It feels like winter is starting to show itself here in the Kittitas Valley this week. Cold overnights and chilly day time temps have many folks looking ahead to the holiday season and all that it entails: family, food, football, and, for some of us, fishing. Although the weather has turned and the river is empty, there are still some great opportunities to get out and throw some line.
Yakima River: The Yakima is in great shape and fishing well, with nymphing and streamer fishing both proving productive. Our guides typically like nymphing a Pats in coffee/black or black this time of year (usually about a #8-10) trailed by something small and midgy-looking. Copper Johns, Brassies, Lightning Bugs, WD-40s and Zebra Midge in #18-20 are all great options for small dropper bugs in a two nymph setup. Streamer anglers are finding fish with a low and slow approach, either fishing a sink-tip from the boat or swinging from the bank with 3 and 4 weight trout speys. Sculpin and small baitfish patterns like Sculpzillas, Moto Minnows, Dali Llamas, and Lil' Rascals in natural colors like olive. black, and brown should cover you just fine.
Rocky Ford: This is the time of year when this little desert spring creek really starts to shine. The colder weather will keep the aquatic vegetation to a minimum, which will allow for cleaner drifs, as well as better streamer fishing. Scuds(#12-20) and midge pupa (#18-22) fished under a small indicator will catch fish almost any day of the year, with San Juan worms and egg patterns also accountning for some action. Streamer fishing is always worth a try, with white flies incorporating some bunny strip like Dali Llamas, Zonkers and Lil' Rascals. In additon to the sub-surface fishing, there will be some scattered opportunities to fish dries all winter long, with midge and BWOs making up most of the hatch activity. It's always good to have a few Griffiths and small adams along to imitate the midges, as well as the standard BWO stuff like Foam-Post Emergers, Comparaduns and RS-2s in #18-20.