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Yakima River Fly Fishing Report

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6/4/14  The reservoirs are full, lots of overflow the last few days so the entire river is up substantially and water temps have dropped. 5200 cfs at Umtanum. Poor fishing currently. If flow predictions are accurate, the Yakima will be high for awhile. Current hatches in the Canyon: Various caddis, PMDs, and a few Golden Stones and Green Drakes. The best dry fly fishing has been in the evening, we’re seeing a variety of Caddis: Hydropsyche, Cheumatopsyche, Grannom (Brachycentrus americanus (nearly done for the year) and Brachycentrus occidentalis), Amiocentrus and Rhyacophila. These are mostly dark bodied caddis (Hydropsyche has a tan body) in sizes 20 to 12. Xcaddis, LaFontaine pupas and other emerger patterns. A size 16 or 18 peacock Xcaddis has worked well.

6/7/14  Flows have dropped (exceeding expectations) the last few days, currently 4000 cfs at Umtamum. Runoff issues should be done for the year, hopefully dam releases will not be a problem. The entire river is in good shape and water temps are slowly rising.

6/17/14  The Yakima is in great shape. PMD, Big Yellow May and Baetis hatches have been very good, the best we’ve seen in several years. Good to great day fly fishing on cloudy days. Fair to very good nymphing. Fair caddis dry fly fishing in late afternoon - evening. Poor to fair Green Drake hatches and a few Golden Stones in the Upper River.

Current Hatches and Flies

6/24/14  Mostly nymphing in the Farmlands and Canyon stretches, lots of sun and wind the past week. Decent dry fly fishing In the Cle Elum to Thorpe stretch with stone flies. The water temp gauge at Umtanum is currently broken, yesterdays high was recorded at 94.68 degrees. High water temp at Ellensburg yesterday was 60.39 and 64.57 below Roza dam, downstream from Umtanum. Water temps at Roza are typically a few degrees warmer than the Canyon, the water in the reservoir is slow and fairly shallow and heats up a bit. 56.49 at Ellensburg and 59.60 below Roza dam today at 11:30 am.

7/8/14  Summer flows in the Yakima (typically 3800 - 4000 cfs at Umtanum). Caddis, Yellow Sallys, Summer Stones, Hoppers, PMDs and Big Yellow mays. Best dry fly fishing morning and late afternoon / evening most days, but it can be good mid-day on those rare cloudy days in July.

7/17/14  Good fishing with dry summer stones early morning and late afternoon/evening. Good dry caddis late evening. Ok to good nymphing during the sunny hours. Poor to good dry fly with hoppers and stones mid-day.

7/31/14  Hot weather=more water in the Yakima. Flows have been bumped up quite a bit the last few days for irrigation. Fishing in the upper river typically suffers during significant increases in flows, poor fishing yesterday. The Canyon handles these changes much better, good fishing yesterday. We’re beginning to see a gradual transition from Summer Stones and Caddis to Hoppers and other terrestrials.

8/8/14  Fair to very good fishing, lots of 6 to 12 inch fish mixed with decent numbers of 12 to 16 inchers and a few bigger fish. Evenings have slowed, shorter and later caddis emergence, fewer stones and smarter fish. Dry flies and Dry and dropper rigs have worked well.  Slow to good dry hopper action.

8/17/14  Water temps are up. Higher water temps mean less oxygen in the river. 67 degrees near Ellensburg yesterday, 71 degrees at Umtanum. 500 cfs of warm water from Cherry Creek (via Wilson Creek) is raising water temps in the Canyon (measured at Umtanum). Handle fish with extra care and try not to remove them from the water. Bring fish to the boat as quickly as possible. Use heavier tippet and reef the fish in quickly. We use a quick release tool that allows us to release most fish in about a second. Bigger fish that take longer to bring to the boat should be netted, left in the water when removing the fly and then allowed to recover in the net, 5 minutes is usually sufficient. Don’t take a photo until after the initial recovery period, then rest the fish again. 10 seconds out of the water is too long. Big fish are particularly vulnerable to high water temps and exhaustion after being hooked and fought. The river is currently dropping, which will typically raise water temps even more, but cooler weather this week should help. Not much change in the overall fishing from the last report.

8/18/14  Great hopper fishing yesterday. The difference between OK and great on the Yak currently is hitting the spots with a lot of accurate casts. At summer levels, and after seeing lots of flies the last few months, the trout are reluctant to leave their safe, out of the current feeding lies unless that meal floats by inches from their feeding lane. Water temps are still high. Please read the previous fishing report.

Yakima River Trout Yakima RiverTrout Yakima River Trout Bald Eagle Summer Bow Yakima River Rainbow

8/28/14  Slow dry fly fishing this week. Good to great nymphing.  The river is dropping (the annual flip-flop), 2700 cfs at Umtanum. The grass banks and bush lines are getting shallow- fish are moving further out into the river. Water temps are still up, 68.5 at Ellensburg- 69.5 at Umtanum yesterday. At these temps trout, particularly big trout, are much more likely to die if they are not landed quickly and released properly.

9/9/14  Low fall flows in the Yakima, 1300 cfs at Umtanum. Good to great nymphing. Water temps are OK.

9/22/14  Fair to good nymphing. Dry fly fishing has been spotty, poor to good, best on cloudy days. October Caddis, a few BWOs and #18 grey Caddis and Craneflies.

10/4/14  The Yak is in great shape, 1175 cfs at Umtanum. Not much change in fishing and bugs from the last report. Lots of 8 to 12 inch fish since the flop-flop, a few more larger fish the last few days.

Yakima River Canyon Bow Yakima River Canyon Bow

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