Weather: Sunny, slight wind, high temps in the 80s.
River Conditions: ~3500 cfs, 4-5 foot visibility, water temps in the 60s. Find current river flows HERE.
Hot Flies: TB Hares Ear (#14-16), Coffee Pats Stone (#6-8), Peach Chubby Chernobyl (#6-10)
Bug Scene: Summer Stones, PMDs and Caddis
The caddis were hatching periodically throughout the day. Stoneflies began hatching in the early afternoon. Stonefly nymphs were active below the surface in smaller sizes. PMDs and other various mayfly nymphs were also making a presence throughout the day, hatching and crawling along the bottom. Grasshoppers are also becoming prominent with fish looking up for terrestrials. We are in full summer mode for bug life right now on the Yakima!
FIshing Forecast: nymph deep, heavy water and pound the banks with dries
As water temperatures begin to rise, we find ourselves traveling upriver more looking for cooler water. The fishing upriver is looking good, with fish feeding on top and subsurface. Summer Stones, Caddis, PMDs and Hoppers are all on the table right now. Streamer fishing has also been productive and can provide a new technique for anglers tired of watching an indicator.
When the shadows are on the water in the mornings, try throwing a larger dry fly like a Peach Chubby Chernobyl (#6-10) and dropping a nymph 14-24” off the back. Good dropper flies right now include TB Hares Ears (#14-16) and Coffee Pats Stoneflies (#6-8). Fish tight to cover or shade. Riffles and the edges of heavy water have also been holding fish that might rise to a dry or quickly sip a nymph floating through the water column. Always leave a dry or dry-dropper fly rigged up because you never know when you might find a riser or good dry fly water.
Nymphing deep in heavy water has been a productive method during the day when the sun is on the water. We have been running tungsten shot 4-5’ below an indicator to get our flies down in stronger currents. A Coffee Pats Stonefly (#6-8) trailed by a TB Hares Ear (#14-16) or a Gold Lightning Bug (#14-18) has been our go to setup. Look for submerged boulders and drop-offs this time of year. Fish will be holding around rocks and on shelves waiting for food to come to them. If you don’t seem to be finding fish around structure in shallower water, try coming off the bank a bit and fishing in deeper water. Current seams and faster, riffle water will also hold fish. If you are still having a hard time finding fish, try downsizing your nymphs.
Streamer fishing was surprisingly good yesterday. Fish were looking for a quick retrieve in heavy water right off of the bank. A sinking poly leader or sink tip line fished with a heavy conehead will get your flies in the zone and hold them there. If you are fishing from a boat, try casting upstream and stripping your fly downstream. This can be an effective technique on the Yakima. White streamers with zonker that imitates a sculpin or smolt seemed to be the ticket.