We are getting deep in to the Fall and the Yakima is in prime condition for wade fishing! The river is super low and the fish have been very active on the surface. We’re seeing October Caddis, BWO’s, and even a few Crane’s still bouncing around.
Orange Stimulators or Gypsy Kings in sizes 8-12 are a great way to imitate the big October Caddis. Just remember that they’ll fish better with a little twitch to them, and not just focusing on the perfect dead drift. Although we still find some fish eating them on the dead drift, a little twitch or skate has been the best way to bring up some big fish.
The Blue Winged Olive’s primarily hatch around 2:30, and you’ll notice big fish slurping in the tailouts and inside corners. We recommend keeping it simple and dead drifting some Purple Haze’s or Parachute Adams in sizes 14-18. If you have trouble seeing these smaller bugs, then throw a double dry set up with an October caddis as the top bug, just to help you find the smaller bugs on the surface.
This is also one of the best times of the year to be throwing a streamer! Sculpzilla’s of any size in Black, Tan, Gray or Olive are our go-to bugs right now, but a muddler, sparkle minnow, woolly bugger or leech will fish great as well. We like to fish them on a sinking polyleader on the swing.
As far as nymphing goes, we’ve been sticking to smaller bugs to imitate caddis and smaller mayfly nymphs. For the top bug, an orange/brown pats (size 8-12), or a Pheasant Tail, Lightning Bug, Hare’s Ear or Copper John will work great. Fishing them in a size 12 or 10 for the top fly, and 16 or 18 for the bottom fly in shallow riffles has been very effective.
As we expected, steelhead runs are pretty low for all of the Columbia tribs, but we’re still able to find some fish with lots of hard work! Nymphing a stone or a bead has been the most effective as you would expect, but you can still find a fish swinging if you work water hard and cover a few runs. We like to swing Muddlers, Hoh Bo Speys, along with classic patterns like Green Butt Skunks, Purple Perils and Skykomish Sunrise’s.
If you’re planning to fish the Klick, just be aware that it has been a very busy river. Especially with so many other rivers being closed, there has been a lot of people out both wading and floating just about every stretch of the river.
Just like every other river in the state, there isn’t that many fish making it all the way up the Rhonde. With the Snake and Clearwater being closed, the Rhonde is about to get hit with a bit of extra pressure. As much as we love fishing this incredible river, sometimes it’s best to let the fish be. The best thing we can do for them is to leave them alone!
If you are planning to make the drive over to fish it, chances are that you’ll still be able to find a fish or two. This is a great river to swing a scandi line with a classic fly, or even try to skate a dry fly.
PLEASE NOTE: There are currently salmon spawning throughout the upper reaches of the all the Columbia tributaries. With this being some of the lowest runs we’ve seen, lets all do our part in not stepping in the redds (nests) where the salmon lay their eggs. These redds are clearly marked with green or blue tags on the bank, so keep an eye out for lighter patches of gravel where you see these tags. This goes for anglers floating the river as well, please be cautious of dropping your anchor in areas marked with these tags!