Wenatchee, Yakima, Klickitat, Grand Ronde, Snake, Clearwater, Methow and Columbia Rivers

October 11, 2014

This week has been unreal, our staff has been fishing on so many rivers!  Not just guiding, this is the time we like to get out there and just fish!   We have been steelhead fishing on the Wenatchee River, Snake River, Clearwater River, Grande Ronde River, Columbia River, Klickitat River, and of course we have been trout fishing on the Yakima River!  

The amount we have experienced, learned, and gear that has been reviewed this past week is amazing.  We have taken so many photos, videos, and and have lots of good ideas for articles.  Right now though... it is fishing time.  As things slow down you will see some good articles.  I have just a few minutes to post before getting ready to head back out!

Wenatchee River

Wenatchee River Opens - This baby is low low low!!  Fish the lower end of the river from Cashmere to the mouth until we get some rain.  Early and late will be your best bet and fish light setups.  Floating lines, skaters, and waking flies can be an advantage.  Don't go with heavy sink tips until the water comes up.  I will give you a piece of advice!  Book now for later this month or early November.  We have limited dates so please get on the books.  Our guides meet near Leavenworth, so it is about 3 hours each way for those of you coming from Seattle.  Easy drive.

We are well above the 10 year average for Steelhead counts at Rock Island Dam on the Columbia River, which is just below the Wenatchee River.  The fish are there!

The nymph anglers will need light line, small nymphs.  One of my favorites in low water up there is the #10 or #12 Biot Sparkle Stone.  The fish up there favor small flies.  We have guides available that are ready to fish.  It is an easy day trip, and a PERFECT trip for learning to spey cast.  

Yakima River

The nymph fishing has been good. Leif has been on the river almost every day and he said that small nymphs (most of which are listed on the "Main Blog" page in the right margin are working good.

Beadhead Olive WD-40's are money, take a black sharpie and darken the bead if you wan't to put some serious fish in the net.  Hint hint.  Same for the Chocolate WD-40.  This nymph has been the hot bug for us.  The dry fly fishing has been tough, there are a few October Caddis and the BWO and other seasonal Mayflies won't start hatching until we get some rain and clouds.  The streamer fishing has been "ok".  The Mini-Loop Sculpin fished in the morning with a sink tip put a couple of 17" ers on the bank for some customers of ours.  

Clearwater and Columbia Rivers

We have been dabbling around the state fishing some places for our own amusement this week.  The Columbia was a freakin' zoo on the Hanford reach with all the gear anglers.  It reminded us why we love fly fishing so much!  We took a little jet sled out there and scouted for some good fly water.  There were so many boats after Chinook it turned into a people watching trip.  We did find some great spey water. I hadn't fished these particular spots in many years and it has me stoked to go back after Chinook season closes and the crowds are gone.  King season closes October 22nd so we'll be heading back out then.

Roger fished the Clearwater for a couple of days and took a couple of fish on skating dry flies. He was throwing a long belly line on a 14' 9 weight hucking massive amounts of line.  This is his game!  The fishing was decent and anglers were getting consistent hook ups.  It sounded like a fish or two a day for the experienced spey guys was the ticket.  Don't overlook fishing dry flies early and late, they make a big wake and can be easier for the fish to see the fly.  Try a Paulson' Titanic  

Grande Ronde and Snake

Steve Joyce took off after his 40th birthday party earlier this week and hit the Grande Ronde and the Snake for some spey fishing.  They fished floating lines and put 2 steelhead on the bank in two days.  It was somewhat of an exploratory trip for him on the Snake and he was pretty satisfied as it took some time to get dialed in on the right water.  The fishing will pick up this week as the cloud cover moves in.  The sun was so high and direct the fishing was pretty limited to early and late for spey guys on the big water.

Klickitat River

The picture below was a really fun fish.  This was caught swinging on a single hand 8 weight rod, a Redington VAPEN 890-4 using a RIO Versi-tip 2 line with a Type 6 sink tip.  He didn't know how to spey cast, so I set up my new single hand outfit for him and he caught a fish swinging in the morning.  At lunch, I put the floating tip and an indicator on the line and he caught one on a nymph in the afternoon!  This line with a single hand rod is a great combo for anglers that aren't sure about making investments in spey or switch rods.  

The Klickitat has been steady, nothing crazy going on.  Just a couple of fish a day.  The Chinook bite has been "ok" - it is just that last year tainted it for us!  Most guides are getting a Chinook a day, and a steelhead or two a day.  Angling experience certainly helps this cause however!  We have been doing pretty well swinging flies if anglers are willing to stick with it all day and not get distracted and attempt splitting nymph fishing and swinging.  If you want to catch fish on the swing... you gotta swing!  We had several anglers get their first ever fish on a spey rod this week.  A couple had never even held a spey rod!  

We don't have much space on the Klickitat.  There are some multi-day lodge trips available in November, but we do have October 26th and 27th open.  There are some single day trips available here and there.  

Methow River

The Methow opened up for Steelhead as well along with Coho. It will be interesting to see how the fishing is this year after the fires.  It will be sensitive to run-off but fires are a natural event.  If your fishing date is following recent rains make sure to look at the river flows.  A rising river will most likely be very dirty.  At the moment it is in perfect condition for wade fishing.  Here is a link to see the Methow River Flows, bookmark it.  It would be a bit bumpy in a 3 person raft, but a Watermaster or Outcast Scout would be find.

Reports are the fishing the past 48 hours has been decent.  Fish are being caught in the first 15 miles and a friend of mine rose several on skating dry flies!  


  1. Hello, My brother Brian and I had the good fortune of steelhead fishing the Klickitat on Sat. And Sun. with Derek Jordan as our guide. Our experience was "Top Notch"! Everything from the accommodations at Mt. Adams Lodge, obviously all the prep work that went into offering this type of experience and the quality of our guide. Derek did an excellent job of establishing a relationship with us and feeling us out on our fishing experience and abilities. He knew how hard he could push us without being overbearing. His knowledge of the river, boat skills and being able to get the most out every opportunity produced an adenture my brother and I will relive many times. We boated six steelhead, a salmon and several rainbows over the two days. This trip was made even more special by the fact that this was my present to my brother for his 50th birthday. I have some pictures I would like to share with Derek, what email address should I send them to? Thanks again for an amazing experience! Bill Barber
  2. My brother took me on an amazing two day nymphing extravaganza on the Klickitat River. Our guide for both days(Derek Jordan)shared valuable tips on "reading" the water, casting technique,presentation and remaining centered in the boat. His knowledge shared with us led us to productive fishing and never ending memories. Thanks to Flying L Ranch and the gals in the kitchen, Derek, and my awesome older brother Bill.
  3. Brian and Bill, thanks for the kind words and I'll make sure Derek gets your praise along with the rest of the team. We appreciate your support and you can email me at joe@redsflyshop.com any images from the day! I'll pass them along and perhaps use them.
  4. I know this is a little older now, but I have to say, ...looks really really fun. I recently did a trip out in Florida, and a friend of mine just went with a charter into the gulf of mexico out of clearwater, did a lot of sport fishing this past summer. I'm really excited for the winter, better catch more fun in the winter in my opinion and i'm going out to clearwater too this year. I just wrote about the different fish available in the gulf of mexico too clearwaterwestfloridafishingtrips. blogspot. com I am just so sure that you can fish there and have fun basically year around which is an important feature for me. I have to be able to fish in the winter, in the summer, or anywhere in between you know? Nice pics, nice catches! Go fishes!