Dry flies only, now is the time!
July 18, 2014
Date: 7/17/2014 4:30 pm ? 9:00 pm
Location: Red?s to Mahre?s
Hunger Level: 8 out of 10
I have two topics in today?s report that I wanted to discuss; first is the fishing report. Now is the time to literally leave the nymph rod at home?don?t even bring it?don?t even pick it up?put it back in the tube. Dedicate you?re entire trip to dry flies, because you won?t find a better time. Fish early and/or late and you will be rewarded. Last night we threw big flies and little flies and had success on both. It didn't seem to matter to the fish as long as you could get it in front of them (which actually proved fairly difficult given the 30 mph wind gusts, but more on that later). If you?ve never fished the Yakima River in summer, tossing dry flies 2 inches from the bank, you are doing yourself a severe injustice. Bail from work just 1 hour early, get up to the river and fish until 9 pm and you will have fished the best part of the day.
Quick tip on fishing in these windy conditions:
Last night was one of those nights that would frustrate even the most seasoned of fishermen and guides, but we had a solution. The wind blew steady at around 15-20 mph and had gusts of easily 30 mph. When the wind escalates like that, focus on clean casts and good water rather than trying to ?run and gun? the entire float. We ended up anchoring quite a bit and picking apart the ?fishy? water in order to invoke a good strike. Shorten up your leader and run a bit larger tippet so the wind plays less effect on the presentation. Also, don?t be afraid to slap the fly on the water right now. For one, you can more accurately hit your target with high wind if you put some more power in your cast, but also, it more closely resembles a large grasshopper slapping on the water after a failed landing on the grass just inches away. The fish have a really hard time ignoring that call to feed right now.
Second topic I want to address is the old adage I learned in a former life, but applies very much so now; COMPLACENCY KILLS. I ran into a very nice couple on the river last night and had a nice conversation and shared some flies with them. They had mentioned they were on a vacation fishing tour of the Pacific Northwest and had just come from the Deschutes in Oregon. As the conversation went on, they mentioned they had to spend a few days ?re-gearing? after a flip on the river. My ears perked up and eyes got wide as they explained the situation. Luckily, only gear was lost and they were able to replace it fairly quickly, but the part that stuck with me was their statement, ?It could have been a lot worse, we weren't wearing our PFD?s?it was just so hot and we had stopped to cool down and took them off and just forgot to put them back on.? Just minutes later, they unexpectedly flipped their raft on a boulder and drop. ?We just got complacent? they explained. We are all out here to have a good time, enjoy our beautiful resource, and make memories, but if we?re not always diligent, things can happen quickly. Obviously the Deschutes and the Yakima are very different rivers, but I felt it was my duty as a professional and fellow fisherman to remind everyone, keep your head on the swivel, avoid unnecessary risks, and don?t get complacent. And to the couple that I met, if you read this, thank you for sharing your story with me, we all need the reminder from time to time.
See you on the river!