A Window of Opporuntity
January 16, 2016
- In the morning - focus on the deep, slow, "tanks" where there is ample slow water moving at just slower than walking speed.
- Deep is key, if you can identify the bottom you are fishing in water that is too shallow
- Don't underestimate what a quality drift will do for you. If you are fishing little midge patterns like Brassies and WD-40's under anything but Yarn consider a change.
- Streamers should be low and slow, deep dead swings in the morning, moving towards a strip retrieve in the afternoon.
- As the air temp gets warmer than the water in the afternoon the trout will often move up off the lips onto the exposed shelves. Yesterday we caught some great fish in very shallow water but that was only in the afternoon during the warmest part of the day.
- Consider an Intermediate Line with a sinking Versileader, if you are a hard core cold water streamer guy. I have really become amazed as to how well this setup works.
Erik's Update - Jan. 15Today was another beautiful day on the Yak, much better than most of December anyway when the river was subject to almost daily ice flow. I?d like to start out letting ya?ll know winter fishing is a great time of the year to be on the river if you don't like to share water. Its quiet and there is almost no traffic on Canyon Road. While it?s not always going to be as large of quantity of fish, there is more activity with larger size fish and they can be fierce as most haven't been hooked since late summer or fall. Shawn and I hit the water and enjoyed a few hook ups and saw some great fish. We set out with the standard 2 fly rig with pats stones, power worms, and small nymphs size 16-20.
We moved over the first couple miles fairly quickly and it was slow fishing. We had a few takes, and sadly a few snags which is usually a result of us trying to make something out of nothing in our excitement. About 10 minutes after having Shawn take the sticks I landed a great fish on a #8 orange and brown pats stone. One of my best ever on the Yakima. It was also one of the best fighting Bows I have landed on the Yakima River despite cold water.
Almost always I'll fight a trout just stripping in the line by hand. This guy wanted to run a bit so I put him on the reel and let the fish have his day and make some noise on my drag system. Music to my ears. This guy doubled my 5 weight in half.
As far as where to look for the fish expect them to be in around 3-4 feet of water or more. Set your indicators at least an arms length to the first fly and your second 1-2 feet below it. Look for the soft seams and not too fast of water. Get those nymphs down with a small bit of split shot if you aren't having success or tapping bottom every now and then. Other great flies to use are small #16 and 18 brassies, zebra midges, and wd-40?s. The worms and stones we used were #8. Get those rods off the shelf and come rip some lips! Just get some gloves on along with a puffy jacket and you'll survive.