Yakima/Naches/Bass/Klickitat/Cle Elum River

June 8, 2015

We have been all over the place this past week.

Yakima River Report

The heat has us all a bit zapped, we saw 103 degrees today after taking the boat out and driving back up to Red's.  The fishing has been about a 6 out of 10 which isn't bad, primarily with nymphs and streamers during the day and some great dry fly fishing in the evenings during the last hour and a half or so.

The Farmlands yesterday afternoon were brutally tough fishing, we even ran heavy nymphs down deep on the big ledges and still struggled to put fish in the net.  We fished the Lower Canyon in the morning and had "ok" dry fly, decent streamer fishing, and good dry dropper action using a "drop shot" system in the heavy water way off the banks.  A "drop shot" is using a small piece of split shot along with your dropper nymph to help it get down.  It sounds tedious and on paper looks like a train wreck but it isn't bad.  I like Dinzmore Shot #4 for this.  We took out the boats about 1:30 pm in the Lower Canyon and went up to the Farmlands to do some wading and get our feet wet in the afternoon.  The trip and float were awesome, but the bite had laid down for the day by that point.  Very slow dry fly fishing in the Farmlands.

Today in the Lower Canyon, we started about 7:45 am to get a jump start on the heat and had ok dry fly fishing in the morning while there was still shade on the water.  The remainder of the day we mixed it up using a two-pronged nymph and streamer attack.  We had good fishing but didn't overdo it.  At a certain point when you are fishing double nymphs enough is enough.  These fish have a hard summer ahead of them and in addition to the fastest possible fight, net, and release you don't have to get greedy.  Some days there is almost no limit to the number of trout you can get double nymphing down the heavy slots.  We got about 10 nice fish to the net by mid-day an decided that with the heat and threw dry flies and streamers for the last couple of hours.  The streamer fishing was good enough, but for the life of me I couldn't figure out the dry fly fishing!  It is an evening thing right now.

The water is warming up, I sound like a broken record but you need to play and release the fish fast.  I'll rant some more about this idea later, but what if every fisherman did this for one summer.  Maybe, just maybe after this drought our fishing would be even better than it was before simply because we treated the fish better?  Sounds crazy but that would be so cool to all be a part of improving this fishery in that way.

Largemouth Bass Fishing

I guided Bass on Thursday and caught a couple dozen on Poppers in about 3 hours.  The class/private lake trip we did on Saturday did great as well.  One of the guys landed a legit 5 pounder on a Popper!  That is awesome.  If you want to see our future offerings of this, check the upcoming events page and look for the private Bass Lake trip.  Or get a guide for Largemouth Bass, we charge $550 for a day for 2 guys to hit the lakes with a guide.  Totally worth it.

UPPER Cle Elum River

The walk 'n wade action on the upper Cle Elum is GREAT for small fish and big scenery right now.  A couple of our shop staffers have been going up there a couple days a week since it opened.  We guide wading trips up there in the mountains for anglers that like a bit of hiking and want to see a good number of small trout on dry flies in a pristine environment.  Try ant patterns hint hint.  Take a look at our Mountain Stream guided wading trips for some more information.

Naches River Fly Fishing

We hit the Naches River on Saturday, the opener, and it was ok fishing.  Not amazing like it can be but it felt like those trout were feeling the temperature rise too but they will adjust.  It is amazing to float and the water should be just high enough to float for another week.  We'll see how it goes. We did not throw a nymph all day, the best dry fly seemed to be a Yeager's Tantrum.  

There were a lot of wade fisherman enjoying the river too and as a young guide I may have been annoyed by all the traffic but anymore I LOVE seeing other fisherman out there.  It is as much their river as it is mine and I was excited to some folks using it.  If you haven't hit the Naches, get down there!  It is perfect size and now that the upper section is Catch and Release I think we'll see an immediate improvement in the fishing.  Give it 3-4 years and it will be REALLY good!

Klickitat River Steelhead

The river is, was, maybe still in great shape.  The first few days offered a shot at June Steelhead and the tackle anglers were hitting a spring Chinook or two.  Our guides, with advanced anglers in the boat, are hitting 1-2 steelhead per day but mostly on a strike indicator setup.  The best of the season is yet to come but if you are looking for something big then hit the Klickitat.  We have had our staff on all sections with equal success from top to bottom. The fish seem to be pretty well spread out actually.  This is a GREAT chance to learn spey casting while throwing for summer Steelhead.  It is a great opportunity to spend a day with a guide pursuing Steelhead and learning to two-handed cast.  If this describes one of our goals, then a Klickitat River trip this summer might be for you.  We'll teach and get you fishing all in one day.  
  1. Steve and Joe, thanks for the ranting on catching and releasing these wild trout and whitefish as quick as possible. Now's the time to leave the 3 wt. rod at home and go with a heavier weight rod with plenty of back bone to net these fish as fast as possible. "Let's CATCH AND RELEASE each wild trout as if it's the last trout on earth".