What's with this crazy weather we've been experiencing lately? It's currently snowing as I'm writing this in Ellensburg. Days have seemed to range from frigid to almost uncomfortably warm. But that doesn't mean you should stop fishing! All of our normal winter fisheries are producing well right now and we've been taking advantage of them every chance we can.
The passes were closed off-and-on this past weekend, but here in Eastern Washington it was bare and honestly, quite warm. A few our guides spent some time fishing Rocky Ford Creek and the upper reaches of the Yakima River and brought back some great stories and fishing reports.
The "worm hatch" is upon us here on the Yakima! Fish in the river are keying in on various worm patterns, like the San Juan and Squirmy Wormy in red and pink. You can fish one of these worms behind a Pat's Stone (#8-12) in Coffee or Black and have an opportunity to pick up a fish on either one. Smaller nymphs, like a Sexy Waltz Worm (#10-14) are also picking up a few fish. Flows are clear right now and the river is on a bit of a drop. Make sure to keep an eye on the flow gauge if you plan on making a trip to fish.
Rocky Ford Creek
This last weekend fish were keying in on a variety of subsurface patterns, including orange scuds (#14-18), black and red zebra midges (#14-22), and a variety of woolly buggers and sparkle minnows (#8-12). Light indicators were necessary in detecting the wary trout, as there was a lot of angling pressure with the great weather. If you are willing to walk away from the masses, you can find success in places you might not have expected to catch fish. Put those boots to work and go explore the creek!
Midges and small mayflies were hatching in bouts of calm, warm weather. Parachute Adam’s (#18-22) in tan and brown worked well imitate the adults. Some fish were taking emergers just below the surface, and can be targeted with CDC Emergers (#16-22) in tan and brown. Look for consistent feeders when the wind is down and try to approach these fish from downstream, making an upstream presentation. Watching and timing these fish is key to place your fly in their feeding lane in the right spot.