Yakima River Rundown
Location: Lower Canyon
Weather: Partly cloudy, highs in the 80s, becoming breezy in the afternoon
River Conditions: ~3600 cfs @ Umtanum, 4-5 feet visibility, upper 50s to low 60s for water temp. Find current river flows HERE.
Hot Flies: Purple Chubby Chernobyl (#6), Peacock PMX (#6-12), Gold Lightning Bug (#12-18), Coffee Pat’s (#6-8), CDC Caddis Nymph (#14-18), Psycho Prince (#14-18), TB Hare’s Ear (#14-16)
Bug Scene: Caddis winding down, Stones picking up
The Caddis has been winding down and we’re seeing fewer of them hatching during the day. There will still be a few, but nothing like the numbers we had a month ago. Fish are still looking for Caddis nymphs and emergers subsurface as they work their way around the system. We should start seeing a few more October Caddis nymphs in the river soon. Summer Stoneflies are starting to come out in numbers and fish are looking for big bugs on the surface. PMDs are still hatching and fish will be looking for nymphs and emergers subsurface as they work their way to the top to hatch during the warmer parts of the day.
Fishing Forecast: Dry Flies Early, Nymphs during the day, dry flies late
And that, folks, should be your plan for a day on the Yakima right now! Some of our guides have been fishing dry flies in the morning while the shade is still on the water with success. A PMX (#6-12) in Peacock has been a good pattern, as has a Chubby Chernobyl (#6) in Purple. Fishing these close to the bank and in the shade on a 7.5 foot tapered leader will be your best bet in the morning. You can drop a nymph off of the back of the dry, like a TB Hare’s Ear (#14-16), to fish subsurface as well.
Once that sun begins to get higher in the sky, switch up to a nymph rig. Fishing 4-5 feet below an indicator to a Pat’s (#6-8) in Coffee and trailed by a CDC Caddis Nymph (#14-18) or a Gold Lightning Bug (#14-18) has been putting some fish in the boat. Make sure to use weight in the deeper runs to get the fly down to the right level. We have been finding fish in the shallower boulder gardens as well, so make sure to fish around rocks to target fish hiding in the slack water they create. Where there is considerable depth and current, fish your flies right on the bank. Other patterns that have been working subsurface include the Psycho Prince (#14-18) and Soft Hackle Caddis (#14-18).
As the evening comes on, start by switching back to a dry dropper and fish foam lines near the bank and structure. As the shadows get longer, you can begin taking off the dropper and try fishing two dries, like the Chubby Chernobyl trailed by the PMX. If you see Caddis hatching, try tying on an Elk Hair Caddis (#14-18) or a LaFontaine Sparkle Pupa (#14-18) and fishing them on top. Fishing dries until dark will be the name of the game.
Naches River Fishing report
The Naches River is low, clear and wadable! There are a lot of insects hatching on the river right now and there are hungry cutthroat looking for them. Caddis and PMDs are hatching late into the morning. Elk Hair Caddis (#14-18) in Olive or Tan and a Purple Haze (#14-18) will be great patterns for these two hatches. Fish have also been looking up for larger dries, like a Dornan’s Water Walker (#6-8) in Tan and Purple and Chubby Chernobyls (#6-12) in Purple and Orange. Focus on foam lines and against deep banks.
When the hatches die down later in the day, nymphing will become productive. Fishing 3-4 feet below an indicator to a Pat’s (#6-12) in Coffee and trailed by a Hare’s Ear (#12-18) or a CDC Caddis Nymph (#14-18) has been productive. Fish with weight where the water is deep and where the current is strong. Try fishing no weight in shallower areas behind large boulders and picking apart some riffled water.
Streamer fishing has also been productive. A Type IV or V sink tip line or a sinking poly leader attached to a floating line will suffice for the Naches. Cutthroat and rainbows in this river love streamers with some white and olive in it. Intruder-style flies (#4-6) tied with zonker and rabbit fur are especially popular for the river. Sculpin patterns like the Sculpzilla (#4-6) in olive/black can also be good. Be aware that you may accidentally hook into a bull trout while fishing streamers on the Naches. You cannot purposely fish for bull trout in this river. Handle all bull trout with care and do not remove them from the water. Play them quickly and release them once they’ve regained their strength.