Did anyone else fish the Yakima this wknd?

I didn't do so hot on Sat. Couple of trout and three whitefish. The last two trips have been much the same and I can't blame it on the weather because it was nice and the water was between 37-40 degrees which seems warm enough to me. I would love to compare notes to see if I need to tweak my technique or offerings. I am happy to share my observations for what they are worth.
Jaysus the fishless
I'm confused about which part of the river closes in april and may because I don't know where the Roza Dam is, dammit! The lower canyon is open for trout now, I know this much cause I talked to a fish and game officer two weeks ago. Hopefully another poster will enlighten us both. I catch whitefish regularly nymphing, although they are not as thick as in some other rivers like the Yellowstone or Colorado, and sort of smallish, although some I've seen a few close to a couple of lbs. I catch them on hares ears, pheasant tails, prince nymphs and midge emergers. They seem to inhabit water that is faster than trout usually hold in, and are close to the bottom so get your bugs down. You can use splitshot in the canyon because it is selective gear rules. I hooked three saturday on a size 20 midge emerger. Hope this helps
The river is "open" for trout but it is all catch and release. You can keep the whitefish but check the regs for size and limit.

If the wind doesn't blow tomorrow, I plan on fishing the lower canyon.



Just keep driving down the road and you will run into the dam. I drove down there several years ago just to find it.From Roza dam to The dam at Keechelus it is open year round. Trout is always catch and release in this area. I read this out of the regs. Jim S. :BIGSMILE
I fished the Yakima both Saturday and Sunday below Roza Dam just above the entrance to the canyon. It wasn't so hot for me either. I was fishing with a Bloody Mari or Prince trailed by a size 18 BH Pheasant Tail/ Hare's Ear. A few whitefish liked the Pheasant tale, but both days I only caught one Trout.

Not as many people fish below Roza dam. The reason is because the fishing isn't nearly as good. I saw a lot of guys on the bank fishing for whitefish, but there's not a lot of big trout down there. I fish it sometimes because it's closer to my house.

The regs are a little different below Roza. Both are open to fishing for sure until the end of March. I think that below Roza it may close March 31st, but i'm not sure.

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
Below Roza is closer to home for me too, but it seems like the fish above the dam are too smart for me. I've done way better closer to home and still in Yakima County.

I've recently been out fishing the pants off of bait fishermen in the lower river with artificial nymphs. The whitefish liked a 16 to 20 pheasant tail, weighted down with a stonefly nymph that I hoped would smoke out any big trout but unfortunately just worked as a sinker. But what's really hot for whitefish has been a 14-16 copper bodied, copper headed, pheasant body soft hackled concoction. I don't even like to use it much, because all the whitefish thrashing on the end of my line scares the trout off. Red wire bodies work well too.

Whitefish this time of year seem to like a sandy bottom. I t may be that the sandy bottom is just an indicator of the slower currents they prefer. Some of these spots are found in deep slow pools, like the cliff walled one below Roza. But by accident, I found a hot spot near there that I don't mind giving you tantalizing hints about since it is so easily overlooked, I don't think you'd find it. It's just one small rock in the middle of a run. Unlike all the other seeming identical rocks, this one has hundreds (thousands?) of whitefish living behind it. It's not deep at all behind this rock, but it clearly has that sand - gravel interface. I just wade out, flip the copperhead behind the rock, and then wade back with another whitefish. Stumbling back and forth.

Last week, there were two WDFW guys from this region in my office meeting with other folks. For lunch, I had put leftover smoked whitefish in the microwave and filled the place with the excellent aroma of fishy alder chips. They were covetous of my lunch. They called a break to their meeting so they could go to lunch. The one WDFW guy said, "I really love to see people going after whitefish. They are really underutilized."