Powerhour Fishing Report // Yakima River

February 3, 2019

I thought it would be nice to do a throwback to our old Powerhour Report format that Steve and the Red's crew pioneered in the early 2000's. It's unique in that it give some actual data, not just "fishing was better in the afternoon, try a dark colored fly, bla bla bla, more BS, come fishing with us, the river is fire, yada yada yada, some attempt at being funny, more guide jargon, etc.".

Instead, the guys focused on REAL stats. Sometimes they didn't catch a fish, it got reported.  That is tough to do for a pro guide, but our services aren't about hype. It's about a trip not a catch.  This year we're going to mix these in with all of our regular gear reviews, travel blogs, and how-to articles and be sure we are providing the most detailed and relevant information for local anglers.

Location:  Big Pines to Marhe's

Anglers: Joe and Jensen Rotter

Time: 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Catch Resuls:  9-10 Rainbow Trout landed, several others lost.

Flies Used:  #10 Peacock Jimmy Legs

Estimated Hunger Level:  6 out of 10. I believe we caught a disproportionate amount.  Although we caught a lot of fish in a short period of time, they weren't competing for the fly and offering aggressive takes.

Featured Tackle:  Echo Shadow II Rod 10' 2 Weight, Loon Camo Shot, Loon Tip Toppers SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity Fly Line

I didn't plan to even go to the shop yesterday, but a really great guest and lodge owner that has done some favors for us wanted a casting lesson for his upcoming trip to Belize, and that is important!  Getting prepared for a big trip is the #1 mistake anglers make. They buy the gear, but don't invest the time into preparing a strong and predictable cast.  He's on the right track to an amazing cast.

When I woke up in the morning the kids were downstairs watching the movie Jaws, so it only made sense to take at least one of them fishing.  When we were launching the boat later that day, my son actually commented, "Do you think we'll need a bigger boat?" at one point with a smug grin.  Not much gets by kids.  

My 12 year old joined me for the casting lesson and it's been amazing to see his growth as a caster.  I could write a book about motivating your kids to love fishing and hunting, but I think the secret is in letting them do it at their pace.  He's probably the best caster I've ever seen at 12 years old, yet he spin casts for Bass more than he fly fishes.  Let your kids fish tackle.  They must love fishing before they love doing it with a fly. 

In the video below he was casting his little brother's Redington Minnow.  It's a really good casting setup for small anglers.  This guy only weighs 82 pounds, we know because that's his wrestling weight class, and he can throw the fly to great distance with that pint sized setup.  

After the casting lesson, we got our tackle ready to go and had a quick lunch at Canyon River Grill. The Turkey Club was outstanding.  It's so critical to make everything you do around fly fishing with your kids fun.  Mine don't go out to eat that much, so it's a nice treat when dad actually opens his wallet once in a while.  It must be a big deal haha.

Lunch at Canyon River Grill for your kids

The Fishing Trip on the Yakima River

I just wanted to get my son into some trout. We hadn't fished the Yakima since April, so after an 9 month hiatus he was pretty stoked to get back on the water with me. I think some people assume we take our kids fishing all the time.  While we should take them more often, its not a bad thing that they WANT to go. My son hears all the stories from the river and is asking to go more than being asked. That's ok.  A little starvation makes for a healthy appetite.  We most often fish creeks, high mountain lakes, and lowland lakes for bass.  My boys absolute favorite fishing is small ponds and lakes for bass with light spinning tackle.  They even have their own kayaks that fit in mom's SUV.

Our Nymphing Setup

The setup was a basic yarn indicator, a small Loon Tip Topper works very well.  We rigged it up with a drop shot system and stuck with one fly the entire time for simplicity.  Our setup was about 5' from indicator to fly and we focused on water that was choppy and moving just faster than walking speed.  

february winter nymph fishing with jensenI only threw a handful of casts and focused on setting up my son to hook some fish.  We caught a lot of fish for only being out a few hours and landed 3 in a back eddy just before the sun went down right at the end of the day.  That spot is called "Peg's Hole" for those that know it, and once the sun drops those fish will move out of the gallows and way up into the backflow.

Rod for Light Line Nymph Fishing

I shot a lot of video yesterday and will process it later, but the biggest takeaway for me yesterday and over the past several months is that the new age of nymph rods are long, light, and have soft tips.  My Euro rods have become my go to rod for all of my nymph fishing for trout and that includes indicators.  They are essential for Czech style fishing, but I started having my clients use them as indicator rods out of the boat and I haven't looked back.

The light tip allows you to mend and feed line like no other.  The length makes for easy roll casting, high sticking, and precision "light touch" mending.  It's damn near cheating. More blogs to follow on that.


  1. Jaws is one of my favorite movies, and the line about the bigger boat is one of many good ones in that flick. Still lacking the confidence in my walk and wade.. 4 trips to the canyon, 0 results. Ah well, chalk it up to putting more time on the water. Still wanting to book a trip with you, Joe, so you can "show me the ropes"! :-)
  2. Great video of the boy fishing/catching. Love the power hour reports...
  3. Love this format and the video of your son landing the beautiful trout!