** After careful consideration, we have decided to cancel our 2021 Fall steelhead season on the Grande Rhonde and Klickitat Rivers. **
With 2021 being the lowest steelhead returns in recorded history, we have decided that guiding and adding extra pressure to this fishery is not in the best interest of the fish. It has been a very difficult decision to make with years of tradition chasing these amazing fish. If we truly care about the future of Columbia River steelhead then the best thing we all can do is take the season off.
It’s officially Fall on the Yakima and the fish have been happy! We’re seeing October Caddis, Crane Flies and a few Blue Winged Olives. With some warm days coming at the end of the week, we still haven’t taken out our waders! It’s a great time of year to be wade fishing the Yak, so take advantage of the beautiful weather we have coming up.
We are seeing some salmon in the upper river, please remember that it is illegal to target both salmon and steelhead on the Yakima River. These fish are spawning after a long journey from the ocean, so watch your step and avoid light patches of gravel!
Dry droppers have been the way to go, but a single dry will work just fine. Chubbies, Gypsy Kings and Stimulators have been the our favorites. Try hanging a pheasant tail or jigged nymph off your dry and get as long of a drift as you can. This is also a great time to throw a streamer! Natural sculpin patterns are our go-to for swinging this time of year.
As guides, something that we always notice is people spending too much time casting at banks, and either floating or standing where the fish are. If you’re wading waste deep in to the run, you’ve probably spooked most of the big fish. If you’re floating and find yourself casting at the bank all day, the fish are probably under your boat. Stick to the middle and inside corners of riffles, as well as structure and foam lines.
As I mentioned before, October Caddis and Crane Flies have been the main bugs around. There are still a few hoppers, but we’ve been mostly throwing big orange caddis. We have been seeing a few Blue Winged Olives on the water so make sure to have a few in your arsenal.
1.) Terranasty – Size 6-12
2.) Half-drowned hopper – Size 6-14
3.) Chubby Chernobyl – Golden Brown, Purple, Royal, Peach – Size 8-12
4.) Rubberlegged Stimulator – Size 8-10
5.) Gypsy King – Natural Golden, Golden, Royal, Orange – Size 6-10
6.) Hi-vis BWO – Size 14-18
7.) Purple Haze – Size 14-18
8.) Sparkle Dun BWO – Size 16-18
9.) Craneflies!!!!! (not pictured)
Most of these smaller bugs will make the perfect dropper under a big dry, but if you want to throw an indicator then using the October Caddis nymph as your top fly and any of the others as a dropper is a great way to go.
1.) Anderson’s Bird of Prey – October Caddis – Size 8-10
2.) Dirty Hipster – Tan – Size 10-14
3.) Jigged CDC Pheasant Tail – Size 12-18
4.) Roza Red Tag – Size 14-18
5.) Duracell – Size 12-18
6.) Red Holo Point – Size 16
7.) Queen Prince – Size 12-18
8.) Quasimodo – Size 12-18
This is a great time of year to throw some streamers! There’s a ton of sculpins darting around between the rocks right now, so cover water by swinging runs with the occasional strip to grab some attention.
1.) Marabou Muddler – Size 8
2.) Muddler Minnow – Size 6-12
3.) Sculpzilla – Tan, Olive, Natural – Size 4-8
4.) Muddler Bugger – Size 8
5.) Orange Muddler – Size 8-12
We still have some spots available for trips to Mexico in 2021 and 2022!
As usual, if you have any questions or would like to book a trip, give us a call!