What a whiteout we’ve experienced this week here in Ellensburg! Almost five inches of the white stuff came down on us in a two-day span. Some areas have received more than others, and we hope you’re staying safe in these less than ideal conditions. The forecast looks to be cold in Ellensburg, with more chance for snow in the next week. Daily highs don’t look like they will break the freezing point, so dress accordingly if you’re going outside any time soon.
Both the Yakima River and Rocky Ford Creek are fishing well right now. The only thing that will hold you back is the dang weather! Your toes can only take so much and it gets annoying when you have to constantly break ice out of your guides and thaw out your reel.
Yakima River Report
The fish are holding deep right now on drop-offs where fast currents meet slower water. Look for walking pace water and structure for fish to hold behind.
The river is on a gradual drop. Fish have been keying in on Pat’s Rubberlegs Stoneflies (#8-12) in Coffee as the Skwala hatch draws nearer. Fish have also been taking various worm patterns, like San Juans and Squirmy Wormies in pink, red, and pink/red. Sometimes putting a bead on your worm will help to attract fish and get your fly a little bit deeper.
Try fishing two or three nymphs right now to figure out what the fish want. Running a Pat's as your point fly and trailing it with a worm and/or midge pattern is common. Midge patterns (#14-20) like Zebra Midges, WD40s, and RS2s in black and brown have shown some success.
Get those flies deep and keep them “in the zone” for as long as possible. Mending is your friend!
Swinging and stripping streamers have been producing a few larger fish as well. Sculpzillas and Sparkle Minnows (#8-12) are great pattens to have in your box right now.
Rocky Ford Creek Report
The fishing has been good at Rocky Ford lately! The fish are keying in on scuds (#14-18) in various shades of orange or amber. Try fishing a two-fly setup, with a size 14 scud as a point fly and a size 18 scud as the trailing fly. The bites have been light, so try using yarn indicator, with no longer than four feet to the second fly. Super shallow setups! Other nymph patterns to bring along are chironomids and midges (#14-22) like WD-40s and Zebra Midges in black, red, and olive. Focus on structure and the edges of weedbeds, where fish will be hanging out.
There are a few midges and small mayflies hatching during calm periods of the day. Parachute Adams (#14-22) in black, white, brown and olive imitate these insects very well. Emerger patterns like the Brooks Sprout Midge (#14-22) in black, white, brown and olive have also brought fish to the surface. Look for steady risers before switching over to a dry fly setup.
Streamers are also producing at times. Dolly Llamas in olive/white have worked well, as will anything else that incorporates some sort of rabbit fur in its body. Try stripping these FAST and don’t stop if the fish is chasing; if they want to eat it, they’ll grab it at any speed!