Welcome to the WBFC Fly Fishing Report. Here you can find the most accurate, honest and up-to-date information on fly fishing in Central Washington. WBFC operates it's brick and mortar fly fishing pro-shop in the small city of Ellensburg, Washington, the heart of Central Washington and the headwater's of the Yakima River.
Feel free to contact the pro-shop with any remaining questions or concerns you have before heading out on your next fly fishing adventure. Stop by the shop and our freindly, helpful and professional staff can assist you with any recommendations you may need.
Here we are at the beginning days of September and as summer winds down, we find ourselves at the prime time, peak of the season on Central Washington’s, Yakima River.
The “Yak” is now in the flip-flop stages and the daily flow structure has slowly been receding as the Bureau Of Reclamation slows down the release of water from the reservoirs. If you are unfamiliar with the term “flip-flop”, refer to our Fall 2018 newsletter, where I explained in great detail how this annual operation works. I believe in all of my years, living and guiding in Kittitas County, which is now 25 years, this is the lowest I have ever seen the Cle Elum Reservoir. As of today, it is only holding about 7% of its total capacity. We have to believe this is due to the work that is being conducted on the Cle Elum dam for the out-migrating Sockeye Salmon project that is on going in this portion of the system.
Today, the flows are at a much lower level and they continue to drop. For those that like to fish the river on foot, more opportunity has opened up and wade fishing the river can be accomplished much easier and safer, then what the summer flows allow. Keep in mind most sections of the river become easily wadable at around 1800 cfs. Most of the river is below that mark today and will continue to recede. To what level this fall will be interesting to see.
As the river transication to fall flows, several new insect hatches will become evident. A Summer Stonefly hatch will begin as the “Shortwing” Stones will become a major distraction to the trout. Be prepared with both nymphs and dries to compliment this stonefly event. This is perhaps the largest stonefly hatch that we experience on the Yakima and it will be on-going throughout the month of September.
Craneflies will also be an important food form to match in both nymph and adult, especially in portions of the farmlands and Upper Yakima. This is a fun and exciting hatch to fish on the river and can be overlooked by many fly fishermen. Keep a close eye on feeding activity and disturbances in the surface. Our trout love eating Craneflies.
Like I mentioned in the paragraphs above, this is the prime time fishing season on the Yakima, so don’t miss out. The WBFC Guiding Services operate extremely busy throughout the year, but especially busy this time of year. So if you would like to experience the river with our group of Professional Fly Fishermen, we encourage you to schedule your date as soon as possible. If you’re a do it yourself fishermen, no problem. Stop by the proshop and our friendly, experienced staff will be happy to make your outing to the Yakima or anywhere in Central Washington, a quality experience and a success. We look forward to seeing you on the water.
The Yakima is fishing great, as it always does at this time of year. We have been catching beautiful fish all summer. The trout are in prime time health and full of feed and energy. This is the time of year when we start fishing terrestrials and our big stone patterns. Our staff likes to work big stonefly patterns on the surface this time of year and that has been a consistent proven method each day. As we progress into the month of August, our "Summer Stonefly" will continue as the males bombard the banks waiting for the flip-flip to occur at the end of the month. Once that happens the giant females stones will begin appearing for September fishing.
You also can have excellent success with terrestrials patterns that match the food form of beetles, ants, and grass hoppers. With warm temperatures now during the day, the grasshoppers are especially active along the grassy edges of the river. The hopper-dropper rig has been a great method of catching fish as well. Try yellow, red, peach, pink and orange hoppers for successful hook-ups.
The river is at peak summer flows now and will remain that way for the next few weeks. Wade fishing is extremely difficult and dangerous, and in most instances you are not going to walk the river this month safely anyway. So remember if you come over and fish respect the river, and live to fish another day. We have already had several drowning's in the river the past couple of weeks, so use good judgment and commonsense when you are around the Yakima River during peak summer flows.
Our staff is constantly monitoring water temperatures as the Cle Elum Reservoir continues to drain. If water temperatures get dangerously warm this month for trout fishing during the day, we will cease our fishing operations during that time period. So far, the water temp's are staying consistently in the mid to high fifty degree range in the upper river. DOC levels remain high in the Upper Yakima River, where we concentrate ALL of our fishing efforts as well. Cool summer nights are aiding in keeping water temps and DOC levels at optimum stage for trout fishing the Yakima at this time.
Stop on by the pro shop if you have questions about our fishery or need to get the right fly's for a successful day on the water. If you would like to book a trip with one of our guides try and do it in advance as this is a busy time of year and we are coming into our busiest time of the season. Our dates are already filling for September and October this year. See you on the river!
The Yakima River fly-fishing continues to impress, as our summer water conditions stabilize and the trout as well as the bugs settle into their summer holding positions and hatching routines. Nymphing continues to put big fish in the net, however with a varieties of bug chow around now, fish are looking at the surface and feeding in the middle or the top of the water column as well. It is July and trout on the Yakima have been routinely eating adult insects for months now. Work the correct size, shape, form and color throughout the day to see these results. Just because you don't see them working the surface, doesn't mean you can't get them to rise! One of the biggest mistakes made when fishing the Yakima.
If you can't find fish holding along the shoreline (their must be adequate depth and flow there) then move and begin fishing the heavier current flows, structure or the riffles in the tops of runs, especially as the day time temperatures warm and the sunshine beats rays of light on the water. The Yakima River trout are addicted to the high oxygen contents, we find in the river this time of year, so working these types of water descriptions will always produce results, when clean drifts and flies are presented properly. With the river flows now exceeding 4000 cubic feet per second and the water temperatures in the mid fifty degree range, the DOC (dissolved oxygen content) levels are off the charts. The fish are loving it and chowing any and all food items presented.
Wading fishing the majority of the river is not an option this time of year, so make sure to check flows or contact the WBFC proshop if you don't understand the flow regiment for the summer on the Yakima.
As the air temperatures increase this month, terrestrial fishing will begin and the grassy banks along the Yakima will produce hordes of grasshoppers. May was an outstanding month for fishing on the Yakima and a true bonus for us. Typically, the month of May is a run-off month and the river is usually up over its banks and following in the streets. This year however, river flows remained low and the fishing was excellent. Which leads me to my next paragraph.
The Summer Stoneflies that typically appear in August took advantage of the lower water conditions and migrated much sooner then usual. Both male and female stones have shown up early this year and this is one of the reasons why our dry fly fishing has been outstanding. Once again, fish the appropriate size and color for results. This is a massive hatch of stoneflies and we will see them over the course of the month, lasting well into August. Also expect Yellow Sallies, Pale Morning Dun Mayflies and Caddisflies in the afternoon and evenings.
The Professional Guiding Staff of WBFC has compiled a host of new and exciting fly fishing trips and classes for 2019. One we are particulars excited about is the "Trout Camp". We also have a complete set of classes set up to learn the Euro Nymphing style of fly fishing as well as a complete river rowing class. You can check out all of the new and exciting fly fishing adventures and classes we have set up on the WBFC website here. Give us a call if you have any questions or would like to get out this summer and enjoy trout fishing in Central Washington.
Once again, Worley Bugger Fly Co. is hosting a fly fishing adventure this August 2019, to the beautiful state of Alaska. We will be visiting the family owned and operated, Fishing Bear Lodge in the “Jewel Of Alaska”, the Wood Tikchik State Park. The lodge owners, Justin, Lisa, Connor & Kia Johns will welcome us on August 5th thur August 11th, 2019.
We recently had (2) spots in the group open up for this year’s adventure. Two members of the party had some unexpected life events occur that
unfortunately has as forced them to cancel their spots leaving us with (2) vacant spots to fill. Join us for this incredible adventure to the “Last Frontier” .
The Fishing Bear Lodge is in a "very" unique portion of Alaska, which in turn creates a variety of different and incredible fly-fishing opportunities for a variety of different freshwater
species with fly rod. We will be dry fly fishing for large Rainbows that fight like Steelhead and will spool your fly reel well into the backing, testing your angling ability to the maximum. We will
also fish for Artic Char, Grayling, and the ultimate freshwater Apex Predator, the Northern Pike. Each year, "The Fishing Bear Lodge" books there prime dates more then a year out in advance. If would like to join
us on this fishing adventure of a lifetime, please contact either Steve or Aron at the WBFC proshop for all of the details. If you would like to read more
about the trip, the costs, and itinerary please see these links and or visit the WBFC
YouTube Channel for a look at last year’s adventure! It is one you will not forget or stop talking about for years to
The Fishing Bear Lodge is in a "very" unique portion of Alaska, which in turn creates a variety of different and incredible fly-fishing opportunities for a variety of different freshwater species with fly rod. We will be dry fly fishing for large Rainbows that fight like Steelhead and will spool your fly reel well into the backing, testing your angling ability to the maximum. We will also fish for Artic Char, Grayling, and the ultimate freshwater Apex Predator, the Northern Pike. Each year, "The Fishing Bear Lodge" books there prime dates more then a year out in advance. If would like to join us on this fishing adventure of a lifetime, please contact either Steve or Aron at the WBFC proshop for all of the details.
If you would like to read more about the trip, the costs, and itinerary please see these links and or visit the WBFC YouTube Channel for a look at last year’s adventure! It is one you will not forget or stop talking about for years to come!
Summer is here folks and as usual for this time of year on the Yakima River, stream flows have been heightened over the past several days and the river is full of water. The river is now bank full, which is going to make it extremely difficult to fish from the bank in most places. Their are a few nooks and crannies that you can duck into if you know the spots, but they aren't easy to come by and those that know them, keep em' close to their vest.
Though the river is now at summer time flows, visibility is excellent and the river is producing some great hatches on most days. Their has been some nuclear type winds the past week, which can reduce bug activity and make casting quite a bit more challenging, even from a moving or fixed position.
On the none nuclear days, hatches of Yellow Sallies, Pale Morning Duns, Green Drakes (upper river) and Golden Stones are all appearing in the afternoons. Dry fly fishing most days is excellent during these times. It is a good idea to have a nymph rod and dry rod both rigged properly for the day, especially if you are floating. This saves times and gives you a shot at surface feeders, when they appear. The WBFC Professional Guiding schedule has booked up nicely this summer and we will be extremely busy after the 4th of July until the month of November. Give us a call ASAP and book your date for Summer trout fishing on the Yakima!
"WATCH FOR THE WBFC TROUT CAMP ANNOUNCEMENT COMING EARLY NEXT WEEK!"
The Lower Yakima River Smallmouth fishing was excellent again this year. It utterly amazing how many fish the lower river supports. Now, that we are into the 3rd week of June, water flows in this portion of the river has dropped dramatically and the stream bed, weed mats are blowing up. This makes it extremely hard to fish as well as moving a boat thru. Unless it gets a big shot of water, this fishery is done for us this season. Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass fishing will continue in the Columbia Desert Unit as well as the big river itself. Have a questions or want to learn to catch bass on a fly? Give the experts a call at WBFC-! We will be bass fishing all summer and fall......
The Columbia Basin lakes are reporting good to fair fishing still in most regions. This week it cooled down considerably from the past couple of weeks, so water temperatures dropped quite a bit. Once it gets warm in July, trout fishing in the lakes will begin to slow or the fish will go deep, where the cooler water persists during the day.
It has been an unusual month of May here in Central Washington. Cooler then expected air temperatures have predominantly prevailed over the region and the Yakima River trout fishing has been absolutely epic, the past several weeks. It is always a big bonus for us, whenever we get to fish the Upper Yakima River in the month of May. Most years, during this time frame, the river is flowing with thousands of cubic feet of water and it is up over it's banks, blown out from the melting snow pack from the Cascade Mountain Range. That has not been the case this year.
Their has been a spike in river over the past 24 hours throughout the entire system, as the B.O.R. has released a volume of water from the Cle Elum Reservoir to help initiate the down stream migration of salmon smolt. With lower then average water flows during the month of April and May, Chinook and Coho smolt have congregated in some stretches of the Yakima and their hope is this added water, will aid in their exodus to the Columbia.
The river is experiencing very good hatches of mayflies and caddis now. March Brown Mayflies are still a big topic of the feeding in the early afternoons, especially in the Upper Yakima River (above Eburg and Cle Elum). Pale Morning Dun (PMD) our summer mayfly are also hatching in very good numbers, so be prepared for those as well throughout the entire system. The trout will be eating a steady diet of Caddisflies from now until autumn, so caddis nymphs, emerges and dries will also be important flies to have in dark and light colors of varying sizes.
The Columbia Basin lakes are still reporting good fishing with buggers, leeches and chironomids in the early portion of the day. Callibaetis mayflies are beginning to hatch on many of the desert unit lakes as well as Damselflies. As we approach the month of June, both of these aquatic critters will become a more recognized food form and produce some exciting still-water dry fly fishing. Expect most of the same at the popular desert fishery, Rocky Ford Creek.
Our Smallmouth Bass fishing is beginning to heat up as well. This week, the central region of our state will experience some warmer weather conditions. We are expecting this to push fish into pre-spawn mode, where they will begin to move into shallow water. Here, we can target fish with lightweight streamers, divers and of course top water poppers. We expect the month of June to produce some very good Smallmouth fishing in the Lower Yakima River as well as many of the Desert Unit fisheries as well. Give us a call and get your date down for June fishing ASAP. Have a great week and get out and enjoy the excellent weather conditions!
The Yakima River has dropped nicely and is now in very fishable condition. Now, weather it will stay in prime shape is a whole different subject matter. According to the river graphs, the river is suppose to bump up considerably on Thursday. This time of year, conditions can change from day to day, so keeping an eye on the graphs is a smart idea. Finding you have traveled to a river that is blown out and unfishable is a frustrating event that can easily be avoided. You can also contact the WBFC Proshop for current conditions and an updated fishing report.
The river is producing excellent hatches of Skwala Stoneflies, March Brown and Blue Wing Olive Mayflies at this time. Be prepared to start your day, nymph fishing with the correct patterns and sizes to match these aquatic bugs. As the afternoon approaches and the water warms a few degrees, adult stoneflies and mayflies will begin showing themselves. Switch to dry fly and modifiy your techniques to imatate the naturals on the water. Remember a drag free drift is crucial here. A dragging fly on the Yakima will be disregarded and ignored completely 99.9 perfect of the time.
The Columbia Basin lakes are reporting good fishing with buggers, leeches and chironomids at this time and that will continue to be good throughout the week. Callibaetis nymphs are reporting some successes in several lakes as well.
Bass fishing with a fly in the Desert Unit will begin as well in the next couple of weeks, especially as the weather begins to warm up. We are all looking forward to this and will have an updated report on it's status for you very soon. Have a great day
The infamous Kittitas Valley winds have shown up this week as a big storm front pushes over our area. Winds speeds in excess of 50 mph were recorded yesterday, creating some tough fly fishing conditions throughout Central Washington. We have had quite a bit of rain fall with these storms as well, which has dumped most of its moisture during the night time hours.
The Yakima River today is running high, but clear dispite the amount of rain we have received. Acccording to the NOAA prediction the river will continue to drop over the next week, which is great news for us. You can bet on Skwalla Stoneflies in the early to mid afternoon as well as March Brown Mayflies and Blue Wing Olives hatching around 2:00 pm. Folks this can be some of our best match the hatch fishing of the year, so plan your fishing days according.
It looks like we are going to get a least another week of April fishing on the river before more of the high elevations snow pack comes rolling out of the hills. The fish are in excellent shape and have wintered very well.
Most of the Columbia Basin lakes are reporting good fishing with buggers, leeches and chironomids. Dry Falls, a popular Grant County fishery is reporting fair to poor fishing with cold water conditions. Water temperatures are ranging in the mid to high 40 degree range. A few fish are being caught here, but their are other lake producing better results at this time. Lake Lenice & Nunnally are popular lakes for fishing and both are fishing well at this time. The Quincy Lakes area is also reporting good fishing as well. These specific lakes for trout are Burke, Dusty and Quincy.
We fished Evergreen Reservoir last week for Tiger Muskie and Bass. Water is still to cool for good bassn'. We did manage to hook up one big Muskie, but unforunately these razor sharp toothy critters can chew through a heavy piece of mono very quickly. Tough lesson, when you are pursing the fish of 10,000 cast with your bass stick.
Call or stop by the WBFC Pro-shop if you need any further informations. Have a great day!
- 1713 SOUTH CANYON ROAD - - ELLENSBURG, WA 98926 - - 509-962-2033 - www.worleybuggerflyco.com
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