Washington Fly Fishing Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
FNG
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been wading the yak three times over the last three weeks. Each time putting in about 5 hours, twice near Cle Elum and once near Umtanum. The only thing I've caught is a buzz. I've been trying everything in the box (mostly nymphs) but no love.
The fishing reports often say the fishing is great but of course most of them are trying to sell guided trips.

Is the fishing just slow this time of year or is it my (lack of) technique? How has the wading been for others out there?
 

·
Willybethere
Joined
·
268 Posts
Agree 100%, if some (not all) fly shop fishing reports = actual numbers of trout caught by the average/above average angler then the Yakima would be the best trout river in all of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming combined. Hell they catch more whitefish than I do as well!

I only read the fishing reports as a determining factor as to when to go vs. not go, not for a numbers comparison purpose because they don't come close. The best day's I've ever had fisihing in Montana and Idaho don't compare to the average daily catches reported by some shops on the Yak.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,917 Posts
This time of year is hit and miss. If you hit it-it can be awesome! I was on the Yak Thursday from Red's to the Slab-water was cold and muddy. We fished hard and had a couple on briefly and none landed. The next day, we did S Cle Elum to State. Caught one and had a very nice one on briefly (on a Skwala dry) and the water was clear above the Teanaway, but stilll around 40-41 degres. If the water had been more like 45, it could have been an awesome day. Some days are like that! Before you go, check the water temp and look for when it hits 45. Steve Worley's web site has current temps. Another guy on the river Friday caught a 22" bow on a Pat's stone #8 brown. He said it puked up a couple March Brown nymphs, so between the Skwalas and coming March Browns, the next couple weeks could be awesome. The Yak is much easier to fish if you can float it. Gets you to less pressured water. Get a pontoon boat ASAP! Rick
 

·
Long Lost Member
Joined
·
20,209 Posts
"Trying everything in the box" can you elaborate on that or photograph your box? I've fished the Yakima only twice, and the first outing I missed so many fish I was, and still am, embarassed. Only one to hand, but that would have been much different if I were skilled. Yes, both my chances to fish were from a drift boat. The second trip was a lot tougher weather conditions and I got the skunk. I'm convniced enough about the presence of fish that I'll keep coming back when I can.
 

·
Joe Streamer
Joined
·
4,156 Posts
The Yakima is not...a "great" river in the grand scheme of things. It's just the best big trout river in day trip proximity to Seattle, and the combination of its legal fishing season and water flow seasons make it attractive at certain times of the year when other options are slim. That's the best thing I can say about it.

A great day fishing 8 hours or more on the Yak is 10+ fish. A more typical day is 2-5 fish. 1/4-1/2 your days may be skunkings depending on your skill and knowledge level.

I've fished that river easily 50 times over the past decade, and possibly more like 70. I think I have it figured out as well as one can have any river figured out. Yet this spring, for example, I had one day that was so bad I didn't even get a strike (waters was still too cold). Then a week later I landed 5 and lost several more during this last warm spell. I fished the seasonally appropriate streamers, skwala nymphs, BWO nymphs each time, and in the seasonally correct spots. But sometimes the Yak just yaks.
 

·
I hope she likes whitefish
Joined
·
1,724 Posts
I'm only a hop, skip, and a jump away from the good ole Yak and I can speak from MANY first hand experiences that, indeed, the Yak is hit and miss. We fished it last Friday and only had a few fish to hand. However, we had more takes and rolls in the last half hour than in the entire day. We're also fishing from a boat rather than wading. During the summer, I wade fish a lot as well and often come up "empty" handed after a long day of fishing. I don't think it's as much WHAT you're fishing with as it is HOW and WHERE you're fishing it. There are some definite holes in the Yakima that aren't accessible by wading, so that's one place where the boat has an advantage. The advantage to wading however is, if you find a hole with fish in it, you can pound it for a while where as in a boat, you usually skip past it if there are no takers on the first attempt.

There's fish on the Yakima, believe you me!
 

·
FNG
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've been trying the Skwala & BWO nymphs and dries, PT's, SJ Worms and others. I mostly have been trying whatever they sugest on The Evening Hatch's report. I know something has to work one of these trips..... I guess I'm getting lots of practice casting!
 

·
I hope she likes whitefish
Joined
·
1,724 Posts
Skwala's were HOT on Friday in the evening. PT's a good attractor and SJ's are a good dropper. I know the guides swear by this combo, but in all honesty, I've had MUCH more success with more basic none specific patterns like the prince nymph, copper john, and lightening bug. As far as the attractor nymph, any old stone will do. Once again, this is just my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
I have been fishing the yak for a few years (after switching from the ford) my father and I Wade most the time and throughout the years we are lucky to land 2-5 fish between both of us in a weekend.

We floated it once in our pontoons... In a 6-8 hour float I caught 22 rainbows, my dad caught 15 and 1 whitefish.

We only keep going back because of the scenery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,917 Posts
Agree 100%, if some (not all) fly shop fishing reports = actual numbers of trout caught by the average/above average angler then the Yakima would be the best trout river in all of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming combined. Hell they catch more whitefish than I do as well!

I only read the fishing reports as a determining factor as to when to go vs. not go, not for a numbers comparison purpose because they don't come close. The best day's I've ever had fisihing in Montana and Idaho don't compare to the average daily catches reported by some shops on the Yak.
I would say that the average good day on the Yak is maybe 10 fish to hand. The average good day on the Elk (in Fernie BC) is 40-50 (for me), Kelly Creek-20+, and while I've had a 50 fish day on the Big Hole (including 4 Arctic Char) maybe 30 on that river is a good day. Now, I have been skunked on all of the rivers above, as well as the Missouri, Bitterroot, Clark Fork, Henry's Fork, the list goes on! But if you hit an awesome Trico fall, BWO hatch, maybe a sulfur dun, lots of hoppers on a windy day, you can catch LOTS of fish on these rivers. I've fished the Yak more than the other rivers mentioned and never caught more than 13 fish in a day. It is a tougher river than the famous Montana rivers with 3000-7000 fish per mile. Rick
 

·
No longer here
Joined
·
4,034 Posts
I would say that the average good day on the Yak is maybe 10 fish to hand. The average good day on the Elk (in Fernie BC) is 40-50 (for me), Kelly Creek-20+, and while I've had a 50 fish day on the Big Hole (including 4 Arctic Char) maybe 30 on that river is a good day. Now, I have been skunked on all of the rivers above, as well as the Missouri, Bitterroot, Clark Fork, Henry's Fork, the list goes on! But if you hit an awesome Trico fall, BWO hatch, maybe a sulfur dun, lots of hoppers on a windy day, you can catch LOTS of fish on these rivers. I've fished the Yak more than the other rivers mentioned and never caught more than 13 fish in a day. It is a tougher river than the famous Montana rivers with 3000-7000 fish per mile. Rick
I need to start fishing with you, Rick! ;) In my estimation, the AVERAGE for me and the guys I fish with per day is way less than 10 and on a good day is maybe 6-8 with one of them being a fish bigger than 15". Skunkings are not the least bit uncommon. For me the Yak is a love/hate relationship: it's the best trout stream within reasonable driving distance, and I enjoy drifting through the different sections, but it ain't no blue ribbon by blue ribbon standards. Still, we're fortunate to have it so close.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,917 Posts
Itchy-I got you books for my grandsons and we LOVE them! When I say 10 fish, that is on a good day, when all the stars align. Like I said, I get skunked on that river often! Last year, in late March, I hit a March Brown hatch below the diversion dam and caught 7 fish in about 1/2 hour. Then later, a few more on a caddis hatch. Those are the days when you can catch 10 fish. They are not common or average at all, but they do happen if you put in your time. This last trip, when 3 of us caught 1 fish and had a couple more on in 2 days of hard fishing, I mentioned to my fishing buddies that I don't think I've ever been skunked on the Methow-now it might be an 8" fish, but I can always get a couple out of that river! It is just not open year around and when HWY 20 is closed, it is a long drive for me. Rick
 

·
No longer here
Joined
·
4,034 Posts
Thanks for supporting my fishing habit, Rick- glad you and the lads enjoy them:thumb:

I had one day when I was floating the Yak and pulled up on the bank to eat my lunch. The morning had yielded nada, and I figured I was in for goose eggs. While enjoying the spring sunshine I heard some slurping, and realized a hatch of March Browns was coming off 10 feet from where I sat. I ended up catching 5-6 fish in a 20 minute period, then it shut down. You have to hit that river regularly and often in order to really capitalize on the potential. I fully admit that I don't get over there often enough to realize the river's full potential- probably get there once a month on average. If I lived in Ellensburg I would never get any work done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
I live on the Teanaway - just up from the Yak (1/2 mile) and have been fishing it for ten years. Each year I have fished more (started out about 20 days a year 2000) and now I am up to seventy or eighty days a year). Each year I have been skunked less (last year 3 days in eighty and two of them were in February). Drift boating is better because you get a shot at patches of water that do not get much pressure. Wading can be tough because of the close proximity to Seattle and the access most people know. I think most good days for me are three to four fish and hour and a poor day is one every two hours. The turning point for me in catching more fish and bigger fish was when I learned there is a direct ratio to bottom hang ups and fish caught. If I am catching three or four fish and hour I am hung up at least that many times. Especially when the water is cold. When the bugs are out, everyone has pretty much the same chance and I have found size matching is more important than color. My two cents worth and I am no guide by a long shot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,171 Posts
I've been trying the Skwala & BWO nymphs and dries, PT's, SJ Worms and others. I mostly have been trying whatever they sugest on The Evening Hatch's report. I know something has to work one of these trips..... I guess I'm getting lots of practice casting!
If you were wading this weekend near Cle Elum, it was all midges. I did hook one on a skwala nymph just because I was supposed to, but a small (#18) midge got all the real attention. Try one off of your usual nymph.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
I can pesonnally say that in three years fishing the Yak ( I have only lived here for three), I have neer been skunked. I had a great day with a guide a couple of years ago where we boated or LDRd 30+ fish. Last weekend I waded several spots and only landed two and the week before in the same spots I landed more than a dozen. I think the fish are transitional right now. Getting warmer, wanting big skwalas, thinking of spawning, etc. If the river is stable for three or four days, give it another try. Pats and a PT or LT bug have always worked for me. Smaller pats (8-10) in brown or olive might be a good bet. Pay close attention to temperature and flows. Even if the flow is good, the temperature change in the last 24 hours may be an issue.
 

·
FNG
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Is the general rule to get the nymphs as deep as possible? I tried dropping a PT off a dry with about an 18" leader (between flies). This was probably keeping the nymph in the middle of the water depth most of the time. I have since been feeling that I should have tried to bounce along the bottom more since I didn't see anything rising.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
I change depths before I change flies. What is in the water is more predicatbale than where the fish are eating them is. I start with 2' from top fly to indicator and work my way down until I am bumping the bottom and it makes fishing difficult. I try not to go more than 10-12" to dropper when nymphing.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top