The Season is here anglers. It is summer whether the calendar says it or not. The river is high, the sun is bright, it’s light until almost 10 pm, water temps are above 50 degrees….the bugs are here.
Some of the best bugs in the upper river in my professional opinion. We have the Salmon Flies which pop early on the Yak. While other watersheds ate just now getting the hatches of the big orange morsels we are just finishing up. Historically never a prolific hatch the Salmon Flies typical correspond with our run off and Salmon pulses which negatively impacts that invertebrate. But it ushers in the next two stonefly species. The Yellow Sally and the Golden Stonefly.
The Yellow Sally is a small size 10 to 14 Yellow stonefly and the females have a red butt and egg sack that develops. They are unique in that they hatch out of the water column like a mayfly. And fish, especially cutties…smack the hell out of em. It’s ann easy eat because it hatches in mass throughout the middle of the day. Allowing trout to seek out and feed on them at their leisure. This makes for those lazy full belly slurps I. The back water and Eddie’s, but also those fast shoulder roll riffle sips that are quick and easy to miss. But fish also look for Sally’s up along the bank and in the tight fast water. It’s a fun bug that let’s us head hunt and pick fish off with dries during the middle of the day.
The Golden Stonefly my personal favorite is just a smidge smaller than the salmon fly. It’s bright yellow or golden or rusty colored. It’s just cool. They like other stoneflies are bank hatchers. They get up on the bank, in the grass and overhangs and hatch, mate, and the females come back to the river in the mid to late afternoon to lay eggs. Chucking big yellow bugs is wicked fun and the takes are explosive. It’s a big meal. The flows are up, the water temps put trout in prime feeding metabolism mode, and we get the awesome summer time days of big dry fishing.
We so get ants. Big carpenter ants. Otherwise known as a purple chubby. I have had days where we sling a single purple chubby for 8 hrs and hook fish all day. They love that stupid fly. We also have mornings with PMD mayfly hatches and fish chasing down meat-sickles before the sun makes them shy. Streamers can be really fun before 10 am as we get into June.
And this season…the drakes look to be good this season! There are a lot of nymphs. And it’s getting close. Fish are stoopid for Green Drakes. One of my favorite side channel bugs. Lots of options for different kinds of fishing.
There’s also caddis in the evenings, PED mayflies, spinner fall, and other terrestrial that start to become viable food for Trout battling the heavy summer flows of the Yakima River. Needless to say there is a lot of food and trout are in a position where they gotta eat it. It’s what fishing on the Yak is all about. The angler is at the advantage in the high water of the summer.
Fish basically gotta eat all day. They have had plenty of time to settle in now. The last salmon pulse has finished and the flows are going to stabilize for thr most part. Side channels have been open for 10 days now. Debris has settles, trees have found their resting places, the river is ready for summer….are you?
After last year. I hope to see a lot of familiar faces! It’s been since before the plague for a lot of us. The trips are coming in and I couldn’t be more grateful. We are on track to do a lot more trips over last season. You anglers keep my trout bum ass rambling and rolling. It is my absolute pleasure to share the Yakima River and the wild fish that live here with you all. Let’s make this summer bitchen…see ya riverside anglers.