Yakima River Fly Fishing Report 2016

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ANGLER YAKIMA RIVER

2016

Yakima River Report - 5/8/16   The Teanaway has bounced up and down a bit the last few days due to warm weather and added a bit of color to the Yakima, but clarity is still good. 4450 cfs at Ellensburg and 4200 at Umtanum today. Started seeing good Grannom emergences in the Canyon Friday. The current flow forecast predicts that the river will continue to drop for awhile. Good conditions and lots of caddis!

Spent Thursday on the Yakima and Friday on Rocky Ford with JB. The grannom hatch Thursday was small, mostly nymphing. Lot’s of big fish on Rocky Friday. Not sure what variety of trout is in the photo, but JB landed quite a few of them mixed with more traditional Rocky rainbows.

Yakima River Report - 3/14/16

Ringer Road just north of the bend is washed out and in need of serious repair. The south entrance is closed but will be drivable once the debris is cleared.

Skwala are emerging but not much on dry flies yet. Nymphing was OK yesterday with Skwala nymphs and San Juan worms.

Yakima River Report - 3/21/16  The river is stable and in good shape. 2500 cfs with 3 feet of visibility at Umtanum. Uneven nymphing for the last week or so, a few good days and a few poor days. Dry fly fishing has been mostly mediocre, warmer water temps since Saturday should help.

Yakima River Report - 3/25/16  More Skwalas on the water over the last few days and much better dry fly fishing. Low floating, realistic Skwala patterns are producing more solid takes than attractor type patterns. A few BWOs but not many fish rising to them. The March Brown hatch should crank up over the next few weeks, April is emergence time for March Browns on the Yak. The predicted big increase in flows didn’t happen this week, the river rose an average of 200 CFS, mostly from the Teanaway. The Yakima is in good shape.

Ringer launch is open. The North end of Ringer Loop is still closed, use the South entrance. The new launch above the Thorpe diversion dam is open. The parking lot is pretty small and will most likely fill up with recreational floaters this summer. Perhaps we’ll see a launch below the diversion in the next few years. This would provide acces to the water between the diversion and KOA.

Yakima River Report - 1/6/16

Some slushy ice in the river, slightly warmer temps forecasted for this week may clear this up.

Yakima River Report - 1/8/16

The Yakima is currently low and ice free.

Yakima River Report - 1/15/16

Good fishing today. Check your launch and takeout before committing to a float. Most are still covered with snow and some require long distance launches and takeouts.

Yakima River Report - 1/29/16

The river is blown out. Rain and warmer weather. It’s nice to have some snow to melt this year.

Yakima River Report - 2/1/16   The Yak is dropping quickly, 2+ feet of visibility in the Canyon. Trout in the Canyon don’t get as upset over rising water and loss of visibility as their cousins further upstream tend to do. OK fishing yesterday in the Canyon- mostly San Juan worms.

Yakima River Report - 2/13/16

Warm weather, rain and melting snow. The Yakima is up aprox. 1100 cfs at Umtanum. The graph at Umtanum is dropping, but the river is projected to rise more over the next few days.

Yakima River Report - 2/15/16

15000 cfs at Ellensburg today. 10000 cfs at Umtanum. And still rising. Could be awhile before the river is in shape. A lot of snow at lower elevations is melting. Less snow and runoff for the spring season. Skwala!

Yakima River Report - 2/24/16   3100 cfs at Umtanum and dropping. A little off color below Wilson Creek, better above. 2500 cfs or below at Umtanum would be a better level for late winter.

Yakima River Report - 2/27/16

Both ends of Ringer loop are closed. The south end looks drivable once debris from the flood is cleared. 2700 CFS at Umtanum. Two and a half feet of visibility in the canyon. 42 degree water temp. Skwala generally begin to emerge in numbers at 43 to 44 degrees.

Yakima River Report - 2/29/16   The Yak rose a few hundred cfs over the weekend due to melting snow. Currently 3100 cfs at Umtanum and rising- 2 feet of visibility and 40 degrees. Good nymph fishing for a few days, much slower this weekend. Reports of a few fish caught on Skwala dries, but dropping water temps will delay any significant emergence for awhile.

Yakima River Report - 3/6/16  Started raining about 6 PM yesterday and  the deluge continued for most of the night. The Yakima is high and muddy below the Teanaway, marginal above. OK nymphing the previous few days, not much on the dry. Water temps reached 44 degrees yesterday and it will be be close to that today. We should see better dry fly fishing when the river is back in shape. Male Skwalas, which are smaller than the females, begin emerging a bit before the females in anticipation of the arrival of the females, an effective strategy for those that do.  Fishing a smaller nymph (# 12) in the first week or so of the hatch can be more productive. Male Skwalas can’t fly, stay on the ground near the shore waiting for females, avoid the water and are not typically available to trout. Females are more mobile and more likely to end up on the water even before they return to the river to lay eggs. Dry fly fishing is best when egg laying begins.  

Yakima River Report - 4/1/16   The Yakima is up and out from the Teanaway down. Lot’s of boats in the Canyon today (counted 19) on a rising river with 2 feet of visibility at noon. A beautiful day today and Bev and I (Bruce) had a great drive. More runoff is on the way, hopefully we will be able to get clients on the water by mid-week!  Clarity is OK above the Teanaway, but fishing reports from today were not good.

Yakima River Report - 3/29/16   Mostly cloudy  yesterday, pretty good Skwala dry fly fishing all day. Lots of boats on the Yak  Saturday and Sunday, only one other boat in the run we fished yesterday. Much less traffic on weekdays. The river is still stable and in good shape. Flows could increase this week due to projected warmer weather. The Teanaway is a good early indicator for increasing runoff.  

Yakima River Report - 4/6/16  The Yakima is in poor shape below the Teanaway with more runoff on the way. Good clarity currently above the Teanaway. Dozens of boats above the Teanaway the last few days landing some very nice spawning Rainbows, not the best way to assure future generations of Bows on the Yak. Early spring flowers are blooming in the Canyon!

Yakima River Report - 4/9/16    The river is blown out. Not looking good for the coming week.

Yakima River Report - 4/12/16    Flows from the Teanaway have decreased 1100+ cfs over the last 3 days. Unfortunately, the reservoirs are nearly full, so water is being dumped from Cle Elum and Keechelus. Flows from Cle Elum reservoir have increased 1200 cfs and flows from Keechelus have increased 300 cfs. since the 7th. Overall flows and clarity (still pretty muddy) have not changed much from the Teanaway down. Better clarity above the Teanaway, but poor fishing due to increased flows.

Yakima River Report - 4/27/16   The Yakima is still pretty high- 3500 cfs at Cle Elum and 5000 cfs at Umtanum, but clarity is OK. A few Salmon flies and March browns emerging, but mostly a nymphing game currently. The south entrance to Ringer loop no longer has water over the road, but is in pretty bad shape. One lane traffic is a possibility once the road is cleared of debris. The north entrance is toast.

Yakima River Report - 4/30/16   Increased releases from Cle Elum reservoir on the 27th and 28th bumped the Yakima up bit more. Current water flows at Cle Elum: 3747 cfs, Horlick: 4173 cfs, Ellensburg: 6082 cfs and Umtanum: 5278 cfs. Average summer irrigation flows at Umtanum are around 4000 cfs, so the river is still pretty high. Clarity is compromised but the fish are pretty much acclimated by now. Lots of unproductive water at these levels, look for walking speed water- pools, below points, seams between fast and slow water and structure (boulders, logs etc.) that creates slower water. Size 4 to 8 dark or orange and black Pat’s stones and size 12 to 16 mayfly nymphs

Yakima River Report - 5/13/16   Exceptional dry fly fishing all day Wednesday, the best I’ve seen in years. Lots of 15 to 16 inch fish (and a few very  large fish) rising in the shade of bushes and trees, which required lots of accurate casts, but the fish were more than willing to eat well presented flies. Catching got a bit more difficult during a late afternoon emergence, but once the emergence waned and the Canyon was in shadows, fishing was pretty amazing.

Dry fly fishing wasn’t as good Thursday during the sunny part of the day, but sill OK in spots. Nymphing was fairly productive in the morning and early afternoon. Dry fly fishing in the late afternoon/evening was good, but not nearly as productive as Wednesday.

Yakima River Report - 5/15/16   Good PMD hatch Saturday, cool and cloudy, but not many fish feeding on top until late in the hatch. Grannom are on hold until warmer weather moves back in- peak water temps dropped 6 degrees from Friday to Saturday. The Yakima is rising a bit, mostly due to releases from Cle Elum reservoir but is still in great shape.

Yakima River Report - 5-25-16   The Yakima is in great shape - 3000 cfs at Umtanum. Current hatches: Grannom, a variety of other caddis, PMDs, Tiny BWOs, Yellow Sallys, Golden stones (best between Ellensburg and Cle Elum) and a few Cahills.  Best hatches have been Grannom, PMDs and BWOs. Dry fly is best when the sun is off the water - cloudy days and late afternoon/evening. OK to good nymphing with small mayfly and caddis nymphs and Pats Stones.

Yakima River Report - 6-3-16   The river is up 600 cfs at Cle Elum and 875 cfs at Umtanum since the 31st.  According to the current flow forecast, the Yakima should remain close to the current flows (3276 cfs at Umtanum) for awhile. Water temps are down a bit since the extra water is from Cle Elum reservoir and clarity is good. The Mothers day caddis hatch (Brachycentrus occidentalis)  is mostly done for the year, but a variety of other caddis are emerging. Most important bugs currently include PMDs, Yellow Sallys, Golden stones (not many in the lower canyon) and caddis.

Yakima River Report - 6-15-16   2800 cfs at Umtanum and trending up slowly. The Yak is in great shape. Not much change in hatches and fishing from the last report.

Yakima River Report - 6-20-16   2850 cfs at Umtanum. Cool weather the last few days, not many Caddis, fair to good pmd hatches. Warmer weather forecasted for the rest of the week should encourage the Caddis, Yellow Sallys and Green Drakes. Golden stones are mostly done.

Yakima River Report - 6-30-16   The river bumped up aprox. 500 cfs due to releases from Cle Elum reservoir on the 28th and 29th, but clarity is still good. The evening caddis emergence has been good on non-windy evenings. Summer stones are beginning to emerge, not many yet, but the hatch should get cranked up in the next week or so.

Yakima River Report - 7-8-16   Big release from Cle Elum reservoir on the 6th. Cold water from the reservoir and cool weather the last few days dropped water temps in the river and slowed the stone and caddis emergences. Pretty poor fishing yesterday. Clarity was compromised briefly, but is good today. Why the river went up 1000cfs.  YakimaHerald.com

Yakima River Report - 7-12-16   The Yakima is back to normal summer levels (4000 cfs at Umtanum). Summer Stones and Caddis are beginning to emerge in better numbers again and dry fly fishing should continue to get better.

Yakima River Report - 7-15-16   Variable fishing, from mediocre to very good. Where, when and weather have heavily influenced results the past week. Decent numbers of Summer Stones. The evening Caddis emergence has been short and late for the most part, but the hatch should get better as August approaches.

Yakima River Report - 7-19-16  Clouds, rain and some sun yesterday. Good dry fly fishing with big bugs. Slowed during brief sunny periods. Very good 7:30 until dark. The caddis hatch was short and late, but lots of rising trout.

Yakima River Report - 7-25-16  An estimated 800+  partying floaters descended on the Canyon this weekend. Multiple rescues by Law enforcement prevented any major tragedies. The State Patrol, Sheriffs Dept., BLM  and the Dept.of Fish and Wildlife were out in force and kept drunken driving, garbage and general poor behavior mostly under control. This extra presence is not free (taxpayer dollars) and diverts officers from their normal duties. This has become and annual ‘event’ on the Yakima.

More info: The organizer  -  The event  -  Login and feel free to comment.

Yakima River Report - 8-5-16   OK to good fishing. No dominant hatches. Hoppers, some summer stones, caddis, ants, beetles and few mayflies. The evening Hydro (caddis) emergence has been short and late for the most part. Mix up your dry fly selection, every day is different. Best nymphing has been with pats stones and a variety of size 20 to 14 caddis and mayfly imitations. Pictured at left is the Hornets nest at the Hornet hole. The nest is now 1’ by 2’ and full of very territorial Bald-faced hornets!

The future of Ringer launch. The Ringer road launch will most likely be gone in the near future.

8-5-16   A young man drowned on the Yakima below the Ringer Road launch last weekend. There have been a number of drowning's and numerous close calls in the same spot over the years. Yakima Herald article .  Know the river before you float it. Call the Sheriffs office or a local fly shop before your outing. The Canyon stretch from Bighorn to Roza is fairly safe to float, but the Yakima is a big river and ‘accidents’ can happen very quickly.

Yakima River Report - 8-13-16   Not Much change from the last report. Hopper fishing in the Canyon is ok to good, Mid-day, 12 to 4, but this can vary quite a bit. Dry fly fishing has been up and down, mostly down, upriver. Best stone and caddis fishing early morning and late afternoon/evening in the Canyon. The river is down a bit and the flip-flop is approaching. Most years the summer stone hatch picks up for a week or two during and after the flip-flop.

Yakima River Report - 8-28-16   The annual flip-flop is under way, 3300 cfs at Umtanum today. The first few weeks of September typically produce the best nymphing of the year for numbers of fish. Hoppers and other terrestrials should fish well for a while longer, depending on the river levels and weather. Hopefully we’ll see a resurgence of summer stones as the river drops.

The Yakima is easier to fish at lower flows, but the high flows in the summer for irrigation are what keeps the Yakima cool and the trout healthy in June, July and August. The Yakima is a tailwater fishery. Cle Elum dam is a bottom release reservoir. Kachees and Keechelus are mid to bottom release reservoirs.

Yakima River Report -9-6-16   2000 cfs at Umtanum and dropping. Good nymphing with size 12 to 20 nymphs. Copper Johns, Pts, Prince nymphs or your favorite mayfly or attractor pattern. OK to good dry fly fishing on cloudy days with big bugs. No major hatches currently- a few BWOs, Caddis, summer stones and hoppers and other terrestrials. Starting to see a few crane flies. Cooler weather and good fishing.

Yakima River Report - 9-15-16   Flows on the Yakima have been stable the last few days. 1250 cfs at Umtanum today. Fishing was  good this weekend, mostly nymphing, with size 20 to 12 nymphs. Not as good yesterday. Must have been the full moon? Quit a few size 22 BWOs but not many fish rising to them. Still a few Caddis and Summer Stones. Not many Crane flies in the Canyon yet.

Yakima River Report - 9-29-16   Low fall flows and fair to good fishing. Size 20 to 16 nymphs have been the most productive flies. Copper Johns, Lightning Bugs, Pts, WD40s or your favorite small Mayfly nymph. Size 10 black and orange or brown and orange Pat’s stones have been OK. Poor to good dry fly fishing with October Caddis and Crane flies in the Lower Canyon, more consistent results up river.  Tiny BWOs (size 20) have been emerging pretty consistently, best fishing on cloudy days.

BWOs: cloudy days starting between noon and 1:30. October Caddis: evening. Cranes: all day.

Yakima River Report - 10-9-16   Fair to good BWO hatches, predominantly size 20. Decent hatches of Light Cahills, which have been mostly absent in the Canyon since 2010. Calm cloudy days=fair to good dry fly fishing. The good nymphing window has narrowed in the last week. As hatches get stronger and water temps drop, the fish are more inclined to feed when nymphs become active just before and during the hatches.

Yakima River Report - 11-7-16 BWO and Cahill hatches are tapering off a bit but still provide some dry fly fishing on cloudy  days. Slow to good nymphing. Water temps are still in the mid to upper 40s, good for this time of year due to mild fall weather.