Although it’s currently snowing in Cle Elum, the weather forecast is saying that Spring is finally right around the corner. We still have to wait a bit for the Skwala’s on the surface, but the skwala nymphs are currently very active and the fish have been filling up on them. Besides skwala’s, the march browns are starting to get a bit more active under the surface as well, and this fish definitely know it!
So with that in mind, stone’s and small nymphs have been the name of the game! Any stonefly nymph in tan, brown, olive, or black will fish effectively in sizes 12-8. For a dropper, a small pheasant tail in size 20-14, and midges, such as brassie’s in size 20-16 will work best for your small bug.
When things are really cold or the small nymphs aren’t fishing very well, then the worm has been our best producer over all. Either the classic San Juan or a Squirmy worm in size 8 has been very effective.
Remember to stick to slow moving water and inside corners. We have been finding some big fish in the riffles and at the tops of runs eating stones as well, so don’t be afraid to fish them.
As far as snow goes, if you’re planning to float the river then make sure to bring a set of chains! Most of the canyon boat launches are looking alright except for Umtanum. The farmlands launches (Ringer, Irene, KOA) are all pretty accessible. The Cle Elum area launches are in the worst shape at the moment, but South to State is doable with a set of chains (especially needed when pulling out at state). Hansen is in pretty rough shape, but can be done with a bigger truck and chains, although it’s best to just avoid it. Diversion, Green Bridge, and Bristol all need a bit more time to thaw out and should just be avoided as well.
If you have any questions about fishing conditions, or want to book a trip, feel free to call us at (509)674-2144