Skwala Nymphs are on the Move!

February 24, 2015

Since our "Blogger in Chief" is in Ascension Bay right now, fishing for Bonefish, Permit, Tarpon, enjoying late-winter equatorial weather, ignoring his blogging duties ;-) , etc... I thought I would post up a little Yakima Report for all of us back here in the real world, where a little luck and a short honey-do list might let us get out to the river for a couple hours, or maybe even a day this weekend. If you do get a chance to read this Joe, yes, we are jealous, and we will be expecting an awesome write up with some sweet pictures from your Asceonsion Bay trip!

Back to the Yak. Here is my "Power Hour" style report from this past Friday (2/20/2015):

Anglers: James, Scott, and Dick

Hunger Level: 8/10

Results: 10 or so fish to the boat, twice that many LDR's/bobber downs, and a couple white fish to boot. 

Flies Used: If you know me, I rarely fish a store bought fly, and today was no different. However, I did tie on a #10 Olive/Brown Pat's just to make sure my home tied Skwala Nymph's were really working as effective as I thought. Turns out they were, doing a little bit better than the Pat's. However, a good presentation with anything representing a Skwala Nymph and/or Baetis Nymph seemed to do the trick for us.

Overall, the fishing was pretty good on Friday, and I have heard similar reports from some of our other guides over the past couple of days. With the mild, warmer than average weather we have been having, the water temps have been increasing a little earlier than normal, and sparking those Skwalas to begin their migration towards the banks of the river as we speak. On the move towards the banks, the nymphs often misstep and become dislodged from the river substrate, ending up in the current drift and available to trout as a food source. With the consistent water temps we are getting a lot of these bugs moving at the same time, and thus becoming available to the trout at the same time. With so many Skwala nymphs passing by the trout recently, they are really keyed in on the nymphs. We have been experiencing some pretty good nymph fishing over the past few days with Skwalas presented under an indicator in the likely spots. For my clients and I, a #18 baetis nymph behind a #10 Skawla Stone Nymph (similar to this) worked really well. For all you fly tiers out there, here are some of the patterns (see to the left) that were working well for us on Friday. Obviously the Pat's are not a new creation, but a couple of the others are.

For those of you waiting for the hatch (dry fly fishing) to start kicking off, it looks like we are still a little bit away, but very close. We did see two adult Skwalas hit the water, and actually floated right along with one of them for a couple hundred yards through some water, where if the fish were looking up, that Skwala would have been lunch. In other words, the fish are still focused on the nymphs right now, but we are not far away from seeing our first few heads popping. I am sure this week we will see the first few fish willing to break the surface for our flies. This is not to say there aren't a couple here and there have started already, I just mean with some regular consistency. The forecast coming up shows a slight cooling trend for daytime high's (low 50's to upper 40's), and night time temps just below freezing, so I would say that will probably cool the water temps down just a bit, keep that nymph fishing steady, but slow the development of the adults crawling out to hatch for a little bit longer. The river forecast also shows a slight bump in flows for this weekend, nothing too major, and shouldn't affect the ability to fish the canyon. When this happens, don't forget to try out those San Juan Worms and Streamers.

We have some great deals right now for guided trips focusing on the Skwala Hatch, which you can learn more about here.  All trips include a riverside lunch, which you can't beat on a sunny February or March day. We hope to see you out here soon!

  1. James, thanks for the update. I've been going through withdrawals.
  2. You bet Dave. Thanks for reading!