Yakima River Fishing Report

June 25, 2015

Steady as she goes.  The Yakima is in near typical summer form with the best dry fly fishing being.... early and late.  Weird.  We're still catching fish all day and the water temperatures are currently in check right now but by mid-week next week our crew will be keeping a sharp on eye on them.  We don't like warm water, but we're a long ways from the dreaded 70 degree mark right now.

The Summer Stones are here!

I guided quite a bit this past week and actually managed to do pretty well on dry flies during the day time.  I downsized a bit and went old school on them with a #10 Royal PMX Dry Fly.  I was getting a lot of looks on big Chubby type stuff but they were spitting it out pretty fast.  The smaller dry flies seemed to hook up a lot better and our bigger fish were caught in fast water on a #10.  Some old friends of mine would laugh their butts off if they read this.  That is all we use to use!  I haven't tied that fly on for a long time because we had a tough time finding somebody to tie them well.  The ones we have in stock are great bugs, super good materials, and float very well.  The fish ate it with much more confidence than the big foam junk, and the feeling of accomplishment you get from driving a smaller less buoyant fly in fast water is awesome!  

Royal PMX - Parachute Madame X Dry Fly
On Monday I guided a couple of old timer guys that do the same trips every year, in fact this is like the 7th consecutive year.  They only like to dry fly fish and they do one trip in June, July, August, and two in September.  It might sound strange but we always fish dry flies and always seem to have good fishing. The reason I mention it is not because I think everyone should do this, but it seems like the dry fly fishing is often better than you think.

79 years young and still ripping the sleeves off shirts and the lips off trout.  Badass just got a new Wikipedia image.

First, you have to try it with some conviction.  Don't give up!!!! I see anglers that will nymph fish for hours without hardly a strike... and still keep nymphing.  Very seldom will anglers do this with dry flies.  Oh no, at the first sign of slow fishing they grab a handful of Pat's Stones and split shot and start dredging.  They can't get that bobber on fast enough!  Stick with it, change flies, and give it a chance.  Give yourself a chance to get in the zone as well.  Sometimes its an angler issue not a "fissue".  hehe.

Second, its ok to catch small trout.  I personally have caught some big stuff on a fly but I still get amped when I see a great dry fly eat from an 8" river trout.  You should too!!! Don't downplay the dinks.  The best fisherman I see play every fish and appreciate all fish.  The big ones will eat when they eat.  Don't like catching small fish?  Maybe get a smaller fly rod like a Redington Butterstick or Echo Glass.  Or take up Sturgeon fishing.  Its up to you.

Third, there wasn't going to be another tip but you need to change your fly!  Regularly.  You can't always use a Chubby Chernobyl.  My fly patch was FULL the last few guide days.  I can't explain why, maybe its the sun angle or that particular stretch, but if a fly that works for 30 minutes or so quits working.  Change it!

What to Expect in the Next Couple of Weeks

The fish are still holding off the banks on the Yakima.  Meaning 12-48" out from the shore depending on current flow.  As water temps peak, next week, a lot of the nymphs and bugs will shut down movement for the summer. Like the trout, they will lay dormant during warm water.  The trout's metabolism will still be mega high.  They actually need a lot of food in warm water.  After the nymphs go into summer hibernation (not all but a lot of the hatches cease), the trout will start to look for Terrestrials.  The fish will push into the shorelines and the 17 miles of cut-banks in the Yakima Canyon is famous for this.  They trout will go up and under the lip.  Even in the shallows!  

Right now look for off the bank seamlines, in 2 weeks start to press the banklines.

Hoppers Are Not far out.  I have struggled as of late to catch fish on full blown hopper patterns but its coming!  Hit this link to shop Terrestrials.  

The Best Hopper Fly Patterns

  1. I give credit when credit is due. Good report Joe. I like the tactic/hatch type reports my man. I hope everyone is doing well over there, and have a safe and happy Independence Day. Let's keep our fingers crossed that fires don't start springing up. Steve.