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There are many methods to fishing nymphs. More often than not I opt for a shallow nymph approach.

The old rule of thumb …….. “fish 1 1/2 times the water depth below your indicator”  has not proven to be a great technique in my repertoire.

Assuming you as an angler are able to fish slack line drifts, shallow nymphing can be very effective. Throughout the year, all rivers experience nymphal drift. Nymphal drift can be caused by a few factors. For example, water level changes or optimal temperatures for nymph maturity and emergence. What this all boils down to is that nymphs are consistently drifting in the water column.

Often times the water may be 4-5 feet deep yet I will fish at only 2-3 feet deep below an indicator. Certainly, one advantage of this is less bottom hang-ups. The other advantage is of course the replication of nymphal drift.

I have noticed that During peak bug activity/migration or emergence, the shallower, the better. Remember Stoneflies  migrate to shore to emerge.  They are terrible swimmers that frequently get knocked loose from there position and  ‘tumble’ through the water column trying to gain position again.

Shallow Water Nymphing – Try it some time, you won’t be disappointed.



Ron and Joanne Short

Water is low and predictable.  Clarity is at its best.  Hot bugs lately include…

1-A variety of San Juan Worms ….The possibilities are endless with San Juans.  Color combos to inlcue but not limited to 

Red, Red and Pink, Pink, Brown and Red, Wine, Wine and Brown, Orange, Ornge and Brown, Brown

….With beads or without.  #6 -14

2-Green Caddis larvae #14-16

3-Stoneflies; Here again, the possibilities are endless. However, you can’t go wrong with the Pat’s Stone.  Currently I would suggest #8-12 in Brown, Brown and Black or Olive. 

4- #16-20 Brassies

5- #14-16 Pheasant Tails and Lightning Bugs.

6-#4 to 10 Streamers – possibilities are endless here as well – Favorites for retrieving and swinging include; Sculpzilla, JJ Buggers, Dali LLama, Thin Mint, Sheila, Pat’s stone

Every day is different but fishing has been good lately.  The best of the day is generally during the warmth….  11-3


We have been kicking into gear with some day trips lately.  Busier, for sure, just around the corner.

Fishing has been reasonable. Both hatchery and wild fish.  Levels have been all over the board, which is actually good:)

Favorite Swing stuff would include
2-7 inches in Black and Blue, Red and Black, Purple and Pink, Pink, etc, depending on the river and conditions,

Favorite nymph patterns would include but not limited to
Yarn, Worms, Jigs and Beads

We have a couple Fish and Stay packages left, otherwise quite full at The Quinault Cabin.  if you are looking for an overnighter with us, call soon.  As far as day trips go, we can often fit you in.


Two main tactics right now would include retrieving and swinging bugs,  Oh darn:)  A variety of streamers and water types can be productive.  In addition, a variety of sink head rates can be helpful based on depth, flow and mood of the fish.


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I have been a bit lazy when it comes to reports.  Will try to be a little more current as this new year progresses.  Honestly, we haven’t been on the water much….Kind of nice. Mid December until mid January is usually slow, understandably.  Just around the corner,  we are going to be REAL BUSY:)


Pre spawn rainbows are at their peak prior to the ritual and as with any western stream, The Yakima and Upper Columbia are no exception.

Healthy hungry fish with limited food sources due to the colder temperatures can make for some great fishing.

The Yakima

Like a broken record for 25 plus years – Some GREAT  fishing from now until April.  Quite frankly, assuming February is not arctic weather, Feb can be amazing.

If you feel like swinging the fly on the Yakima with little two handers, give us a jingle as we have been tuned into that game since 1994:) In addition, the nymphing can be automatic:))


The Upper Columbia 

One word,  Swingtastic:))


 The Olympic Peninsula

The 2019 season is just kicking into gear  for us…   If you are learning about the two hander it is very important to have a balanced rod.   Recently I read a synopsis by Rober Meiser on balancing  your equipment… The following probably is the best written analysis I have seen;