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Yakima March Browns lame, Pteronarcys early

1212 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  tailwalking trout
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
My friends and I blame nobody but ourselves I wish I was on a guided trip maybe we would have done better!

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