Yakima River Fishing Report
July 24, 2014
Location: Ringer to Red's
Time: 4 pm - 9:15 pm
Flies: McKnight's Fatboy, Brown Gypsy King #8, CDC Caddis, Bloom's Parachute Caddis, Bullethead Golden Stone (best fly!), CFO Chernyobyl Ant
Results: 4 Trout landed, maybe 5. Not sure. Largest was about 14"
Hunger Level: 4 out of 10
Anglers: Kevin, Gary, and Joe
It absolutely POURED here yesterday. I didn't look at the facts but I heard through the grapevine it was record rainfall in parts of Washington. The good news is that it is a pretty nice morning here in Ellensburg. It's only 5:30 am but it looks like the clouds are going to break open and give us the same type of July weather we had most of the month. Hopefully this rain gives the forest fire fighters some reprieve and the lightning didn't create any new starts. Thankfully we don't have any fires currently burning in our valley here, but up north it sounds like quite a struggle.
It would have been very easy skip today's report and pretend the fishing was great last night, but I want to drive home the point that we don't always catch a pile of fish. That's not what fishing with a guide is all about anyway. The overall bite wasn't that bad considering the water was swelling pretty severely, but between that and the task of training a couple of brand new first time anglers how to fly fish on a half day trip we didn't cover the spread the way we hoped. The river is dropping back in right now so it shouldn't effect the weekend fishing at all.
Of course we had lots of bites, looks, follows, and could have caught more trout if we nymph fished some rock piles, but our goal was to teach these ol' boys how to properly fly cast and fish. That means fishing dry flies. Both anglers were both late 50's, early 60's and had never fly fished before. I am always inspired by folks that simply want to hop in the boat and try something new. It must be hard! We're all so used to fly casting, mending, rowing, and seeing the fly that we forget how intimidating it must be to fish a big piece of water for the first time. When we get folks like this it is critical as a guide that we don't get so caught up trying to spoon-feed them a few trout that we forget to teach the proper techniques for mending, casting, and overall fly fishing. We covered a lot of intel last night. We talked hatches, emergers, what side of the river to fish based on lighting, LOTS of discussion on casting technique, reading water, and general presentation. We even fished small dry flies just to try something else for a while. The mending and presentation is different with small bugs and it is important to know that. This is the type of content that will stick with the angler forever. Don't forget to learn. It seems like we all get caught up and put so much emphasis on catching fish that we don't ever learn some of the very basic fundamentals of drifting a fly. Last night it felt like we straddled both goals of building lifetime skills with enough fish to inspire a couple of newbies.
The fishing got pretty good at dark and there enough fish feeding on Caddis to keep us shooting at various targets while floating during the last 30 minutes. We landed a few nice fish and lost A LOT! Keeping that line tight on a truly barbless hook is tough. Despite only putting 4 trout in the boat, we had an absolutely great evening. You have to be careful not to take catching fish (or yourself) too serious otherwise you might miss the whole point of fly fishing. It is really fun as long as you don't let ego get in the way of having a few laughs and catching a few small trout.