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Yakima River Fly Fishing Report

7/1/13  Flows were bumped up  for irrigation last week but color remained good. Spring Mayfly hatches are just about done. Current bugs: Caddis, Yellow Sallys and Terrestrials. Summer Stones should begin to emerge in earnest in the next week or two. Slow to good fishing last week, should be more consistent this week.

7/12/13  More reservoir releases for irrigation, flows are 4600 at Umtanum but clarity is good. Nymphing is less productive at this level, not as much structure available to fish. Morning and evening dry fly has been good. The most important bugs currently: Summer Stones, Caddis, Yellow Sallys and Terrestrials.

7/21/13  The Yakima is still a little higher than normal for July. Bugs: Summer Stones, Caddis, Yellow Sallys and Terrestrials. Fair to very good fishing.

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8/5/13  The river is currently at normal summer levels. Summer Stones, Hoppers, Craneflies and a variety of other Terrestrials. Fair to very good fishing.

8-22-13  The Annual flip-flop is underway.  3400 cfs at Umtanum today. Good nymphing. Fair to good dry fly fishing with hoppers and other terrestrials.  

9/2/13  2400 cfs at Umtanum and dropping. Fair to good nymphing and poor to fair dry fly. Water temps are up, handle fish with care.

9/11/13  1700 cfs at Umtanum- still dropping. Fair to good nymphing and fair to good dry fly. Summer stones, crane flies, hoppers and a few October caddis.

9/23/13  1500 cfs at Umtanum. Big drop in water temps, 56 degrees at Umtanum this afternoon. Fair to good nymphing and fair to good dry fly. Summer stones and October caddis.  Lots of tiny BWOs, not many fish eating them.

10/12/13  Pretty sparse BWO hatches. Still a few October caddis. 1500 cfs at Umtanum. Good to great nymphing.

11/14/13  Not much change from the last report. Fair to good nymphing, mostly small bugs- 16-20. Pattern hasn’t been that important.  The BWO hatch (size 20-24) was better this year, although still meager compared to historical averages. Mahogany Duns, Cahills and size 18-16 BWOs  were mostly absent.  The fllip-flop was particularly hard on October Caddis this year. Octobers pupate along the shore in August and die when the river is radically lowered in late August and September.

12/12/13  Nymphing was good until the river iced up. No ice flows in the Canyon above Umtanum yesterday at noon. Should have a results report next week.

12/18/13  Great nymphing Monday. Water temps rose to 40 degrees in the Canyon. No ice flows currently. Thick shelf ice from MP 10 down. Water temps today at Umtanum reached 38.5 degrees, still good winter temps. Stone nymphs, San Juan worms, Copper Johns and BH Pheasant tails all worked well. Cooler weather predicted for the next two days, with a warming trend this weekend.

1/21/14  Fair to good fishing. Nymphing and streamers. Larger than average winter fish.

2/21/14  Decent fishing yesterday. San Juan worms and caddis larva hooked more fish than the Skwala nymph. Nothing on Skwala dries. Cooling trend next week, the Skwala hatch will be on hold for awhile. The launches at Mahre’s and Big Pines were still  blocked with ice.

3/6/14  Water temps reached 43.5 yesterday, Skwala typically begin to emerge at 42 to 43 degrees. Unfortunately the river was on the rise and fishing was mediocre. Had a few lazy bumps on the dry, no fish on. The Yakima is currently a little over 4000 cfs at Umtanum, still rising and off color. NOAA is predicting a 6000 cfs peak by tomorrow with a slight drop on the 9th followed by another slightly higher peak on the 10th or 11th. Doesn’t look promising for awhile.

3/26/14  The Yakima is in great shape.  Skwalas are emerging, fair to good nymphing and dry fly fishing.

5/3/14  The Yak is rising and off color below the Teanaway. Currently 4400 cfs at Umtanum.  Bumper boat time above the Teanaway. Sub-par spring so far this year- runoff has been more of an issue than the previous few years. Mediocre Skwala fishing, occasionally decent March Brown and BWO hatches in select spots. Good Grannom fishing last year, hopefully the same this year.

5/16/14  The Yakima is in poor shape due to runoff and reservoir releases. The river should be back in shape by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. The Grannom hatch (and fishing) has been good the last few days. The Salmon fly hatch in the Canyon is generally not particularly significant- much more important in the Cle Elum stretch.

5/19/14  Still high, cold and off color. The Teanaway and other feeder streams are dropping, which will help clarity, but lots of cold water being released from the reservoirs. Current flow forecast predicts at least 4600 cfs at Umtanum through the weekend. High water and cold water temps- most likely poor fishing for awhile.

5/23/14  Water temps are up with good color. Still a bit high- 4500 cfs at Umtanum and trending upward. Hatches yesterday: Grannom, PMDs and a few Salmon flies. Decent fishing on sunny days, much better under clouds. On sunny days most risers will be close to or under overhanging trees, brush and grass that provide shade and cover- difficult to fish on the move and fewer anchoring options at these water levels. Best dry fly after 3.

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.

Yakima River Winter Bow Winter Bow on The Yakima River Swans on the Yakima Mark Tracy Kyle and Megan Yakima River Winter Bow

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.

Yakima River Winter Bow Yakima River Winter Bow Yakima River Winter Bow

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