Yakima River is Good to Go

December 4, 2015

Hey guys, its been pretty cold but things broke free yesterday and we're good to fish.  the river is in great shape right now and we would encourage you to break free and get out here if its possible.  It will be a little snowy this upcoming week but the overnight lows look like the winter fishing will actually be pretty darn good.

Moments from the past 10 days...

Landing a nice one a couple hundred feet from the cash register at Red's.

Heavy Traffic on the way to work.  Garth had to push them off the road with his F-150 and then I had him pose for a cool photo.

A BEAUTIFUL SCENE.  A drift boat fishing one of the many shady pools along a cliff wall in the winter time.

Floating the Farmlands and Jump Shooting at a few ducks haha. At.    

Bonus weight on the anchor.  A bucket full of ice can help you at about 10 pounds to your anchor system this time of year.

Flies: Mini-Loop Sculpin,  Dolly LlammaCrystal BuggerZebra MidgeYellow Spot Tungsten Jighead, Pat's Stones (orange was surprisingly good), Olive WD-40


This little guy is my #1 go to small nymph.  It just works.  It looks like a Midge, Caddis Larvae, or a small mayfly nymph. 

I want to offer some real advice for fishing in cold water.  It can be tough, here are some tips to help you get your game on in the winter.


I'll be honest and try not to sound like a "guide jerk" in the process.  Many anglers would have had a really tough time catching any fish at all yesterday.  Conditions aren't great right now despite us having a good day.  I have fished here long enough and worked the counter at our riverside shop long enough to know when conditions are tricky (I say tricky because it isn't impossible!).  Cold water and above average flows are tough.  You need to have some intel and experience to combat them.  

We put at least 10 trout in the net, hooked another 10 at least.  We only fished in the very best seam-lines, we fished from the inside out, and I have the luxury of anchoring the boat and fishing to bath tub sized zones that I know 2-3 fish are holding in.  It isn't fair I know.  We acknowledge that winter fishing on big rivers can be tough so if you consistently find yourself struggling here are a few tips:

  • If you are snagging bottom a lot stop it!  Either you are in the wrong water, reading water poorly, or fishing too deep, or simply too heavy.  You don't need much weight to get down this time of year because the fish are hold in soft currents.  A nymph rig that is set up deep, but light enough to hover and flutter near the bottom is best.  I rarely use split shot FYI.
  • Water should be walking speed or slower.
  • Fish rarely sit suspended in the back eddies, try to fish ledges and drop offs.
  • Avoid "boily" or "swirly" water.  Trout in cold water like the currents to be very stable.
  • Fish from the inside out, don't float along casting at the banks the entire day.  Try to identify spots to cast from the bank out.
  • Get a good sink tip system.  There are lots of choices, but if you don't have a good sink tip for a single hand rod better get one.  For a 6 weight, I like the WF6 Type 6 RIO DC.  It is a good all around line.
  • Less water is better.  I fished 5 miles yesterday, I probably fished cumulative 1.5 miles of it and skipped a lot.  3-4 miles for an entire day is more than enough.  2-3 miles is probably about right.  It is best to get into spots that you know fish are holding and work patient, quiet drifts over them and deduce what depth, fly, and water speed is working best.
  • Light tippet helps.  The water speed they are in in slow.  Light tippet helps your fly act more natural in soft currents.  5-6X to your #16 nymphs and smaller, 4X to your stone nymphs.

  1. Awesome images. Thanks for sharing.
  2. Terrific images that stimulate wonderful late fall fishing in every fly fisherman