12-13-00/The frigid cold has blanketed the entire state of Washington and the Yakima River valley is no exception. Things are starting to look up as forecaster call for warmer temperatures over the weekend. We have been spending some time on the Yakima, but right now other rivers and streams in Eastern Washington have peaked our interest as runs of giant rainbows make there yearly return. We will have more information for you very soon on these exciting fisheries as our local guides prepare to open up these fisheries to our clientele for the 2001 season.
12-4-00/With the Christmas holiday just a few shorts weeks away, the holiday season is keeping us busy here at WBFC. The fishing has been okay the last day I was out. The warmer, sunnier days it is obviously better fishing and we haven't had many of them. Last Saturday was the warmest day the Yakima River valley has seen in the last month. The river is still in good shape and their has been some sporadic BWO and midge hatches. However the most productive fishing has been nymphs and streamers fished behind tail-outs and seams.
White-fish season opened on December 1st. What does this mean? Bait fishing in now aloud in the Yakima river for White-fish only. However poaching of the Yakima River's wild trout runs rampant during this time. If you happen to encounter a poaching infraction, please call the Washington State Highway Patrol or The Washington Fish & Game Agent for Kittitas County. There numbers are listed below. If you don't happen to have a cell-phone, get a license plate number. Game agents will investigate.
Washington Fish & Game Agent: Ken Jundt Phone: 509-575-2740 Cell: 509-929-2318 Washington State Patrol Any Phone: 509-925-5303
11-25-00/Another dusting of snow fell on Thanksgiving lightly covering the banks of the Yakima. Colder than normal temperatures have dominated the past couple of weeks, with lows reaching into the low teens some nights. Most days air temperatures haven't reached into the 40's. The warmer days the fish are more receptive to the fly. Be prepared on some days to pull ice from your guides on a regular basis. Fishing has still been good if you like to nymph. Bundle up and you can enjoy a day of winter fishing on the river. We hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday!
11-9-00/The first snow fall arrived in the valley yesterday, blanketing the surrounding hillsides with a thin layer. Snow in the lower levels of the river bottom hasn't stayed around as the air temperature has been reaching into the middle 40's by mid-day. Fishing has still been good fishing with nymphs and streamers. Earlier in the week we did have good hatches of Baetis about mid-afternoon and the Yakima bow's were sipping on the surface. Expect to find the small bugs of fall continue to emerge through-out the month of November, however it may be sporadic from day to day depending on weather and water conditions.
11-4-00/Late fall has arrived here in the Yakima River valley as Mother Nature tightens her grip and makes way for old man winter. With a little nip in the air now, the water temperature (44 at mid-day) has dropped off this past week and the fish are moving. A change in tactics and thinking is needed for productive fall fishing. The trout are pooling up in the slow, deep runs of the river, were the majority of the food source is available to them. The hatch of Baetis has been sporadic from day to day, but if you hit it right an imitation cast with a light tippet and drag free drift will produce for you. Smaller Autumn Caddis have been hatching regularly this week as well as the bigger October Caddis. Fishing the October Caddis pupa or emerger has been the most productive. If you are fishing a dry fly imitation, movement is the key. A dead drift will most likely go ignored. The river is low and wading is not a problem in any of the area's.
10-27-00/The Yakima trout are on the move and beginning to take up lies in the slower, deep pools of the river. The fish are beginning to pod and feed primarily on the Baetis that are now hatching about 2:00 pm daily. Fishing a size 16-18 imitation on a 5x is ideal. A slim profile imitation instead of a over-dubbed pattern will produce more action for you this time of year. Mike Lawson's No Hackle in the appropriate size and color is my favorite to match the hatch this time of year. It can be a difficult fly to see at times, but is ideal for the long slow pools and foam lines where fish are feeding. It's slender profile body matches the natural perfectly.
Their is still quite a bit of October Caddis activity, but is has been some-what sporadic from day to day. Fishing big dry fly imitations in some area's of the river will attract some attentions. Make sure the bug has plenty of movement if you are fishing it on top. Fish key in on the movement as well as the size of the fly. A dead-drift will usually go ignored. The October Caddis pupa or emerger fished with plenty of movement just below the surface has been much more effective for the hatch this year. Give it a try if nothing is happening on the surface.Their is still a far amount of Mahogany Dun Mayflies (below left) hatching as well. A bigger slender pattern in size #14 is ideal for fishing this Mayfly emergence. The Autumn Sedge Caddis is still showing up at times through-out the day as well.Their is still some Chinook Salmon moving up the system at this time, but the majority of Kings have spawned and are now decomposing in the river. This is great for the trout, the bugs and the river!
This Sunday is day-light savings time once again. It's hard to believe I know. With the shorter days of fall we have made a price adjustment in our Professional Guided fly fishing trips on the Yakima. Beginning November 1st and running through the new year prices will be as follows.
Guide Service Pricing For Fall/Winter 2000-2001One Person:$200.00
If you are interested in fishing the month of November or December give us a call toll-free at 888-950-FISH. Fishing was excellent well up to Turkey Day last year and we expect the same this year. Meeting times will begin here at our Pro Shop in Ellensburg at 10:00 and trips will last till dusk. Trips will include flies and hot drinks for the day.
If you have any questions about fall fishing on the Yakima or Eastern Basin, feel free to email us or stop by our Pro Shop in Ellensburg. Were located 1 mile south from the Canyon Road exit, directly across from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Our local, friendly, and highly knowledgeable staff will help you with any questions you may have.
10-25-00/The Yakima is in full fall transition now as the foliage and trees around the river and surrounding hills are adorned in the beautiful colors of the season. A fly fishermen can't help but take his eye from his imitation and lose concentration with the many distraction that line the banks of the river now. Along with the brilliant colors of fall, the big horn sheep have returned to the hill-sides of the Lower Yakima River canyon, big bull elk are bugling in the river bottom and the bald eagles are beginning to return to area's of the system.
Weekend fishing was somewhat mixed. Friday Yakima River anglers had to contend with a strong front system that moved in blowing leaves and other debris into the river, which makes fishing a bit difficult. Saturday we still had some lingering winds, but fishing was much improved. By Sunday the front had moved through and the river produced great hatches of October Caddis, Baetis and Mahogany Dun Mayflies.
10-19-00/Fall fishing rolls on here in the Yakima River valley. Fishing has been some-what mixed from day to day due to some cold fronts that have been moving in and out of the valley. The warmer, sunnier days water temperatures warm quickly, which promote better bug activity and energetic trout. We are now seeing steady hatches of October Caddis through-out the afternoon. The majority of these bigger Caddis-Flies of the fall, of course emerge just before dusk. Give your imitations plenty of movement to provoke the Yakima Bow's to the surface. We have seen a steady increase in the BWO activity as well as the bigger Mahogany Dun Mayflies. Expect to see these hatches begin sometime about mid-day. Both Mayflies have emerging about 1:30-2:00 p.m. daily.
Water flows were reduced by the KRD on Monday morning, so expect to see lower water in all area's of the river. With irrigation season coming to an end here in the valley, Wilson Creek will begin to clear so the lower Yakima canyon water clarity will be returning to normal over the next 7-10 days.
10-11-00/Little bugs-big bugs. That's the game being played now on the Yakima River. Be prepared to see a variety of fall insects through-out the Yakima system. October Caddis are now hatching on a regular basis and can be seen emerging through-out the day. This keeps the fish interested in the bigger bugs of fall and will produce results for you. Make sure to put plenty of movement on the imitation to match the natural. The smaller Mayflies are hatching sporadically through-out the day as well. BWO's are a mid-day hatch for the time being. Fishing a imitation in size 14-18 will cover the basis. A drag free drift is required here. Their is plenty of match the hatch fishing to be done this time of year for the dry fly enthusiast. Their will be certain times of the day when other techniques may have to be used to produce results. The run of fall wild Chinook salmon this year is the largest that has returned to the Yakima system in years. Because of this, some area's of the river will be fishing better with flies than others. The largest concentration of fall fish are now holding from Thorpe down through the Ellensburg area of the Yakima River. Fall fishing has been nothing short of spectacular for the year 2000.
10-5-00/The brilliant colors of the season are quickly returning to the Yakima River as fall fishing is under way. A release of water from Keechulus Reservoir (?) and a heavy accumulation of rain that fell on the Cascade Mountain range last Friday, brought the river flows up for weekend fishing. The river has now stabilized and is back in good shape for this coming weekend. Wading anglers won't have a problem, but the river is very slippery in places. Bring a wading staff or studded boots if you are planning a trip to the Yakima this weekend.
Expect to see the fish holding in different area's of the river due to the large amount of Fall Salmon that are now making their way up river. Many are laying beds in some of the lower stretches of the Yakima system at this time. The weather in the valley has been warm and sunny, but cool in the evenings. October Caddis are hatching now through-out the day, but are heaviest in the early morning and just before dusk.
9-29-00/Fall fishing was officially ushered in this week as water temperatures plummeted well over 10 degrees. The Yakima River valley received its first freeze of the fall last Friday. Expect to see the water temperature at mid-day reach the middle 50's. We are beginning to see the Fall Caddis (below left) emerging through-out the day as well as many fall female Stones. Fishing remains consistent through-out the entire system. You will experience a few places that may be holding a large number of fall Chinook Salmon. The Springer's are stack up in the upper river above the confluence of the Cle Elum River and have been spawning the last couple of weeks. This should tell you what to expect as far as fishing goes in that area. The fall run continues to make its way up river, but many are spawning in the lower sections of the Yakima at this time. The air temperatures remain mild and comfortable for late September. Over-cast cloudy days are welcome as hatches of several Mayflies species emerge about mid-morning. The best fall fishing is just around the corner as the Yakima comes alive with a multitude of insect hatches.
9-20-00/With fall just around the corner the river and it's wild inhabitants are moving into fall mode. The cooler temperatures of fall are on the way as the first freeze of fall is expected later this week. This will produce cooler water temperatures and bring about a whole new cycle of life on the river. Once this happens expect to see clouds of BWO and several other Mayflies species, once again riding the surface currents and falling prey to the wild Yakima rainbows. This past week we did experience some very warm days and temperatures reached into the high 80's/low 90's. When this happens fishing techniques must be changed in order to fish productively. With water temperatures reaching into the mid-60's and river running at very low lows, come mid-day the Yakima trout are holding in the cooler runs of the river. Knowing where to fish and what to fish is the key to successful fishing.
Several big insect hatches did occur over the past week. The big Stones of late summer continue to invade the banks of the Yakima. Many of the big females Stone are now starting to return to the river and the trout are keying in on the big egg layers. Our October Caddis hatches are getting bigger and better by the day, so expect October fishing on the Yakima to be very exciting.
The Eastern Basin is hotter than ever. Big fly fishing continues as thousands of grasshoppers fill the banks of the creek. Yesterday produced dozens of quality fish and quite a few that we never did see?
9-12-00/The magic of fall is slowly returning to the Yakima River valley. The river is running low and clear and the Yakima trout are on the feed. Big bug hatches are happening through-out the entire Yakima River system as the Big Stones of late Summer commence along the banks of the river. The female Stones, the most important to the dry fly fishermen have been emerging, mating with the males and returning to the water, where the trout eagerly taking them on the surface.
The October Caddis (below right) have been pupating over the past couple of weeks and these large Caddis-Flies are beginning to emerge through-out the Yakima.
The cooler, cloudy days of September are producing hatches of Baetis and Lt. Cahill Mayflies. The evening Caddis hatches have been sporadic, but if you hit it on the right day, fishing the hatch can be productive well into the dark of night.
The rivers of Montana (Bitterroot pictured left) are finally starting to come back into shape as the fire-fighters finally get some relief and help from Mother Nature. Montana has been receiving some rain showers in the mountains and it has helped get most of the fires under control. Most of the major rivers are still closed to fishing, but hope were high that they would be opened in the next several days.
9-5-00/Fall fishing is just around the corner as the water flows continue to drop day by day on the Yakima. All area's of the Yakima River system are easily wadable for those that have been confined to the banks during the high flows of summer. With the reduction in water, watch as the hatch of Stone-Flies ignites on the Yakima. Fish are already starting to key in on the adults, so fishing a big imitation will provide you will plenty of action. We are beginning to see the emergence of October Caddis (pictured left) as well in area's of the river. As the month of September progress, the hatch of these huge orange Caddis-Flies will emerge throughout the entire river system. This is one of the best fall hatches the Yakima will see. Also watch as the cooler temperature bring several Mayfly hatches back to the river. The return of Baetis will appear along with Lt. Cahills and Mahogany Duns.
8-26-00/The "Yak" is finally beginning to see some relief from the high water of summer as the flows from the Cle Elum Reservoir begin to recede. The lower Yakima (below the Cle Elum confluence) has dropped off 1000cfs and at this time is running in the 3000cfs range. It will still be difficult to wade in most area's for the anglers confined to the banks. Expect to see more reduction in flows over the next week. The word from the BLM is water flows will be reduced gradually over the next couple of weeks, instead of all at once like in years past. The fishing has been very good as the Yakima trout continue to feed on the big bugs of Summer. As the water flows decline over the next several days expect to see a explosion of Stones through-out the Yakima system. We have had a good emergence of them the past few days, but as the flows are reduced, water temperature will increase and the female Stones will appear in hordes. Some great fall fishing is just around the corner!
28-1-00/The weekend fishing on the Yakima was excellent. The weather for Saturday remained on the cool side for the middle of August and a slight breeze blowing down river kept the fish active all day. It seems at times we all curse the winds that blow here in the Kittitas valley on a regular basis, but on the hot days of summer when the insect emergence is grim, a little breeze blowing from the west can definitely be an aid for the Yakima River fly fisher. Fishing Hopper and Stone imitations this week provided fly fishers with plenty of excitement along the grassy banks of the Yakima. The river still remains high and running at summer flows, so wading anglers will find some area's difficult to fish. Thick and heavy vegetation now covers the banks of the river. Expect to see relief from the high flows begin the first part of September.
The Summer Stones were active this weekend and we did see quite a few females starting to return to the water. Expect to see this magnificent hatch of Stones really begin to take off in the next couple of weeks and progress well through the month of September. When the water on the Yakima drops off in September the Stone-Fly hatch will ignite and big bug fishing will be in full mode
Despite the amount of water that now pushes through the Yakima, summer fishing has been excellent. Through-out the day aquatic insect hatches are starting to thin, but the terrestrial fishing has provided the Yakima anglers with plenty of excitement. The Kittitas winds have yet to show any signs of relief for the Yakima River fly fishers, but as the emergence of insects hatching through-out the day diminishes, food source that may not have been available to the Yakima trout are easily lifted from the banks of the river and tossed on to the surface of the water. Here violent attacks from fish exploding from the grassy banks, show no mercy to the terrestrial life of the Yakima. Anglers fishing a imitation along these banks will be provided with the same effects.The Summer Stones are also starting to emerge along the banks of the river now and the fish are keying in on them as well. Fishing a adult or nymph imitation will be productive for you in most area's of the river. The lower river (around E'burg and Yakima Canyon) at this time is seeing a bit more Stone activity than the upper, but as the month progresses more Stone-Flies will appear in that part of the system as well.The Caddis activity in the evening hours continues so make sure you bring your emergers if planning a trip in the next few days.We spent another day with clients in the lower Yakima this past weekend fishing for the Yakima River Small-Mouth Bass. Fishing was some-what slow in the morning hours, but quickly picked up in the early afternoon. Finding just the right size, color and food source imitation was the key! Once this was established finding bass in the 1 to 2 pound range didn't seem to be a problem and provided everyone with plenty of excitement.
8-9-00/Fly fishing on the Yakima is in full summer time mode. The past week fishing has been smoking on the river and little tribs. The banks are loaded with big Hoppers and the nice little breeze we have been seeing is blowing them into the water. Throwing big imitations has been highly productive for us. Nymph fishing has been equally well. Casting big streamers through-out the day is has provided our clients with the bigger fish in the Yakima system.The BLM has begun to run some water out of Keechulus Reservoir so the Yakima above the confluence of the Cle Elum has spiked a bit over 200cfs. It is still wadable and fishable at this time.Those of you who have plans to go to Montana this month may want to check with the fly shop in the area. Due to very low water flows and forest fires that are burning out of control many of the rivers and streams have been closed to fishing. If the river isn't closed the road or highway getting there probably is.
8-3-00/The water keeps rolling out of the Cle Elum Reservoir and expect to see plenty of H2O throughout the system below the confluence of the Yakima and Cle Elum Rivers. It hasn't deterring the trout from feeding though. The fishing is smoking hot on the "Yak" and so is the weather (bring your sun-screen this weekend your going to need it). The Yak trout are keyed in and taking big dries on the surface through-out the day, especially along the grassy banks where you will find hoppers galore. Dry fly fishing really ignites in the evening hours as the Caddis begin to appear in thick hordes. Nymphs and streamer action has been just as good.
This weekend expect to see Yellow Sally Stones through-out the day and hatches of PMD Mayflies. Make sure you have plenty of attractor and terrestrial patterns in your box as well. Fish the banks and structure of the river tight and you will be rewarded!
The basin chain lakes that were poisoned this spring were replanted and reopened to fishing and are now producing some very big Kamloops Rainbows. Those of you who love the lake fishing and want to avoid the high flows of the Yakima may consider Lake Lenice for some weekend fishing. Donna Lease of E'burg hooked and landed this 25" bow during a trip there with her husband John last week. Due to the warm weather early morning and dusk fishing is best.
7-23-00/Another release of water from the Cle Elum Reservoir earlier this week into the Yakima has the flows up and running fast. Water temperature dropped off some 10-12 degrees in area's of the river below the convergence of the Cle Elum. Wading anglers will find fishing much easier at this time above the confluence of the Cle Elum and Yakima. Water clarity was affected some for a couple of days, but the despite the amount of water going through the system the river has cleared and fishing has picked up for the weekend.
We spent a day in the lower Yakima River last week fly fishing for the Small-Mouth Bass with Bass Pro Ronnie Hampton. Those looking for a great day of Bass fishing on a fly rod should take the drive down below Benton City and give it a try. The dry fly purist of the upper won't appreciate this section of the river. (Click Here To Download Real Video Of Small Mouth Bass Fishing On The Lower Yakima!)
The Yakima in this portion of the state is not esthetically pleasing to the eye. The river runs through dry barren landscape The river flows chocolate brown and is heavily polluted with irrigation run off and illegal dumping of animal waste from dairy farmers. But if you are looking for big Bass on a fly rod this is the place to go! Popper will work in the morning and late evening hours of the day. During the mid-afternoon bring your sink tip or full sink line and go deep with the big double bunny buggers or something similar. A bait fish or salmon smolt imitation will also be a big hit. With the amount of Salmon smolts that are being flushed through the Yakima system, the big Small Mouth Bass of the Yakima are growing big very fast. Expect to see the Lower Yakima become a trophy Bass fishery in a very short time. Bring your heaviest fluorocarbon tippets available. We had several that snapped 2x like it was sewing thread!7-13-00/Fast and furious. This is now the pace on the Yakima. Flows are racing at speeds above 4000cfs from Cle Elum to Roza. Heavy amounts of water continue to be flushed through the system.
Fishing has been good in the early mornings and late evenings with dries, nymphs. Day time fish can be good if an angler is willing to go deep with the big & ugly. With water temperatures reaching into the middle 60's during the day, the big fish of the Yakima are holding DEEP. You may occasionally find them in the shallow, faster currents of the river.
Hatches of PMD's the past couple of days has been good. Cripples and Emergers area sure bet. Expect to see Yellow Sally Stones as well in most parts of the system.
The Caddis are coming off through-out the day. The best fishing has been mid-morning/ late evening (if the wind stays down) for match the hatch Caddis activity. Be sure to bring your emergers!
Worley Bugger Fly Co. would like to thank everyone that has supported our new fly shop in Ellensburg over the past year. July 14th marks our first year anniversary and things couldn't be better!
In the next few weeks our Professional Guide Service will be expanding and will begin to offer some other exciting fisheries (rivers & streams) We have been busy the past 2 months establishing new destinations in the state of Washington and have found some incredible fisheries! Watch the web-site for more details!
7-5-00/The end of the salmon season this past weekend has brought yet another release of water into the Yakima system. Water levels are up and running at summer flows now. We expect to see the river run around the same levels. Their may be a slight reduction in some area's of the river, but the word from the BLM is the releases of water from the reservoirs should be consistent the rest of the summer. Wading anglers will find some area's easier to access than others. Bank access can get limited as well with the thick growth that has begun to overrun some area's of the system
Other than the river running high, it is in great shape. Water clarity is excellent and fishing was very good this past holiday weekend. Summer hatches of Caddis towards dusk have been awesome. Also watch for our first signs of the Summer Stone coming off in area's of the Yakima, primarily the lower sections at this time. Low water flows and high water temperatures had the Stones beginning to emerge early again this year. Yellow Sally Stones will be hatching in most area's of the river, but are more prevalent in the upper river.
6-30-00/With water flows running low (?) and the air temperatures beginning to cool, fishing on the Yakima has been very good. Casting dries, nymphs or streamers will be productive through-out the day. Water temperatures are in the mid-60's and we are already beginning hatches of our Summer Stone Fly in area's of the river. This is the last weekend of the salmon kill, so we expect to see the flows stay relatively the same. Wading the river at this time is no problem accessing most sections of the river. The late afternoon to dusk Caddis fishing is coming on strong. There are some PMD Mayflies that are still around, especially mid-morning and you may get into some good action on those. Expect to see good hatches of Yellow Sally Stones in the upper sections of the system. Fish are taking them actively through-out the day on the surface.
Everyone have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend!
6-22-00/Water flows are back down on the Yakima as the BLM continues to fluctuate the flows through-out the system. In the mean-while, water melting from the Cascade Mountain range continues to fill the reservoir's? The lake's at this time are reporting 100% capacity with more water being held than released? The Yakima river is slowly being killed! It amazes all of us that a river can be so mis-managed. With the lower flows the fishing has been very good. Dry fly activity has been marginal through-out the day, but the big sub-surface flies have been dynamite!
To view the current destructions practices of the BLM on the Yakima River, cast here!
Since the opening of a Chinnook Salmon season on the river the flows have been alter almost on a daily basis for the weekend fishing. With lower water flows, the salmon are pushed into the bigger slower pools, giving the kill fishermen a better shot at hooking into one. With low numbers of Springer's being caught (less than 20 out of 7500) I would expect to see the river run at these low flows for the weekend, even though the temperatures are heating up here in the Yakima River Valley. The salmon season is only open on the weekend, but any given day during the week you will find guys out on the river fishing for the Chinooks.
All of us that love and fish the Yakima, must voice our opinions to the state about the injustice that is being done to the wild fish that inhabit it's waters. If the state wants to open a season on salmon, let them open it in the lower river. Protect our wild strains of trout that can't live in the waters below due to filth, contamination and high water temperatures.
To voice your opinion on the Yakima river salmon fishing click on the links below to send an email to the directors of the Washington Fish & Wildlife. Let's all demand better management practices of our Yakima River!
Below is what the director and fish manager had to say about their future management practices of the Yakima.
"This fishery is biologically conservative even though the run is very large and Yakima basin spring Chinook are not listed as threatened or endangered," said WDFW regional fish program manager John Easterbrooks of Yakima. "We want to go slow and gain experience in setting and monitoring this fishery so that we can sustain it in the future."
The spring Chinook is not listed as endangered, but hasn't returned to the Yakima in over 40 years? Why build a hatchery then?
"Even with this harvest we anticipate the highest spawning ground redd count in recent history," Easterbrooks said. "Given good water supply conditions in 2001, we'll likely see the largest crop of wild salmon smolts here in 50 years."
How does a hatchery produces stocks of wild salmon? The Yakima Indians and WDFW control the spawning practices of the salmon in the Yakima, by trapping the larger ones, trucking them to the Cle Elum hatchery to be killed and bleed of eggs.
"This fishery is consist with the overall intent of WDFW to provide opportunity where we can while protecting and rebuilding wild runs of salmon," said WDFW Director Jeff Koenings.
John Easterbrooks, 509-457-9330
Jim Cummins, 509-457-9316
6-15-00/Another torrent of water was released late Monday night and once again June fishing on the Yakima has eluded us. Releases of water from the Cle Elum and the Keechelus Reservoirs simultaneously has the river raging at flows between 1600cfs at Easton to 6000cfs in the lower Yakima Canyon, south of Ellensburg. The mis-management of the Yakima continues! Water clarity is less than a foot at the banks and as of today the river isn't showing any signs of backing off. We expect to see the river begin to stabilize in a few days and summer fishing will continue.
As you are all probably aware of over 17,000 Chinook Salmon have breached the dam at Priest Rapids over the last few weeks and are making their way up the Yakima river system. Over 7000 has been trapped at Roza Dam and a fishing season for the spring Salmon has been opened on the Yakima?? Another blow to the wild trout of the Yakima river. Reports have been coming in all week to the shop here of people poaching salmon and trout. Supposedly some anglers can't tell the difference between a 19" rainbow and a black half dead salmon. Anglers of the state that love the Yakima as a trout fishery had better unite because this is just the beginning!
6-9-00/The Yakima has dropped off considerably upon the reduction of water release from the Cle Elum Reservoir. It has come back into pretty decent shape with about 3ft of visibility at the banks, but expect the river to be running fast. Wading anglers will want to stay above the confluence of the Cle Elum river for easier wading opportunities. If the trend continues, fishing should be decent for the weekend.
6-7-00/Scratch that last report.....the Yakima is blown! A big release of water last night from the Cle Elum Reservoir has the river raging at flows exceeding 6500cfs. Hard to say how long it will be gone, but we are watching it daily.
The Eastern Basin continues to produce some very big fish. Luke had a very good day their yesterday as you can see. This little fishery is producing fish in the 5 to 7 pound range this year. If you like little creek fishing, this is the place to be!
6-5-00/Early summer fishing has started on the Yakima and the river has never looked better this time of year. Flows are running lower than normal and fishing the past week has been exceptional. Warm weather and bright sunny skies blanketed the valley over the weekend. Fishing dries, nymphs & streamers was highly productive. With the warm weather conditions the snow pack in the Cascades is melting quickly. The reservoirs are filling, especially the Cle Elum. The river at this time is in excellent condition.
5-30-00/The Yakima was busy this weekend, despite the poor condition of the river. Both recreational fishermen and to our amazement western Washington guides from the local shops?? While they spent time on the fast moving, silt choked river, we headed to the Eastern Basin for some great creek fishing. The trout in these little basin creeks are pumped up and feeding furiously. A fishermen has his choice of fishing dries, nymphs, or some of our highly productive streamer patterns. Want to see Luke fight and land this 24" inch brute in a small creek?....cast here!
According to the Hydrologist at the Bureau of Reclamation, expect the Yakima to run at these heavy flows for the next few weeks. No significant releases of water are scheduled to be dumped, unless heavy rains or very warm weather hit the valley and Cascade Mountain Range. If all works out well, the river could come back into pretty nice shape by mid week. Lets hope all goes as planned.
This is the year of the big fish...Come be apart of it!
5-26/00/Everyone is gearing up for the long weekend of fishing and the first release of water has been dumped from the Cle Elum Reservoir. The Teanaway was a problem earlier in the week, but the flows have dropped off there. We are now looking at flows that range from 1000cfs at Easton to well over 4600cfs in the lower Yakima River Canyon. Water clarity is off and expect to see about 12" of visibility at the bank. With air temperatures starting to warm the snow pack that cover the Stuart Range has quickly filled the 3 reservoirs.
Insect hatches over the past week have been good with March Browns (primary the upper sections), Pale Morning Duns (PMD), Yellow Sally Stone-Flies as well as great hatches of Caddis. Also our true Golden Stone is now hatching on the Yakima (pictured left). Many authors and writers that have composed books and articles on this fine river, often confuse this stone with our first stone-fly hatch of the season, the Skawla. Most years we don't see or even get to fish this great Stone-Fly hatch due to releases of water into the system. We may get a little time in on it this season.
5-13-00/The Yakima continues to run low, clear and produce some of the best bug hatches of the spring. Thick hatches of March Brown Mayflies, Caddis, & Baetis have the fish feeding, taking the natural's imitations on the surface. Most feeding activity starts mid-afternoon, so mid-morning fish calls for nymphs and some good old Montana style streamer fishing, my personal favorite. The Stone-fly activity is starting to thin, but we are still seeing some big Skawla & Salmon Fly nymphs lying along the banks waiting for the metamorphosis to adulthood, so tossing a big Stone imitation will produce results. It is spring, so those famous Kittitas winds have been raising their ugly heads, but the winds are suppose to be light over the next couple of days. As you all know we are at the mercy of the BLM, so dumping of water from the reservoir's could come at any time.
Anglers looking for new innovative patterns, instead of the old standards, stop by our fly shop in Ellensburg for the hottest patterns on the river along with the best advice from local professional's that fish it daily!
5-2-00/The Yakima is in great shape and depending on what you like to fish you can now get your fill of spring time fishing. Big bugs or little bugs.... take your pick! Salmon Flies are still flying around mid-day along with hatches of March Browns, Baetis, & Skawla Stones. The river is loaded with insects and the fish are feeding!
Just like every other insect this spring, the Caddis have arrived early on the Yakima and fish are feeding on them. Thick awesome blooms of Caddis are emerging throughout the system. The water is low and wading won't be a problem in most area's of the river at this time.
4-19-00/Pteronarcys californica, the Salmon Fly have begun to emerge early this year on the Yakima River and many are being seen along the banks from Ellensburg down throughout the canyon. These 3" to 4" long giant Stones attract a large amount of attention once the females begin to return to the water. Water clarity is much improved over the past couple of days as water flows have reseeded. The March Brown Mayflies are also hatching now in large numbers. They can be seen as early as 11:00 a.m., and as the hour progress, so does the hatch. BWO's are also prevalent throughout the system. The Skawla Stones are also still coming off in large numbers as well, so make sure your arsenal of Yakima river flies is complete before making the trek to the river.
4-15-00/If you are planning a trip to the Yakima for the weekend we would strongly suggest otherwise. Heavy rains have pounded the valley and surrounding hills the past two days and the river once again is lost. The water is high, fast and muddy from Easton to the Columbia! Hard to say when the river will come back into shape, but we continue to monitor it on a daily basis.
4-12-00/After spending the last 5 days in Montana on Rock Creek, The Big Hole, & the Upper Clark Fork at Warm Springs, we have returned to find the Yakima in much better conditions than when we left. The lower river is still running high & fast and water clarity still hasn't returned. Their are guys out catching fish in these sections on nymphs, streamers and the occasional dry fly. The Teanaway River continues to push melting snow pack into the system along with a couple of the other tributaries as well. The Kittitas Reclamation District has begun to charge the irrigation systems around the valley so that will bring some relief to the Yakima, although most water is pulled from Lake Easton. Skawla Stone action along with March Browns and BWO's are the main course being served up now.
4-3-00/The spring melt is now in full gear and most of the Yakima river system began to swell late Saturday night. Some of the upper sections above the Teanaway River, south of Cle Elum are still okay at this time, but the river is on the rise in those sections as well. It may be some time before the river comes back into shape for us. According to the weather reports, warm days are here to stay for the Yakima River valley.
3-24-00/The river has been on the rise the past couple of days and it has the trout on the move. Fish are starting to disperse from the pods and take up residence in other holding area's of the river. With higher flows in the system the water clarity hasn't been great, but fishing remains consistent. The flows are starting to level out and drop. As long as the weather cooperates, weekend fishing should be good. Some area's may be harder to wade at this time, but it can still be accomplished in the right area's of the river. The hatches have been sporadic from day to day. Water temperatures remain in the high 30's/low 40's due to the constant introduction of the winter's snow pack being dumped into the system by some of the main tributaries of the river.
If you are planning on fish the Yakima this weekend, whether floating or wading, stop by our shop for information and flies that are catching fish like the one pictured left. This client was fortunate to tie into this beautiful 12lbs Yakima River Steel-Head on a float trip with our Professional Guide Service yesterday. Like to see the video of this Yakima Steel-Head....cast here!
3-21-00/The river has come back into shape at least for the time being. Weekend fishing was somewhat mixed. Big Streamers and big dry flies continued to be productive and with the nicer weather here in the valley the past couple of days, thick hatches of BWO's and March Browns are emerging. The River continues to produces Skawla Stones as well. The river and weather has been somewhat erratic and we are taking advantage of the better days we have available to us.
3-15-00/Once again heavy rain showers plummeted the valley here late Monday night causing the Teanaway and Swauk Creek to explode and drive snow melt from the surrounding hills into the system. Water clarity is off in the sections below these tributaries of the Yakima. Above these smaller feeder streams, the water clarity is still very good. Fishing with Streamers is highly productive at this time. Hatches of Skawlas, March Browns, & BWO have been sporadic, we believe due to the influx of colder water into the system the past week.
Working dry flies in some sections has been productive, but the bigger fish are being caught sub-surface at this time. Rain showers are called for over the next couple of days, so we are constantly watching the river and gauges.
3-11-00/The river is looking much better for the weekend and most of the water clarity has returned to the entire system, especially in the lower sections. The past couple of days the Yakima has seen some tremendous hatches of Skawla Stones. Hordes of these smaller size Stone Flies are emerging and blanketing the water in some of the sections of the Yakima. We are also starting to see our first emergence of the Rhithrogena March Brown Mayflies starting as well. This is just the beginning of the early spring fishing on the Yakima!
3-8-00/Not much has changed from the past few days. Sporadic rain showers today are blanketing the valley which may bring the river up, but at this time it has had no ill effects. A large percentage of the low lying snow in our foothills has melted off and we expect to the see sections of the lower river in much better shape by the weekend. Fishing remains consistent above E'burg, where the water conditions are much better. Fishing Skawla Stone dries has been highly productive in these areas. Water temperatures still remain below 40 degree's, so the anticipation of the March Brown Mayflies continues. Don't expect to see them until the water temperature rise above the 40 degree mark. Hatches of large BWO's in size 14-16 are stimulating the fish and feeding commences on them around mid-afternoon. Streamer fishing the past week continues to be highly productive
3-3-00/The smaller tributaries here in the E'burg valley are filling up from low lying snow melt off and are dumping chocolate brown water into the system. The sections from Ellensburg down through the canyon have very poor visibility at this time. Their is approximately 6" to 8" of visibility in the water at the banks in these sections. If you are looking to fish the Yakima this weekend, stay above these sections of the river. Fish are taking the Skawla Stones on the surface in some of the upper sections above the run-off. Streamer and nymph fishing has been good. Their is some BWO action about mid-day and fish are slurping them off the surface in some of these sections. Reports coming into the fly shop here from other anglers the past couple of days say the upper river is fishing very well with Stone-Fly nymphs. Stop into our shop for the hot Stone-Fly patterns that are catching fish at this time!
For guys looking to fish Rocky Ford this weekend, fishing has been good, but expect heavy crowds. With some of the lake systems opening in the basin it may relieve some of the pressure at the Ford.
2-23-00/The hatches for the new season of 2000 have begun! The Adult Skawla Stone-Flies are hatching and returning to the water early this year. The Yakima trout are beginning to key in on the adults, and it won't be long and they will be hitting big dries on the surface. You will find most of this activity in the lower stretches of the Yakima at this time. Stone Fly Nymphs are working well. Larger trout in the system are seriously feeding, bulking up after the long winter. The BWO's are also hatching on the lower sections of the river system about mid-afternoon and the fish have keyed in on this hatch, slurping the adults from the surface.
The river is in great shape and the weather has warmed creating very pleasant fishing days. Stop by our new shop in Ellensburg for the hottest, innovative patterns catching fish on the Yakima and Eastern Basin!
Guide service bookings are filling up fast for early spring fishing. If you are interested in fishing the Yakima with us this spring, please call ASAP for a favorable booking....888-950-FISH!
2-18-00/The Yakima is in great shape and fishing the past week has remain consistent. Still no sign of the Skawla adults as of today, but it shouldn't be much longer with the temperatures in the valley here starting to warm. Bouncing Stone-Fly nymphs with May-Fly trailers fished deep in the pools of the river are producing large numbers of Yakima trout. The occasional White-Fish will be caught as well this time of year. Wading the river now is no problem with flows running low. Stop by our Fly-Shop in E'burg for the hottest patterns producing fish this time of the year!
2-8-00/The spring time fishing is just around the corner as the first migration of Stone-flies has began. Kicking over rocks along the banks of the Yakima will uncover cluster's of Skawla Stone-Flies (bottom right) waiting for just the ideal temperature to crawl to shore and metamorphosis to adult form. Water temperatures remain in the low 30's for now, so fishing dark Stone-Fly nymphs in conjunction with a May-Fly nymph trailer (dropper) fished deep will be productive. The biggest problem this time of year anglers face is finding the ideal holding water for the Yakima trout. Fishing the deeper slower runs of the river is where you will find the best fishing for now. Their has been some surface feeding on midges about 5:00 p.m. everyday, but it has only lasted about 10 minutes.
1-27-00/The warmer weather has finally arrived in the valley the past couple of days and the fish have been biting. The big bugs of the Yakima are starting to move. Hatches the past couple of days of small Winter Stones have the Yakima trout feeding on the surface. Casting big Stones is ideal this time of year with a March Brown trailer. The Black Skawla Stone Flies are starting to mature and it won't be long and the adults will be hatching. Expect to see them hatch in larger numbers in month of February. Early spring fishing can be awesome on the Yakima. Last year was no exception. From what we are seeing now, it looks like we can expect the same this season.
1-13-00/The Bureau of Reclamation has once again back off the flows of the river and very little now is being dumped from the reservoirs. The river is in great shape in most area's. The weather has been cool with the lows dipping down into the 30's. Snow flurries have dumped about 6-8 inches of snow along the banks of the river. Anglers can be seen along the bank fishing for Whitefish.
Rocky Ford and other Eastern Basin fisheries continue to fish very well. Anglers are encountering a BWO hatch, but it hasn't reoccurred on a daily basis. Fishing scuds, buggers, and leech patterns has been highly productive.
1/2-00/The river has slowly come back into shape for the start of the new year and is now fishable once again in most areas. Wade fishermen shouldn't have to much of a problem finding area's of the river to fish. Reduced output from the Cle Elum reservoir is the contributing factor in the river returning to fishable conditions, however the reservoir are still holding more than 70% full. We were receiving some snow showers today, but it is expected to dry up later in the week and the sun shine is suppose to show up. We fished the river on the last day of the year and did very well bouncing nymphs along the bottom.