Although it’s been a bit cold out here, we’ve still been having some great fishing! Along with this cold weather comes less snowmelt, so you may have noticed a big drop in water levels the last few days. This will offer some great wade fishing opportunities, but take advantage of this lower water while it’s here!
We’ve been finding fish all morning on nymphs, and then we move to find pods of rising fish in the afternoons. There are still a few skwalas hanging around, but the March brown and blue winged olives have been coming off pretty thick around 12:30. Look for foam lines, tailouts and inside corners for rising fish, and throw stonefly nymphs and pheasant tails when they aren’t coming up to the surface.
We’re also starting to see a few smolt moving around so we expect the streamer fishing to start picking up these next few weeks. While the classic swinging and stripping will work great, nymphing a streamer this time of year can be very effective. We stick to flashy patterns in white, olive, and black, and fish them around structure and drop-offs.
As I mentioned before, dry flies have primarily been an afternoon game. March browns are the primary bug, but there are still some skwalas and BWO’s mixed in. If you’re seeing a lot of bugs but not many fish rising, an attractor pattern like a royal wulff or purple haze is a great way to get a fish to rise.
1.) Oswald’s Rasta-man Skwala – Size 10-12
2.) Lanier’s Widow Wing Skwala – Size 10
3.) Miller’s Hi-Vis Skwala – Size 12
4.) Britten Jay’s Purple Stone – Size 8-10
5.) March Brown – Size 12-16
6.) Western March Brown – Size 10-16
7.) Purple Rooster – Size 14-16
8.) Parachute Adams – Size 10-16
9.) Royal Wulff – Size 12-14
Nymphing is still our most effective way to find fish. Fish the faster shallow riffles, inside corners, and structure and cover water. Larger pheasant tails have been the most effective, but other buggy patterns mentioned below have been great as well.
1.) TJ Hooker – Tan/Brown, Black, Black/Brown – Size 6-12
2.) Tungsten Pat’s Stone – Black, Tan/Brown, Black/Brown, Olive/Brown – Size 6-12
3.) Jigged Pat’s – Coffee/Black, BLack, Tan/Black – Size 8-14
4.) Pat’s Stone – Black, Coffee/Black, Olive/Brown, Brown, Tan/Brown – Size 4-14
5.) Jigged CDC Pheasant Tail – Size 8-16
6.) Jigged CDC Fast Water Prince – Size 10-12
7.) Jigged Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail – Size 10
8.) Roza Red Tag – Size 14-16
9.) Quill/Orange Perdigon – Size 12-16
10.) Frenchie Pheasant Tail – Size 12-16
11.) Pheasant Tail – Size 10-16
12.) Quasimodo – Size 12-16
13.) Beadhead Flashback Pheasant Tail – Size 10-16
Streamer fishing hasn’t gotten super hot yet, but it’s starting to pick up. White and flashy is the most consistent with smolts starting to move around, but we’re still fishing fish on more sculpin-ish type flies as well.
1.) Dali Llama – Olive/White, White, Black/White – Size 6
2.) “The One” Sculpin – Natural, Black, Olive – Size 4
3.) Sparkle Minnow – Smoke, Pearl, Sculpin, Black, Olive – Size 4-8
4.) Jigged Zonker Minnow – Natural, White – Size 6-10
5.) Wounded Sculpin – Size 10
While it’s easy to get fixated on the Yakima this time of year, it’s also a great time to hit the local still waters. Leeches and chironomids can be very effective out at Dry Falls, Rocky Ford, Omak, or even the small lakes and ponds around Ellensburg. With the weather changing as much as it’s been, try a variety of different methods to dial in on what the fish might be eating that day. We also have a great variety of swivels, split shots, sinking lines/leaders, and strike indicators to get you out on the lakes!
1.) Woolly Bugger – Olive, Black, Brown, White
2 and 3.) Balance Leech’s – Black, Olive – Size 10 and 14
4.) Crystal Chironomids – Size 16-12
5.) Ice Cream Cone – Red, Black – Size 16-12
6.) Gun Metal Chironomid – Size 12-16
7.) Beadhead Chironomid – Red, Black – Size 12-16
As we creep closer to warmer days our calendar is going to start filling up, give us a call if you want to get out on the water! We should see some salmonflies soon, and then we’ll be jumping into goldens and more dry fly action!
Give the shop a call if you have any questions at (509)674-2144