Well I hit the river above and below this week. Was pretty slow both days. I did a Fat Bike Ride and Fish which was a blast. Fishing up near the Cle Elum confluence is really slow. Water temps are still dropping to 39 ish.
I floated the lower canyon from Ump to Lluma, there were a few risers but no Skwalla save for a few. The BWO were pretty good. Fish were keying in on them but it was pretty sporadic on where the risers were. I had more success on the nymph of course and the Skwalla Stonefly Trout Snack did the trick for a handful of large fat bows chilling around 7 feet in the slow stuff.
I came to the high canyon wall just below Red’s and really worked that deep area along the shelf. Fish were stacked there but they were deep. Pressure from anglers over the weekend was a big factor today and fish were down. I lost a few good fish on the nymph there. The bottom fly was a weighted BWO Nymph I tie and was doing the trick but the chunky Skwalla nymph was equally effective when fished singular.
Takes were subtle on smaller fish but forceful on the larger trout. The larger trout I did net were fat. Like obese almost, gorged on all the dry flies and nymph naturals over the past week.
I did find one very large Rainbow slashing at mayflies and the one Skwalla that passed by. I threw the Moose Hair Skwalla that I haven’t had a lot of time to test. I spooked the fish earlier and gave it some time. It started feeding again after about 5 minutes. I took that opportunity to give myself 14 inches of 5x Supple Flex Tippet. The trout had just slashed the surface again with ferocity and I laid my fly about 4 feet above. Like clockwork that fish hit it. Hard. It was a great take and a fun fish to play, jumping several times and it pulled and head shook making the heart flutter a bit.
I got a chance to use my swanky new Fishpond Nomad Net, which is awesome by the way, and I like pictures of fish better in the ghost colored nets. The fishing slowed way down after 3 but I did manage to hook a huge whitefish. Bloody thing messed up the whole hole with its display.
Not a stellar day but not a bad one either. I found that the fish needed patience and lots of casts with lighter tippet and really good drifts. They have seen a lot of pressure on the lower canyon with the past weekend so keep that in mind when making plans. The upper river is getting better everyday but keep angler pressure in mind as well. Smaller tippet, different flies, smaller flies, better presentation, and nice long drifts will get the job done though. Find off days to get out of possible and it’s so low wading for the three warm hours of the day should just be shied away from. Play around with nymphing depth also. I found fish all over the water column but big ones seemed to be deeper.
Anyway the river is getting better everyday in terms of conditions and bugs though. Lots of nymphs moving around especially in the upper. Spawn is close, fish are hungry, and the weather is supposed to be good for fishing. A little rain may be just what we need. I’ve got dates open for some pretty fun spring fishing.