.

Yakima River Light CahillDuring the same time frame, a mixture of Mahogany Dun and Light Cahill Mayflies will gather in and along the foam lines as well.  In low clear water be prepared to present the correct color and size imitation with a drag free drift for fruitful results.

The October Caddis as well is playing an important role during the late afternoons in the Farmlands and upper portions of river.  As the mayfly hatches begins to diminish for the day, fishing a good pupa pattern during the early portions of the emergence is recommended in these areas of the river.  Adult patterns properly presented and fished will also provide plenty of action when egg laying females are present.

October rain showers in the Klickitat Basin earlier this week have played a vital role in the ongoing Summer Steelhead fishing.  The river remained fishable with over three feet of visibility and we are now starting to see a big push of native steelhead push into the river.  Drier weather conditions and over night low temperatures, the past several days has cleaned the water and gin clear conditions have returned.

After a decade of river closures, steelhead fishing on Central Washington’s Wenatchee River opened for the first time today.  WDFW is expecting about 4000 wild and hatchery steelhead to return to the system.  Wild steelhead hooking and releasing mortality will be a major concern for fisheries biologist and they will be watching fish and fishermen carefully.  Like a mentioned before, we will not be guiding the Wenatchee River at all this year.  Treat the river and fish with the respect it deserves and maybe we will see steelhead season each year.  It’s projected to remain open until the last day of March 2008.

October 10th-2007

It’s that time of year once again when dramatic changes are occurring throughout the Yakima River Valley.  Mother Nature is busy creating a bounty of eye catching colors as the lush summer foliage that grew thick along the stream banks of the Yakima, under goes its seasonal transformation.  The dense cottonwood trees and other river bank vegetation, now aluminates the river basin in a spectacular picturesque presentation.

It’s hard to believe the month of October is already upon us.  However, I don’t believe there is a finer place to spend a day this time of year then on one of our many Pacific Northwest Rivers.  The scenery is spectacular, the afternoon insect hatches are abundant, the weather is warm and pleasant and the fish are more then cooperative.  What more could a fly fishermen ask for?

The Yakima has quickly changed from summer to fall mode as annual flows and water temperatures have dropped.  Our game fish are moving and beginning to form in pods, feeding on a wide variety of aquatic and non aquatic food organisms throughout the fishing day.

The mayfly hatches each day have been absolutely fantastic!  This year, the river is producing an incredible Light Cahill hatch that I have never witnessed in my many years of experience on the river.  Each afternoon this size 14 mayfly has been emerging in vast numbers and the fish are taking every available opportunity to fill their bellies with them.  Be prepared with nymphs, emegers and the adult duns in the appropriate size and color to match this all intensive mayfly hatch.

Blue Wing Olives of course are a staple this time of year and are hatching within the same time frame as the Cahill.  At this time, we are seeing a variation in sizes, however the smaller the better for productive Baetis fishing.  Be prepared to fish patterns no bigger then a size 20 to match this tiny mayfly. 

You may at times also be challenged with low light conditions or a glazing westerly river glare from the Kittitas Valley sunshine.  Patchy cloud cover and some rain showers have occurred throughout the past week, which have even intensified the bug activity.  A good pair of polarized glass is a must this time of year to combat these conditions.

Our October Caddis are playing a significant role in the fishing during the day as well.  Peak periods of the hatch are occurring during the day.   These are typically early morning at first light or late in the evening just before sun down.  However, sporadic hatches of these bright orange caddisflies is happening during the day.  This helps spark the interest of feeding fish and aids in stimulating them to bigger caddis patterns throughout the day.  Also be prepared with pupa, emegers and the skating dry fly to match the Halloween Caddis hatch this month on the Yakima.

The anticipation of a Methow River opening was answered late last week as the news of a summer steelhead season this year was announced on the fish and game website late last week.  Its great news as fish continue their journey up the Columbia.  The river opened this past Saturday and will close the last day of March-2008.  The Wenatchee River will also open on the 22nd of October after being closed for over a decade.  Tim, Ryan and Dave were inundated with calls about the possibility of guided fishing trips here.  Sorry we will not been guiding the Wenatchee this season.  I know of only a few fly guides that worked this river before its closure and most of them have moved on with other careers.  It will be interesting to see what happens with this fishery over the next thirty days.

The Klickitat is also changing into its beautiful fall mode as well as more and more fish move into the system.  Summer steelhead fishing has been good the past week as more fish move up and through the Klickitat.  The river is also beginning to see more of its Fall Chinook as they stage for their seasonal spawn.  There are even a few Silvers beginning to show up in the lower river that are being caught by several of the gear guides.  

The “Klick” is also producing a great October Caddis, Baeits and Light Cahill hatch during the day.   The river did receive a much need shot of water last week as some light rain showers moved across this portion of our state.  Water conditions were perfect for fishing with just a hint of color on Thursday.  Dry conditions the past several days have the river once again running low and clear.  The Klickitat River Summer Steelheed season remains open until the last day of November.

September 26th-2007
The last calendar days of summer have come and gone and a change in the seasons has begun.  Cooler night time temperatures and mild, warm Autumn days now prevail over the Yakima River Valley.  A host of aquatic insects have been hatching on Central Washington’s premier trout fishery throughout the fishing day and the resident rainbows and cutthroats are taking every advantage of each situation.

It’s a busy time for us but we are enjoying every minute of it.  Low, clear water flows on the Yakima and the abundance of bugs is keeping the fish interested throughout the majority of the day.  Warm days throughout the month propitiated the terrestrial activity and fishing during the day with hoppers, crickets, ants, beetles and other dry attractors has provided a great deal of fun.

A late afternoon caddis hatch through the farmlands on days is peaking the trout’s interest as well.  It’s somewhat sporadic from day to day but you may happen to encounter this small blizzard hatch around 4-4:30.   If you don’t happen to see this small tan caddis appear, the early evening hours will produce the granddaddy of all caddisflies, the October Caddis.  This giant, orange bellied caddis are evening and early morning aquatic emergers.  Their pupa movements during the afternoon will also create plenty of excitement along the shallow river beds where they typical emerge.   Expect to encounter and be prepared to experience the “Halloween Caddis” hatch on areas of the Yakima throughout the month of October lasting well into the month of November.

If that’s not enough the Light Cahills and Blue Wing Olives will keep you and the fish preoccupied.   The Cahills have been incredible this season on some sections of the river.  They are also a late afternoon emerger and have been coming off in very big quantities.  A size 14 adult or emerger with a light colored body will do the trick here.

Its also Fall Baetis time on the Yak, so be prepared for the late afternoon Blue Wing hatch.  Sizes will typically range from the larger size 18 to the much smaller 22.    Be prepared with nymphs, emegers and adult duns.   For success, chose the appropriate patterns that fish well and are visible in lower light situations.

The full moon cycle we are now experiencing is blasting a beacon of light over the Klickitat River in Southeast Washington as steelhead use this natural radiance to travel this incredible river.  Clear water conditions and bright sunny, warm afternoons on this Pacific Northwest steelhead river are making the fish a little skittish.  There are fish in the system and more showing up every day.  Fall Kings are moving into the Klickitat system as well, but not in big numbers as of yet.  A few are being caught in the lower river and a few summer fish are in the final stages of their spawn in the upper river at this time.  The river could use a shot of water and may get it in the next day or two.  The extended forecast is calling for some stormy conditions over the next couple of days.  Still no word on the Methow River steelhead opener as of today.

If you haven’t fished all summer or all year(?), get out your gear and head to your favorite river.  It’s a gorgeous time to be on the water!

August 29th-2007

What a difference a week can make.  With the initial start of the flip flop about ten days ago, Central Washington’s, Yakima River flows have dropped considerably from the big summer water to fall stream flows. 

The river now is accessible to those on foot from bank to bank.  Drift boating the river is still easily accomplished however more rock and other obstacles are now more openly exposed.  Picking and choosing your way around these obstructions is a bit more challenging, but is also half the fun.

The past week the fishing on the river has been fantastic.  With water conditions dropping on a daily basis, fish have been forced to concentrate in specific water types.  Concentrating your efforts on these particular water types will produce all kinds of action for you.  The dry fly fishing has been loads of fun and fish haven’t been overly exacting about what they are willing to eat.

We have experienced a little late afternoon caddisfly hatch that has usually been happening around 5:00-5:30 pm and lasting just a short while.  Light colored imitations have been best.  Also with river flows dropping and the water temperatures increasing just a few degrees, the Summer Stonefly hatch has also intensified, especially in areas of the Farmlands.  Stonefly patterns fished appropriately have also been productive throughout the fishing day.

With night time lows dropping comfortably into the mid fifties in the evenings, Fall mayfly fishing will begin shortly as well.  Warm Ellensburg afternoons reaching the mid eighty degree mark is still a bit to warm to produce good Baetis fishing, however expect that to change sometime during the month.  Fishing with may fly nymph patterns this time of year is always a wise choice.

Dam counts over Bonneville for wild and hatchery steelhead have slowed a bit this week with numbers in the high 4000’s.  The good news is Columbia River water temperatures have dropped and steelhead have begun making their way further up river in good numbers.  Some of these fish are heading to the Methow River system. The gossip about a possible Methow opening we are hearing is good.  The word is to expect a Methow sport fishing season this year after a river closure and no steelhead season last year.   We are eagerly anticipating a fun steelhead season on both the Klickitat and Methow Rivers.  Fall Chinooks are now beginning to enter the Lower Klickitat is small numbers.  Both salmon and steelhead will continue to enter the system well into the month of October.

August 29th-2007

It’s hard to believe Labor Day Weekend is here already, but as we approach the last holiday of the summer, conditions couldn’t be better here in the Yakima River Valley.  Beautiful, warm rays have blanketed the central portion of our state each day and river volumes on the Yakima River have begun to recede as the annual flip flop of water was initiated late last week.

Late Wednesday flow reductions were started in the Upper Yakima River Basin and river volumes have dropped off dramatically each day since.  The river is in ideal August fishing conditions just in time for the extended three day weekend.  As we approach the first week of September expect this trend to continue until targeted river volumes are reached.

A big, bright full moon the past couple of days in combination with lower water flows has sparked a mass stonefly exodus from the banks of the Yakima.  Shortwing Stones are now congregating in hordes along the edges of the river.  At this time the river is generating mostly the male species, which is typical during the first portions of this incredible stonefly gathering. 

The females will begin showing up shortly, generally sometime around the first week or ten days of September.  Casting giant dry flies will incur a better portion of your day when they begin their egg laying ritual.

The terrestrial fishing is at its peak now as well.  The extended period of warm, sunny days we have experienced has sparked a grasshopper explosion along the banks and fields of the Yakima.  Hoppers, ants and beetles in a variety of colors and sizes are all working well during the day. 

At this time the aquatic insect activity is fairly sparse.  Chances are you won’t see much insect activity throughout the afternoon portion of the fishing day. The trout are tuned in to other viable fair and with lower water conditions they are able to move much easier for various feeding opportunities. 

We have experienced an occasional caddis hatch, some mayflies and a few lingering Yellow Sallies in places on the river throughout the week, but it hasn’t been a reliable occurrence from day to day.

Cool nights and sun filled days have the Klickitat River in ideal fishing condition for the month of August.  Believe it or not the river is actually a little to clear for the time of year.  I like to see it flow with a bit more glacier color, but at this time it is flowing almost gin clear.  Summer Steelhead in good numbers continue to stream over the Bonneville Dam in great numbers.  With water temperatures beginning to drop in the main stem Columbia River, we should begin to see more and more steelhead enter the system and begin their migration up river to other tributaries.  Rumor has it a Methow River opener will occur this year, so we are anxiously anticipating this fabulous fishery to open during the first week of October. 

The staff and management of Worley Bugger Fly Co. wishes everyone a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend.

August 18th-2007

After spending last week traveling along the beautiful port cities of southwest Alaska with family, I returned to find changes beginning to occur throughout Central Washington’s, Yakima River. Summer flows are beginning to lighten in some areas of the river as water flows in the rivers main storage reservoirs has steadily decreased over the summer months.

Unseasonably cool weather is concentrating itself over this portion of the state as air temperatures have dropped dramatically.   Most years, August is scorching hot as day time highs soar to or near triple digit figures most days. 

This summer, we have experienced a cooler, milder summer with an unusual amount of the infamous Kittitas Valley wind.  Comfortable August temperatures are forecasted for the next several days here in the Yakima River Valley, so many of us are looking forward to the upcoming week of fishing.

The river at this point is still operating at summer flows, so wade fishing opportunities are not abundant just yet, however it won’t be long and we will begin to see steady decrease in water throughout the Yakima system.  As the month of August progresses and comes to a close more portions of the river will become available to those on foot and the Yakima will begin to take on a whole new identity.

At this time, several aquatic hatches are petering out for the season and a variety of new insect hatches are beginning their yearly cycle.   

Shortwing Stones are beginning to amass along the borders of the stream banks in vast numbers.  Both male and female stones are present and the fish are well aware of presence.  Don’t be shy here with the size of the fly or its presentation.   The more life like appearance given to your imitation the better it will work for you.  Expect to see this stonefly over the next several weeks on the Yakima.

The terrestrial experience is at it peak now as well.  Grasshoppers, ants, beetles are a variety of other funky creatures are at this time thriving in the thick, lush grasses of the river.  Like I had previously mentioned, the Ellensburg wind has been showing up on occasion and sometimes in big doses.  The dense grasses growing along the river banks, creates prime habit for both fish and bugs this time of year.   Wednesday, winds whipping in excess of 30 mph through this summer time foliage certainly helped stimulate the fishing.   Bugs of all kinds are haplessly blown on to the water, creating an easy dining experience for our wild rainbows and cutthroats.

Columbia River Steelhead in excess of 9000 fish per day breached the dam at Bonneville this week as they make their summer journey up river to their spawning grounds.   The Klickitat River is seeing many of these fish as they travel into the cool waters of this Columbia River tributary.   Cool, dry weather this past week has created ideal water conditions on the Klickitat.  We expect the same if dry conditions persist in this portion of the state.

August 3rd-2007

As the last month of the 2007 summer gets started, Central Washington’s, Yakima River continues to pump with water, operating at high summer flows.  Water volumes have remained consistent over the past week with just slight fluctuations during the period. 

Despite the warming weather, surface water temperatures remain in the safe zone with recorded levels at the heat of the day in the high fifties, low sixties.  I would have to say the fishing has varied this week, especially during the high point of the day.  The Upper and Lower Farmlands as well as the Upper Canyon have fished far better during the afternoon then the Lower Yakima Canyon.  However, the caddis fishing in the Lower Canyon has been very good from the earlier evening until dusk.

It seems the fish in the upper sections are really keyed on the terrestrial activity.  Hoppers, ants, beetles and all of the fun attractor style flies that are fun to fish this time of year have produced action all day long. 

Lower Canyon fish at this time don’t seem to be keyed in on these critters and are more tuned to the caddis bite later in the day.  Most likely you see a change as the month of August progresses.  The Lower Canyon always produces great Hopper fishing during the summer months.

The PMD mayfly emergence is still an on going cycle and was still going good this past week.  Good hatches kept the fish interested in the middle of the day on the duns, nymphs and emergers.   Yellow Sallie Stoneflies are still popping during the afternoon as well and remain a viable alternative for fish. 

Our summer stonefly, the Shortwing Stone is starting to show some activity as well.  The big nymph migration is under way in sections of the river as these prehistoric looking creatures crawl along the river rock bottom of the Yakima

Be prepared for this ongoing event throughout the month of August.  As the month progresses, we will begin to see more adult males around the banks and woody debris of the Yakima.  Towards the end of the month the females will begin showing signs of their involvement and the fun, big bug dry fly fishing will continue well into the month of September.

Our report last week indicated good numbers of Summer Steelhead breaching the Bonneville Dam on the Lower Columbia.  Well our report this week is even better.  Now those numbers have almost double as nearly 6000 summer run steelhead have been logged crossing this first man made barrier on a daily basis.  The Klickitat River is seeing a portion of these fish as they journey into the cool waters of this Mount Adams drainage.  The river is in its summer cycle, so don’t expect crystal clear water.   However this is ideal water for summer on the Klickitat.  You will find success by fishing the right water thoroughly and with the right color of flies.

JULY 26th-2007

After a period of boiling hot summer sun, a cool week of cloudy, overcast weather moved across the Kittitas Valley.  With it came a few refreshing rain showers.  This temperature change was a welcome edition and really helped kick the fishing into overdrive.

Under a week of warm summer sun, the green grassy and bank vegetation that grow along the river banks this time of year quickly flourished and sprang up, growing thicker and taller under the valley’s warm sunny rays. 

Scurrying about in these thick blades, a wide variety of terrestrial creatures scamper about throughout the day.  Many times these insects are unexpectedly blown into the water by a light summer breeze or ill fatedly fall into the stream becoming an easy target for a Yakima rainbow.
The grasshoppers, ants, beetles and other funky critters that live along the rivers edge are all susceptible this time of year and become a highly prized food source for trout along these thick, grassy river banks.

During the day, working your favorite hopper, terrestrial or attractor pattern along these areas of the Yakima can be a fun and satisfying way to fish.   Water temperatures are optimal for summer, operating in the high fifties, low sixties during the heat of the day.  For keeping the trout’s metabolism cranking in high gear this temperature range is ideal.

Pale Morning Dun Mayflies are also still a daily occurrence for the most part in areas of the Yakima.   Most likely their emergence cycle for the year will begin to fade as the month of August progresses and other interesting aquatic events will begin to unfold.  It is still an afternoon affair, so expect to see them begin after the noon hour on the Yakima.

Another afternoon aquatic experience at this time is the Yellow Sallie Stonefly.  Better hatches have been occurring in the Upper Farmlands and Upper Canyon then other specified areas of the Yakima.   The nymphs are more important and its good to carry several patterns to emulate the natural.  Don’t disregard the adult sallie either.  Fish have been keying on this smaller adult stonefly in shady areas of the river.

The summer caddis is a daily event on the river this time of year as well.  As the sun starts to settle for the day, caddisfly will begin appearing over the water.  It is typically a short lived hatch from day to day beginning at dusk and lasting until dark.  Some nights the hatch persists into the late hours, however fishing it becomes tricky.  The aid of a good set of eyes and a bright headlamp are a necessity.

The Columbia River tributary steelhead, continue to course over the Bonneville Dam in big numbers.  This week nearly 3500 steelhead breached this first dam on the Columbia on their way up river to many of the tributaries.   The Klickitat is producing a good number of hatchery fish at this time.  The river is in its summer cycle as water conditions vary from day to day, hour to hour.   With cooler weather projected in this area of the state and with ideal night time low temperatures the next week should produce some great summer steelhead fishing.

Thank you to the Washington Fly Fishing Club for having the staff of Worley Bugger last week.  It was a pleasure to meet everyone and present the club with the intricacies and uniqueness of Yakima River fly fishing.

JUNE 29th-2007

As the month of June comes to end and we prepare for the upcoming holiday celebration, lower then expected river volumes for this time of year continue to flow from the reservoirs of the Cascade Mountain Range that feed Central Washington’s blue ribbon trout stream.

Typically we experience a much higher volume of water through the main stem of the Yakima during the summer months of June, July and August.  However, this year conservation of water reserves have been the main focus as mild pre summer temperatures kept the Kittitas Valley and the surrounding counties much cooler then expected.

Over the past several days we have seen an increase in water demands and flows have risen slightly to meet the request.  The Yakima is still in excellent fishing condition and at this time producing a variety of aquatic and non aquatic insect hatches on a daily basis.

The Pale Morning Dun Mayflies and Yellow Sallie Stoneflies and late evening caddis continue to steal the show during the day throughout the majority of the river.  Both insects begin appearing in the latter portions of the after-noon, however the pre-emergent stages are just as important and just as productive.  Don’t disregard this time of the morning for great subsurface fishing.

It is also terrestrial fishing time on the rivers and streams of the great Pacific Northwest.  Grasshoppers, ants, beetles, flying ants and other interesting critters are quickly becoming important trout fare during the day. 

As July temperatures begin to warm and the thick blades of vegetation grow along the banks of the Yakima these insects will become more and more predominate.  Don’t neglect in filling your fly box arsenal with an adequate reserve of terrestrial type and attractor style flies.

Warmer weather is forecasted for the week of our 4th of July celebrations, so we do anticipate an increase in water flows during that period.  We assume by what we have experienced during the month of June to expect a gradual daily induction of water into the Yakima system until normal summer operational flow is reached.  If so, fishing will continue without a disturbance.

The Lower Yakima River where Smallmouth Bass take up residency has also been drawn down as well.   Spawning is winding down for the year, however yesterday some fish were still holding around beds.  In July you can expect the best fly fishing of the year for bronze backs on the lower river.  Protective males will be leaving the bedding areas and will join the females in search of prey to fill their bellies.  At this time the river is low and needs a good shot of water to bring the flow up.  We continue to monitor the flow situation on a daily basis.

Happy 4th of July America!

MAY 24th-2007

It’s the last day of the month as the spring fishing season comes to a close and we prepare for the long days of summer ahead here in the Yakima River Valley.  Warm, sunny days blanket the entire Central Basin and predicted record temperatures are expected across this portion of the state over the weekend. 

Triple digit heat or close to it is expected, so if you plan to travel to this portion of the state over the next several days bring your SPF 30.  Water temperatures in the river at this time range between 53 and 56 degrees.

Water flows on the Yakima continue to run at peak condition as the Bureau constantly jockeys with the flows, discharging water from the reservoirs.  Despite the irregularity of water volume over the past ten days, the river has fished well all week long as a variety of aquatics continue to develop.

Caddis are embedded in the Yakima system now, so expect to encounter peak hatches of them throughout the main stem and its tributaries over the next several months.  The small trib’s of the Yakima open for seasonal fishing, tomorrow, June 1st.

Sporadic emergences of Caddisflies occur throughout the day and by evening portions of the river explode with blizzard hatches.  To encounter this daily event target sections of the Lower Yakima River Canyon for the most predictable and intense Caddisfly experience.

Mayflies and Stoneflies are also a commodity throughout the main stem of the Yakima River as well.  Pale Morning Dun Mayflies have become an important food source and this week more involved hatches of this small mayfly have been occurring.   Green Drake Mayflies are prevalent during the month of June as well and are starting to show up in some sections of the river.  

Be prepared to fish a large mayfly imitation when encountering this magnificent specimen as well.  Both of these are aquatics are an afternoon emergent mayfly, however consider the pre-emergent stage of the insect during the first portions of your fishing day.
Big Golden Stoneflies are also common throughout the river at this time.  This week, big cycles of this gold colored stone have been most prevalent in the Farmlands and Lower Yakima Canyon then in sections of the upper river at least from what we have encountered.   Scan the top water with an appropriate sized golden stone pattern for a fun and exciting dry fly experience.
Yesterday, Yellow Sallie Stoneflies began exhibiting signs of their seasonal cycle as well through areas of the river. This little pale yellow bodied stonefly will hatch throughout the summer months with steady consistency.   Having a good pattern to imitate both the nymph and adult are recommended
Smallmouth fishing in the Lower Yakima over the weekend was good, however fish are still staging and moving into spawning areas.  River flows were still a bit high, but we did manage to find some very big smallmouth with flies.   The next several weeks will start to produce some large size bronze backs and the season will remain good until the first weeks of August.  By then the majority of the river is generally chocked with weeds making it a bit more difficult with wet flies.  Top water tactics will still provide you with plenty of smallmouth action.
MAY 24th-2007

The last weekend of the month has arrived and after an escalation in flows last week, the Yak is back just in time for the extended weekend.   Daily releases of water from the reservoirs all week long intensified water flows and volume to peak conditions throughout the Yakima as the river swelled once again from bank to bank.

Flows have now settled and dropped across the board and Central Washington’s, Yakima River is in beautiful shape for the Memorial Day Weekend.   The river has great clarity and color, but do expect high water throughout the majority of the main stem. 

The volume has dropped below the 4000cfs mark in the Lower Farmlands section, however with the Kittitas Valley sunshine blasting warm rays today and the extended weekend forecast, you can assume we will see more water as the demand from irrigators increases.  Most likely that increase will come in small increments, so we don’t expect river conditions and clarity to be compromised when it does occur.

There is a lot of aquatics to talk about as many of our spring insects are at the end of their yearly cycle.  March Browns, Baetis and Salmonflies have completed their annual succession for the spring.    Caddis, Pale Morning Dun Mayflies and Golden Stoneflies are the main focus of attention now. 

Big blooms of afternoon Caddisflies is occurring throughout the main stem of the Yakima.  Be prepared this weekend to encounter several varieties and colors.  Equip your fly boxes with pupa’s, emergers and adults in size 14 and 16.

Pale Morning Dun Mayflies are also an afternoon distraction now, especially in the Farmlands and Lower Yakima River Canyon.   Cover your base here with Copper Johns, Spaced Out Bobs or your favorite mayfly nymph in the appropriate size during the pre emergence.  Fish a preferred imitation when encountering this size sixteen pale olive adult as well.

Golden Stoneflies are also at the beginning stages of their yearly cycle on the Yakima.   Searching the suitable water with stonefly nymphs in the morning will produce favorable results.  Watch the back eddies and foam lines of the river for indications that these stones are present.  You don’t necessarily need to see the actual insect to assume fish are eating them!

The Lower Yakima is dropping into peak condition for good Smallmouth fishing.  We will be conducting trips in that area of the river all weekend, targeting big, staging, smallies with flies.  June throughout the first portions of July will be prime time for Smallmouth fishing on the Lower Yakima this year.   Smallmouth as well as Largemouth have been nesting in some of our favorite little basin hide-outs as well.  Yesterday produced hours of top water action for both species.

Thank you to the Fidalgo Fly Fisher and the Alpine Fly Clubs for having us over the past week.  It was a pleasure to address both clubs and to meet everyone.  We’ve had the privilege of presenting our program to several of the clubs around the state this spring and would encourage anyone looking for more fly fishing education, companionship or a new fly fishing partner to attend one of your local clubs next meetings.  You will find a host of information and a bunch of great people!

MAY 15th-2007

The middle of May has descended on us quickly and spring is now in full swing.  Sun drenched days, warming water temperatures and an increase in water volume over much of the river is now occurring.  

Hot heat from last week’s high pressure is mostly to blame as many of the rivers tributaries blasted water into the main stem of the Yakima.  A steady release of water from the Cle Elum Reservoir, the river biggest man made water retention impoundment is beginning as well.  Daily increases are happening at this time.

The river has great clarity, a nice green hue, which we are use to seeing this time of year, especially during periods of elevated water conditions.  Water flows today through much of the Upper and Lower Farmlands well into the Lower Yakima Canyon are operating at summer time flows. 

You can expect these conditions to continue over the next several months.  Those without drift boats, rafts or pontoon style boats can find places of access to fish, however the Yakima is a big western river and is fished easier and with greater success from a boat, especially throughout sections of the lower river below the town of Cle Elum.

The warm Kittitas Valley days are producing an array of aquatic insect activity.  Hordes of spring Caddis are blanketing much of the river, especially the lower sections of the Yakima.  Cakes of Caddisflies literally will form over and on the water throughout much of the afternoon, lasting well into the evening.

With high water flows, the fish are clutched tightly around any kind of stream structure or tucked neatly along the banks of the river.  Foraging for them can easily be accomplished as orgies of egg laying Caddisflies litter the overhanging brush and branches.  Be prepared to lose a few flies as you lay each determinate cast into these confined areas.  It’s been fun and challenging spring time fishing!

Its also big stonefly time on the Yakima as Salmonflies and Golden Stones are both hatching in specific sections of the river.  The Salmonfly activity has slowed a bit this week, however we are still experiencing light Salmonfly traffic through specific areas of the Yakima.   These sections did produce the majority of adult Salmonflies this season and the trout are now use to seeing these giant bugs on the water.   Also with the Salmonflies smaller relative starting to appear a few weeks early, searching the water for a big stonefly feeder in the morning or early afternoon with a Goldenstone imitation can prove worthwhile.

The showing of March Browns and Blue Wing Olives has begun to taper off over the past week.  Small little spattering of both mayflies have been present, however with so many caddis hatching now in the afternoon its been hard to find fish interested in their presence here in the lower river.  

I have seen good hatches of both mayflies last well into the month of June in section of the Upper Canyon and this year both were more predominate and prolific in these sections as well. The Pale Morning Dun-PMD is our summer time mayfly and small little emergence cycles are beginning to appear a couple of weeks ahead of schedule.  Be prepared if you encounter this light olive bodied, size 16 mayfly.

After the extended winter and unusually cool spring we experienced in Central Washington, Lower Yakima River Smallmouth have begun filtering into the river for staging and spawning.  Peak spawning time is mid June, however great smallie fishing will continue in the lower river through much of the summer this year.  Heavy weed growth through much of the Lower Yakima generally occurs around the middle of August making it difficult to fish some areas of the river with flies.   We could see an extension of the season this year due to cooler water temperatures and higher water flows.

For those interested in the still waters of the Central Desert, reports have been good over the past week.  With warming temperatures, light hatches of Damsels, Dragons and Callibaetis Mayfies are being reported.
MAY 3rd-2007

With the fifth month of our new season underway, spring conditions on the Central Washington’s blue ribbon trout stream couldn’t be better.   The majority of the Yakima is operating at below normal flow for the month of May and smorgasbords of aquatic insects are now trout fare throughout the day.

Water flows have fluctuated over the past ten days due to water releases and the initial charging of the KRD irrigation canals.  Now that the channels are full and flowing with water, most sections of the Yakima have dropped in volume and are in excellent fishing condition.  A heavy rain shower moved across the valley late Tuesday night, generating a spike in water flow in Wilson Creek, which in turn deposited sand and silt into the Lower Yakima River Canyon.  Water clarity in this area yesterday and today was poor.  Conditions and clarity could improve over the next 24 hours in this eighteen mile stretch of river if a continual drop in flow resumes.

Areas above the mouth of the lower canyon are in excellent condition and fishing well.  Water clarity is not an issue in these area’s and each day this sixty plus mile stretch of the Yakima is producing blanket hatches of March Browns and Blue Wing Olives.  It’s an afternoon affair as these giant mottled wing mayflies steal the show.  By 1:30 pm it’s a guarantee the hatch is beginning. Position yourself in an ideal March Brown riffle and prepare for this spring time event.  This intensive hatch of mayflies can last anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour.  I have yet to see it peak at under an hours time this season.

During this experience, expect the Blue Wing Olive to also begin appearing.  This small, dark olive bodied mayfly will form in the foam lines and seams of the Yakima.  Keep a close eye and be prepared to examine which one of the mayflies the trout will prefer.  Sometimes it’s one or the other and occasionally it’s both.

Giant, orange bellied Salmonflies are also in the beginning stages and we are starting to see more adults in specific sections of the river at this time.  Trout have already started to key in on this 3 inch long or better stonefly in some areas, so a large pattern fished both wet and dry should be a part of your arsenal over the next couple of weeks.

Its Caddisfly time on the Yakima as well.  With warming weather and rising water temperatures, spring caddis are appearing in short, sporadic hatches at this time.  With Mother’s Day just around the corner, Sunday May 13th, expect to see thick, dense clouds of caddis over the waters of the Yakima in the coming week.

If that’s not enough for you, Pale Morning Duns are also starting to hatch in some of the lower portions of the Yakima River Canyon.  Typically we begin seeing them towards the end of the month, so their emergence as arrived early this year.

Spring is a great time to experience Central Washington’s, Yakima River.  It’s also a time we can experience, strong gusts of cool spring winds.  We have had some windy days on the river this spring, but for the most part the weather has remained fairly calm and unseasonably cooler then most seasons.   The past two days have been absolutely perfect for spring fly fishing. 

Small mouth fishing in the Lower Yakima River should be underway this year, however due to early snow run off, high water flows and low water temperatures the smallmouth fishing has been slow in getting started this year.  Water temps remain below the sixty degree mark, however as the month progresses we will see a resurgence in this area of the river as big Columbia River Smallmouth make their migration and begin staging for spawning in June.   If you are interested in experiencing smallmouth fishing this season, contact the pro shop for dates and availability.  Fly fishing for bass will remain consistently good this year well into the month of August.

The still waters impoundments of the Central Basin have been popular this year.  Chirnomid fishing…..deep has been the ticket for most of the fishermen at Lenice, Nunnally and Dry Falls.  Cooler water and air temps have yet to spark a Callibaetis hatch as of yet, however the month of May will provide mayfly and damsel fishing at some point.

APRIL 27th-2007

It seems spring has finally arrived in the Yakima River Valley.  The previous month’s continual rain showers in combination with this years snow pack, soaked the grounds of Central Washington.  Now, spring’s green grasses and assorted wild flowers decorate the banks and hillsides in a newel of color along the river.

Its mayfly time on the Yakima as afternoon hatches of March Brown Mayflies begin appearing just after the noon hour.  Blanket hatches of these large, preferable size twelve, variegated wing mayflies will commence in the early portions of the afternoon in most sections of the Yakima at this time.   

However, do be aware that select segments of the Yakima are producing much greater density emergence periods then others.  The upper areas above the Teanaway as well as the Farmlands of the Yakima are experiencing a much better emergence cycle then areas of the Lower River at this time.
It’s a well known fact that the majority of aquatic mayflies need clean, unsedimented water to thrive.  Sections of the Yakima above the irrigation return where Wilson Creek converges with the river has always produced a more prolific hatch of these spring mayflies and this season is no exception. 

Yakima River March Brown Mayfly Dun

Earlier in the week I experienced a hatch of March Browns that lasted nearly two hours. The fish worked hard, gorging on as many as they could.  Though he experienced good fishing this same day, Jeff fished well below me and encountered a very light cycle where the trout never really seemed to bother much with them.  Being in the right place at the right time during this hatch can be crucial.  Also a little bit of luck and the ability to move quickly from one point to another is critical when you are searching for actively feeding fish keyed in on the adult duns.

Later in the afternoon do expect to encounter the Blue Wing Olive as well.  Be prepared as fish quickly change attitude and begin focusing their attentions on the much smaller mayfly.   You may find difficulty in the visible differences between the two as you switch from a large size imitation to a much smaller version.  Size sixteen will work, but eighteen is much better.  Portions of the Lower Yakima are producing good hatches of this mayfly so be prepared and equip you box with several productive patterns for the daily cycle.

Irrigation season has commenced on the Yakima as the KRD (Kittitas Reclamation District) charged the irrigation ditches earlier this week.   Off field irrigation has begun and some of the Lower Kittitas tributaries that converge with the Yakima are dirty with sediment from this process.  The Lower Canyon is still fishable, despite discharge from Wilson Creek, but do expect less visibility in water conditions.  It’s the standard green tea color that we see throughout the season.

With May approaching quickly and Mothers Day just around the corner don’t be caught without a few caddis patterns in your boxes this weekend as well.  A warm, sunny Central Washington weekend is forecasted, so we could experience an afternoon caddis explosion on the river.

This week we did experience an increase in water flows due in part to an increase in outflow from some of the reservoirs as well as the continual spring run off.  Despite this fact the river is still in great shape for weekend fly anglers.

APRIL 17th-2007

It’s hard to believe, but the month of April is already half over and as of today river conditions on Central Washington’s Yakima River haven’t been better all spring.  Cool, clear nights and dry day time conditions have facilitated its return as Kittitas Counties fly fishing stream continues to decline in volume. 

I am very surprised to see the river at this stage and I never thought we would see the Yakima reach this low of a level again the remainder of the spring.  However, the river volume has now reached a low enough level for safer wading and fishing opportunities and the Yakima has opened up once again to those on foot.  Those of you who prefer the comfort and reliability of a drift boat will still travel the river with ease.

It’s Mayfly time on the Yakima, as clouds of March Browns have descended on the river in the afternoon.  This past weekend, the hatch of these large, dark colored mayflies was very river section specific.   Some area’s of the Yakima experienced clouds of these spring mayflies, while other scarcely showed a trace.  Baetis Mayflies have been the same way, emergeing just prior to the March Brown hatch.  We should begin to see a bit more consistency in both mayfly hatches this week. 

Our Skwalla season was somewhat of a bust, however this past weekend the Farmlands sections still showed trace amounts of this post winter, pre spring stonefly.  Next up, the Yakima Rivers Salmonflies.

This Saturday, the Rodeo City will host the first inaugural Washington Fly Tying Expo and annual meeting of the Washington State Federation of Fly Fishers.  100 fly tiers from around the Pacific Northwest are expected to attend throughout the day.  The expo is being held at the Hal Holmes Center in Ellensburg from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, just a few short blocks from the Worley Bugger pro-shop.  A FFF meeting and dinner will follow at the Ellensburg Inn with a scheduled guest speaker.  It should be a fun and exciting fly fishing event.  Admission to the Expo is $5.00 and the dinner later that evening is $30.00.

Several new and encouraging fishing reports coming from the stillwaters of the Central Washington desert.  Dry Falls seem to fish well for several this past weekend and Lake Lenice, Nunnally and Lenore are still consistent with Chironomid fishing as well.   Rocky Ford is producing day to day hatches of Blue Wing Olives and several have reported seeing PMD’s already at this desert spring creek?

Thank you to the Puget Sound Fly Fisher of Tacoma for having the Worley Bugger Crew attend your monthly meeting this past week.  It was pleasure to see everyone again and a privilege to address the club.

APRIL 5th-2007

As the first week of April arrives, improvements in river conditions have returned as cool, clear desert nights have aided in the recovery of Central Washington’s Yakima River.   

After nearly three weeks of dealing with temperamental river conditions, two key ingredients have combined to finally produce excellent spring fishing conditions.  Dry weather and cool, clear nights.  Spring run off sparked by continuous spring rain showers was the primarily culprit.  However,  lingering low lying snow pack around the foothills of the Yakima River Valley  throughout the month of March was also to blame. 
Most years this annual water starts to disappear from the foothills during the month of February.  The colder, extended winter we experienced this year kept the hillsides encrusted with snow for a longer period of time.  Now those hillsides are alive with green, spring vegetation and the plants and trees that have lied dormant all winter are beginning to bud.  The good news is the extended forecast over the next several days looks to be some of the best weather we have yet to experience this spring. 

Some lingering Skwalla action is still occurring throughout portions of the Yakima.  Most of what we have experienced this week has all been in the upper and lower farmlands section of the Yakima.   This past weekend produced strong, gusty winds throughout the Kittitas Valley, so little or no insect activity was apparent. 

This week, Blue Wing Olives and March Browns have started collecting in the foam lines and back eddies of the Yakima.  With the upcoming days forecasted to warm considerably over the weekend chances are we could begin to see great afternoon hatches of both mayflies species.
The Yakima today is still high, but running at considerably less levels then last week.  For those bank fishing more opportunities are open throughout the river now, however river flows are still high for easy and safe access.  Try areas of the Yakima above the lower canyon for better access and accessibility to the river.  These area's of the river offer more braids and channels, which during times of peak flow, disperse the high water and make more of the Yakima accessible to those on foot.

We are still getting great reports from the still-waters of the Central Basin.  Warmer water temperatures it seems have occurred over the past week and the fish are beginning to move into other areas of the lakes and begin feeding at different levels of the water column.

Most anglers have been fishing Chironomids on an indicator, however others have opted for an entirely different method.  Incorporating the using of a Type III full sinking line with a leech or bugger seems to be doing just as well during the day.
MARCH 30th-2007

With the last day of March approaching, Central Washington’s Yakima River volume is on rapid descent once again. Like a wild ride at one of America’s favorite theme park, water flows on the Yakima escalated quickly, spiking throughout the day on Saturday. 

The volume has been on another rapid decline much of the week.  A strong spring rain storm plummeted the high elevations of the Cascades last weekend driving river volumes and conditions, swelling the Yakima from bank to bank.. That has been the scenario throughout much of the month of March.  Cold, clear nights and warm dry days have the river flows dropping quickly once again.  Today, the lower river below the Teanaway River junction has approximately 20 to 24 inches of visibility and has greened up nicely.  
Conditions are still high and it’s unlikely we will see the river drop to wadable condition during the month of April.  By the looks of the Teanaway and the water data being registered over the past couple of days, high water conditions will most likely continue throughout the month of April. 
With the amount of water that is still filtering through this Yakima River tributary as well as the amount of snow pack still melting off, the Yakima River will most likely be a big drift boating river until September.  Water releases from some of the reservoirs have already begun as they have filled quickly over the past couple of weeks.  This doesn’t mean spring fishing won’t be good, its just going to be difficult if you don’t have boat to access productive areas of the river.

The Upper Yakima above this main tributary has great water clarity and the aquatic bug life is abounding.   Continued dry conditions are expected today, however some wet weather is forecasted over the weekend in a modest percent.  We will have to wait and see if this next storm causes much effect.

Skwalla Stones, Blue Wing Olives, Winter Stones and a parade of Midges have all been developing on river during the day.  Today we have gorgeous spring conditions and the bugs are out everywhere.  Skwalla females began showing up this week, which are easy to identify as their body mass is about two times larger than that of the male.  The high water conditions and low water temperatures have seemed to stunt the aquatic cycle somewhat this spring.  Typically, by this time of year we are at the end of the stonefly hatch and anticipating the arrival of March Brown Mayflies and Baetis in the afternoons.   If conditions remain the same, Mayfly fishing should start anytime and the stonefly fishing will continue through the first parts of April.

Click To Enlarge-Yakima River Adult Skwalla-Male

We are still getting great reports from many of the still-waters of Central Washington, despite the cold nights and cooler water temperatures.  River fishermen frustrated with water conditions over the past couple of weeks have looked elsewhere to wet a line this spring.  The lakes have been busy with people, but everyone seems to be doing well.  Bright sunny conditions this past week have slowed the fishing in the afternoon at Rocky Ford.

MARCH 22nd-2007
Another week of consecutive cool nights has Central Washington’s, Yakima River on a quick and rapid descent with water clarity and visibility improving daily throughout much of the river. 

On Sunday, another spring rain shower swept over low lying hillsides of the Kittitas Valley liquefying more low lying snow pack.  After dropping all week and looking like conditions were going to improve, the Yakima once again swelled bank to bank with run off, reaching elevated spring levels.

As of today, the Upper Yakima above the confluence of the Teanaway River junction has almost three feet of visible clarity.   Below the Teanaway River conditions are not nearly as good.  This main spring tributary of the Yakima continues to spew dark, cloudy spring waters into the main stem.  However, this small, non navigable river is dropping quickly and river conditions below this intersection are improving with approximately one foot of clarity to the water today.

Another piece of good news to report.  The Lower Yakima has Adult Skwalla’s crawling all over its banks!  Yesterday, every rock or piece of bank debris you turned over revealed male Skwalla’s.  Trout were beginning to key in on the adults the day before the river took a turn for the worse, so it does look like we will get more stonefly action this spring.

The weekend forecast is calling for a likelihood of more precipitation throughout the valley, which normally would be of some concern this time of year.   However, Tuesday morning a downpour of rain showers swept over the Ellensburg and Cle Elum Basin.  This rain had no effect on the river and the Yakima has continued to quickly recede.

This tells us the majority of our low lying snow pack that will affect the river and its volume is no longer a factor.  However, there is still plenty of high elevation pack to melt and it will eventually.  The reservoirs of the river will be able to collect a good portion of this water, but not all of it.  If the situation remains the same with river flows continuing to drop, the Lower Yakima below the Teanaway will be fishable by the weekend, most likely by Saturday.

Chirnomid fishing has picked considerably over the past week and many local fly fishermen have been taking advantage of some still water fishing while the river has been out.  Expect crowds of fishermen at some of the more popular venues like Lenore, Lenice and Dusty.  It has alleviated the pressure at Rocky Ford Creek.

Bass fishing is also starting to heat up as well as both Largemouth and Smallmouth stage in areas for pre spawning purposes.  Some of the basin lakes are fishing well now for both species and this will improve greatly over the next several weeks.  The Lower Yakima River Smallmouth fishing will commence once river conditions improve here as well.  We are anxiously awaiting its improvement and look forward to this years fishing on the Lower Yakima.  It was very popular last year with excellent results and this year looks to be even better.  We do encourage you to book your trip early this year.  Dates are filling quickly.  We have loads of trips to reschedule due to the past couple of weeks unruly river conditions.

MARCH 15th-2007

Big water, big river.   A combination one two punch was delivered late Sunday evening as a downpour of spring rains showered the lowlands of the Cascade Mountain Range.  Low elevation snow pack quickly dissolved, turning hard pack to water as river volumes on the Yakima River escalated quickly.  Tributaries of every size that finger throughout the county feed the main stem of the river. 

These small streams like Big Creek, Swauk, Taneum, Manatash, Reecer, Dry Creek and Wilson swelled bank to bank with spring runoff.  Drier, cooler conditions over the past several days now have the Yakima flows on a rapid descent.   Today, river volume remains high in the lower portions below the Teanaway River. 
However, we do expect to see much better conditions by Saturday or Sunday, if weather conditions continue on the same path.  The upper portions of the river are looking much better today, so we do expect this area to be in descent fishing conditions by the weekend.

With warmer day time highs, the still waters of the Central Basin are beginning to heat up as well.  Lake Lenore as of Monday had already turned over and the current fishing report from local fly fishermen is that the lake is looking better and starting to regain shape.  It has begun to produce consistent Chirinomid hatches throughout the day.  Good reports of midge fishing as well at Dusty, Lake Lenice and Nunnually.

For those that prefer moving water, Rocky Ford is providing a good hatch of Blue Wing Olives and Midges in the early afternoon.   With the river out of shape and the lakes off to a slow start, the crowds have been thick over the past several days at the Ford, so don’t expect to find much fishing solitude.  With the river starting to come back into shape and the lakes beginning to warm up, fishing pressure at the Creek should start to alleviate somewhat.

Fishing through the month of February and the first week of March was fantastic on the Yakima.  We expect the same once river conditions return.  Fish were just beginning to look up and eat Skwalla adults.  We expect the same scenario along with hatches of BWO's in the early afternoon.
MARCH 9th-2007

This past weekend, one hundred and three Yakima River fly fishing enthusiasts gathered on the banks of the Yakima River for the annual “Yakima River Clean Up”.  It was a glorious day to be on the water as the Kittitas Valley sunshine beamed warm rays across the river basin. 

Attendance for this year’s clean up event was the biggest to date and due to the hard work and efforts of everyone that participated, we accomplished an incredible task.  Nearly 4000 pounds of garbage was removed from the banks, islands, braids and stream bed of the Yakima!.   We would like to thank everyone that attended and contributed their efforts in this year’s event.  Thank you!

We would especially like to thank Jerry and Brenda Leath of the KOA for their generosity and hard work in hosting the clean up event and barbeque once again this year. They are great hosts and offer their camping, shuttle services and boat launch access to all Yakima River fly fishermen throughout the year.  Thank you, Jerry and Brenda.   

We also need to recognize and thank several of the local Ellensburg businesses that contributed as well many of our fly fishing manufactures. Their contribution to the clean up each year is truly appreciated.  Thank you for all of your support.


KOA of Ellensburg Waste Management of Ellensburg Albertsons Safeways
WA DOT Jenikka's Coffee House Kittitas Field & Stream Club Scott Fly Rod Co.
Sage Fly Rod Co. Simms Galvan Reel Co. Fishpond
Scientific Anglers Rio Fly Lines Waterworks-Lamson Montana Fly Co
Umpqua Redington Anglers Book Supply Stone Creek
Fishpond Hyde Drift Boats Gamma-Froghair Dr Slick
Riverborn Fly Co. Maui Jim    

With the weather warming up and the day time high temperatures reaching the mid fifty degree mark each day, the low lying snow pack is beginning to disappear from the surrounding hillsides of the valley.  Some of the small tributaries of the Yakima are bursting with run off from the afternoon melt and we have seen an increase in water volumes throughout the main stem of the Yakima over the past couple of days.  However, today water clarity was over three feet and the river remains in excellent fishing condition.  A frosty night last night has also contributed as we watch river flows begin to recede.

We are beginning to see a seasonal change and fish are shifting from their winter holding areas to other appropriate feeding lanes.  With the day time temperatures much warmer this first portion of March, Skwalla dry fly fishing is starting in some areas of the Yakima.  It is now in its beginning stages and is only going to get better as the month progresses.   The Blue Wing Olive Mayflies will also begin showing up in the afternoons to provide additional match the hatch dry fly fishing.

For those interested in the still waters of the Central Basin, reports have been positive after a chilly opener last Friday.  Lake Lenice and Lenore are both reporting good Chironomid fishing throughout the day.  Warming day time temperatures throughout the Central portion of the state are expected to continue, which should greatly improve fishing everywhere.  It looks like spring is finally going to arrive after all.  Get out and enjoy some of this new found weather.

MARCH 1st-2007

The first two months of the new year have passed ever so quickly and the afternoons in Central Washington’s Yakima River Valley begin to lengthen in light each day.  This year, day light savings time arrives four weeks early and spring fishing on this Pacific Northwest trout stream is underway.

Despite the fact that spring was suppose to arrive early this year, scattered snow storms each day have continued to persist throughout the valley.  This time of year though, warm periods of afternoon sun breaks quickly disband the frozen, frosty moisture.  Our days have been somewhat typical for this time of year with unexpected weather changes throughout the afternoon.  Gear up appropriately and you stay warm and comfortable all day.

The river however is in absolute perfect fishing condition and from what we have seen over the past ten days, the fish are in beautiful form.  The high waters that we experienced during the months of December and January churned up the river bottom creating all kinds of new and possible trout holding lies. 

It also thrust a variety of aquatic organisms of every kind into the water column of the river.  Big, fat bellied river rainbows have been gorging on these critters, expending every opportunity to feed and grow.  If river and weather conditions cooperate this year, we expect an exceptional spring on the Yakima. Typically by this time each year, we begin to see hearty signs of adult stoneflies clamoring along the banks of the river. 
Masses of stonefly nymphs have congregated along the shore as each rock or log you turn over unearths dozens of Skwalla nymphs waiting for the opportune time to emerge.  With warming afternoons forecasted it shouldn’t be long before we begin to see our first signs of stonefly life begin to take form.

This Saturday, March 3rd 2007, the guiding staff, pro shop team and management of Worley Bugger Fly Co. will hold its annual “Yakima River Clean Up”.  Forecasted weather conditions are favorable with day time highs predicted to reach the low fifty degree range.  The mornings have been cool, so do dress appropriately for the day.

Click To Enlarge-Yakima River Skwalla Nymph

Jerry & Brenda Leath of the Ellensburg KOA will host the event again this year and we thank them once again for their generosity and hard work and dedication to the clean up.  For those that will be attending the Yakima River Clean Up this weekend, Jerry & Brenda have graciously offered a discount to those looking to camp for the night.  Call the KOA to reserve you spot right on the river.  For reservation, they can be reached at 509-925-9319.  We look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday. 

The Worley Bugger pro shop in Ellensburg will be closed all day on Saturday for the event and will reopen on Sunday, March 4th.
FEBRUARY 23rd-2007

After a week of high water flows, Central Washington’s Yakima River is now on a rapid decline.  A large band of moisture moved across the Upper Kittitas County late last week, showering the low lying hills of the Cascades. 

Over the past week, the rainfall has since been vacant and the night time lows have been around or below the freezing level.  These weather conditions have attributed greatly to improving conditions and the Yakima has returned to pre spring fishing form.  The fishing the past three days has been very good!      

Though the river still remains unseasonably high, the drier, cooler conditions each day and night are promoting a speedy descent. At this point, bank fishermen will find areas of the river conducive to wading with some sections still high; however by Saturday morning we will most likely see another big drop in volume, which will create easier fishing conditions and more river access to those without boats.

Water temperatures are still on the cool side with today’s high recording in the high thirties.  Still a bit to cool for adult Skwalla Stoneflies, however at this point we could begin seeing them in adult form anytime.   Stonefly nymphs and streamer fishing has been good over the past couple of days.  After this big push of water, fish are finding plenty of forage to feed on.

This coming Thursday, March 1st marks the opening of most of our Stillwater lakes around the state.  We spent some time last weekend in the basin investigating some of our warm water favorites and were surprised to find most  encased with a thin layer of ice.   By March 1st, most of the low elevation basin lakes should be ice free.  Warmer day time highs and some afternoon breezes will aid in dissipating that thin ice layer quickly.

We do encourage you to plan your spring fishing early this year.  Our days are beginning to fill very quickly.  Dates for our Smallmouth Bass trips and our Fall Steelhead trips are booking early this year as well.  Feel free to contact us with questions or availability.

FEBRUARY 16th-2007

If you heard this week of fishing on Central Washington’s Yakima River had been good it was no fish tale.  After spending last weekend in Bellevue at the FF show (great to see everyone that was their), we returned to find the Yakima just how we had left her with just a slight variation in river flows.  Some moderate rain showers last Sunday caused some low lying hillside snow melt and the flows came up slightly. 

It was pre-Skwalla time all week and fish were working hard, chowing any type of stonefly pattern you drifted by them.  Even late afternoon Midge hatches had fish working the surface in some areas.

If you have plans to fish the Yakima this weekend you may want to reconsider them at this point.  A downpour of heavy rain moved across the Upper Kittitas County yesterday afternoon creating a messy situation in the river at this time.  Low lying snow pack around the valley was quickly turned to water and the Yakima’s volume has tripled in most areas.  Very little or no clarity exists at this time.

The Upper Yakima above the Teanaway is still in fishable condition, however it remains high and bank fishermen will find difficulty in wading its waters.  Although it holds some larger size rainbows, fish densities and populations are about 1/3 less then what the lower end trout sections hold.  Looking at the graph this afternoon, the river is beginning to stabilize and drop.  Good river conditions should resume by early next week if dry conditions persist.

FEBRUARY 6th-2007

After another series of consecutive cold, frosty days, warmer temperatures now prevail throughout the Yakima River Valley.  Much of last week, bone chilling, thick dense fog covered much of the Kittitas Valley with little relief in site.  The horse frost concealed the trees in a thick, dense cover, creating an icy winter wonderland that was spectacular to see.  Winter is getting old and we are glad to see spring approaching.

This week however conditions have improved greatly, especially over the past 48 hours as the day time highs are starting to reach the low forty degree mark each day.  With warmer conditions, the river is now in great shape is producing consistent February fishing.

Skwalla Stoneflies will be the talk over the next six to eight weeks as the nymphs are amassing in hordes along the banks of the river.  Water temperatures at this point are much to low for adult exposure, but each day we are seeing a two or three degree difference.  Expect adult activity this year most likely around the third week of February and the majority of the stonefly activity peaking the second week of March.  Get ready for spring fishing it’s right around the corner.

Once again we plan to clean from the Green Bridge in Thorp to the Roza Dam!  Due to the usual high attendance, we do ask you pre-register in advance, so we can keep the event well organized!  You can find all of the event info here.

This weekend we will be attending the Fly Fishing Show in Bellevue.  If you plan on attending stop by our booth and say hi!  For those that would rather be fishing, the pro shop in Ellensburg will be open and the members of our staff will be happy to assist you.

JANUARY 25th-2007

We are now encountering a winter heat wave here in Central Washington’s Yakima River Valley.  No not really, but after the single digit temperatures we experienced the first few weeks of the new year, it sure feels like it.  Warmer temperatures, not the frosty single digit kind but rather highs that are reaching well above the freezing mark are now occurring throughout the Central Basin.  It’s a welcome sight as we anticipate warmer days ahead.

With the warmer day time highs, the Yakima River is now in much better fishing condition.  Areas that were choked tight with ice or completely frozen from bank to bank have now broken apart for the most part.  Slush ice and large floating bergs have not been a problem all week.  Ice is still forming around the edges, but the river is now in great fishing condition.

Today, we are experiencing some thick, low lying fog banks which is common for this time of year, however some areas of the Yakima River Valley are drenched in that Central Washington sunshine.  Much warmer, drier conditions are predicted for the upcoming weekend with highs here in the Rodeo City predicted to reach the low forty degree mark.  Fly fishermen, stir crazy with cabin fever from the cold weeks of January, converged on Rocky Ford Creek last weekend and many found favorable fishing conditions.  This weekend you won’t have to drive near as far with the Yakima back in prime winter fishing shape.

On Saturday, March 3rd 2007, the guiding staff, pro shop team and management of Worley Bugger Fly Co. will hold its annual “Yakima River Clean Up”.  This is the eighth consecutive year this event as taken place and we thank everyone that has showed their support over those past eight seasons.  If you have never attended one of the clean up events before, we encourage you to take part this year.  If you have we thank you and welcome you back again on March 3rd for a day of fun, fishing and a few short hours of manual labor.  Jerry & Brenda Leath of the Ellensburg KOA will host the event again this year and we thank them once again for their generosity and hard work.  To date, we have collected over 16,000 pounds of refuge from the banks and streambed of the river.  This year, we should easily topple the 20,000 pound mark after last summers long high water flows.  Once again we plan to clean from the Green Bridge in Thorp to the Roza Dam!  Due to the usual high attendance, we do ask you pre-register in advance, so we can keep the event well organized!  You can find all of the event info here.

Despite the cold, dreary days of January, I do have some very good news to announce.  On Friday, January 19th at 8:28 in the am, my wife Robin delivered another daughter into our lives.  We are blessed with a happy, healthy and beautiful baby girl and we both couldn’t be happier.  Lauren Renee Worley has changed our lives forever.  Thank you to everyone from the Worley family that phoned the shop throughout the week.

JANUARY 9th-2007
It's the start of a new year and a new fly fishing season in Central Washington.  Happy New Year to everyone.  We hope your holiday season was filled with family, friends and fly fishing.
With the beginning of a new year, unusual erratic winter weather patterns positioned over the Northwest have brought warm temperatures and mixed showers to the Kittitas Valley.  The piles of snow that fell during the month of December are rapidly disappearing.  This has caused another swift increase in river volume as the Yakima River swelled bank to bank.
Cooler temperatures overnight and a cool winter day today is aiding in a steady drop in flows at this time.  More cool, dry weather is predicted over the next several days.  If the extended forecast is accurate, we will see a continual drop in river volume and the Yakima should be in good, fishable condition for the upcoming three day weekend.

A Professional Fly Fishing Outfitter Service
306 South Main #3
Ellensburg, WA 98926


The Worley Bugger Fly Co. Pro Shop in Ellensburg, offers the largest selection of high quality fly fishing tackle and supplies in Central Washington.

The Worley Bugger Pro Shop

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