Yakima River August Fishing ReportAugust 5, 2018
We're in transition to late summer now on the Yakima River and the fish behavior will slowly evolve as the middle of August approaches. It's been quite hot so the first thing we want to do is caution everyone to minimize any extended play or handling of the trout. Warm water is very tough on these fish, so if you are on a guided trip don't expect the guide to allow for any photos of trout out of the water. We catch a lot of fish and please know we do everything we can to "pay it forward" to all the DIY anglers and even the folks fishing with competitors. We want everyone to enjoy the best possible trout fishing.
Tips and Strategies for August Fly Fly Fishing on the Yakima River
While many anglers will want to fish early and late to simply "beat the heat" many trout transition into a mid-day feeding pattern. Think about it. What time of day are bugs such as Grasshoppers most active? During the heat. Right now on the Yakima River most of the evening hatches like Caddis are sparse. Unlike May - July when storms of Caddis ruled the night. Without that evening food source the trout need to forage during the day to meet the high metabolism driven by warmer water. Consider fishing mid-day and being diligent with dry flies against the shoreline.
Flies and Setups for August Fly Fishing on the Yakima River
We all love to fish hoppers. Start their. I would personally rather catch 2 nice trout on a hopper than 10 on a nymph. A good drift tight to the shore with a hopper gets me anxious every time. I don't need a lot of fish to enjoy the marksmanship element of fishing hoppers tight the shore. Often times a good caster with advanced mending skills can turn 30-40 fish a day on a hopper in August. Not everyday, but you will see an exponential return on your skills set. I love that. It's a good match between trout and angler.
Leaders should be short, stout, and capable of turning over a wind resistant critter. consider a 7.5' 3X tippet, and if you want to get really tricky add about 12" of 4X - 5X Fluorocarbon tippet. This will turn the fly over, yet the leader will be invisible to even a selective trout. We sell LOTS of great hopper patterns. All are good choices. Be sure to get yourself a variety. For your convenience we do have some assortments available. Go for the most realistic patterns and shy away from the big white wing Chubby Chernobyls unless you are blind.
Thinking Outside the "Hopper Hatch"
Hopper fishing won't always be productive. If you love dry fly fishing consider smaller and more creative terrestrials like beetles, bees, and small stonefly patterns in the #10 range. The Yakima River has a unique summer stonefly. The males don't have full wings! This means they need to crawl wherever they go. A good choice is the "Hopperstone" so that you can dabble in both worlds.
You can use a variety of patterns to imitate this. Note the low profile. I will frequently give my flies a haircut.
The Streambank Hopper makes a killer summer stonefly after you give it a "trim". Don't be afraid to custom modify your big hoppers!
Nymph Fishing in August on the Yakima River
There comes a time when you need to get subsurface to put a few fish in the net. Try using a "dry fly/dropper" combo first and work the shorelines with a shallow nymph. I strongly prefer a quality Tungsten Beadhead Nymph this time of year because the river flows are often around 4,000 cfs. It simply sinks fast and conquers the current. Since there are no prevalent hatches, mix it up and try a variety of nymphs in the #14 - #16 range.
If that doesn't work, better go deep with a solid Thingamabobber type rig. Use a 3/4" Airlock or Thingamabobber as the flows are swift and it will often drown a yarn or wool indicator. Consider a #6 Stonefly Nymph like the Rainy's Powerhouse. Use 4X and 5X Flurocarbon to your nymphs #10 - #6, but consider 5X - 6X for nymphs sizes #12 - #18 for the increased flexibility and lifelike movement afforded by supple tippet.