Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Trophy Hunting in Naches

I am back to my 6wt and wader. I was originally to get back in September but I had a day-off from work and it's getting cooler here in eastern WA. Why wait? My idea for this late summer till the fall settles in is to get ready for the fall trip to Yellowstone. What I mean is to keep my body in good shape for wading so I won't fall in and get washed away in swift Madison and so I can cast streamers well. But that doesn't mean I don't expect to catch big trout around here.

Naches River is the "big sister" of my secret mountain stream (wet-wading & camping as posted below) and one of the big tributaries for Yakima River. I don't mind telling in public that this is an underrated fishery due to the fame of Yakima. It just looks good and lovely to me and certain sections really resemble Madison. But it does not hold as many trout as in Madison..............I hadn't caught any trout over 10-inches until last week. But also, I have been hearing that there do exist some big Westslope Cutthroat in Naches. Mountains around Naches are also very popular for hunting, hence the title. See what I can do.

I first went to Ellensburg and dropped by Worley Bugger for tying materials. I bought and ordered all the materials and tools with Steve. He has told me that huge cutthroat and rainbow have been caught on nymphs and streamers most of the time. Talking about aggressive fishing with streamers, I might as well have rigged up Kelly Galloup's style. 6wt, full-sink line, and non-weighted or lightly-weighted streamers along with jerk-strip retrieve. And this is what I will be doing to target a handful of humongous (not the number) trout in the fall in Yellowstone. So whether I catch or not today, I had nothing to lose.

As I fished down the most promising section. I didn't have any bites or snags at all. I headed back to my truck to try next section. Yet, I tried one more before I climb up the cliff. Probably the third cast, I finally got a big tug!! Nice 17-inch Westslope Cutthroat came on Conehead JJ's Special (tied in black in my imagination).

Gotcha, big fella!!!
There was no shallow water to lay trout still so I tried to self-timer with me and the trout at the same time.

This one might be better? (I got my hair cut by the way.) This Cutty is the biggest Westslope I ever caught so far. Considering the trout population and fishing regulation in Naches, I believe this size of true native Westslope must be the top of food chain, hence some of the trophy class.

Today was the first time that I fished Naches so aggressively, so I drove down to lower sections and accesses. Some looked very fishy. As I was working with my streamer, I saw a so-so trout chasing it and I stopped stripping on purpose. Nano-second later, I felt WHAM!! Though it was only 13-incher, I love native Westslope all the time.

Another gotcha!!

Streamer used was Doug's Home Invader in custom color that has to be counted on spring creek fishing in Livingston. It works here too as a baby trout/sculpin!!

Anyway the 17-inch Cutty was quite a surprise in many ways. I wondered if I was using up my fishing luck before fall. No, I don't think so. Today, it just happened and more should happen during next several weeks. As kids go back to school and other recreational people stop swimming, there must be more big trout in Naches and Yakima. There might be accidental catch for salmon and steelhead.......


  1. nice group of pictures and the hair cut looks good.

  2. My hair got sun-burned because of too much fishing!!

  3. Great pics man. My bro just moved out to western WA and I look forward to scoping out your trout in the future.

  4. Westslope is a lovely species. But also recently I am finally tempted to try steelhead.