The Yakima Canyon is back in more than perfect condition after the quick hit of rain we had over the weekend. That storm was incredible! The evening dry fly fishing has been epic at times but the mid-day dry fly fishing is currently fair to midland. That should change within the next several days as this heat will activate the Summer Stonefly Hatch which is our best and biggest stonefly hatch of the year. It is one of those hatches that makes the Yakima a standout among western trout rivers. If you haven’t fished this hatch, in the next 40 days or so be sure to book a guided trip that finishes at dusk or starts at dawn, both are good choices depending on your personal sleep schedule or lack there of. In addition to our home water, the Yakima River, we are guiding the Naches River, Teanaway River Walk ‘n Wade, Small Mountain Stream Walk ‘n Wade Trips, and will be on the Klickitat after this heat relents! The next 90 days are prime time for any trout fishing that you would like to do. The small stream fishing is just coming around right now, our guided guests landed some nice trout on the Teanaway yesterday. Join us for a guide day and use it to learn a new fishery!
Female Summer Stonefly
Suggested Flies for the Yakima River: Yeager’s Tantrum Dry Fly, Gold Lightening Bug #14, Gypsy King, Plan B Attractor, Chubby Chernobyls, Black Flashback PT, Prince Fat Albert (dry dropper!), Pat’s Stone’s, 20 Incher Stonefly Nymphs, Tupac Stone (especially in the upper Yakima), Peacock Chubby w/ Black Legs, Olive Hot Butt Stimi, Indigo Child Mayfly Nymph (too light for a dry dropper, use split shot), Solitude Foam Hopper
The Naches River is dry fly fishing well from the guide’s rafts and producing lots of Cutthroat in the 6-13″ range with a few larger fish mixed in. We have about 2 more weeks of float season left down there so give us a call! This little river is the most perfect stream to fish on a hot day. Shorts, sandals, wet wading, and dry flies. Does it get any better that this? As the water warms up these fish love to move into the fast riffles and the dry fly takes can be a literal mugging. Try any/all terrestrials in the size 10 range down here.
The Naches kicks out some fat greedy Cutthroat that are typically happy to eat dry flies, bring a lightweight rod and you will have a ball!
The Naches River is finally coming to life and the dry fly fishing is picking up a little steam. The wade fishing is still pretty tough without a raft because you can’t cross the river yet and it is pretty difficult to cover enough water to be productive. Once the flows get down to about 600 cfs in Cliffdell the wade fishing will be at a premium. We fished the Naches almost every day this past week and the fishing picked up steam each day with a few more fish willing to come to a dry fly each and every day. The “dry dropper combo” has been the go to tactic but we did catch several fish on Elk Hair Caddis after spotting them rising. There aren’t too many moments in fly fishing better than watching a suspended Cutthroat eat Elk Hair Caddis in a back eddy. They redefine the term lazy!
We predict the guided float season on the Naches to last through about mid July this year before it gets too low to practically float the river. If you have been pondering this trip, time to get down here and do it! Expect to come to the Naches with an emphasis on dry fly fishing for Cutthroat in the 8-14″ range, although there are a few larger fish in the system this is the mainstay. It isn’t quite what the Yakima is when it comes to the size of fish but is a fabulous little stream and only about 45 minutes from Red’s Fly Shop.
This is funny. If you look close you will notice these two jokers are self proclaimed experts at drinking PBR and netting fish at the same time. However, the guy with the net isn’t giving much help to the angler hence the angler “hand lining” the trout into the net. He said he didn’t want to risk spilling his beer while netting a small fish. Good point!
Not literally on fire, not like when that river in the midwest that was so polluted caught on fire. The Yakima River is “SILLY GOOD FISHING” right now. For anyone over 60 that means we are catching a lot. Craig C and Leif hit the river for the second half of a Cast ‘n Blast today and put a beat-down on the fish between Red’s and Slab. Trout were tackling small nymphs fished shallow in the water column and rising to PMD’s frequently enough that any dry fly angler with a 3 weight and some fortitude would have had a hay day. The conditions can’t get any better for mid June. Repeat, conditions CANNOT GET ANY BETTER IN MID JUNE. Repeat, if you like to fly fish then get off your butt and go fishing this next week! The next several days should be great fishing.
Trouted Out? Try our Bass and Panfish adventure that we are hosting on Saturday. It is $99 and you will spend pretty much all of your time fishing! We’ll meet at 8 am in Eburg, caravan to the lake, fish our brains out and lip some Bass.
The Naches River was “ok” fishing today. The upside is that we didn’t see another angler, the downside was that it wasn’t a whackfest like the Yakima Canyon. Oh well, you win some you lose some. The water on the Naches is dropping fast and after the heat wave over the weekend we should be throwing mid-sized dry flies at starving Cutthroat. Not a bad place to be next week.
Location: Naches River
Anglers: Hamilton, Steve J, Mark, Joe R, Mike, and Guy
Hunger Level: 5 out of 10
We took a small party down the Naches yesterday. It was a perfect day, about 80 degrees and we bounced down the river in high flows throwing flies at the bank as the pockets raced by at Mach speed. The river was at about 2,200 cfs and we would like to have it down around 1,000 – 1,500. The Naches is always a great adventure, no other boats and it is a great “river trip” with incredible scenery. Bring a couple of boats and a cooler of beer like in the picture above we’ll make some “back eddy” stops to remember. The stories we swapped while sipping cold frosties in the back eddy last night were as much fun as catching fish.
The dry fly fishing was the most productive and we landed some nice Cutts on dry flies. We fished a lot of different stuff but a dry dropper was the best. Probably because it is super quick to handle from a boat that is moving fast. A dry dropper can change direction and distance much faster than a traditional nymph setup with an indicator.
We had one brand new angler, Mike, whose buddies gave him the pleasure of learning to fly fish on one of the fastest trout rivers in the west! Talk about a crash course in fly casting. He demonstrated that good fundamentals reign supreme in the heat of battle as he stuck to his form and text book while bouncing downstream. Elbow in, short back cast, pause and accelerate! He hooked his first fish, a 16″ Cutt (which is a trophy on the Naches!) and when he set the hook he nearly fell out of the boat! He grabbed the leg bar clinging for dear life. As he fell I thought to myself… “he will have to choose – keep the fish on or fall in?” Miraculously he accomplished both tasks! That dude is in good shape because he was nearly in the water with both feet still planted in the boat and he pulled himself back up to standing with one arm! That is some serious newbie power. He wanted that fish bad. He ended up landing the fish, on a dry fly, his first trout ever. Good work Mike!
We’ll be taking a few folks down the Naches this week, if you haven’t floated the Naches and are interested in a guided trip it is a float to remember. We don’t reccomend attempting to float it without a guide. There are many hazards and since there is ample wade fishing you DIY anglers shouldn’t have a problem securing some access for fishing on foot.
Location: Naches River
Anglers: Joe R, Connor H, and Anthony M (aka “the Griz”)
Time: 11 am – 6 pm
Flies Used: The entire kitchen sink. Literally.
Results: 5-6 Trout landed, overall tough fishing as the water is high and cold still. HOWEVER!! There were Salmon Fly nymphs migrating! Once that river relaxes in flow the fish will be looking for these 6 legged nuggets.
A few of us at the shop were able to take time out of our busy schedules (ha ha all we do is fish) to do some R&D on the Naches today. Despite high flows, we went for it regardless to see how these unmolested fish would react to the first offerings of the season. Plus riding that ornery little beast at over 2,000 cfs is a heck of a fishing adventure anyway and… we never back down from a fishing challenge. Bring on the fast water we’ll give it a shot. We were fired up when Griz landed the first fish within sight of the put-in! The fish were cooperating, but the high water made presentations a little tough. The streamer fishing was the most productive, but we were able to pin a few fish on dries. Joe was on the sticks when he called out a great back eddy with a tough entry. ”tough entry” is a guide term for crash landing in high flows. As we looked ahead, we saw a fish actively feeding in the far corner so the game was on. In one swift move, Joe turned the boat hard into the backwash – and I grabbed the rock wall to stop the boat from continuing through. Teamwork like Batman and Robin. I am of course Batman, Joe is Robin in this case since I am writing this report I get to decide. He is like my little sidekick that I bring along for fun. Griz switched over to the EHC rig. On the next few casts, the fish denied but eventually the big man put the perfect cast right in the wheelhouse. The fish ate, but his trigger pull was a little quick! We were all pumped up and shouting at him as the fish was coming for the fly which never helps. Casting in front of other guides is like trying to shoot a game winning free throw in the NCAA tournament with the visiting team behind the hoop. Just imagine a bunch of guys mooning you while trying to shoot free throws – multiply that by two times and that is about how distracting an off work guide is while fishing. Luckily the fish wasn’t stung bad on the first eat, so on the next cast a great rainbow slurped the X-Caddis and the Griz stuck him good! The fish was an old bruiser. It had a hooked up jaw and was pretty tired so we let it go nearly the instant it was unhooked. In admiration of the fish we took no pics but we did some GoPro that we’ll try to put out very soon.
Overall we had a great day doing some R and D. We sorted out where the new logs are (watch out) and pinned a few fish. Success. Over the next 10 days to 2 weeks the dry fly fishing should get good on the Naches and we would love to guide you for an exciting float trip. Something different for all you Yakima veterans out there. The high water adds a really fun element to float fishing and makes a great combo trip. Do the Naches one day and the Yakima the next. It is quick paced and very hard to hit all the spots so it is a good challenge. Normally we see a lot more small fish on dry flies. It feels like they are still down in the deep pools which is perfect because it means you haven’t missed a thing. Try to look for a date in late June or early July for some solid Cutthroat fishing on dry flies. The terrestrial game down there is a riot on a 3 weight. It was a great day to be on the water. In addition to throwing the fly rod a bunch, many laughs were shared, too many dumb jokes, some super clumsy high fives, and nobody got pitched out of the boat. Plus I realized for the 100th time how lucky I was to be in this industry with such amazing people. Fly fishing attracts good guys! Ok, that might have sounded super lame and corny but its true so I stand by it. Fish hard, fish often.
PLEASE take the time to submit whether you think expanding the entire Naches River to Catch and Release is a good idea. You can submit your feelings via this link: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/
OLYMPIA – The public will have more time to review proposed changes to state sportfishing rules under an extended comment period announced today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Under the new timeline, WDFW will accept written comments through Jan. 29 on the proposed regulations – more than a month longer than previously announced. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, which sets policy for WDFW, also has postponed a public hearing on the proposals until its February meeting in Olympia. Written testimony also can be submitted during that meeting.
The commission is now scheduled to take action on the proposed rule changes during its March meeting in Moses Lake. Craig Burley, WDFW fish division manager, said the public hearing was postponed to allow for additional time to draft the rule language that the commission will consider. “Making that change also gives people more time to review and provide comments on the proposals,” Burley said.
To review and comment on the proposed rules visit WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/. Printed copies of the proposals and comment forms are available by contacting WDFW’s Fish Program at (360) 902-2672.
The website includes information on the nearly 70 proposed rules that WDFW fishery managers recommend move forward for further review and public comment, as well as information on proposals not recommended for further consideration.
Folks, thanks for the support that many of you have put towards this. There was a meeting last night in Moxee that regrettfully we didn’t make because we guided until dark. I hope a few supporters of this proposal made it. Here is how you can help if you believe in and support Catch and Release fly fishing on wild streams and want to see the Naches prosper. Follow the link below and note your comments and feelings about converting the Naches River to a quality Catch and Release fishery. This is a big deal, take few minutes and do this.
THIS WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE! This is your chance to do some good for our resources so please help. The proposal that makes the most sense at this point is one that I orginially submitted. It is very simple, it supports a Catch and Release season from June – October and requires a single barbless hook. Do not request a fly fishing only season that is year round, that won’t pass. Anglers should be able to use lures as long as they use single barbless and let all the beautiful wild trout go. Take a few minutes and support a great cause.
If we work for this it will do so many things for our fisheries. In several years the Naches will become a highly productive wild trout fishery AND it will alleviate a ton of fishing pressure from the Yakima River. A win for both ecosystems. Thanks for the continued support and interst.
There will be a meeting in Yakima at the East Valley Fire Station to discuss the WDFW rule proposal of the entire Naches River being managed as a catch and release river. Naturally this would be a big boost for those of us that enjoy and practice catch and release angling. For the anglers that currently like to keep their limit of trout on the Naches, it would mean letting the fish live and finding another place to catch and keep. The proposal was initially denied by Olympia because of some “pork” that was in it, but has taken on some serious grass roots momentum as of late and isn’t finished yet! You can still help. The WDFW fisheries managers of Region 3 do support the catch and release proposal, but not “fly fishing only” and a “year round season” which was the unecessary pork. There isn’t much obstinence to making the river catch and release at all, it is more a matter of Olympia understanding that this is important to local anglers and isolating what is really important. The key ideas are that the Naches River should be Catch and Release from top to bottom and it should be a “Selective Fishery” which means single barbless throughout the system.
WDFW Meeting Time and Location
Can’t Make It? Please write in your comments to this page.
Note that you support Catch and Release, Single Barbless, June – October season.
The root of the issue to me is that there are more and more anglers that want to enjoy using our natural resources all the time. At some point you need to look at your resources and decide how best to utilize them among our society. The fact is, fly fishing and catch and release is pretty darn popular. It makes great use of a resource because you can catch the same trout numerous times throughout its life and share that joy over and over again throughout multiple users. Decades ago this wasn’t an issue as there wasn’t nearly the number of fisherman and keeping a few fish worked just fine. Nowadays there are a few more hooks in the water and we have to figure out the best way to keep the fisherman attached to the other end of the hooks happy. If there were enough mature trout for everyone to keep a limit and still have quality fishing then that would be great. The truth is, there is a lot of dead water on the Naches system as the trout population never gets a chance to build momentum. We need a lot of 14-18″ fish in the system so they can spawn productively and get a self perpetuating population going. Without enough mature spawners the overall health of the system founders and will never pick up steam.
As a fly shop that communicates with LOTS of anglers, guided, non-guided, and plenty of you that simply want free advice this rule proposal makes a ton of sense and is a very important issue for the future of the river. 10 years from now we will scoff at the idea that it was once a catch and keep fishery. It would be managed much like the Yakima River system and allow for spinners with single-barbless hooks and be all catch and release from top to bottom. The season that makes sense is the same, June – October which protects spawning trout in this little river and also the wild steelhead that migrate back and spawn in the winter/spring.
I just can’t imagine the Yakima River as a catch and keep fishery at this point, to have the opportunity to expand the Naches River catch and release water makes all the sense in the world. Let the two rivers flourish and be the best trout fisheries that they can be. Currently there is one small section of the Naches that is catch-and-release and it is great fishing. It is also getting popular! Imagine that. By expanding the volume of water offered as catch and release it would preserve the trout, increase angling opportunity, and dilute the fishing pressure that we have on the Yakima River and the C & R section of the Naches. More water means a greater aesthetic experience for everyone. If you would like to see the Naches River be the best trout fishery it can possibly be, please come to this meeting next week in Yakima and voice your opinion.
Well, if you tihnk it only rains in western Washington you are right most of the time but over the last few days the skies opened up and let it pour and pour and pour. We had some incredible fishing at the onset of the storm and it reminded us of the age old lesson that with all great fishing ususally comes some risk. If conditions are stagnant, sunny, and the river is level it usually produces the same Well, if you tihnk it only rains in western Washington you are right most of the time but over the last few days the skies opened up and let it pour and pour and pour. We had some incredible fishing at the onset of the storm and it reminded us of the age old lesson that with all great fishing ususally comes some risk. If conditions are stagnant, sunny, and the river is level it usually produces the sameresults.
Here is a quick lesson on what you are looking for to achieve optimail fishing (which works especially well if you don’t have a job, family, or anything else to do and you can pick up and drop everything, and be a total spey dirtbag). Is that you? No, you are on your way to the Methow because it is the only river that is in good shape right now in the PNW! Or you are tying tube flies and eating Cheetos getting ready for the rivers to drop and the game to be ON.
Here is a short Report for each river. The fishing should be VERY good in November with this big freshet of water happening at just the perfect time!
Big and muddy – will be out this week and we are hoping it drops into shape by Friday. Prior to that, great fishing. Above average temps have made for good swinging.
Fishable, but rising. Look for it to come back down to about 1,500 cfs and it should be great. Swing flies on big rods during these flows, a 13’6″ rod is a big help for long casts. Sink tips in the 3 ips range to 6 ips with 6′ leaders are a great idea. When the water clears up use sparse flies, dark maribou is a great idea if it is still “green” colored.
A bit sketchy in the Lower Canyon today, above Ellensburg its looking great. Think about San Juan worms and dark stonefly nymphs in the 8-10 size range.
The Met is an amazing watershed, when everything else is marginal… the Met is in great shape. The latest report we got was yesterday, an angler was swinging flies for 2 days, hooked 4 fish on the swing. Not bad. It wasn’t a guided guest but it was an angler that can throw the rod. The guys throwing nymphs and beads are catching a couple of fish a day.
This one puzzles us, everything else is on the rise and the Naches has leveled off and is holding steady. There is a couple of days left in the trout season, give it a shot if you are looking for some good wade fishing.
Submitted by Matt Brown
Angler: Matt B.
Rivers: Tieton, Naches and Yakima
Time: 10 am to 6 pm
Hunger Level: Ridiculous
My father-in-law, Gary, and brother-in-law, John, had a guided trip on the Yakima Tuesday with Troy so I decided to head out and do some adventuring. I got a hot tip (thanks Craig H at Red’s) to go and try the Tieton River. The Tieton is about a 40 minute drive from Reds on Highway 12 heading towards White Pass. The fishing here is fast and furious. The river is swift, with boulders and pocket water and I had the best success in the ripples and deep buckets. I only drove a few miles (maybe 10 at best) from its confluence with the Naches and picked spots right off the road. There are many pullouts and places to park. You really only need 1 fly. A size 14 Chubby Sally. Make that 2 or 3 of those because these pesky trout will destroy that bug. You’ll catch many small Rainbows, but be ready, because in between those 5-10 inch fish are few fish pushing 15-16 inches. There is a variety of trout in this river, Rainbows, Cutthroat, Browns, and some hybrids like Cuttbrowns, Cuttyrainbrowns, Brownbows, Bullcutts, Brookbacks, ha ha just kidding. If you haven’t seen the Hank Patterson Fly Fishing Expert video yet check it out, http://youtu.be/TYdkojxrEsM
A 7-foot 3 weight is perfect here, but a 9-foot 4 weight won’t kill you either. After about 3 hours and too many smiles, I bolted back towards the Naches. I concentrated my efforts near the diversion dam below the Hwy 12/410 confluence. Again I was rewarded with multiple hookups. Literally I think I caught 10 fish on 10 casts at one point. I used a size 10 tan chubby with a small prince nymph dropper. Most of the fish I landed were small Rainbows on the dropper, but I did manage to catch 3 nice, fat, 15-16 inch Cutts on the dry. The Naches this time of year is pretty darn warm so try and release these fish as fast as possible. I thought my day had ended so I drove back to the Yakima to pick up Gary and John. I was planning on meeting them at Umtanum, but I was early so I drove upriver to see what they were up to. They pulled over a few miles up from the takeout when they saw me. They were gleaming from ear to ear so I knew they had a great day. John offered up his seat so he could chill and enjoy a frosty and let me ride it out. It didn’t take long to see why they were so happy. Numerous hookups, a few more fish landed, including a beauty 18-inch Bow on a small hopper pattern. This concluded the “Yak Valley 3 Pack”! 3 River in one day… awesome!
Yakima River is running at normal summer flows and will remain at 4000 to 4400 CFS until the flip-flop in early September. “Flip Flop” is what it is called when the flows go from very high to very low on the Yakima, at this time the dams reduce flow to the river and flow will be only about 25% of what they were during the summer, roughly 1,000 – 1,400 cfs is where we will be by mid September.
The Tieton River, above, will remain in good shape and fishable until they do the flip-flop in early September. This is a very overlooked river because it runs very glacial in the early summer and very high starting in September, however it is a GREAT trout stream to wade fish during the summer. It is only about 30 minutes from Red’s Fly Shop!
Rattlesnake Creek, above, in Yakima County is now low and clear and in prime shape for the rest of the fishing Season.
The Naches River, above, will be good fishing from either the bank or from single man floatation devices like pontoons and Water Masters until the end of the season. We still have a few classes coming up later in the year on these rivers, check our Activity Calendar and join us for one of our Destination Outing Classes. They are $99 and we’ll show you the ropes and teach you how to be successful here so that you won’t need any type of guide on your return trips.
The Methow is running close to 100% above normal flows for this time of year but the fish are still there.
The Klickitat, like always,this time of year will depend on the Free Air Freezing Levels. You can check out our Klickitat River D.I.Y. Fly Fishing page for more information on how to put together a trip down there.
What a great time of year to be outdoors.
Anglers: Brandy, Erik, and Joe
Flies: , Pat’s Stone #10/12, Yeager’s Tantrum Dry Fly (Red #10 was the best), Gold Lightening Bug #14, Double Parachute Chernobyl Ant (awesome fly), Holo Prince Nymph #16, Bubbleback Beadhead Pheasant Tail Nymph #14. Dolly Llama Streamers, Black Gypsy King,
Location: Naches River
Time: 10 am to 7 pm
Results: Good Fishing!
What a crazy week, we got hit with the last of the Thunderstorms yesterday on the Naches River and got poured on (but it wound up being about 90 degrees afterwards!). The best line of the day was, “at least it can’t rain any harder”… of course it went from being a hard rain to a torrential rain. We caught a few fish in the rain but thought better of the situation so we pulled off the river for a while and enjoyed a hot lunch and some spirits to warm us up. As soon as the rain lifted we were back on the river fishing hard and wound up having great dry fly fishing for Cutts in the 6-15″ range that were aggressive! They tackled the fly very hard.
There are some larger fish in the Naches and other than one big Cutt they eluded our fly somehow but we will get them next time. For those of you that haven’t done this trip, it is the perfect summertime guided trip. You get to do lots of wet wading, the fish live in riffles, eat dry flies, and the float trip is super fun. We strongly encourage you to book very soon, as the flows will get too low for floating in the next few weeks so there is a limited time for rafting it.
Tips: Fish the deeper pools in the morning and evenings and riffles in the hot part of the day. Trust your dry fly, it will work better than a nymph most of the time. Use a light rod with dry flies, there are lots of small Cutthroat and fishing them with a 3 weight rod makes a great trip even better. In the event you hook into on of the bigger fish.. just hang on and enjoy!