Yakima River Fishing Report – May 20th, 2021

The river has remained in great condition for both wading and floating, and the fishing has been great as well! It’s going to be great weather this weekend, and we would expect with this could cover to find some dry fly action. We’ve been seeing salmonflies, caddis, as well as a few goldens on the surface throughout the day.

Even though we’ve been seeing a lot of big dries out, the dry fly action has been very hit-and-miss. We’ve had the random salmonfly eat, and can occasionally we’ll find some fish munching on caddis. The majority of our fishing has been done with nymphs and streamers. With a lot of stoneflies getting ready to hatch, big stonefly nymphs have been our most consistent fly. Fishing a prince, pheasant tail or hare’s ear dropper has also been very effective.

As for streamers, big and flashy has been the way to go. We’re primarily trying to imitate salmon smolts on their way back out to the ocean, and big fish have been keying in on them. You can fish them stripped back to the boat with a sink tip, under an indicator, or with trout spey.


Stonefly Nymphs

Stonefly nymphs are our main fly for this time of year. With salmonflies still active and goldens just starting to be active, there are a lot of nymphs crawling around in the riffles getting ready to hatch. The bigger sizes, such as size 4-6 have been the most productive.

1.) Tungsten Pat’s Stone – Tan/Brown, Coffee/Black, Black – Size 6-10

2.) Double Beaded Stone – Peacock, Black – Size 4-8

3.) Jigged Pat’s Stone – Coffee/Black, Tan/Black, Black – Size 4-10

4.) Extended Body Golden – Size 8-10

5.) TJ Hooker – Tan/Brown, Coffee/Black, Black – Size 6-10

Small Nymphs

A stone with a dropper has been the primary setup, and they haven’t been too picky about the droppers. Princes and other caddis nymphs have been our favorite, especially the Prince of Darkness and the Dirty Hipster in olive.

1.) Dirty Jig – Olive, Tan – Size 12-18

2.) Dirty Hipster – Olive, Tan – Size 10-14

3.) Jigged Prince – Size 12-18

4.) Formerly Known as Prince – Red – Size 14-16

5.) Pheasant Tail – Size 12-16

6.) Peeping Caddis – Green, Tan – Size 12-14

7.) Prince of Darkness – Size 14-16

8.) Go-to Prince – Size 14-18

9.) LB Prince – Black – Size 12-14

Dry Flies

Although the dry fly fishing hasn’t been very consistent, we are still seeing quite a few bugs on the surface. A great way to go when you’re seeing a lot of bugs but not many rises is to throw a dry dropper with a salmonfly dry, and some sort of prince or caddis nymph as the dropper.

1.) Kamikaze Salmonfly – Size 6

2.) Supafly Salmonfly – Size 6

3.) Fat Freddy Salmonfly – Size 4-6

4.) Partridge Caddis – Olive – Size 12-16

5.) Fuzzy Caddis – Olive – Size 14-16

6.) EC Caddis – Olive/Tan, Olive/Brown – Size 12-16


Now is one of the best times of the year to find big fish on streamers. With a lot of salmon smolts heading back out to the ocean, big fish have been looking out for a big easy meal. Fish them under an indicator, stripped with a sink tip, or even with trout spey. Don’t be afraid to go big, the size 4 sparkle minnows and zonkers are on of our most effective flies right now.

1 and 2.) Sparkle Minnow – Pearl/Gold, Smoke, Sculpin, Olive – Size 4-8

3.) Zonker – White, Natural – Size 4-6

4.) Baby Whitefish – Size 4

5.) Dali Llama – Black/white, Olive/white, white – Size 6

As far as guide trips go, we’ve had boats on the river every day. Give us a call if your interested in getting on the water! We hope everyone has a great weekend on the river, just remember to stay safe, and give us a call with any questions you might have.

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