November on the Yakima

If time flies when you're having fun, our guidestaff has must have been having a blast this season, because it feels like we were chucking big dries and wet-wading just a few weeks ago! It's hard to believe that October is over and tomorrow marks the start of the "off" season, but here we are. Although things are quieting down people-wise this time of year, there is still plenty of fishing opportunity during the month of November.

We typically see a lot of rain this month, and with the wet weather and cloudy skies come the blue-wings. We have been seeing these smaller mayflies (#16-20) popping most afternoons between 1-4 pm, with a few mahoganies mixed in for good measure. Keeping a dedicated hatch rod rigged with a parachute BWO trailed by a sparkle dun or foam-post emerger is a good idea this time of year, allowing you to target feeders without wasting time re-rigging. Remember these are small bugs in clear water, so light tippets (5x) and long leaders (10'+) are often essential.

Streamer fishing also really gets going during the month of November, with the cold water and lack of large aquatic insects sending many of our bigger fish into predator mode. Whether you are stripping streamers from the boat or swinging flies from the bank on lightweight trout speys, a well stocked box of patterns covering different color and size options will up your odds of finding streamer success. Some of our guide staffs fall favorites include Sculpzillas, Dali Llamas, Sparkle Minnows and Lil' Rascals in natural colors such as olive, black, brown and tan. White patterns or patterns incorporating white mimic baitfish especially well, and paired with some flash, are a great option for sunny days.

Of course, you can always find a few fish nymphing on the Yakima this month, and the tried-and-true rubberlegs/dropper combo is a solid option under a Thingamabobber or yarn indicator. When selecting your dropper (point) fly, think BWO, with patterns like WD-40s, PTs and lightning bugs in (#16-20). As the water temps begin to cool, the fish will begin to occupy the deeper, slower runs and pools, and this is where you should focus most of your energy. Fish will pod up in many of these areas, so make sure to cover the holding water from top to bottom, and if you aren't finding fish or occasionally ticking rocks, add weight and/or lengthen your leader accordingly.

Although the weather is turning and the leaves are coming off of the trees, there is still plenty of fishing left to do! A trip on the Yakima is often filled with great scenery, plentiful wildlife, and fat, hungry trout stacking up the calories for winter. Come enjoy the solitude and beauty that comes with the season!