Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fish Watching Day

Today, I made another over 200 miles drive. Local tips I got yesterday at Worley Bugger was that lots of salmon are way up in Yakima River now and they are ready to spawn or spawning. And big rainbow and cutthroat are chasing eggs right behind them. So I drove above Ellensburg. Following the map and my guessing (can't do much observation from my truck view), I pulled into a public access. To make 1-hour fishing story short, I was not successful and decided to move.

As I was leaving, luckily I met a guide from Worley Bugger, Ryan, and talked with him!! He gave me the exact section and spot I should look into. Put it shortly, salmon were way up from where I was.

It was still way before noon when I started to walk and fish around where Ryan directed me. I saw lots of salmon redds and large rainbows!! I was with my simple nymph rig = stonefly nymph + egg, which will be used in Yellowstone in a month. But I had no action at all. Those trout chasing salmon eggs seemed very spooky in the clear water. Then I came to a really deep, wide, and long pool. I thought this must be the place for extreme nymphing!! I didn't have any action yet............then I started to see some huge trout were rising on the surface in this big pool!! Believe me, one I saw was probably 25-inch class or even bigger!! I'm not bragging about the lost fish. This is the "eye-witness" testimony. I saw its rise twice. There were some more rises of potentially large trout too. Then I couldn't what was hatching because there were a couple of insects and guesses at the same time. Midges, baetis, size16 mayfly, potentially October Caddis, and lots of stonelfly nymphal shucks on the rocks. Since I loaded my boxes with primarily for nymph fishing, I couldn't cover all of these. I switched into dry-fly and dry-&-egg dropper but couldn't do anything. To calm my nerve, I walked back to my truck for lunch.

I met a gentleman from Seattle who was fishing upstream from the parking lot. He says he likes this section of Yakima and told me that the big fish I saw could have been steelhead or salmon who were feeding by their instincts = hard to catch. I actually thought so too. Its back seemed the same color as the Chinook I caught, kind of yellowish, not like fresh-water rainbow. We swapped some of our favorite fishing spots.

After lunch, I thought about what I could do. Spawning salmon, egg sucking rainbow, fickle feeding, and misc etc........ Since I loaded my boxes with nymph fishing, I consulted with my secret Dutch Box, filled with the best and most reliable patterns (one of each), to see if there would be any idea. Rainbow, steelhead, salmon = all of them are run-up fish and fishing is fickle. Same as the Madison in Yellowstone Park in the fall to fish fall-run brown and rainbow??? Since I don't have brown in this situation, I picked up a Full-Dressed Red. I am planning to post a list of fall flies so I don't go details for now. One word: swing!!

Not the big one but fixed the "skunk" of the day!! I'd like to say this one was fatter for its length. They all must be feeding on salmon eggs.

Finally egg worked too.

This is the spot where several redds had been made so closely. With my camera and level of photography, I can't take clearer picture than this. Redds are so distinctive. I cast a lot here (because lots of large rainbows were around) but never stepped in or on the redds.
I did make my best effort but didn't get hooked into any large rainbows. Then at the end of the day, I saw a post-spawn salmon that was protecting the redd. Its skin and fins were torn from the hard work of making a redd. Now it was protecting till the death comes. After the death, the body will be the nutrition and feeds of the river........ Again, this was the best I could take. I didn't insert any words to let your imagination grow. Can you extract and see a fish body facing right of the picture?

I didn't catch any large rainbow or accidental salmon/steelhead but I was actually moved to what I experienced today. Without going to Alaska or watching fish biology documents, I saw the life-cycle of the river. That's why I am typing so long!!

I might be back here in a week or two as my work schedule permits.

No comments:

Post a Comment