Continues to be in great shape! Skwala stonefly nymphs are definitely active. Weather has been cold. Skwala dry fly activity is pretty much non existent at this point. Need some warmth.
6 Feet Upper Proper
7 Feet Upper Flatlands
7-6 Feet Upper Canyon
6-4 Feet Farmlands
3 feet Lower Canyon
Watch for days where the water temp warms instead of drops. If you see a weather pattern that is going to increase the water temp even by 1 degree….That is thumbs up.
This Water temp gage is in the Upper Canyon between Cle Elum and Thorp
Yakima River Water Temps at Horlick
This water temp gage is as it is stated, near Ellensburg. This particular location is generally the coldest water temp readings on the entire river
Yakima River Water Temps at Ellensburg
#8-12 San Juans
#8-12 Pats Stones
6mm Whitefish egg
#8-12 Skwala stone nymph renditions
#14-18 Prince nymphs, Lightning Bugs, Caddis Larva
#18-20 Midge Pupae
#14-18 CDC Soft hackle PT’s
Wolley Buggers, Sculpzillas, Sparkle Minnows,
Short leash nymphing and Nymphal Drift
This river is in great shape… A little cold lately. February and March are a great time to swing the Upper Columbia. As with any river during the winter/early spring, watch for the weather pattern that is at least slightly warming and not dropping for optimal activity.
Spey – Generally standard Skagits, Scandits, Scandi’s with some long line applications here and there.
Single hand lines- Dry line to 24 feet of 300 grain sink tip. Choice of line and density depends on depth, flow and mood of fish
Fly Choices #2-8 Catch Alls, Buggers, Bow River Buggers, Sparkle Minnows, Sculpzillas
Multiple techniques have proved effective. The Swing fishing is certainly a favorite but the nymphing has been an effective method as well.
Big flies, small flies, bright flies and dark flies have been worhty on the swing. Put on what you have faith in and cover likely water.
Steelhead fishing should be a mix of appreciation, anticipation, hard work and results. It generally is. There are times that the results are not calibrated by how many are fish caught. Quite frankly, if how many fish is your measuring stick, I would highly recommend not fishing for steelhead. However, if you appreciate fishing a piece of water, with whatever technique, surrounded by Hemlock, Alder, Spruce, Cottonwoods, Eagles and an ocean breeze, then you should be rewarded. Sure, there are times that the numbers of fish can be good, but it is not the norm. Regardless, fishing has been worthy and working for your fish is part of the equation. All days are magical, some maybe a little more than others:))