"I finally figured to shove the rod tip towards the fish to give it to them after they pecked and it resulted in the hookups."
It's tough not to react right away with a hook set. Letting them chew on it for a couple moments or head off with the goods is wise sometimes.
Top water flies are working here in central Washington. I got one on a popper and one on a para adams that I was trying to entice some redears with. I Also got a couple on buggers and one on a psycho prince nymph. All small fish in the 3/4-1 pound range, but they were fun on my new two weight.
Pick up a Size 2 Airhead if you haven't already. They are super fun to fish and very fishy too. You'll need at least a 6 wt. to cast it though and an 8 is better. Pole Dancers are working too. They are a little harder to fish.
Not being familiar with any Washington fishery other than the Sound I just googled it and the Lower Yak and Columbia came up. Obviously the John Day and S. Umpqua in Oregon but those are predominantly smaller fish which is often the case for rivers.
I prefer lakes or large, slow moving rivers as the fish are generally larger. I use a 5-6 wt. rod, rarely fish the surface, and use mostly Zonkers, large buggers, and crayfish patterns. Look for rocks over wood as their main forage is crayfish and baitfish. Fish tight to rock walls and bump your fly over rocky bottoms. Use a Type I-Type II line for most areas, and do the countdowns and fish the water column down. Smallies can be anywhere in the column. They act more like trout than LMB and do like a little current. I routinely fish them down to 20' in mid summer as they prefer colder water than the LMB, and at that depth use a Type 4 or T-200-350.
Sometimes a fast strip is the key, but of course when fishing craw patterns you want short strips with pauses. When fishing baitfish patterns I've found fast stripping in the current seam (if available) is often the best when the WT >60.