Epic Rubber Hatch on the Yakima

Jim Allen

"Fish-On" Custom Fly Rods
Floated the Yakima river on Saturday and witnessed one of the most epic rubber hatches I have ever seen. Fishing was next to impossible. I even saw a fisherman in his Clackacraft anchored just up down stream from the Big Horn launch waiting for his buddy to find a place to park the truck and trailer. He got pushed down the river about a hundred yards by clusters of tubers running into his boat. A word to those who want to fish the Yak on a summer weekend, I would suggest a split day float 6am-11am then 4pm-9pm. Fish will be more aggressive and little or no rubber hatch. Fortunately our intention was not solely fishing it was spending the day with friends on the river followed up with dinner at Red's.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
Rubber hatch would likely be a lot safer. Yesterday, beginning around 1:30 I noticed the beginning of the vinyl plastic flotilla. Over the rest of the day I must have seen close to 100 of the worst plastic inflatables to entrust oneself with on moving water. Granted, the Cowlitz is not a dangerous river to float, but I think floating it in something with the resilience of a balloon is risky. And no PFDs on at least 80% of them.
 

Hillbilly Redneck

wishin i was fishin
I saw some vinyl on a log jam between Sultan and Ben Howard on friday. It was a couple feet above the current water level. Looked like a bad spot to be floating on a rubber ducky. Rescued some gear for some canoers we watched dump right behind us. Totally saw it coming. They were wearing life jackets and were never in any real danger but shit happens fast.
Also ran into a group on a big party pontoon boat with an outboard down in front of Thunderbird. They obviously knew what they were doing!
 

Ian Horning

Powerbait Entomologist
Last year I saw a bunch of kids floating down the river in one of those plastic backyard swimming pools. I also saw a woman in her 40s, day drunk... ok, hammered at 10:00, get flipped head over heels out of her tube. That same day, a kayaker decided it best to nearly run me over instead of maneuvering in the other 30 feet of the bucket that I was standing in... or choosing the other chute of the river altogether. By nearly run me over, I mean I had to leap out of the way to avoid getting hit.

The last one was probably more my fault for not realizing a bunch of piss drunk floaters can't control where they go, or think that anyone else's use of the river is as important as theirs.

Now, I've learned a few things about floaters. First, good for them for getting outside and having fun. Second, fish pop right back up after they blow through. Third, it's pretty easy to get a few laughs in with them. Fourth, be vigilant once they move through, for often they lose a brew, and it may drift right to you- an unopened cold one. Usually it's a coors or bud light or some pisswasser, but it tastes pretty great when its 105 outside and the beer's ice cold.

If the whole river is nothing but tubes, I switch gears and start chucking the biggest, "prettiest" flies in my box as far as possible to show off for the bikini hatch, ala @Swimmy. Tubes or no tubes, it's a win-win.
 

Camo Clad Warrior

Active Member
Last year I saw a bunch of kids floating down the river in one of those plastic backyard swimming pools. I also saw a woman in her 40s, day drunk... ok, hammered at 10:00, get flipped head over heels out of her tube. That same day, a kayaker decided it best to nearly run me over instead of maneuvering in the other 30 feet of the bucket that I was standing in... or choosing the other chute of the river altogether. By nearly run me over, I mean I had to leap out of the way to avoid getting hit.

The last one was probably more my fault for not realizing a bunch of piss drunk floaters can't control where they go, or think that anyone else's use of the river is as important as theirs.

Now, I've learned a few things about floaters. First, good for them for getting outside and having fun. Second, fish pop right back up after they blow through. Third, it's pretty easy to get a few laughs in with them. Fourth, be vigilant once they move through, for often they lose a brew, and it may drift right to you- an unopened cold one. Usually it's a coors or bud light or some pisswasser, but it tastes pretty great when its 105 outside and the beer's ice cold.

If the whole river is nothing but tubes, I switch gears and start chucking the biggest, "prettiest" flies in my box as far as possible to show off for the bikini hatch, ala @Swimmy. Tubes or no tubes, it's a win-win.

All I am saying is always carry "Jerry Style" beads in the boat. You never know when it could turn a fishing trip around.
 

Travis Bille

Active Member
My favorite Yak floater I ever saw was this hammered ass drunk guy floating on an inflated and tied off garbage bag, with his 6 pack of Icehouse resting in the water. I didn't see a second garbage bag for the empties.

It's always nice finding a cold PBR in an eddy though.
 

NRC

WFF Supporter
My favorite Yak floater I ever saw was this hammered ass drunk guy floating on an inflated and tied off garbage bag, with his 6 pack of Icehouse resting in the water. I didn't see a second garbage bag for the empties.

It's always nice finding a cold PBR in an eddy though.
Haha. Yup, Icehouse as the beverage of choice for that individual checks out.
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
Rescued some gear for some canoers we watched dump right behind us. Totally saw it coming. They were wearing life jackets and were never in any real danger but shit happens fast.

A few years ago I seen an entire family dump a canoe. There were 4 of them, fortunately all wearing life jackets which is what kept things from turning into a tragedy. Two of the canoe’s occupants were children under 10. They were floating ok and not in immediate danger but they were floating downstream and starting to panic. I managed to maneuver my sled close enough to grab each one and pull them into the boat. By this time the adult, grandfather I believe and the other kid, teenager, had made it to a dock. I dropped off the 2 little ones and picked up the grandfather to help retrieve the canoe and other gear heading downriver.
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
WFF Supporter
When I lived in Austin there was an annual floating parade/contest in Lady Bird Lake. Any little excuse to throw a party and it's on! Some very creative...people. Once saw a raft made of female blowup dolls...
 

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