The Yakima River Was on FIRE Last Night

August 7, 2014

A grass fire started  yesterday at about 4:30 pm or so near the Bighorn access.  We put in at Ringer Road about 4:15 pm or so and planned to do a 10 mile evening power float back down to Red's for some good dry fly action.  As we floated around the bend near Bighorn we heard sirens on their way down Canyon and at the same time we saw the smoke start pouring over the ridge and it was apparent that a wild fire was climbing the hill.  There was a lot of hot swirling winds and the fire was moving pretty good across the ridge.

We kept fishing, because what else could we do?  We fished our way down and anchored 
at the little island just above the Bighorn boat launch and had a good show watching the helicopters work and the firefighters manage traffic on the highway.  There wasn't much the guys on the ground could do at that point. With the heat and breezy conditions the fire was jumping around all over the hillside.  We had a few cold beverages and watched the action hoping that this wouldn't turn into another big complex fire.  In a way, the big fire north of Ellensburg helped out because there was mega resources at the airport.  Wtihin minutes there were 3-4 helicopters doing bucket work and the fire team backburned the fire into itself that night.  It was awesome to watch. Those guys got all over it and put the full assault on this fire before it could turn into much.  The report this morning is 100% containment.

Thankfully this fire didn't go anywhere and the guys and gals working on these fires can get back to battling the other important complexes.    

The Fishing

The fishing was quite good (not like it was 2 weeks ago, but it was good fishing nonetheless).  We fished big dry flies and meticulously picked apart the bank and wound up bringing some nice trout into the boat.  I guided the last several days at all hours and actually had decent fishing all times of the day as long as the caster was consistent with their drift.  The sun angle is starting to get much lower mid-day than it was a month ago and with the slightly cooler temperatures heading our way the mid-day Hopper action should be worthy.

Midnight Caddis

Some of the best trout we caught last night were practically in the pitch dark.  While it wasn't exactly midnight, it was late.  Past 9:00 which by August standards is very late.  We used a Corn Fed CDC Caddis fished all by itself on a short line.  The pattern we sell in the shop is actually a Parachute Corn Fed Caddis with a white post.  VERY good fly and better than the one pictured online.  I will try to update that, this fly is a must have.  It is very important to get to a good spot that you know for this evening bite.  Especially for wade fisherman!  There are lots of spots in the Yakima Canyon that you can fish on foot at dusk.  That last 30 minutes can be incredible.  

The larger trout on the Yakima River have gotten pretty hook shy.  There are lots of refusals, swipes, bumps, sniffs, and all out rejections happening on big hoppers right now.  When the fish approaches the fly, try to be patient and be sure he eats it.  If the trout swats at it but doesn't eat try your hardest to LEAVE IT THERE!  The fish will often take it wholeheartedly on a second pass.  It is so fun to watch.