Young Frank and I joined the flotilla army on the Yakima River Canyon yesterday for some guiding. We were two of about 40 boats, carpet bombing the entire region with a mixture of dry flies, streamers and trapped air technology. I'm assuming with the amount of watercraft searching the area for signs of both aquatic and non-aquatic species (there are hunters using boats on the river to find animals) to harass is why the fishing was a bit slow. Don't get me wrong, we still caught fish, but only a couple of consequential size.
We found that the smaller nymphs were working better and if it's something they haven't seen the better chance you have at fooling them. Streamers were working as well. We got two fish over 18 inches and a bunch ranging in the 10-12 inch area and a ton of fingerlings. For now I would recommend staying away from the lower canyon until the carpet bombing has eased up and focus on the upper stretches near Thorp or Cle Elum or the Ensign Ranch Boat Launch.
For flies I would use the following:
Pat's Stone Orange or Black #6, 8
WMD October Caddis #6
WMD Black #6, 8
Lightning Bugs #18-20 in blue, pearl, green or purple
BH Sparkle Pupa Olive #18-20
Glo Bugs in pink, orange or red/yellow
Orange Stimulator #6, 8
BWO Cripple Olive #18-20
RH Crystal Stimulator #6, 8
M's October Caddis #6, 8
BWO Sparkle Dun Olive #18-20
Q's Marabou Cripple Olive #18-20
Sculpzilla Olive, Tan or White #4, 6
Dali Llama Olive/White #6
Weirs Sculpin Olive #6
That's all I have for now. Have fun fighting the masses in Lower Canyon or the cold crisp autumn air in the upper reaches. Fall is a perfect time on the Yakima to stalk fish and get away from that significant other who is hounding you to clean the gutters, rake leaves, fix that porch rail...
Feed Fish Flies, Not Toxins