The run off and salmon pulses can be a real pain in the ass. But the are a neccessary and natural part of the way the tailwater here is managed. Fish are used to crazy water flows in Washington state so these periodic bumps that mimic run off and snow melt to help outward salmon migration. These bumps are good for the river too.
The Yakima is a tailwater and needs to be recharged with with big flushes of water. Like it’s little brother river the teanaway which is freestone and foes this run off and pulse process without help. The Yakima needs to facilitate those naturally occurring flow fluctuations with the temps, precip, and snowmelt and its done with these pulses.
This season they have matched the Teanaway output and there is still over 100 percent snow pack for the upper Yakima Basin. When these pulses hit the Yak the fish get moved and pushed. It opens up new areas. It also pushes particulates, sludge, bugs, gravel, trees, organic material, all over the place. This is a good thing and helps with the health of the river. I’ve seen these pulses and how they are run improve over my tune here. The river benefits, and in turn the trout, and so to the angler.
I’ve had the pleasure of guiding the Yak for 7 seasons and fishing it for over a decade now. The river has only improved in that time. While these pulses makes the fishing tougher than hell. It’s good for troots. And with the spring being pretty fing decent this season I can’t complain.
The spring is about done. With March Browns finishing out April and bringing us into May. Caddis are close. With the forecast I think they will be late this season. Everything seems to be pushed back a bit. It’s cold, water is still sub 50, fish are just now really spawning. Things are more normal this season in the trout world. Which after 2020 is a nice thing.
I also anticipate a good salmon fly hatch this year. After skwallas and how many nymphs I’m seeing, with the amount amount of fish taking big chunky stones underneath and not caddis…makes me wonder. We usually get crap flows during salmon flies here with irrigation water, but that shit is already running due to the snow pack and with these pulses the fish have come accustomed to the flows changes now. It’s all a matter of how warm it gets over the next 3 weeks.
May is starting to fill up with trips. The 8th 15th and 16th and the 23rd and 29th are the weekends that are open. I highly reccomend weekdays as we get into the warmer days. Gets crowded out there. We have caddis, Salmon flies, and the streamer game will really pick up. It’s gonna be a good year anglers. Caddis for dinner soon. Late starts, off river at dark 30, taking out with the taillights. Get in on the caddis half days or those all day full days. Skwalla specials are over! Was a great skwalla holla, gotta thank everyone who came out and made this spring one of the busiest.
See ya riverside anglers.