Yakima River Fishing Report

July 9, 2015

We are so lucky to have water in the Yakima right now, things are actually great for us here in this basin!  I realize not everyone that checks this blog is fishing the Yakima, but I think there will be some info that is both interesting and helpful here.  Flows are chugging along at 3,300 cfs which is more than we expected.  This is enough water to push the fish in towards the shoreline, give them lots of riparian habitat like sticks to hold underneath, and it is managing to keep the water temperatures in check.  At least for now.

Just as a reminder, the Yakima River is fed from a network of reservoirs and the flows are managed with irrigation supply in mind. The Yakima Valley is home to massive amounts of agriculture, which needs water, and the main supply is our trout stream.  This means that during the peak growing season, summer, the river flows here are abnormally high.  While this phenomenon can often be very frustrating to the wade fisherman or DIY rower, it is a blessing to all the trout that need additional cover, water, and food during their most critical period.  

This elevated flow has made for some incredible fishing over the past week to two weeks.  It is only about 80% of normal but it is still much better than what the freestone rivers are facing.  

Fishing Advice

In the last blog article I explained when to use the Hopper specific patterns vs. the Stoneflies. Make sure to glance back at that if you haven't read it yet.

Mornings/Evenings - Stonefly Time - Caddis in the evenings!

The morning and evening fishing has been the best, especially with Stonefly specific patterns.  Our guide staff has found that the very leggy and very specifically tied patterns have been the most effective. Here are a few that have been working.  Don't be afraid to twitch and skitter the fly as well.  

If it is evening time and you are wade fishing, or floating by yourself, OR floating and you wind up with more daylight than river - then slow down, tie on an E/C Caddis Cutter and pick apart the river.  

   Umpqua's E/C Caddis Cutter
E/C Caddis Cutter Dry Fly (emerger that you can actually see) - This is best fished in the evenings.  

Gypsy King Dry Fly - Stonefly Pattern

Mid-Day Flies and Strategies

These are some great patterns and tips for anyone fishing any river.  The fishing here is pretty darn good in the low light hours, in fact, its practically EASY at times.  However, the Golden Hour is just that.  An hour.  To extend your success one must be prepared with a good fly and strategy.

Be aware that summer stoneflies are nocturnal.  The trout, especially the larger fish, figure this out in a hurry.  You would only need to spend about 3 days staring at the water to learn this and consider it fact.  A decent sized trout is studying this for about 3 years.  It sounds so stupid simple, but you need to use flies that the trout are likely to see mid day.

Hoppers.  What time of day are these buggers most active?  Yep, heat of the day.  That is when they are jumping around and eventually a few of the fat ones that can't keep themselves off that sweet lush riverside grass will fall in.  I find that Hoppers actually fish darn well right during the heat of the day.  Especially this week because the haze in the atmosphere has been keeping the fish looking up!

P.D. Foam Solitude's Hopper.  I did NOT name this fly haha for those of you that know what its really called.  

Other Terrestrials

I know I know.  I keep saying that it works.  Well, you have no idea how hard it is to share with you guys when a fly is working THAT MUCH better than the others!  I figure that by the time the fishing pressure catches up I'll be onto something else but use this fly.  I have been using the #12 a lot and actually removing the rubber legs.

  1. Thanks Joe- Great post- having great luck this past week in the evening on the Yak with the caddis and stonfly patterns with best action coming from a skitter or twitch right off the bank- thanks for the tip!
  2. Nice video from my back yard Red. Across from Thorp RR xing. Life is good.