Weather: Partly sunny, windy, high temps in the 60s.
River Conditions: ~1200 cfs @ Horlick, 2-3 foot visibility, temps in the high 50s. Water flow information here.
Hot Flies: Pheasant Tail, Frenchie, Pats Stone, Lightning Bug
Bug Scene: March Browns and Caddis still active
There are still March Brown mayflies popping off in the Farmlands. Both the adults and the nymphs are quite active. There were a lot of caddis starting to hatch around 10 a.m. and continued throughout the day. A few PMDs and BWOs made an appearance for a while, but was nothing spectacular. We haven’t seen any salmonflies in a while, and we’re still a bit out from summer stones.
Fishing Forecast: Nymph the heavy water during the day, watch for fish on top in the evenings
Now that water temps are getting into the high 50s, fish will be holding in faster water. Look for the edges of fast, deep currents. Fish will also be holding tight to structure and along deep outside corners. Make sure to find moving water. Nymphing has been consistent in the daytime, fishing two or three flies on a setup. Pat’s Stoneflies (#8-12) in coffee have been fishing well as a point fly. Gold Lightning Bugs (#12-18) and Jigged Pheasant Tails or Frenchies (#12-16) have been good trailing flies. Fishing 3-4 feet to your first fly below an indicator should cover most of the water you will be wanting to fish. Add weight to the line as you see necessary.
The dry fly bite doesn’t really start until the evening. The Lower Canyon has been producing some quality dry fishing during the caddis hatch. Look for calm water tight to the bank and in back eddies for fish eating adult caddis and emergers. Patterns like an Elk/Deer Hair Caddis (#12-18) in tan or olive and Fluttering Caddis (#12-16) are great adult imitations. Emerger patterns like CDC Emergers (#12-18) in brown and gray, and LaFontaine Caddis Emergers (#12-18) in tan or yellow have been our go-tos. Look for risers and, if you’re in a boat, anchor to focus on steadily rising fish.
Do be aware that water was released from the reservoirs in the headwaters of the Yakima River and flows throughout the system are beginning to rise. This may or may not throw off fishing. Be prepared for a bump this weekend that should level back out early next week.