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DECEMBER 22nd-2008

What began as a mild start to winter turned quickly around as the Evergreen State experiences one winter storm after another. 

 Plan to attend the 3rd Annual Washington Federation of Fly Fishers Fly Fishing Fair!


Kittitas County Fair Grounds-Ellensburg Washington


 May 1st & 2nd-2009

For more information contact the Worley Bugger Pro shop or visit the Washington FFF Website.

According to the calendar, winter officially began yesterday, but seriously cold, frosty weather conditions and belting blizzard snow flurries bombarded the Yakima River Valley this past week. 
As snow accumulation build in the high elevations of the Cascades, Central Washington revels in a winter wonderland just in time for the Christmas holiday.

A couple of days and nights of frigid near sub zero weather conditions has turned Central Washingtonís, prized Yakima River into a frozen sheet of ice throughout most of the upper river sections above the Roza Dam. 

Places that arenít frozen over completely have chunks of frozen slush floating through them making it near impossible to wet a line anywhere in its seventy + mile stretches of prime trout water. 
More storms are expected this week across the state which will aid in building more water storage supply for the upcoming fishing season in many of our rivers and streams.  Warmer temperatures are also predicted which will be a welcome change from what we are experiencing now!

As we approach the New Year, the staff and management of Worley Bugger Fly Co., Steve, Timbo, Ryan, David, Russell and Zack would like to wish everyone a safe, peaceful and happy holiday season. 

We would also like to take this time to thank everyone for their patronage and wish you peace and prosperity in 2009.   We look forward to serving in the upcoming fly fishing season as Central Washingtonís premier fly fishing outfitter service.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!










Upper Yakima Lower Yakima
Methow River Klickitat River
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DECEMBER 6th-2008

With the beginning of the holiday season already upon us, the residents of Kittitas County and the Yakima River Valley are enjoying yet another mild December.  We anticipate the arrival of an inevitable winter wonder land in the not to distance future.  As of today not a flake of snow has hit the ground in Ellensburg yet this winter.

So far, weather conditions have been mild.  Some days we have even experienced a 30 degree swing in temperature from morning to afternoon.  The early morning hours begin a bit cool, but the thin layer of frost is quickly dispatched as the Central Washington sunshine blasts is warm winter rays over the basin throughout the afternoon hours.

Winter fishing is underway on Central Washingtonís, Yakima River.  With little or no precipitation over the past several weeks, the river remains in excellent fishing condition.  Last month the river hit never flood stage condition after an onslaught of rain storms belted the valley and low lying hillsides. 

Snow that had fallen in the elevations of the Cascades the first part of November was quickly dissolved and deposited in the Yakima in big volumes.  A Cottonwood tree that was ripped from the bank in the early spring in the Rinehart to Ringer section of the river that created a dangerous situation all summer has been cleared. 
The ďTree FarmĒ is now wide open and no portage is needed at this time.  However, situations always change and snags and root wads do a lot of shifting in this area of the Yakima.  Anyone interested in floating this section of the river is advised to be extremely careful.  It can still be very dangerous.
For those interested in fishing the river this time of year, target the warmest portions of the day for productive fishing.  There is no need to arrive at the crack of dawn this time of year.  Insect hatches will be scarce or non existent.  Their have been some sporadic Baetis hatches this past week in the early afternoon, but is nothing you can count on from day to day. 

Hatches of Midges during the day are about the only form of insects that will be evident.  Midges and midge clusters can produce some good dry fly fishing in the Lower Canyon in specific areas throughout the winter months where fishing are keying on these tiny insects.

Your best bet is wet fly fishing with nymphs or streamers.  Productive patterns this time of year are about anything you have in your box.  Fish tend to be far less picky this time of year then say in March or April when a number of insect hatches are happening and more food is available to them.  December isnít a major insect time so fish have to forage a bit more for substance.  Fishing and reading the right water that hold fish, your presentation and technique are probably more important then what you fish.  However, be aware Whitefish are now in their spawn and the Yakima bowís will key on tiny egg patterns where this natural winter phenomenon is occurring.

NOVEMBER 20th-2008

As we conclude the third week of November, Central Washington has experienced a month of unusual water and weather conditions.  Low lying snow accumulations that gathered along the foothills of the Kittitas Valley and the Cascade Mountains during the end of October were quickly dispatched last week. 

A combination of intense rain and wind storms rocked the river basin over a couple of day period as they moved across the Evergreen State. The results came quickly as driving water flows reached near flood stage condition on the Yakima and Naches Rivers.  Now after a week of dry weather and afternoon high temperatures reaching the very comfortable fifty degree mark each day, water volumes that toppled well over the 12,000 cfs mark have rapidly dropped.
The water clarity has also returned and the November fishing has resumed on the river.  The Yakima continues to flow a bit high for this time of year, however the volume is dropping throughout the entire main stem each day.  Freezing levels have also dropped the past couple of night which are helping reduce the higher volumes as well.
The river has always historically fished well on the drop and at this time you can find a willing trout or two, especially the dedicated nymph or streamer fishermen using the right combinations.

At this point it looks like the Yakima's mayfly hatches have concluded for the season.  However, a weekend weather forecast is predicting temperatures to reach the mid forty degree range.  If that happens, the river could easily produce a window of Blue Wing Olive activity late in the afternoon.  We will see what happens.  So far this week the insects have been virtually non existent, except for some sporadic midge hatches occurring throughout the day.

This past week, the Yakima was not the only river on the east side of the Cascades effected by last weeks wicked storms.  Both the Klickitat and Methow Rivers were also compromised as a result of the downpour with the ďKlickĒ getting the brunt of it from the Oregon side. 

High volumes and muddy water conditions prevailed, but the river has dropped considerably.  We may be able to get a few more days of steelheading in before it seasonal closure on November 30th of this month.  Conditions on the Methow are good now and it should produce some good steelhead opportunities for you this coming week.
OCTOBER 27th-2008

As the last remaining days of October begin, the colors of autumn abound across the Pacific Northwest with a bounty of vibrant foliage.  Along the shoreline of the Yakima stream bank Cottonwood and Alder trees once green with summer flora are now decorated in a dazzling display of fall colors.

The Methow River Valley in Chelan County and the Klickitat River Basin in Southwest Washington, two fine summer steelhead fisheries are boasting with a dramatic exhibition of beautiful fall scenery as well.  The Vine Maples, Oaks, Alders and a host of other streamside foliage has exploded with an eruption of orange, red, yellow and green color creating an unbelievable, almost surreal atmosphere for a terrific fall fly fishing experience.

For many of us that love the outdoors, the month of October is probably the finest time of year to enjoy it.  The frosty mornings quickly give way to pleasant afternoons that light up with warm Central Washington sunshine.  The weather conditions residents of Kittitas County have come to expect during the month of October have embellished us with warm pleasing fishing days.  Itís a busy time of the year and this is the first chance Iíve had to sit and right a report in almost three weeks.  Between trout fishing on the Yakima and steelhead fishing on the Klickitat and Methow the days all seem to run together. 

Itís also a consistent time of the year for the Yakima when water flows and other conditions remain fairly constant from day to day.  With low water volumes trickling throughout most of the entire 70+ mile stretch of catch and release water, you will find gin clear river conditions in most areas of the river.  Irrigation for many of the local farmers came to an end around the middle of the month, so water return from the Wilson Creek tributary feeding in at the month of the Lower Yakima Canyon is beginning to clear as well.

The mayfly fishing has taken precedence during the afternoons as the Yakima explodes with hatches of Blue Wing Olives, Mahogany Duns and Light Cahillís.  Tiny Baetis by far are most prevalent during the day however it can be a selective time of the year when trout focus on one particular insect.   Be prepared to encounter a variety of these fishing situations.  Watch the foam lines of the river as stranded mayflies are drawn into the current and trout feed at their leisure on these hapless insects.

Many sections of the Yakima are also producing intense hatches of October Caddis throughout the day as well.  You may find periods when fish focus and key on this giant orange bellied caddisfly, especially if mayflies are nonexistent at the time.  Presenting a pattern that mimics the life like movements of the egg layer is most productive.  Usually a dead drifting silhouette will go unnoticed.

The Summer Steelhead fishing continues on the Klickitat River through the remainder of this month and will close for the season the last day of November.  Expect low, gin clear water conditions throughout this river system at this time.   The Methow River was officially opened earlier this month while the Wenatchee River to the south remains closed indefinitely due to a poor return of adipose fin clipped fish.  One would think after a decade of river closures our state management officials would have a clue about this fishery.  That doesnít seem to be the case and many of the hatchery origin fish continue to stray from the Wenatchee bypassing the river all together and returning to the Methow, Okanogan or remaining in the main stem of the Columbia?? 

The fishing has been good on the Methow this year due to this fact as fish continue to enter the river system.  The Methow will remain open until further notice.
SEPTEMBER 30th-2008

As the last day of September ends the commencement of autumn has begun in the Yakima River Valley.   Cool nights and warm sunny days have reigned over the Central Washington desert this past week embellishing its residents and visitors alike with beautiful fall fishing days.  The Cottonwood and Alder treeís that provided shade and cover along the banks of the river are in their beginning stages of a seasonal restoration. 

As the month of October progresses, many of our Pacific Northwest Rivers will undergo a transformation, creating a beautiful background and a visual treat for anyone that enjoys being outdoors.  The Yakima has undergone its seasonal cycle from summer to fall and at this time is operating at normal September volumes.  With that said fly fishermen are taking advantage of the opportunity and enjoying the river, the weather and the host of insect hatches that are occurring throughout the day.

The summer stonefly hatch looks to have hit its peak this past weekend.  The hot afternoons fashioned a couple hours of activity as egg laying females took take flight across the river in good numbers. 

With warm days still occurring in the river valley terrestrials like grasshoppers, beetles and other bank dwellers were active as well.  Fishing cross over patterns that imitate an assortment of different food forms works well, so it can be hard to say what the fish are eating it as?

Its mayfly time as the river begins to produce Baetis beds as well in specific areas of the Yakima.  Blue Wing Olive hatches are occurring at this time throughout the main stem of the river on a daily basis.  Watch for specific blue wing feeders as they methodically rise at their own pace to absorb these small olive bodied insects. 

Overcast skies are predicted for the upcoming weekend which should produce some fantastic mayfly fishing on the river.  During the hatch of BWO expect to encounter Light Cahillís, Mahogany Duns and Craneflies.  Fish could or will be working any of the specified hatches so be prepared with an assortment of imitations to match the hatch.

The October Caddis is also prevalent throughout the day as well.  Late afternoons are a much more predictable time for this giant caddisfly to begin its emergence cycle however we do have days on the Yakima when they hatch at first light.  If this occurs, trout will be looking for them throughout the entire fishing day.

This spring the Yakima experienced a return of over 5000 Spring Chinook (King Salmon) to the Upper River above the Roza Dam.  They are now dispersed throughout the Upper Yakima, Cle Elum and Teanaway Rivers spawning in specific areas of these streams.  Be aware of their presence in the system and watch for spawning beds and markers.  It is unlawful to target these fish in the Upper River and its tributaries however the resident fish are reaping the rewards of their return.  Spawning most likely will continue over the next week or two.

Itís the height of Summer Steelhead fishing has many fly fishermen anticipate the month of October to be one fine month to chase these giant sea-going rainbows with flies.  Now that the nets have been removed from the mouth of the Columbia and over 100,000 salmon were harvested the Klickitat has steadily improved in its fishing.  The Methow River located in Chelan County was closed last week to all fishing because of incidental wild steelhead encounters (?) while anglers were fishing for trout.  Many have felt and speculated that a steelhead season will not open because of this fact on the Methow or Wenatchee Rivers this October.  However inside sources have revealed that a season most likely will open the first week of October on both rivers.

SEPTEMBER 17th-2008

Gorgeous, warm mid September days have developed across the Yakima River Valley on a daily basis.  The Central Washington sunshine is belting warm UVís throughout the day with temperatures at times exceeding the high eighty degree mark. 

Warm temperatures are expected to continue over the next couple of days and a projected drop in heat is forecasted for this coming weekend with highs forecasted in the mid seventy degree range.  With one of the coolest Augustís on record here in Ellensburg, the month of September has pleasantly surprised everyone.  Fly fishermen are out enjoying the warm summer like days and the low water flows on the Yakima.  
Exposed river banks of rock and cobble now adorn the edges of this Kittitas County trout stream as it flows with far less ferocity then just a short time ago.  River volume is down and the Yakima is wadable from bank to bank through its entire seventy + mile stretch of catch & release trout waters.  With controlled low flows now occurring, a variety of insects are prevalent at this time throughout the fishing day.  The Yakima River Shortwing Stonefly hatch is in full swing as gigantic female stones take flight in the afternoon across the waters of the river. 
Dry fly fishing with patterns to match the naturals in areas of the Yakima where they are prevalent has been a lot of fun this past week.  At this time, the Upper and Lower Farmlands and Upper Canyon are seeing a good hatch of stones.  We expect to see it reach its peak most likely late next week.  The terrestrial fishing still remains strong as well in the afternoons.  Our grasshopper fishing has been terrific this summer despite the cooler days we experienced. 
Vast varieties in an assortment of colors and sizes still reside along the grassy banks of the river.  Many patterns available at the fly shops are good cross over patterns that work well for a variety of circumstances.  The silhouette of foam and fur created by these imitations can easily be mistaken as a stonefly, hopper, beetle or other aquatic creature by a Yakima River Rainbows.

The warm days and higher water temperatures have slowed the mayfly hatches this past week.  However, as the river's water temperature cools expect to see explosive hatches of Blue Wing Olives, Light Cahill's and Mahogany Duns throughout the main stem of the Yakima.  Come prepared with a couple of good Cranefly patterns as well. 

These large, long legged, highly active insects are buzzing around the waters and grassy banks of the Yakima.  Fish are focused on them and looking for this particular insect in specific places. October Caddis are in the beginning stages as pupation is underway for many.  Their presence will become more important as the days of autumn progress.

September has proven to be a good month for Klickitat River fly fishing as well with thousands of Columbia River Steelhead breaching the dam each day at Bonneville.  Many of these fish are continuing their journey up the Columbia to waters of the Snake, Clearwater, Deschutes, John Day, Grande Ronde, Wenatchee and the Methow Rivers, so expect good fishing here as well.  The Methow River trout season has been closed (September 18th) early this year because of the number of steelhead now being caught in the river.  A steelhead season should open this year on the Methow the first week of October however we are still waiting to hear the final word on that.


SEPTEMBER 9th-2008

As the big holiday weekend here in the Rodeo City of Ellensburg came to a conclusion, the mood, the panorama across the valley and the river have taken on a whole new dimension.  A new and exciting river has emerged as it now slowly meanders through the beautiful Kittitas Valley.  The Yakima River has transformed and it now forming in its fall cycle.

Where once just a short time ago, river flows were pushing 5000 cfs, now that same river flows low with water volumes ranging 800 cfs in the Upper Canyon to just over 1600 cfs today in the Lower Canyon.  A welcome reprieve for many fly anglers as they return to fish the autumn waters of the Yak.

With river flows now operating a fall flow, fish of course have less water to hold and conceal themselves.  The larger, territorial trout will take precedence in the major feeding lies of the river.  Smaller trout of course are left to the remaining amounts of holding water.  With water volumes at fall levels and warm September air temperatures, concentrate your efforts in the appropriate runs of the river for successful fishing.

Bugs, bugs and more bugs.  You name it and they are probably hatching on the Yakima.  Caddis in an assortment of sizes and colors, Blue Wing Olives, Shortwing Stoneflies, Light Cahillís, Craneflies and of course the vast variety of terrestrial insects.  Grasshoppers in a range of sizes and colors are rattling along the banks of the river during the heat of the day.  It is at this time when their peak period of activity occurs and when they are most vulnerable as a trout food form.

The mayflies hatches are happening mid afternoon to early evening with a selection of Light Cahillís and a small spattering of summer PMDís still occurring.  Baetis are also forming in the foam lines of the river and are becoming an important part of the fishing day. 

Craneflies are prevalent along the grassy banks of the river, so be prepared to encounter this important September insect especially through the Upper Yakima and Farmlands area of the river.

Record numbers of sea going rainbows, well above the ten year average are pouring over the barrier dam at Bonneville on the Columbia each day.  Numbers exceeding 7000 fish are being counted every afternoon as the make a arduous journey up river to their home waters to any given tributary of the Columbia

The Klickitat River of course has been seeing a good number of these fish.  The Fall Chinnook are also running in good numbers over the dam and some of these will return to the ďKlickĒ.  More steelhead are close behind following the salmons path up river.  The Klickitat will remain open until the last day in November.  More then likely, expect to see the opening for steelhead fishing on the Methow and Wenatchee River systems later this month or the first week of October.
AUGUST 29th-2008

As we begin the holiday weekend, the high water volumes we experience on Central Washingtonís Yakima River over the course of the summer have been receding and the river is in the beginning stages of its autumn cycle.

High flows roaring through the main stem of the Yakima and warm, sunny temperatures are a daily event in the Kittitas Valley during the days of August.  With the month of September just a couple of days away, the regulated high flows have been drawn back from the riverís mountain reservoirs as we see the Yakima drop in volume 200 to 400 feet a day.

If you have been waiting for flows to drop wait no longer.   Bank anglers confined to specific areas of the river over the summer have found relief as areas of the Yakima open up with greater access and more opportunities for fishing.  A new river is forming and beginning to take shape for September fishing.  During the month of August, despite a few blustery days the Yakima has fished exceptionally well, especially the dry fly fishing. 

The hot summer heat in late June and early July escalated the terrestrial fishing as grasshoppers in a variety of different colors and sizes abound along the thick, grassy banks of the river.  Even during periods of the day when the valley winds accelerate, a host of vulnerable non aquatic insects are catapulted into the water, crafting a food forage for the fish. 

The troutís diet this time of year is probably the most diverse it ever is over the course of the year as their consumption on both aquatic and non aquatic insects varies throughout the day.  Though much more challenging fishing, sometimes the wind can actually aid instead of impede the fishing. 

With ideal river water temperatures in the upper fifties at this time, the troutís metabolism is at it's seasonal peak and their feeding cycle lasts the majority of the day.  Some of our summer insect hatches are beginning to wind down for the season as others are just in their beginning stages.  PMD Mayflies and Yellow Sally Stones are in their final phase, but will give way to Light Cahillís, Baetis, Craneflies and Shortwing Stoneflies. 

Terrestrial fishing will continue throughout the month as well with warm September afternoons.  Later in the month, the Giant Sedge Caddis will become prevalent in the Upper Yakima in specific sections of the river.  September and October are a fantastic time to spend a day fly fishing in the Yakima River Valley.

The Klickitat River  Valley is also a beautiful place to spend a day or two fishing for the worlds most sought after game fish, the Pacific Northwest Steelhead.   With fish counts well above the ten year average so far this year, these sea going rainbows have been pouring over the Bonneville Dam fish passage on the Columbia in vast numbers.  The Klickitat has been producing some terrific fishing this summer and will continue to see fish well into the month of November.  At this time, you can most likely expect to see the Wenatchee and Methow Rivers both open once again for steelhead fishing this fall.

AUGUST 7th-2008

As the first week of August begins, summer is in full swing in the Yakima River Basin.  The Central Washington sunshine is belting warm rays throughout the day as high temperatures reach the ninety degree mark.  According to weekend weather predications, a cooling trend is expected to settle across the valley this weekend with day time temps in the eighty degree range.

This week water flows remain at summer time levels with a slight increase in water volumes over the past couple of days.  The Yakima is in great condition for fly fishing and floating, but is swollen from bank to bank at this time.  In three weeks we will have a totally different river to fish.

The month of July produced some terrific fishing, especially our mid morning thru evening dry fly fishing.  Great hatches of mayflies, caddisflies and stoneflies at this time have fish feeding at all water levels. Nymphs, emergers and dry flies have all been consistent producer and appeal to everyoneís diverse fishing methods. 

Throughout the month of August, expect much of the same insect activity to occur.  In addition, Summer Stoneflies, Craneflies and Light Cahills at some point will all become food sources for Yakima River Rainbows. (& Cutthroat)

The terrestrial fishing came on strong in July with Yakima trout constantly looking for smaller grasshoppers, ants and beetles.  Fishing these patterns close to the grassy edges, along the undercut banks and beside the submerged structure has provided lots of excitement during the heat of the day.  Terrestrial fishing will intensify this month as more hoppers become available.

At times throughout the month, early morning caddis hatches stimulated the fish the first portions of the day and kept their feeding activity at peak levels.  Good blooms in the morning with sporadic hatches in the afternoon have the fish selecting caddis imitations throughout the fishing day.  Evening caddis activity relays solely on weather and wind conditions.  If evening breezes are minimal, great blizzard hatches will occur throughout the majority of the river this time of year.  If late afternoon winds beginning blowing most times insect hatches are light.

At this time, over 6000+, Columbia River tributary steelhead are breaching the Bonneville Dam on a daily basis.  This number is a mixture of both hatchery and wild fish.  The first two rivers available to these sea going rainbows are The Klickitat and the Wind Rivers, which are both glacier feed streams flowing from the snow packed peaks of Mount Adams.  Cool mountain waters entice these fish as they move across the first man made barrier on the Columbia, especially during the month of August when the Columbia River becomes warm.  The Klick is in great condition now and producing fish!  Water conditions on the Klickitat cycle from day to day, hour to hour this time of year so expect to find 1 to 3 feet of water clarity. 

JUNE 29th-2008

As the final few days of July draw to a close summer water flows continue on the Upper Yakima River in Kittitas County.  With day time high temperatures reaching the mid ninety degree mark in the Ellensburg and Yakima Valleyís, the demand for water from irrigators has been high.

Though the river is operating at peak summer levels, it is in great condition for summer drift boat fishing.  Over the past couple of days the B.O.R. has gradually drawn back minimal releases of water and we have seen a drop in some summer volume.  The Yakima is now operating at normal controlled flow for this time of year.

During the summer months of July and August, fly fishing the Yakima takes on a whole new perspective then the mild water days of spring and fall.  Boat fishing takes precedence, especially in specific areas of the river where opportunities to wade fish just arenít available.   

The upper and lower canyon stretches swell from bank to bank and the thick, tall grasses grow in abundance under the warm valley sunshine.  Getting out of the boat to fish in these areas usually isnít an option.  However, sections of the Yakima like the upper and lower farmlands are ideal and offer a more diverse day of fishing this time of year.  A vast array of wade fishing opportunities is available to those fly fishermen drifting the river that prefer this type of fly fishing. 
Half submerged islands, braided channels and section of the main stem split apart by spring floods break up heavy main stem flow.  Fish will utilize these areas of the Yakima during the summer month.  They offer great food sources for fish, plenty of cover and structure as well as reduced water volumes.  Plus they are fun places to fish.

At this time the river is producing a variety of summer hatches.  Most days, Caddis in a variety of sizes and colors are hatching throughout sections of the river.  During the late morning hours, dark bodied caddis are taking precedence in size 14-16.  Later in the day a bigger tan caddis has been appearing.  Evening hours once again generate a dark body caddis hatch.  The consistency of the hatch greatly depends on weather and wind conditions.

Mid day fishing is delivering great hatches of Pale Morning Duns, Pale Evening Duns and Yellow Sallie Stoneflies.  Some Golden Stone activity is still taking place on a daily basis in specific sections of the Yakima.  The mayfly hatches have been consistent from day to day, usually forming on the water around 2:00 pm.  Peak periods of Yellow Sallies have also been hatching during this time as well in size 16 & 18.

As I mentioned above, warm sunny days and thick grasses have grown up along the banks of the Yakima now.  With that said, terrestrials in a wide variety of colors and sizes are flourishing in these tall stream bank grasses.  Grasshoppers in tan, brown, yellow and green are working great during the heat of the day.  Ants and beetles in different sizes are also fun to fish this time of year.

JUNE 15th-2008

Summer time rules are now in effect on Central Washingtonís, Yakima River.  For those of you that visit the Yakima on a regular basis this isnít news to you.  For those of you that may be unfamiliar with the river and its seasonal operational flows, expect to see big water throughout the main stem of the Yakima, especially below the confluence of the Cle Elum.  The majority of the water entering the river system is now coming via the Cle Elum Reservoir.  July and the majority of August you can expect to see high water conditions on the Upper Yakima as farmers and ranchers hit the peak of the irrigating season. 

Warm temperatures and bright sunny skies are also blanketing the river valley now on a daily basis, which has been very nice to have.  Though water flows and conditions are high, the river is fishing quite well now.  The higher water has spread fish out, pushed them up along some of the banks or river structure and they are feeding on a variety of different and unique food forms.

Mid mornings have been producing a nice summer time Caddis bloom.  A hatch first thing in the morning typically catches the fishes attention and keeps their interest at peak levels for afternoon hatches of Pale Morning Dun Mayflies and Yellow Sally Stoneflies. 

Donít rule out the terrestrial fishing now as well.  Ants, beetles, grasshoppers, bees and other bank dwelling creatures have become important food forms for fish as the river bank grasses have thicken under the warm Kittitas Valley sunshine. Late afternoon has also produced some evening caddisfly activity.

The Klickitat River in Southwest Washington is now producing some pretty good summer steelhead fishing.  A big return this year of hatchery origin steelhead has been entering the river system on a daily basis.  Even with the high heat around Mount Adams the river is still in very good condition. 

We were able to visit the Klickitat last week and found very good water and not a soul to be had.  We did manage a couple of hook ups with fish but were unable to complete the task at hand.  Thatís alrightÖmore to come.  Our days for Fall fishing this year are beginning to book now for the fabulous steelhead stream.  Please contact us early if you are interested in July and August steelhead fishing.

Lower River Smallmouth fishing has hitt its peak as well over the past week.  Much lower then anticipated water conditions and flows in this portion of the Yakima for July is making for some tougher conditions for greenbacks  Weed beds are beginning to form in portions of the river now.  Concentrate your fishing efforts in the lower portions of the river, where higher water flows are now occurring.  Poppers, gurglers and other top water baits are working well now for Smallmouth.

JUNE 1st-2008

As we approach Americaís Independence Day celebration this Friday, near record setting temperatures teetering at the triple digit mark have been blistering the Yakima River Valley for several days now.  The blazing Central Washington sunshine has initiated a snow pack melt once again and run off high atop the Cascades Mountain Range is quickly flowing into the storage reservoirs that feed the Yakima River.

With water storage at 100% capacity now, large quantities of water have been discharged from the mountain reservoirs and the Yakima is swollen from bank to bank.  Water clarity, turbidity and conditions at this time are not good in any of the seventy five+ mile sections of the Yakima.  At this time its hard to say if the river will be fishable for the holiday weekend. 

Typically only a few days are needed for the river to stabilize and a fishable clarity to return.  If reservoir releases stay consistent over the next 24 to 48 hours, we could see better water conditions by Saturday.   However, when good water conditions return donít expect to see lower flows on the Yakima until the latter parts of August-September. 
Summer fishing rules are now in effect and will remain that way throughout the next next sixty plus days.  The Yakima will be fishable, however drifting the river will be your best option.  Those looking to wade the banks and shore line may find it difficult and unproductive.  Stream vegetation and foliage has already begun to thicken along the river banks, adding to the complexity of the wading fishermen's problem.

It is now Yakima Smallmouth time!  Lower river bass fishing is heating up and is getting good.  This week there was plenty of action with streamer imitations as well as a surge of top water fishing in the afternoon and evenings.  With very good water conditions this year the prime time bass fishing is happening now and will remain good throughout the month of July.  If good water conditions persist we could see good bassiní thru the month of August.  Typically by then weedy, low water conditions are present making it difficult to fish and float.

The staff and management of Worley Bugger Fly Co. wish everyone a happy and peaceful 4th of July weekend.

JUNE 19th-2008

Not much has changed as far as conditions are concerned since our last river report, except this week more Central Washington sunshine graced the river valley minus the low lying hill side snow showers.  Thatís a fortunate thing especially as the first official day of summer begins this Saturday. 

We have experienced some blustery, wind days here in the Rodeo City this week, however today the breezes have laid down as high temps approach the mid eighty degree range.  According to NOAA, the weekend forecast is calling for much of the same as weather conditions stabilize in this area of our state.  I have fielded several calls to the pro-shop the past couple of days regarding river flows and conditions.  At this time the Yakima continues to operate at below ďNormalĒ flow for this time of year. 

This is an ideal volume of water for this time of year for wading and boating Central Washingtonís premier trout stream.  Like I stated last week, typically we see cfs. flow stats ranging between the 4000 and 4500 mark at the gauging stations below the confluence of the Cle Elum River.  Today, the river is operating at less then half of that capacity. 

The Bureau of Reclamation has ramped up some flow on the Cle Elum River as discharge from the reservoir is recording about 500 cfs.  Most of the storage reservoirs are still under the 100% fill capacity and the Naches River in the next drainage to the west continues to run hard at about 3500 cfs.  Warm temperatures have yet to blister the lower valley, so adequate water rations are being absorbed for irrigating purposes through this smaller Yakima River tributary river.

With the river operating at below normal conditions for this time of year, a host of insect life is hatching throughout each section of the Yakima.  At this time the river is experiencing some good Pale Morning Dun and Pale Evening Dun Mayfly hatches in the afternoon hours.  Caddis in the early morning and then once again in the latter portions of the afternoon have also been occurring daily.

Almost each month of the calendar year, we experience a different form of stoneflies.  This month, the Goldenstone is prevalent during the day.  Watch the upper sections of the river around Cle Elum and the lower and upper Farmlands for this brightly colored stonefly.  You may see some sporadic hatches in the lower canyon however this erratic stonefly is much more common to see above this area of the Yakima.

The Little Yellow Sallie is also in its beginning stages of summer emergence as well in sections of the river.  We arenít far from the start of terrestrial fishing as well.  I have already noticed small size grasshoppers in a variety of colors around some areas of the river banks.  Flying ants, beetles and other non aquatic invertebrates will become important food sources for fish over the next several weeks.  There are also Green and Brown Drakes hatching during peak periods of the day in central specific sections of the Yakima.   Floating fishermen are more likely to encounter this hatch of giant mayflies.  If you are wading and stumble upon it, count yourself fortunate and have fun while it lasts.

Like I mentioned also last week, the Lower Yakima were Smallmouth reside is in great shape now and starting to produce some good bass fishing.  The spawn is just getting under way in the lower river.  Last week we caught several big females that were full of eggs.  They are waiting for the males to complete their staging and bed building.  I would expect to see the smallmouth fishing to remain quite good in the lower river until the middle portions of August this year.

JUNE 13th-2008

Almost everyone that I have spoken with the last couple of weeks has made a comment about the past couple of monthís weather conditions.  The conversation always includes the comment ďis spring every going to happen and will it every stop snowing in the mountains this year?

It seems to have been a long drawn out winter as earlier this week the higher elevations peaks surrounding the Kittitas Valley were gleaming with white tops early in the morning.  It not officially the summer of 08, but it close enough as the middle of June is already upon us.  Spring Iím afraid has come and gone.

It looks like the warming temperatures are on their way.  Predicted forecasts in the Kittitas Valley over the weekend are calling for day time highs in the eighties lasting well into the coming week.  A welcome site now as we approach the middle of the fly fishing season in Central Washington.  As the cool temperatures have prevailed so has the snow pack.  The main storage reservoirs still remain below the full level, especially the Cle Elum which hasnít even registered at the 90% level as of today. 

What this means for fly fishermen looking to wet a line in the waters of the Yakima is lower then usually flows for this time of year.  Typically our river is swollen bank to bank with high water flows this time in June.  Not this year.  Lower volumes of waters with minimal releases from the storage reservoirs have been in effect since the river dropped a couple of weeks ago from tributary spring run off.  The river is fishable by foot or boat.

You can expect to find several hatches occurring during the day at this time throughout the main stem region of the Yakima.  The Pale Morning Dun and Pale Evening Dun Mayflies are an afternoon event taking place throughout the river system.   Great hatches of yellow mayís have been happening all week in the lower river around and below Eburg.

A couple variety of Caddis are also happening now as well.  Have your dark and light colors in both adult and emerger handy during the day.  Some portions of the river are also experiencing some light Green Drake hatches as well.   Although we havenít yet seen them in bunches it is Golden Stone time on the Yakima, so one should expect to begin seeing them as well.  Especially, the sub surface nymph form of the insect at this stage of the month.

With flows receding in the Upper Yakima as well as the Naches River, the Lower Yakima Smallmouth fishing is now in prime condition and flow.  The Smallmouth have been bedding in the Columbia reaches over the past month now, so expect to find much of the same in the lower river.  This year, Smallie fishing should great through the month of August much like two years ago, I think due in large part to the high water conditions of spring. 

Weed growth will be kept to a minimum which will leave more open water for flies.  I will also note salmon fishing is open in the Yakima below Rosa to the mouth of the Columbia.  The creel count is indicating a good run of fish this year and the state and tribe have also raised the limit of keep able hatchery fin clipped fish from 2 to 6.  The salmon season at this point will remain open until the end of the month.  Expect to see them in the upper reaches of the river over the summer and incidental catches will occur, especially with the smaller jacks, which are in abundance this year according to the department.

The summer steelhead fishing on the Klickitat River started on June 1st and the river is producing some fish at this time.  The majority of fish being caught now are fin clipped hatchery steelhead, however a few wild fish are milling around in the ďKlicksĒ waterway.   If you need big fish and lots of sunshine this may be one to consider.  The river will fish throughout the summer producing fish throughout July and August.

Late last week I had the pleasure of spending a few well deserved days on the Big Hole River in Montana with family and close friends.  If you planning a fly fishing vacation to the Big Sky Country make sure to pack plenty of warm clothing.  Winter has yet to leave Southwest Montana as several feet of snow, rain, hail, sleet and any other precipitation you can think of was falling all week.  Although in all my years growing up in the valley, I canít remember every seeing Montana so green and beautiful.  The fishing was probably the best I have seen on the river in over a decade.  Its big water and there is more to come as the Pintler Mountain Range is crusted in a thick blanket of snow.   Thanks boys for the fantastic timeÖmuch appreciated!

JUNE 3rd-2008

As we begin the first week of June, a surprising set of circumstances has occurred with the Kittitas Valleyís renowned trout stream.  The Yakima River flows have subsided and water clarity and conditions have now settled.  As the warm Central Washington sunshine blazed across the Yakima River Basin, fly anglers converged on its now fishable waters this weekend, the first time since the middle portions of May.

Just a few short weeks ago the river was bloated from bank to bank, swollen with spring runoff as a record setting heat wave torched the Kittitas Valley.  The massive snow pack that accumulated in near record quantities in the Cascade Mountain Range began to melt quickly. 

Water surged into the Yakima Riverís storage reservoirs in great amounts, filling the rivers man made impoundments for this summers water reserves.  The Yakimaís main stem was infiltrated with a foul discharge of sand and silt by the numerous tributaries that feed into the river along its course to the Columbia.

The high mountain snow pack continues to melt and fill the four storage reservoirs of the Yakima on a daily basis.  Water releases from the dams remain at minimal amounts as the lakes remain below the 100 % capacity fill level.  Water discharge most likely will continue along the same lines until adequate water storage is collected for summer reserves. 

The Naches River in the next valley to the west of Ellensburg continues to gush with high water, so Lower Valley irrigators are being supplied with plenty of water for their purposes at this time.  Smallmouth fishing in the Lower Yakima River will resume once flows on the Naches drop below the 3000 cfs level. 

The other good news now is the riverís tributaries that course along the low lying foothill and gullies of the Kittitas Valley have begun to settle and slow with snow pack run off.  The majority of them have dropped in volume and cleared considerably.  The result is the Yakima is back in great fishing shape.

The Motherís Day Caddis was missed this year due to rivers high water however expect to see a variety of caddisflies hatching throughout the day in most sections of the river.  The Lower Canyon had a great hatch of afternoon caddis this past weekend.  They were not as prevalent through the Farmlands and Upper Canyon, but expect to encounter several varieties and sizes of caddis here during the month of June.  Its Pale Morning Dun time as well so we should start to see early afternoon hatches of this light olive mayfly as well this week.

The Central Basin lakes also reported good fishing this past weekend.  Afternoon hatches of Damselflies were prevalent, especially on Sunday.  Some mayfly fishing was reported by fishermen but by the sounds of it not in great quantities as of yet.

The Worley Bugger pro shop staff will be contacting groups today that had a guided fly fishing tour with the guide staff postponed in the month of May due to nasty water conditions.  We will be coordinating possible dates for rescheduling.  Please feel free to contact us as well with dates and availability.  We will be glad to help.

MAY 20th-2008

As we approach the final days of May, Central Washingtonís Yakima River has dropped significantly from its banks as the river approached near flood stage conditions in Upper Kittitas County after a record breaking heat wave.  Since that time weather conditions have cooled and water flows and volume have subsided a great deal. 

However, despite that fact the river is still choked with spring runoff.  At its beginning stages, the main stem Yakima makes its descent from the Cascade Mountain water storage reservoirs. Several tributaries flush and invade the river with melting snow pack as it tumbles and slashes its way towards the Columbia The majority of these branches of the Yakima are still flowing high and fast with sand and silt.  The main stem flow is being controlled and very little water at this time is being dumped from the spillways of these mountain reservoirs.

Over the holiday weekend, the Yakima and Central Basin also experienced several intermittent rain showers that blasted the low lying hillsides around the valley.  These afternoon downpours not only contributed to the hillsides greening grasses they also created a spike in water volume shortly after, especially in the Teanaway Valley and Upper Kittitas County.

As of today the Upper Yakima above the Teanaway is starting to green up and water quality is slowly returning.  The volume in this area has dropped significantly, however clarity continues to be an issue.  Will the river conditions and clarity be better by the upcoming weekend?  Most likely things will continue to improve.  At this time this upper river area has about a foot of visibility.  Below this section of river the water has less then 6 inches.

Despite the fact river conditions arenít good just about everywhere around the state that hasnít stopped folks from getting out and enjoying the sunshine.  Many of the still waters in our area and the Columbia Basin are fishing well now. 

Lake Lenice, Nunnally and Dry Falls all reported well over the past week.  Some reported good damsel fly fishing and sporadic Callibaetis hatches while others continue with the Chironomid-blood worm combination. 
Many of the warm water fisheries are also fishing well as many of the big mouth have bedded or are still protecting beds.  Top water fishing in many of the lakes has been outstanding for largemouth, crappie and bluegill as well.
MAY 20th-2008

After several repeated days of scorching hot spring weather, the high elevation snow pack that accumulated in the high elevations of the Cascade Mountain Range quickly turned to mush as the tributaries of the Yakima ballooned with water.

With record high temperatures recorded across the Central Basin this week, the Yakima River quickly swelled from bank to bank as every feeder stream, creek or tributary spewed mud, sand and silt into the main stem.  Flow height and velocity finally topped out at just over 11,000 cfs.  The Yakima in the lower valley hasnít faired near as well as contributing water from the Naches River has driven the river to near or above flood stage. With cooler temperatures today, both rivers are beginning to recede and drop in volume however flood warnings remain in effect. 

Iím sure people living in the Naches Valley are happy to see the cooling trend as this much smaller river hit the flood stage warning for several days causing minor damage in some areas.  Predicted rain fall is occurring at this time in Eburg and the surrounding hillsides.

For many looking to get out and enjoy the outdoors the still waters across the state are reported good to fair fishing over the weekend. 

Some of the trout lakes didnít fish very well as basin temperatures top the triple digit figure.  Those looking for bucket mouth and green backs however faired well with subsurface and popper presentations.  With a much cooler weekend predicted, the trout lakes should fish well.  Reports of Damselfly activity and some Callibaetis the past couple of days has been reported to the fly shop.

The staff and management of Worley Bugger Fly Co. wishís everyone a safe and peaceful Memorial Day Weekend.  Thank you to those that have served and sacrificed for our country and to those that continue to uphold the duty!

MAY 8th-2008

If you didnít make it outside to play in the Central Washington sunshine and warm weather this past weekend, you may have missed out on the last bit of low water we will experience this spring on the Yakima River Spring temperatures in the high seventies this weekend have created a sudden snow pack melt in the low lying foothills around the valley and in the Lower Cascade Mountain Range. 

Of course, the Teanaway River swelled with muddy, murky water and is dumping a fair amount of volume into the main stem of the Yakima at this time.  As the river makes its way further south, several other smaller tributaries are also contributing snow pack run off to the main stem, driving volume and river flow higher.  High winds over the past couple of days have also aided in low lying snow pack removal.

As of today river flows have topped out, due in part to much cooler weather during the day and colder night time temperatures throughout the evening hours.  Forecasted conditions over the weekend are predicting highs in the mid sixties with little to no wind throughout the valley.

At this time there are still sections of the Yakima River that are fishable and in good condition.  Sections above the junction of the Teanaway River have been stable and at this time have good water clarity. 

Generally when the lower sections of the Yakima are high and muddy, you can expect the upper sections of the river to be busy with boating and wading fishermen.  That hasnít been the case so far this week.  This weekend you can expect to see a bustling of activity throughout this section of the river.

It was a big Caddis weekend on the Yakima as warming temperatures produced blizzard hatches of spring Grannom and Sedge Caddis.   Waves of dark bodied caddisflies emerged throughout the lower sections of the Yakima.  Pupa, emegers and adults all at some point throughout the day were crucial to fish as a flurry of aquatic insects danced about the river.

A May Yakima River Salmon Fly

The giant stoneflies of spring were also beginning to appear in specific sections of the river as well this past weekend.  Its Salmonfly time on the Yakima!

You can assume we probably wonít see much Salmonfly fishing activity in the lower river this spring due to the recent high water, expect an abundance of these three inch long or better orange bellied stoneflies in the upper waters of the Yakima.  This species of stonefly is prevalent throughout this area of the river as well.
The should also expect the March Brown and Blue Wing Olive activity during the early portions of the afternoons as well.  Both hatches of mayflies over the past week have been occurring about 1:30 pm each day.  Make sure your set up in the appropriate area when the hatch begins to experience the full intensity of this emergence.

The past week reports were fielded by the Worley Bugger pro shop staff from the basin lakes area of the state as well as Rocky Ford Creek.  RFC is reporting some lower water conditions and some weeds starting to build up in places.  Blue Wing Olives and midges are predominant at the creek at this time.  Most of the still-waters are still reporting good fishing with Chironomids fished deep.  Still a little on the cool side for Calliabaetis or Damselflies to begin showing up.

This past Saturday, the Washington Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers held their second annual Fly Casting and Tying Conclave here in Ellensburg.  The event was very well attended and I would say a tremendous success as fly fishermen and those interested in fly fishing converged on the Kittitas County Fairgrounds.  Master fly tiers from around the state were on hand crafting and creating some of the most unique and amazing patterns we have ever seen.  The FFF has already made plans for next yearís conclave which will be held in May.  They have also extended the conclave to a two day event.  Of course as the time draws near, information will be available on the website and fly shop.  There were a lot of men and woman on hand working behind the scenes to make the conclave a success.  Thank you to them for your hard work and dedication to the event!

This Sunday, we honor and thank all the mothers throughout the country. Happy Mothers Day! 
APRIL 30th-2008

As we approach the end of April later this week, the warm spring days everyone has been waiting for have finally arrived in the Yakima River Valley.  If you didnít spend the weekend outdoors in Central Washington you missed out some terrific weather and some fantastic fishing opportunities on the river in the afternoon.

The Kittitas Valley sunshine was imploding warm, sunny rays across the basin on Saturday, driving water temperatures upwards, which in turn produced explosive hatches of March Brown Mayflies and Blue Wing Olives in the early afternoon.  Sunday wasnít much different as warm temperatures produced another terrific hatch of mayflies.  The dense cloud cover as well on Sunday provided adequate cover as pods of fish were taking advantage of the intense afternoon mayfly hatches.

River flow and clarity conditions are good despite an increase in water volume over the weekend.  Low lying snow pack melting along the Ellensburg hillsides during the heat of the day is being drawn into the main stem of the Yakima.  Water volumes have increased in these sections of the river, however the Yakima is still in excellent fishing condition.

The weather forecast continues to predict cool night time low temperatures and day time highs reaching the sixty plus degree mark this week.  This is a good scenario as the Kittitas Valley sunshine shrinks that huge snow pack accumulation that continues to build in the Cascades. 

At some point river conditions are going to get messy and this year it could be really nasty, especially for those living on the Upper Yakima and the Teanaway River.  If air temperatures explode and we start to experience eighty degree days in the month of May, the Teanwawy River and several other tributaries could get big in a hurry much like we experienced in 1996. 

If I had a place on the river I would be getting a little nervous this year.  At this point its a wait and see what you get game.
Yakima River March Brown MayflyLast week members of our guiding staff, ventured to the Lower Yakima River on a scouting expedition to see how the lower river was fairing this spring and just where we were with the Small Mouth fishing.  Like everything this spring, we are still behind schedule about ten days to two weeks.  The grabs were light and hard to hook with flies as water temperatures in this area of the river remain at or below the sixty degree mark.  Flows from the Upper Yakima and Nachess will be important factors once again this year for early May fishing.  We continue to monitor flows and temperatures on a daily basis. 

This Saturday, the Washington Council Of The Federation Of Fly Fishers will hold the second annual fly fishing conclave here in Ellensburg.  Last years fly tying event was a huge success and this year council members have expanded the show to include casting demonstration.  It should be a great event and the staff of Worley Bugger will be on hand to assist.  For more info visit the FFF website or click here.

This past week, the senior member of our guiding staff, Danny Snider exchanged wedding vows with the love of his life, Danele.   They were happily married in Ocean Shores during a small family ceremony.   I know many of you have enjoyed Dannyís company over the past several years and would like to know about this happy time in his life.  Of course, the staff and management of Worley Bugger wishes them happiness and prosperity in the years to come.  Congratulations Danny and Danele!!

APRIL 17th-2008

It didnít take much this past weekend to bring the Yakima River levels up as the tributaries began to rise with water under the warm Kittitas Valley sunshine. Over a 24 hour window, warm air and bright sunny skies initiated the first snow pack melt of spring.   As mercury levels rose to almost eighty degrees on Friday, small branches feeding the Upper Yakima filled with cold, murky water and deposited this tainted union into the main stem of the river. 

Water releases were also conducted from Lake Easton last Thursday evening to charge the irrigation ditches and canals throughout the valley as local farmers prepare for a new growing season.  This combination of warm weather and reservoir discharge were enough to bring water levels up quickly throughout the main stem of the Yakima.  Saturday was by far the warmest spring day we have experienced here in the river valley.  Everyone seemed to be outdoors enjoying the Central Washington sunshine.  

Earlier in the week, the river and fishing was consistent with the latter days of the week being far better due to warming water temperatures and explosive mayfly emergences.  Thursday and Friday we experienced some great hatches of March Browns, Blue Wing Olives, Skwalla Stoneflies and even Caddis.

The first portions of the new week, the river has been operating at higher levels with little of no visibility in the lower portion of the river below the Teanaway River confluence.  With much cooler conditions settling into the Kittitas Valley over the past several days, water levels have receded and have started to stabilize once again in all areas of the river.  The Yakima today is fishable with over two feet of clarity in most areas.

The Upper Yakima has several tributaries in varying sizes that merge with the main stem as it flows south through the towns of Easton, Cle Elum and Ellensburg.   This time of year these streams can cause an irregularity in river flows as snow pack from the Cascades begins to melt.  The Teanaway River merges with the Yakima between the small communities of Throp and Cle Elum and is by far the largest of them all.  Draining from the east slopes of the Cascades, it drains a substantial portion of water volume during the spring runoff.  River sections above this branch of the Yakima, generally stay in fishing condition during this time, however donít expect to find solitude here.  This section of the river most likely will be chocked with bank and drifting fishermen competing for small portions of water.

Today, the river is still somewhat high but will continue to drop in volume throughout the day.  For those that walk the river fishing on foot, access to the Yakima is never a problem.  Even during peak periods of high water, access to the river can still be found in many places.

I thought last week we would begin to see the peak of the stoneflies for this year.  However, as of Saturday good populations of female Skwalla Stoneflies were still dropping from the trees and brush along the river in the late afternoons.  Cooler, windier days last week kept the stoneflies huddled up in masses along the banks.  As the sunshine arrived, the stoneflies activity level increased and many were returning to the water.  During the warmer portions of the afternoons, expect to see stoneflies, mayflies and even a few caddis beginning to hatch.

With warmer day time temperatures finally arriving good reports from the still-waters of the Central Basin has been detailed to the fly-shop staff in Ellensburg.  Lake Lencie and Nunnually are both fishing very well at this time.  The fishing has also picked up at Lenore and Dusty.  Fly fishermen are also reporting great fishing at Dry Falls this April.

Thank you to the Olympic Fly Fishing Club for having Danny and I at their annual April meeting this past week.  It was a pleasure to see everyone again and we appreciate the time we were given.

APRIL 2nd-2008

The seasonal changes from winter to spring we have all been anxiously waiting for are now beginning to happen in Central Washington as both air and water temperatures begin to accelerate under the warm valley sunshine.  Itís quite a different turn of events from what we experienced this past weekend as a winter storm blasted Ellensburg with several inches of snow fall.

The new snow layer that accumulated on Friday and Saturday has already disappeared from the low lands and banks of the river, absorbed by the wet soil as it replenishes our diminishing ground water resources.   The green grasses, flowers and plants are visible once again!

Night time lows last evening remained at the freezing level, which will have a dramatic effect today on water temperatures as day time highs are expect to reach the mid fifty degree mark.  Over the next several days we will see an explosive of aquatic insect activity as we see the Yakima River water temperatures reach that magic warming degree.

Yesterday, the river produced a variety of aquatics as the afternoon sunshine belted a warm radiance across the Kittitas Valley.  Skwalla and Winter Stoneflies, Blue Wing Olives, Midges and a smattering of March Browns were all cycling during the afternoon in specific areas of the river.  The Lower Canyon produced a Baetis and Midge hatch in the afternoon, while the Upper and Lower Farmlands experienced two varieties of stoneflies, Blue Wing Olives, March Browns and mobs of Midge clusters.

As night time temperatures remain at or below the freezing levels, river conditions will be ideal for some great April fishing on the Yakima.  The snow pack accumulations will continue to melt off slowly during the day and recede at night.  Itís the scenario we were all hoping for this spring. 

At some point, we are going to see the river a mess.  However as long as weather patterns remain consistent and the precipitation continues in the higher elevations, the Yakima will operate a low spring levels.

This past Friday, fly fishermen converged on the Ellensburg Fairgrounds in support of the Yakima River and its watershed.  Several various organizations were in attendance as fisheries biologist, stream enhancement groups and water shed management officials all gave presentations on the current state of our fishery.  It was well attend and the presentations given were full of important and interesting information.  If you missed the meeting each of these groups offers websites with all the downloadable information that was discussed.  The staff of Worley Bugger will be working closely with several of these organizations over the next several months and will update you on all of the current events and information on the website.  Thank you to them for their tremendous efforts over the past decade!  www.ybfwrb.org

This weekend the Yakima River Canyon Marathon will be taking place once again in the Lower Canyon.  State Route 821 will be closed, however it will be accessible to those wanting to fish the river.  You will need a road access permit to travel the 18 miles of canyon.  You can pick on up at the Worley Bugger or any of the local fly shops in the area.  If you do plan to fish the Canyon stretch this Saturday, please drive careful.

MARCH 20th-2008

As the sun made its seasonal equinox over the Equator late last night, we awoke this morning in the Yakima River Valley to the first official calendar day of Spring.  Small, nomadic birds that left the river basin in the Autumn are making their returned migration now as each day the sounds and sights of these colorful spring creatures is more evident.  A welcome sight for many of us here in Ellensburg after a long, cold, snowy winter.

Even though it is the first day of spring today, temperatures still remain below normal for this time of year.  Night time lows falling well below the freezing level have occurred over the past week, dropping water temperatures and causing a lapse in the fishing during the first parts of the fishing day.   Water temps have still strained to rise above the middle forty degree range, which is impeding most of our aquatic insect activity at this time.

Despite our water temperature struggles, the Skwalla Stoneflies are amassing along the banks of the river in good numbers.  Late afternoon dry fly fishing has been fair throughout most areas of the river this past week with patterns to match the female Skwalla. 

The activity has been very water specific and very section specific, where this increased stonefly activity is occurring.  Because of this factor, those fly fishermen in floating devices are seeing much more action then the majority of those walking and wading the shorelines of the Yakima at this time.  The fish that are keyed in and feeding on the adult form are also the upper age class of Yakima River fish, which is a great reward for big dry fly fishing this time of year.

Itís really been a double edge sword, so far this month on the river.  We like the colder night time temperature because it keeps our deep Cascade Mountain snow pack on a slow, steady melt.  However, it also keeps our aquatic insect activity and the troutís metabolism at a much slower pace.  Weather conditions for the remainder of the week are forecasted for much of the same patterns with Saturday, Easter Eve to be the warmest part of the weekend.

Their also has been some sporadic midge feeding activity in and along the slower portions of the river where these insect congregate.   Smaller pupa and emerger patterns fished in these areas of the Yakima have been productive late in the day as well.  A small Baetis emergence has been occurring during the warmer portions of the afternoon as well in the Lower Yakima Canyon, but at this time is very light and sporadic.

Despite slower fishing on the Yakima, the still waters in the Basin are reporting better fishing now.  Chironomid midge fishing has picked up considerably on Lenice and Lenore with both reporting good fishing throughout the week.  Rocky Ford is also been producing good afternoon Baetis hatches as well each day.

This week, we celebrate two holidays.  St Patís Day on Monday for all you Irishmen (cheers!) and on Sunday, Easter.  We wish everyone a happy and peaceful holiday weekend.  The Worley Bugger pro shop will be closed on Sunday in observance of Easter and will open once again on Monday, March 24th at our regular operation hours.

MARCH 13th-2008

After a week of beautiful March pre-spring weather, conditions have taken a sudden turn as a cold front sweeps across this portion of Central Washington.  We woke this morning to an unexpected snow storm which quickly turned to rain showers as the day has warmed and progressed.  As of this afternoon that portion of the storm has diminished and moved out of the area.  Cloudy, gray skies with intermittent rays of sunshine have blanketed our afternoon here in Ellensburg.

This past weekend, we began to see more stonefly action as pre-hatch Skwalla Stones began emerging and forming along the banks of the river.  The majority of these post winter stoneflies at this time are the smaller, brightly colored males.  They are forming along the banks of the Lower Canyon and Farmlands area, waiting for the arrival of their female counterparts. 

Dry fly fishing with patterns to match the naturals this past week has been turning on in the afternoon and getting better each day.   With cooler weather expected over the next two days, we may see it slow down a bit or start a little later in the day.  Water temperatures have been varying throughout the river with the highest reading so far this month, peaking at 44 degrees in the Lower Canyon @ Umtanum.

So far, this first rain shower has had little or no effect on the river conditions.  It seems it didnít have much strength behind it.  Actually the river has dropped in flow overnight despite the wet conditions we experienced this morning.  A wet weather pattern is forecasted for the next 48 hours with Sunday being the optimal weekend day to be outdoors.  Water clarity registers over three feet in most sections of the river at this time.

This past weekend, Worley Bugger Fly Co. hosted the 9th annual ďYakima River Clean UpĒ.  We had another tremendous turnout of Yakima fly fishers, falling just short of the century mark this year.  Groups of men, woman and children spread out on the river floating and walking the shorelines of the Yakima. 

At the end of the day, nearly two tons of garbage was collected from the stream banks. Thanks to the generosity and kindness of the clean up participants, the event also raised over 500 pounds of non perishable food for the Kittitas Valley Food bank, which will go to feed the less fortunate of those in the county.  THANK YOU to all those that showed up for the day and contributed your effort to make our river a much better place to spend the day.  Your help and contributions to the event each year are much appreciated!  It was great to see all of you once again.  Thank you also to the CWU Football team coaching staff and players for participating for the day.

I would also like to thank our generous sponsors that donate to our clean up raffle and recognize them in this forum.  Thank you for your continued support of this event.


KOA of Ellensburg Waste Management of Ellensburg Albertsons Safeways
WA DOT Starbucks Kittitas Field & Stream Club Scott Fly Rod Co.
Sage Fly Rod Co. Winston Fly Rod Co. Galvan Reel Co. Fishpond
Scientific Anglers Rio Fly Lines Waterworks-Lamson Montana Fly Co
Smith-Action Optics Anglers Book Supply    
We are now into the second week of the lake opener and are getting better reports each day about the fishing at the quality still-waters around the Central Basin.  Lenore still has some ice around it and has yet to yield a decent fishing report, however better fishing was found this past weekend at Lenice, Nunnally and Dusty.
MARCH 6th-2008

As the start of a new month begins, river conditions throughout the Yakima River Valley are excellent for some early spring fishing.  Beautiful, warm March days are prevailing as a ridge of high pressure moves across the central portion of our state.  Cool nights and frosty mornings are keeping the river in excellent fishing conditions as flows remain consistent over the past week.  The river at this time has great color and visibility.

Dry conditions the past week with little or no precipitation is also a plus for river conditions this time of year.  A strong heavy rain shower, blasting across the low lying hillsides of the valley this time of year could be detrimental to the river and spring fishing.  Much like we have experienced the past two years.  

Fortunately at this time, the majority of the low lying snow pack has disappeared with just a few thin layers along the western hillsides that remain.  Hopefully dry conditions will persist throughout the month and we can get some great stonefly and mayfly fishing on the river.

Speaking of stoneflies, we are still waiting for the onslaught of the Skwalla season to begin.  There has been a few hatching here and their but hardly enough really to say the cycle of stoneflies has started to happen on the river.  Colder then normal water temperatures for this time of year are retarding the hatch and really keeping them from forming in big numbers in the adult stages at this time. 

As warmer temperatures are expected over the weekend, we could see them bust loose and trigger the start of the Skwalla season on the Yakima.  Water temperatures over the past week have been topping out at about 40 degrees at the warmest portion of the day.  With Daylight Savings Time this weekend, longer days will provide the added warmth we need to heat the water to the magic degree.

The official opener for many of the still waters around the state was this past Saturday and many of the die hard lake fly fishers were out testing the icy cold waters of the Central Basin.   Despite the cold, windy weather most of the lakes produced fish.  We had decent reports from Nunnally, Lenice and Dusty.  Those fishing at Lake Lenore didnít fair so well and were blown off by white caps.  By the sounds of it most of the Lenore people ended up at Rocky Ford for the day, which probably wasnít a bad decision on their part.  Reports of good Blue Wing Olive reports have been coming into the fly shop in Ellensburg the past couple of weeks.

This Saturday, March 8th the staff of Worley Bugger Fly Co. will host the 9th annual ďYakima River Clean UpĒ event.  If you plan to attend and havenít registered we ask that you please do so before Friday.  This year also we are adding a little special twist to the Clean Up Event barbeque and raffle.  Every year, Worley Bugger Fly Co receives thousands of dollars in donations to hand out at the clean up event by our manufacturer sponsors like Sage, Scott, Winston, Galvan, SA, Waterworks-Lamson, Montana Fly Co and many, many more.  Thank you to them for your continued support of this annual event!  To date clean up participants have collect over 20,000 pounds of trash from the banks of the Yakima River.  Thank you to those that have contributed their efforts as well the last eight years!!

Every day of the year their are far too many unfortunate men, women and children in our community that go with out the bare necessity that you and I take for granted every day of the year.  This is a chance to give just a little back to the sick, elderly, and the underprivileged in Kittitas County.  With Easter Sunday just around the corner this year, Worley Bugger Fly Co. in conjunction with our Yakima River Clean Up Event is holding a Canned Food Drive for the local food bank here in Kittitas County.

Before attending the Clean Up Event on Saturday, dig into your pantry and bring as many non-perishable canned food items as you can afford.  Members of the Worley Bugger staff will be on hand to receive them the morning of the clean up.  For every canned item you bring, you will receive ď1Ē raffle ticket per canned food item.  This raffle ticket will be good for the ďSPECIALĒ drawing that will be held immediately following the clean up barbeque.  The Food Drive Raffle prize has a retail value of almost $500.00. 

So dig deep "Yakima River Fly Fishers" and help those in need. Thank you and see you on Saturday at the KOA.

FEBRUARY 23rd-2008

After a month of frigid, artic weather, the first weeks of February are off to a much warmer beginning.  This past week, the day time highs have been reaching the mid forty degree mark almost daily.  This Sunday was by far the warmest day yet this month with a near fifty degree high.  It was a beautiful day to spend on the river and many fellow anglers were out enjoying the first new portions of our fly fishing season on the Yakima.

The river is in beautiful condition, running low and crystal clear.  The winter snows around the valley are beginning to quickly disappear, especially over the past week.  Most of it is being absorbed into the ground, replenishing the depleted ground waters of Kittitas County.  Late evening breezes have also aided in the process.  Available access to the boat launches is wide open in the Farmlands and Lower Canyon stretches.  Portions of the Upper River above Cle Elum are still inaccessible at this point and time.

Most of all the snow on the eastern foot hills of the river valley has vanished under the warm, sunny days.  The western hillsides of Ellensburg are still finely coated with a blanket of snow pack.  The tall Ponderosa Pine that cover these ridges add a bit more cover making Mother Natureís processes a bit more difficult.  It wonít be long and our river valley will once again be embellished in green grasses, thick vibrant foliage and pungent, spring wild flowers.

During the day encounters with Bald Eagles will occur as the soar over head and nest in the Cottonwoods along the river.  As day time temperatures warm and the river has begun to thaw, Chinook Salmon that spawned in the river during the late fall and or have been placed in the river to encourage higher nutrient content are now carrion for the magnificent bird of prey.  Portions of the Upper and Lower Farmlands are the best places for viewing this majestic bird right now.

Fishing this past week has been good, especially the days that follow a night of above freezing levels.  Water temperatures rise much quicker on these days and the fish become more active much earlier in the day.  When night time lows dip below this level, the bite is slower and begins a bit later in the day.  As we progress into the month of February this should become less of a factor as warmer night time temperatures prevail.

When the bite is on, fish are looking for meals of substance.  Stonefly nymphs in smaller sizes as well as a variety of various attractor style patterns are working well.  This time of year, I find its not really what you fish, but where you fish and how you fish it.  What this means is, the fish arenít near as picky as they will be a month from now.  They can afford to be after the month of January and a river chocked of ice.  Next month, fish will have a variety of chow to choose from as several mayflies and the Skwalla Stones become readily available to them.  At this point the troutís diet will diversify as they become more selective as more aquatic insects become available.

There is an incredible hatch of midges happening each day, however in areas of the Farmlands and above fish have had little interest in them.  Those looking for slurping surface feeders head south to the Yakima Canyon where this activity is much more predominate and predictable.

Believe it or not their also has been some Skwala adults starting to show up on the water.   The numbers are still relatively low, but over the past several days we are seeing a few and the fish are aware of their presence.  The ones that were seen were swallowed up quickly.  As the next week progresses we should begin to see more egg laying females and the dry fly fishing with large stonefly patterns will commence.

For those looking for some late season Summer Steelhead fishing one should consider the Methow River as a fine option this time of year.  However, the word today was hatchery escapement goals have been met for the season and the river is scheduled to close the end of February instead of the end of March. Temperatures are warming in this portion of the state as well and good reports are now starting to trickle into the fly shop about the river.  Also we are only days away from the official state stillwater opener.  Many of our quality lakes will open on March 1st.

We have had a lot of calls and emails this past couple of weeks from the fly fishing community inquiring about this year's, Yakima River Clean Up.  This year, the event will be held on, Saturday March 8th.  Come out and join us for the day!
FEBRUARY 3rd-2008

Itís Super Bowl Sunday, just hours before the big game and the Central Washington sunshine is blasting bright, warm rays across the Kittitas Valley.  Yesterday afternoon another big winter storm passed across this portion of the state, dumping several more inches along the river banks of the Yakima.

If you live in Washington State you are probably well aware that record piles of snow fall has been dumped on the Cascades Mountain Range this past week, stranding motorist on both sides of Snoqualmie Pass.  If you donít live in the Evergreen State, you probably seen it reported on the national news.  More pass closures are expected later this week as the DOT tries to deal with the snow pack accumulations and keep the avalanche dangers to a minimum.

I wish I had a better conditions to report for you on the river, but I really donít.  The past couple of weeks the night time temperatures have been so cold and the day time highs have remained below the freezing level, the river in places has completely frozen over. 

The good news is its February and warmer day and night time temperatures have been steadily rising.  Most of the snow we received yesterday is already turning to mush and warmer highs and lows are expected this week!!  We are preparing for the Skwalla season and most likely we wonít begin seeing adults until the end of the month.  Water temperatures right now in the river are at freezing, so we need to see at least a ten degree shift before this occurs. 
However, good nymph and streamer fishing will be available to those who want to fish in February, especially as more portions of the river begin to open up.  If conditions continue to improve, February is usually the best winter month on the river.

The big talk this week is all of the snow pack and what is it going to do to our spring fishing.  That is the big question?  As long as the rain doesnít affect the low lying hillsides we will be okay.  Over the past several seasons, we have experienced several consecutive droughts and low water years.  The draw and demand on the water resource as well has increased in the Kittitas Valley, drawing the water table lower and lower each year.  Once that snow begins to melt around the river banks and valleyís, the ground acts much like a sponge and sucks it right up.  Of course itís totally up to Mother Nature and what she decides to give us.

We have had a lot of calls and emails this past couple of weeks from the fly fishing community inquiring about this year's, Yakima River Clean Up.  This year, the event will be held on March 8th.  Come out and join us for the day!
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!

Itís 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 havenít 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 shouldnít 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 havenít 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.  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.

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


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