Fishing Outlook for Week of September 24th, 2018

Fall fishing has been great on the Yakima and if you are looking to squeeze in another fishing trip before the winter, now is the time! With cooler nights and warmer afternoons, we are seeing some great sub-surface action early in the day, with the possibility for some dry fly or dry/dropper fishing in the afternoons.

Upper River: Fishing a dry/dropper rig consisting of a chubby in purple or pink trailed by a #14 YB Hare's Ear has been productive throughout the day, with some opportunity to raise fish on October Caddis or stonefly dries during the afternoon hours. If you are looking for eats on top, a #8 orange Stimi, peacock PMX or purple Chubby are all getting some looks. Really any big dry fly should get a few fish looking up, and don't be afraid to twitch and skate your big bugs this time of year.

Farmlands: Dry/dropper rigs with the aforementioned YB Hare's Ear have been the name of the game here, although there are still plenty of craneflies around, and some fish willing to eat them. This section of river is very skinny this time of year, so if you are floating in a fiberglass boat be prepared to leave some paint on the rocks.

Canyon: Nymphing the deeper runs and buckets with a Pat's Stone in black or orange/brown trailed by a #18-20 BWO nymph will pick fish up early in the day, with fish coming to October Caddis or a dry/dropper rig midday in the faster water. There are plenty of BWO popping in the afternoons, but the bright sun has made for less than ideal dry fly conditions. A few rainy, cloudy days could make for some awesome small dry-fly fishing in the canyon.

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Yakima River Fishing Outlook: Week of September 17th, 2018

Early fall fishing has been nothing short of spectacular! The river has leveled off and we should see low flows through the rest of the season. This means great river conditions for both boat anglers as well as those fishing on foot. The river is fishing well from top to bottom, and where you fish is often dictated by how personal preference and the style of fishing you prefer.

Upper River: The upper Yakima has been fishing well, especially with dry flies. Although there are still a few short-wing stones around, October Caddis and Craneflies have been stealing the show. Morrish's October Caddis or an orange Stimulator in #8-10 is a great OC imitation, and for craneflies, a Gypsy King in purple or royal #8-10 has been working as well as anything. Remeber that both these bugs move plenty on the water, so skating an skittering your dry flies will lead to some vicious takes!

Farmlands: Very similar to the upper, although the dry-dropper fishing has been slightly better than the stand-alone dry fly. Plenty of Cranes aroud as well as a few OC. A YB Hare's Ear or Jigged PT in #14 has been a great dropper fly. There is some techy small water around in this stretch which has made for some great wade opportunity.

Canyon: The canyon has been more of a sub-surface fishery aso of late, with a few opportunities at some dry-fly eaters in the afternoon. Nymphing a Pat's stone in #8-10 trailed by a small (#16-20) BWO imitiation has been picking fish up in the deeper buckets and runs. Small flies can mean light takes, so when nymphing this time of year, consider running a yarn indicator for detecting those subtle takes.

Some of the best fishing of the year is happening right now. Come get in on the fun, it'll be winter before you know it!

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Yakima River Fall Fishing Report

It's starting to feel like fall here in central Washington state, with cooler weather, wind, and even a little bit of rain this morning. Although the seasons are definitely changing, we are still seeing some fantastic fishing on the Yakima River.

The river is still dropping, but we are very close to typical fall flows, making for some great wade fishing opportunity. Bug-wise, we are still seeing plenty of short-wing stoneflies, as well as craneflies and a few October caddis and BWO. Look for the October caddis to come on strong here in the next few weeks, making for some great late-season big-bug fishing. Our guides have been having success fishing big dries and dry-dropper rigs, consisting of a Chubby Chernobyl in pink, purple, or tan and either a Pat's stone, YB Hare's Ear or Jigged PT dropped off the back. Nymphing with a Pat's stone trailed by a smaller BWO imitation like a wd-40 or Psycho May in #16-18 has been producitve as well. For anglers looking to chuck streamers, this is the time of year we see the fish really start to key in on sculpin imitations in natural colors like olive, brown and black. Swinging streamers from the bank or strip-retrieving from the boat are both productive methods to put fish in the net.

One last thing to keep in mind this time of year is to fish where the fish are. Although we've seen lower flows for almost two weeks now, there are still a lot of anglers fishing the banks like it's the middle of July! As the water levels drop, the fish will pull away from the banks and find holding water mid-river using structure such as large boulders, or drop-offs to provide cover and feeding oppportunity. Focusing on fishing the color changes is a great way to target productive water and keep yourself into fish during this early fall time frame. Have fun out there!

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