Yakima River Fishing Report - Thank You Veterans!

November 11, 2014

Happy Veterans Day today. Thank you to everyone that has served in the armed forces, and their families for all of their sacrifices as well.  I want to give a big shout out to Connor Hankinson, Red's guide and staffer that courageously left a career in fly fishing at Red's and joined the US ARMY.  We're so proud of you Connor!

What an incredible commitment all the brave men and women of the armed services make when they take the oath to protect and serve.  Hopefully some of you reading this get to exercise the freedom we have in this country by going fly fishing today.  If you do, take a moment to appreciate what we have.  No road blocks, check points, or anything to get in your way of simply starting the car and going fishing somewhere.  I'll be on the river and am eternally grateful to live in a country where we get to not only fly fish... but we can earn a living doing so.  What an awesome place to live!

Yakima River Fishing Report - Veteran's Day

Well folks, its official.  The summer that wouldn't quit has finally left us.  Its cold and will be cold the remainder of the week.  As many of you know the Typhoon that hit the north country has pushed the jetstream around a bit and we're now receiving some shockwaves of cold air.  Very cold air.
TFO Deer Creek Switch 5 Weight Setup
Yesterday however was GREAT fishing!  Should have been here yesterday hahahahahha.  Good one.  It really was great fishing and I will be heading back out today again and this might be our last trip down the Yakima for a few days.  The low temps tonight are getting down to about 12 degrees I hear.

Date:  11/10/14

Anglers:  David, Bradley, and Joe

Section: MM19 to Red's

Results:  About 10 nice trout landed, several YTfish.

The boys I got to hook up with yesterday were awesome.  Lifelong Bozeman, MT residents that decided to do a father/son venture to the PNW and do some fly fishing together. They hit the Deschutes for a few days and spontaneously decided to come up and grab a guide for some trout fishing on the Yakima.  The Deschutes was fairly stingy so they needed a change up to trout fishing.  They also wanted to do some trout spey fishing to get better at their two-handed casting while getting some fish to actually bite.

The day started off with my forgetting my trout kit bag at home, by accident I had grabbed my steelhead bag instead.  Apparently I have steelhead on my brain.  I realized when I got to the shop what I had done and like all humans, guides make mistakes so I didn't try to fake my way through it.  It took me about 5-10 minutes and I rounded up all the trout necessities to make a great day out of it.  Here is a list of the "Bare Bones" supplies that I had to grab if you are curious.

  1. Zebra Midge (1 dozen for the day - Black and Olive)
  2. Pat's Stones (6 for the day)
  3. Yarn Indicators (4 for the day) - Trim to desired size.
  4. Floatant for Yarn Indicators
  5. 3X, 4X, 5X RIO Fluorocarbon Tippet (my steelhead stuff was too heavy of course)
  6. 8 Streamers (need to have various sizes and weights)

So I checked my list twice and we hit the river.  I have been fishing a lot so I felt good even though my trout fly selection was grossly limited.

We had 6 rods on board.  I'll tell you right now, these guys from Bozeman came to play.  They brought streamer rods with all the right lines and tips.  This was hugely helpful.  We started out throwing super fast sinking tips out of the boat on-the-move and we couldn't get the presentation slowed down enough without snagging bottom too much.  Of course he had a spool with a lighter tip, an Intermediate, and that was the ticket.  It allowed for slower retrieve while still maintaining good depth.  Here are the 6 rods we had on board.  

  1. ECHO 3 weight Switch Rod - 10'6" 3 weight trout spey - Used when wading for streamer fishing and swinging flies
  2. TFO Deer Creek 5 Weight Switch Rod - 11' trout spey - Also used when wading for streamer fishing and swinging flies  
  3. Sage 790-4 ONE - Sink tip for fishing on the move with large streamers.
  4. Sage 790-4 SLT (obsolete rod) - Sink tip for fishing on the move with large streamers.
  5. Sage 690-4 ONE - Nymph rod
  6. Orvis 690-4 Helios - Nymph rod 

Having these rods in the boat allowed us to make quick changes and fish the best possible strategy for the water that we had available.  I want to make one important point.  This is not so that we can catch as many fish as possible, far from it.  Many experienced anglers carry a lot of rods so that when an opportunity to fish in a way they enjoy pops up - they can take advantage of it.  Its no fun trying to nymph fish the big slow dead pools as you float by, but..... if you have a streamer rod at the ready you get to throw some long straight casts and have a great time pulling buggers through the slow sections.  When a good wading riffle pops up, get the trout spey out and use it and have some fun doing that.  If we were exclusively about catching fish we would have stuck with bobber rods all day.  Its all about having fun, fly casting, and being a well rounded angler.

Our Day...

We did a short float for a full day and did a lot of wading and switching rods. Sometimes we fished a spot with one setup and then switched up and fished it with another.  One highlight was the Bighorn Sheep are in full RUT! This is the breeding season and the Rams are fighting each other and chasing the ewes all over the place.  Bring your binoculars out to the Canyon and you will get some amazing wildlife watching in.

Bighorn Sheep are in the RUT!
The guys from Bozeman really took to the trout spey fishing.  Although we got most of our fish using their heavier single hand rods from the boat, they enjoyed their time on foot fishing the little single handed rods more.
Trout Spey on the Echo 3 Weight Switch Rod Setup