Yakima Report - 12/10

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by chadk, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. I finally got out to do a little fishing today. My wife has been on bed-rest for the last 3 weeks (she's 7 months pregnant and the little one is trying to come out to soon...) so any free time I have (and I have lots of vacation saved up) has been spent taking care of her and watching my 2 little boys. So I've been itching to get out. I had my fill of chums last month and figured it would be a few more days until the winter brats were in, so I decided to hit the yak. I've never fished it in the winter time so I was looking forward to the experience - fish or not.

    I did some white knuckle driving over the pass and got to my spot (top end of the canyon) just before 9am. Some lite snow was falling and no wind. A very nice day really.

    I stuck to streamer patterns and within a short while I noticed the large gaping mouth of a trout sticking out of the water chasing my fly as it skipped along the surface at the end of my retreive. I dropped it back down and quickly hooked up with a beautiful 12-14ich cutthroat. A few casts later a nice 12-14inch bow. Followed by another cuttie and some more bows. Hooked a monster that I horsed too much and lost about 15ft from me - easily over 20 inches.
    I hiked and waded downstream and found a few more productive spots for these agressive and hungry bows (no more cutts). I was in my own winter wonderland as I watched fish after fish go airborne on the end of my line. Man can those fish fight! Some of the hits were very subtle and I really had to concentrate, but then out of the blue one would just nail it and scare the heck out of me as my 4wt suddenly lurched nearly out of my hands.
    I ended my day around 2:30 - final score - 21 hookups, 16 landed (and tons of bites). Smallest fish was about 10 inches the biggest landed was 20 inches (I actually measured this one with a tape) - most were 12 to 16inches. Easily my best day on the yak (I only fish it once or twice a year). Other than blizzard conditions on the pass and stong winds on the west side, the river was perfect for winter fishing. And I didn't see another angler the whole time - not even a drift boat.
    Pictures coming soon...
  2. Here are a few of the shots that turned out halfway decent - still getting used to my new digital camera...

    Cuttie # 1:
    Cuttie #2

    pretty 18 to 19 incher:
    another shot of the 18-19 incher:
    Nice 20incher:
    Amazing fighter and jumper for only being 14inches:
  3. Great Report! What style/color streamers worked best for you? Black #6 BH Woolley buggers and also gold worked well for me 6 weeks ago, and especially well when I added a small split shot just above the knot. Learned that trick from a book on how to fish Brownies and found it worked well, snaking the bugger between large boulders on either side of main channels. Nothing like a hard strike from a big bow to pump you up!
  4. I tried a variety of things from muddlers, woolly buggers, and other baitfish type streamers. I don't know when the salmon smolt(fry?) start migrating down stream, but it sure seemed that the fish were keyed in on anything looking like a small injured fish... Or maybe it's because the hatches have been so slow that they are quick to jump on a big tasty looking meal.

    At first, presentation didn't seem to matter much. As I said, my first fish hit right at the surface as my bugger was skipping along the surface (looked like jaws going in for the kill). Then my next several were caught while standing at the top of the riffle and letting the fly dangle down stream with some twitching here and there. But over all, the most hits came from a cross stream cast angled slightly down, a quick mend to get it down just a little, and then let it drift (a few twitches and a couple strips now and then to get some attention) and then let it swing accross the current (many of the slamming strikes came here) and then let it dangle down stream for a couple seconds before stripping in (watching for followers). Really reminded me of summer steelhead fishing, but with smaller fish...
    And with all the talk of nymphing techniques, I was all ready to give a few ideas a try, but when I was having so much fun, it was too hard to change to another technique.

    I expected to find fish in only the deepest pools, but they were very spread out. The bigger fish seemed to be closer to the tailout and the smaller fish (including the cutties I caught) tended to be near the head of the runs in fairly shallow and fast water (as long as deeper water was near by).
  5. No comments on my secrect 'spoon fly' :DEVIL

    Just kidding - a few others have caught that right away and had to ask about it. I was suprised to see it there when the pics turned and thought I'd crop it before posting, but then I thought it might be fun to see who caught it...

    A few casts early I snagged some line and I pulled up a branch, some old line, and spoon. I put the line and spoon near my gear I had sitting on the bank so I could throw it away when I left (I usually pack a trash bag with me for just such an occasion).

    But I should also add that I do find myself with my spinning rod on the yak from time to time. But with my new 9' 4wt sage that I'm really falling in love with, I think the spinning rod will start seeing less time...
  6. I forgot to mention that on my way back to my car I snapped the tip on my Sage DS2. I was so pumped it didn't even bother me that much :) I've taken it back to Creekside in Issaquah where i bought it and they are shipping it back for me. I'll let you know how it goes...

    Also, my cabela's dry plus waders were leaking on me too. I still stayed warm, but I'm a little disapointed in these waders. The material in some spots seems to be breaking down way too early (they look 10 years old and cracking around the knees and the inside seems). I keep them hung up in my garage and take pretty good care of them. Well, I know cabelas will give me a new pair with no questions asked, so I guess that makes it a little better.

  7. Great report! It is great to get these kind of reports here. Really keeps you in touch with whats going on and makes you want to get out and fish! :THUMBSUP

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