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The Best of Washington Trout & Steelhead
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KLICKITAT   The leaves have definitely been dropping here on the south flank of Mount Adams.  Fall colors, while some brilliant a week ago are less so today.  Interestingly, not only does the region have brilliant Fall colors from the Birch, Aspen, Cottonwood and Maple but it also sports a ‘pastel’ tone from the changing colors of the ‘Oregon Scrub Oak’.

Scrub Oak in pastel tones

Not to sound like a broken record but the fishing has been good. Some days better then others.  The past 2 weeks showed off some big wild fish….up to 18 pounds. I would describe the swing fishing as reliable, with some magical days.  Some days with goooood numbers, some days with ‘sweet comebacks’, some days with awesome toilet bowl skater takes. Probably don’t need to say more.

The nymphing as per usual continues to ‘rope chrome’ as some would say.

Pete with a recent colored up Buck

YAKIMA   The best of ‘Far and Fine’ on the Yakima is the late fall.  The prime time of 1-4 PM with a #18 BWO on light tippet, to rising fish, is clutch.   Can be a bit a bit tough for the newbie;  tough to see and even more tough to present the fly drifting ‘without tension’.

Classic Yakima bow from today

Aside from the far and fine tactics there still are a few fish willing to eat a # 10 October Caddis imitation, although that won’t last long.  The October Caddis is nearly done for the 2015 season. Today high water temp in the Lower Canyon was 52 degrees.  Pretty ‘Doggone’ warm for this time of year.  The upcoming weather shows a definite cool down.  Most likely our water temps will drop towards the normal 46 degree mark soon.

Streamers continue to be a worthy game. Often times the streamer doesn’t bring numbers but quality. Some of the cloudy days lately have offered up some nice trout on a retrieved streamer.

Of course the nymphing can be very good as well. #16-20 RS2 Emergers, PT’s, Lightning Bugs, etc… have been productive

Dry fly leaders should be lengthened to at least 10 feet and a 12 footer is suggested when fishing by foot.

Enjoy the Fall, it is almost over!


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Good to great. 10-4pm has been very reliable

Predominant bugs include;

#18 BWO  1-6 PM
#16 Tan Caddis  10 AM – 1PM
#20-22 Midges  All day
#8-10 October Caddis 4-6:30 PM

Fall colors on the Yakima – Jeremy photo

Top dry fly recently

Never hesitate to fish the soft hackle swing for the Blue Wings.  Pretty much a lost art.  Swinging for steelhead is done everyday but for some reason swinging for trout is less popular; especially during a hatch.

Tactics include;
Dry flies
Nymphs under indicators
Wet flies on the swing
Streamers retrieved.


Overall pressure has lightened recently.   Both the nymph and the swing have been productive. Clarity is at 3-3.5 feet depending on time and zone.

Joe was 2 for 3 yesterday!  Fly of choice for Joe was a Cerise and Black Super Muddler with 10 feet of T-11.   We have seen fish on dry lines and light tips recently as well.  The challenge with the SKATER is for them to actually stick, when they eat it!  2 days ago we had a fish show on a big waker and it was almost a tidal wave in  the fish’s effort to encounter the bug. Never felt or saw him/her again. CRAZY.

Salmon are close to be in the full on spawn mode and the Coho are starting to trickle in.

Joe with a sweet hen – CJ photo


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THE RIVER continues to produce and as posted in earlier reports, some days are more productive then others.   Some big steelhead caught recently utilizing multiple tactics including…

-Dry lines with damp and weighted flies
-Sink tips

River pressure continues to be high even with the Methow and hunting season opener. There are fish through out the system;  From bottom to top.

Tom Grainger and a nooiiiccee hen
Mike, Andy and Kevin with a big buck


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It is hard to keep up at this time of year…

YAKIMA RIVER – Fishing great.  Lots of Blue Wings which is great to see.  Other bugs include
1-Blue Wings #18
2-Mohagany Duns #16
3-Craneflies #10
4-October Caddis #10-12
5-Fall Cahills #16
The best searcher pattern lately for the Blue Wing and Mohagany Duns is the  #16 Parachute Adams. Remarkable, isn’t it – a generic pattern that is tried and true.  Other wise the best of the Fall bugs continues to make for some great fishing.

Yakima riverside.

KLICKITAT RIVER – Sporadic is the word.   Some days are spot on for the Steelies, and some days not.  Hard to predict.  Lot’s of Chinook in the river that are being targeted as well. The river is flowing at 585CFS.  The 40 year average is 740CFS.  We are obviously below average, but not bad. The river has seen incredible pressure lately.
Fall colors are in close to full glory.

The last hour has been magical with the swung fly.  Everything from small muddlers on top to light tips and Little Pocket Picker’s have produced.  Clarity is at 4.5 feet and the water temp has cooled recently with some cold nights.

Rick, Getting it done!

Rick Matsen with a sweet hen from yesterday.
UPPER COLUMBIA RIVER –   Fishing has been goooood.  A myriad of techniques have been used but the dry fly has certainly been worthy.  We are hosting the boys from Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures currently and they are enjoying their stay.  We are getting close to the end of our season up there and looking forward to 2016:))

Upper Columbia Bow from today – Bryan Gregson photo.