Yakima River Rundown
Location: Lower Canyon, Farmlands
Weather: Partly Cloudy, highs in the 60s and low 70s, storm systems moving through
River Conditions: ~1300 cfs @ Umtanum 3-4 feet visibility, mid 50s to lower 60s for water temp. Find river flows HERE.
Hot Flies: Orange Chubby Chernobyl (#6-12), Gold Lightning Bug (#12-16), Coffee, Orange, and Black Pat's (#6-8), Soft Hackle October Caddis (#10-14), Orange Gypsy King (#8-12), Wybie Hares Ear (#14-16), Black WD-40 (#14-18)
Bug Scene: Waiting on those October Caddis
The October Caddis are starting to hatch, with their peak time in another week or so. The nymphs are quite active right now and the fish are looking for them. BWOs are hatching on cloudy days and times of low wind. Small nymphs are active and fish are looking for those tiny bugs right now under the water. We are still seeing some Craneflies and fish eating them. The Crawdads and Sculpin are out in numbers and fish will be looking for a big meal as we begin into the cooler months.
Fishing Forecast: Nymph deep, look for risers and CLOUD-COVER
The river has dropped to about 1300 cfs and fish will be looking for deeper water to hold in. The key is to find places where fish have cover from predators, oxygenated water and food. Transitions from shallow to deep water where the river bottom changes from tan to a darker blue/green are ideal. Focus on the heads of longer runs where there is some current. Edges of fast and slow water will also hold fish. Most of this fishing will occur mid river where it’s deepest. If you can, row laps to extend your float and thoroughly cover water.
All of our guides are running slightly different nymph setups. We are commonly fishing two flies, a Pat’s in either Coffee, Black or Orange (#8-10) trailed by a smaller nymph like a Black WD-40 (#16-18), Jighead Pheasant Tail (#14-16) or Wybie Hares Ear (#16). Fishing these flies 4-7 feet below a medium sized indicator will get your flies down to depth and in the zone right now. You can add weight if you are not tapping bottom occasionally or not hooking fish.
The best bet at productive dry fly fishing will be on cloudy days when Bluewings are hatching. Look for pods of rising fish near the banks in foam lines or in slower water in the back of eddies. Anchoring up or walking up to a pod will give you ample opportunity to throw different patterns to try and trick these picky fish. Remember that Bluewings are SMALL. Pack several different BWO patterns (#16-22) to imitate adults and emergers and swap them out until you find the one pattern that they like. You can also fish October Caddis if you see some hatching by throwing large dries to the bank and around structure where fish are rising. Patterns like Orange Stimulators (#8-12) and Orange Gypsy Kings (#8-12) can be great imitations. As we get further along in the hatch, start downsizing your flies to trick wary fish. Dry fly fishing won’t always be consistent right now, but if you can get in on rising fish you can find some success.