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Driven by irrational exuberance.
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I tried to fish the March Brown hatch in the early afternoon this weekend. At the Fish and Wildlife pullout below the Slab Saturday the hatch started about 1:30 and lasted almost an hour, with BWOs mixed in, but almost nothing was interested in coming to the surface. Then we got into a pod of ticks just north of the fence. Did there used to be livestock on that side of the fence to support such a concentration of ticks?

But the coolest thing I saw was a huge stonefly that burst up into the air from under my feet, like a flushed quail. As she climbed high over the river, a red winged blackbird locked on and intercepted like a patriot missile. But the Pteronarcys wacked it with its wings, and dazed it with a high round kick and the bird retreated. I was thinking this is real early for the big guys.

Sunday I tried the same drill just above the Slab. The water was up a bit but still stayed clear. But the March Brown hatch was seriously lame. It was another bright day and sometimes windy. At 1:30, there was a rise of a large fish and I spotted the first adults on the water. I saw one other rise and by 1:45 it was over. Boat loads of dejected clients and pensive guides floated by. The clients were suffering buyer remorse and were contemplating filling the guides' waders with rocks and throwing them in. Thin tips were the best outcome the guides could expect.

I was going to go back home to do the honey dos, but I saw the shuck of a big black Pteronarcys float by. I pulled out the biggest stone dry I had in the box , and tried the standard technique of laying it along a brushy undercut bank and had a hit in a few casts. Then I lost one behind a finger weir. I wanted to keep trying the stone fly tactic in the evening hours, but I had to go. I put on a big black wiggle bug colored like a Pteronarcys nymph on a sink tip to swing downstream on my way back to the truck. I caught a nice one and it did a couple of jumps just as two boats and a bank angler came into view. "Nice to see at least one fish today" one guy said as they floated by.
 

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This post totally reflects what this weekend was like on the Yak. My friends and I floated both Saturday and Sunday with Saturday being the better of the two. On Sat. we floated from Big Horn to the Slab and had some luck mostly on BWO's sizes 16-20 with a few on size 16 Tan Caddis. We also drifted everything from San Juan Worms, Buggers, Flash Backs, Princes, Stones but had no luck nymphing.

On Sunday we floated from Ringer to Reds and had a pathetic day, the water seemed much less clear with visibility in the range of 1-3 feet, and only saw the sporadic fish rish to grab the occasional dry. The only fish we took were on San Juan's and Hares Ear nymphs.

Hopefully the water begins to clear up a bit and we all can start to bag more fish!!! :beathead :beer1
 

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OK,

With all this negativity, I'll give you something positive about this weekend. I fished the Yakima on Friday and Sunday.

Friday, I and another YRFF officer fished from Ringer to about the mid-way point to Rhinehart. We had a great day and did well. March browns brought topwater action from 12:00-2:00. Being the bastard I am, I nymphed it.

Sunday. Floated from Teanaway to Raft Rentals.
Weird day. The river is running high, but it's not running dirty until the Taneum confluence. The water is a little bit glacial from the Teanaway, but visibility was pretty good. I fished like a jerk, showing my inexperience fishing out of a moving drift boat but did manage to hook one 12" fish on (Larry's) Lightening Bug.

Below Bristol Flats was an awesome March brown hatch. There were hundreds of them. Supposedly, it ran from 1:15-2:15. We caught the last 20 minutes. My buddy caught multiple fish that day, and two large fish from the March Brown hatch alone. The largest being around 22" and taken on the dry. The second largest fish he caught was taken on a size 16 or 14 Lightning Bug, pearl body.

In regard to the post regarding upset clients, I'll bet it was a tough day on the Yakima. A torrential downpour, hard winds, and very concentrated surface activity could very likely make for hard feelings in the drift boat.

Sparse

Streams are made for the wise man to contemplate and fools to pass by.
(Sir Izaak Walton)
 

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I would hope that those having a less than stellar day floating the Yak would not take it out on their guide. There are fish in the river and the guide can only do so much to put the clients in the right spot. The clients then are responsible for making a cast that puts the fly in the right seam with a drag-free drift. The guide can not control the weather and finally remember it's called fishing not CATCHING!

Greg

"In our family, there is no clear
line between religion and fly
fishing" Norman Maclean
 

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I was on the lower canyon a few days earlier (Wednesday) and our party got into an amazing March Brown hatch that lasted probably an hour and a half. The best fly was a cripple pattern; standard dries were okay but the fish loved the cripple most of all. We caught many fish, including one in our party who landed a 20+ incher. Even after the hatch died down we did well drifting caddis emergers and attractors as droppers behind skwala dries. The fish were definitely looking up that day. Best day of fishing I've ever had on the Yak (okay - there haven't been that many, but it was still a damn fine day).
 

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fished friday lots of bugs march browns grey mayflies stoneflies caddis and bw the 2 of us boated 15 fish 4 over 16" lost ldr on a true 19"+ on bw great day mayfly hatch around noon and sporatic in the day from the overcast to sun increadible amount of veriety of bugs great day. please pick up hitchikers with waders:dunno
 
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