These Trout Will Make a Liar Out of You!
July 29, 2015
The Yakima River
The dry fly fishing two days ago was just silly good for me. It was as good as I have seen it since the early 2000's back when there were few people on the river. The quick releases, no touch policy, and active participation of the angling community on this philosophy has really allowed the Yakima River to flourish. Thanks to everyone that is helping make this river better by acknowledging that every trout matters.
Even with more anglers over the past 5 years the fishing has steadily improved. Two days ago I swear there was a 16+" fish behind every bush in the Lower Canyon. I swear it! Ahh.... but these trout will make a liar out of you. It didn't help that the other guides were reporting pretty mediocre dry fly fishing (which is still darn good actually, there is nothing wrong with mediocre!), so I was feeling pretty good about my guiding haha. Right. I told them what I was using and shared some intel and was literally scratching my head as to why the bite wasn't better for the other crew. They often kick my butt in the fish catching department so I was puzzled. We were fishing the same bug, same general stretches, and same angler skill set. Well yesterday I found out. I was lucky. The fall back down to earth can be a long one, because the bite yesterday was exactly as described by the crew. No matter what I did guiding... I got the same result. It was a great day regardless and the guests couldn't have been happier but I was still dreaming about a 16" trout behind every bush!
The official result was just like the crew described, we caught enough small fish to keep us busy, and the big fish were picky. The big trout threw everything at us. Refusals, tail swats, short strikes, and I believe I saw a suspicious middle fin sticking up a few times. I have no idea why the fishing two days ago was so absolutely crazy but I guess it doesn't matter. I'll attribute it to being on the right stretch of water at the right time. You just gotta be here and give yourself a chance to experience it. As for me, I should know better. These trout will make a liar out of you. Try to make some time to get in the bow of a drifter this summer with us and take advantage of it. A morning Half Day on the Yakima River right now is perfect. Start at 6 or 7 am, and you'll be off the water before its hot and the bite slows down.
That crazy good fishing I described was with Larry that owns Pike Place Chowder in Seattle. It is a super cool place and next time you are at the market get in there for some grub. You'll get awesome food and support guys that support fly fishing.
I would recommend small flies. I sure like the Tupac Stonefly Series. Black or Tan, any size will do. For a foam bug it is tied pretty delicately and I believe you'll hook more fish than with larger foam dome chernyobyls.
Our guide team is still on "Hoot Owl" hours and we encourage you to end your personal fishing by 2 pm if possible. This really helps the trout and will insure that our late summer and fall fishing is the best it can be.
I used a small Orange/Brown Pat's yesterday mid day to get a couple of big fish in the net for an enthusiastic 14 years old. Our dry fly fishing was decent but I could sense he needed a couple of bigger fish to officially "get hooked" on fly fishing. Fish a small Brown/Orange Pat's #12 in the fastest water behind boulders to hook a couple of big fish. Don't get greedy though! This is dry fly time.