Yakima River is in GREAT shape!

May 16, 2016

After a windy finish to the week last Thursday and Friday, conditions have settled down and the Spring fishing on the Yakima is officially "back on track!"  This front had blown in some scattered showers and clouds over the weekend, which created a perfect window for PMD's, BWO's, and March Browns once things calmed down.  We threw dry flies at feeding fish both Saturday and Sunday for a solid 2 hours each day (2 pm until 4 pm).  Our most productive pattern was a size 16 Sparkle Dun PMD, but any pattern with a drag free presentation is likely to get some attention!

Today we have blue skies overhead and an upstream Caddis migration taking flight.  We often describe Caddis as "fair weather bugs", being more prolific on sunny days.  Anglers fishing this hatch need to be patient, as it's difficult to comprehend how there can be so many bugs flying but no fish eating.  The truth is that the trout often won't key in on the Caddis until evening when the sun dips and the shade hits the water.  Mayflies, on the other hand are "foul weather bugs", showing in large numbers on cloudy nasty days.  I have asked many biologists and entomologists why Mayfly hatches are more prolific on cloudy days.  The best answer I've heard is that the increased humidity under clouds is conducive to properly drying their delicate wings.   

In addition to the Caddis and Mayflies mentioned above, Golden stones and Yellow Sallies (like those pictured above) are also starting to emerge.  Our standard game plan these days is to throw nymphs or streamers until lunch time, then start prospecting with big dries until you are able to find feeding fish.  We're seeing a normal weather pattern in the extended forecast, which should translate into favorable fishing conditions from here forward.  I just received notice that the Irrigation districts are forecasting 85% of allocation for this summer, which should put the river level right around 4,000 cfs.  This should be great for keeping the water temperature cool and fish healthy.  It looks like a great time to head over and fish the Yakima!

  1. Great report Steve. To further the discussion as to why you never see fish feeding on the caddis during the day is that these are mating swarms of adults. They are simply not available to the fish until they hit the water. You may see the females popping up and down trying to lay their egg sack in the water. People make the mistake of thinking this is "the hatch" it is not. Caddis hatch in the late afternoon/evening as you allude to in your piece. This is why the fishing right before dark can be fast and furious. Tight Lines.
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  3. How does bank access look in the canyon when the level is up this high (4000cfs)? Will possibly save me a 3 hour trip if its not good, thanks for the help!