Transition Time

The spring has been a good one. I did more trips this spring than any previous. We had skwallas, bwos, and a decent March brown hatch that is still going. I’ve put over 40 days on the river and most of them guided. Tis a far better spring than 2020.

The month of May can be tricky. We get caddis and maybe salmon flies but we also get irrigation water and purges to make sure the reservoirs fill properly. We have a lot of snow still and it’s melting at a pretty normal pace. But there’s a lot of water so I expect higher flows here soon.

The river is back in decent shape for May. And once the warmer temps being the water temps up it won’t really matter what the flows are. If it near 50 or more it’s and it’s got 15 plus inches of viz…its fishy. The big flows make fish eat more, push them into angler advantageous water, and typically make them eat dries for me.

I’ve become a bit of a dry fly whisperer with Yakima Trout. The handful of new faces in the boat this spring solidified that for me. I have heard for years now that anglers never catch fish on dries on the Yak. Which we all know isn’t true. It comes down to confidence. Yes they will eat a nymph. But they will also eat a dry.  Fish the water not the fish. Too many times I see anglers dredging perfectly good dry fly water with indicators and then winder why they aren’t hooking fish.  Or why it takes all day to get a fish outta that one spot. 

Fish are picky. Not just for food, but how, when, and where they eat it. That’s why presentation, even with nymphs is key. When you run nymphs through dry fly specific water it spooks fish. They are up in the water column, on high alert, and on the hunt for small food.  All their senses are at full function, eye sight, lateral line, oxygen content, all the stuff and things that trout use are being used. So duh…they aren’t gonna eat your shit. Chuck a dry just right and Boom. Same in reverse for throwing dries into nymphy water. You really think a troots gonna come up through 8 feet of water for a dry after not taking 30 casts of your nymph…quit it.

How do you think I get away with fishing behind everyone.  Just gotta fish the water not the fish. I pick it apart, dissect it.  I tailor my trips for specific fishing styles and types. We hit water with a purpose and a process. We try it all, fish it all, when something something clicks we stuck with it until it doesn’t and then start the process of dialing it in all over again. It’s what guides do. I love it and that’s the groovy part of being riverside most of the time.

The caddis are here.  Percolating but here. As the warmer air and water temps arrive the fish will be all over that good source more than they are now. We also have salmon flies that seem to be happening. Historically not something we focus on here on the yak save for a few days if we are lucky but the Yakima does as she likes. And with how skwallas were and how many big salmon fly nymphs I see in the water column lately…I have hope. Like spicey heartburn…are they gonna happen…will fish eat them on top? 

I have lots days open this month but as things get nice it fills up. Caddis are gonna pop hoard soon and you get your shots at 30 fish days especially fishing to dusk. I highly recommend the evening half day floats. Fish till dusk, or caddis:30, watch the sun set on the river, catch a mess of fish on dries. It’s pretty nice.

Hope to see ya riverside anglers!



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