Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yakima - Last Day for Spring

Yesterday was the last day to complete my "once-a-week" outing plan to Yakima River. First of all, I am glad that I've gone through and am feeling achievement regardless of fishing results. I was visiting on my days-off from work. There were days that I wanted to sleep in but I didn't. I observed some changes at the river. I tried to fish different sections of the river and changed my tactics every week. For past two months everything in my life was planned and done, centering my fishing plan. That's good!!

Enough introduction, how was yesterday then? Yesterday was the best condition to go outside at this time of the year. Warm sunny day with mild winds. Seven weeks of information and some experience behind me, I guessed water level right! It was even a bit lower than last week. I drove up above town of Ellensburg where I first fished on February 1st (time has passed so quick!!). I wanted to do some wading into middle of the river to fish with streamers at deep troughs. I was actually expecting a cloudy day with no winds or rain, maybe just a little, for a typical streamer day. But I knew that was asking too much!

I went back to the same spot as in Feb-1 post. I again did some nymphing as I went up and back. But didn't have any actions this time. I had a lunch sitting between Yakima River and I-90. I noticed caddis already popped out on my hat. I think it's small spotted tan caddis (Hydropsyche). I could have swung some soft-hackles.

Better shot in the afternoon. I actually saw gulping rises as the sun was fading away. It seemed typical caddis rises I have seen at Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park.

In the afternoon, still warm and bright, I went back to the same spot as last week. With another long walk and wading, I fished with nymphs and same tactics again at the same deep pool. It worked again! This time it was a 15-incher.

Again on a Rubber Leg.

I made last effort along Canyon streatch as I head down to my home. I didn't even catch a pike-minnow on streamers. So this one was the last trout I caught in Yakima for this spring.

Well, I didn't catch anything bigger than 16-inch. Was I satisfied with what I've experienced? Was it worth for my efforts and costs? I am going to summerize below.

About Yakima
  • I have nothing negative to say about the river and fishery.
  • Yakima is such a big piece of water so fish population per mile would be less than those rivers in Montana or mountain streames in Naches.
  • Would be done better by floating since it's running mostly along with Interstate 90 and lots of private property.


  • Wild trout are always good regardless of their sizes.
  • I could have caught bigger and heavier trout in lakes or Rocky Ford here in eastern WA but those are stocked triploids.


  • I didn't use a guide. All I had was info from Worley Bugger and mostly about access points.
  • Individual spots, tactics, and flies were based on my observation and experience.

Objectives accomplished

  • Get out of the boring winter time.
  • Casting for better. And I noticed my casting was improved by Micro Practice Rod.
  • My fly selection and water-reading were good. At least enough not to get "skunked".
  • Shaped up my body for wading.

Misc. experience

  • Ellensburg has some good places to eat for lunch while fishing.
  • As any other popular rivers, avoiding crowds always play some roles. And I think I did well by making lots of observation and driving.

With all said above, I am getting ready for my spring trip to Livingston in less than two weeks. Indeed all of these 8-day outings were committed by that in my mind underneath.

Two things I wanted to but couldn't
  • Test and catch with a big streamer pattern I recently designed.
  • Test the drag performance and line retlieving with my Lamson Guru when big trout were hooked.
I will be checking my gears to pack into my truck and oraganizing my flies and boxes.

Also, I will go back to Yakima in the fall after irrigation is done. I might even fish for smallmouth before the runoff starts right here at the Lower Yakima Valley.


  1. Love to see rubber legger in top lips!!!!

  2. So do I. I believe it happennes when the hook is set at the right timing. But also I like to see my flies are set at the corner of trout's mouths when "not setting" the hook while swiging soft-hackles.

  3. I was thinking the bead made it do a head stand and it got ate from above!!