Spring 2024 Fishing Report

Fishing Report, Fly Fishing, Seattle, Yakima River -

Spring 2024 Fishing Report

Spring is here and the fishing opportunities are continually ramping up! We are just a couple weeks from many Puget Sound streams opening for trout fishing, yet there are numerous local lakes, the Puget Sound itself, and the Yakima River to fish, which has been fishing well as of late. Whether you care to chase coldwater or warmwater species, there are fish abound across the state.


Yakima River:

The river has seen an influx of flows since Saturday, though it was fishing quite well prior to the reservoir release. Keep an eye on the river flows, as we will see spontaneous releases until the high summertime conditions for irrigation. The entire river has been fishing well, with ample access whether on foot or if you desire to float. In addition bugs have been out and prolific, including Salmonflies, March Browns, BWO's, PMD'S and the always popular Mother's Day Caddis hatch! Fishing dry flies and nymphs have been quite productive, while we should see fish beginning to eat salmon smolt more readily as the small anadromous fish continue their outmigration. This time of year does require attention to water flows, as snowmelt will continue on warmer days. Grab some flies listed below and enjoy a beautiful Spring day on the Yakima!

Upper river has still held onto the Salmonfly adults as well as the mayfly adults in the afternoons, while they are lingering in the lower river the Caddis have been flourishing in the stretches near and below Ellensburg. Some productive nymphs as of late have been larger stonefly nymphs (#4-6 black or coffee/black Pat's Stones), mayflies to mimic the two species present (Pheasant Tail's #12-16 and various Perdigon nymphs in #12-18), and Caddis pupa (YB Hare's Ear, Rio's Puparazzi and Rock Grinder in #12-16). For dry flies, large stoneflies (Rio's Juicy Stone and the Bighair Salmonfly #4-8 have been great, think generally smaller as hatch progresses), various parachutes have been working for the mayflies (Parachute Adams and the Sparkle Flag #12-16 in appropriate colors, emergers or cripples may need to be considered if fish are sipping!) and finally the Caddis (Elk Hair's in peacock or royal #12-16 are solid options, though the X-Caddis in peacock or tan are a great fly to trail in tandem). If streamers are what you want to throw, #6 Dolly Llama's in olive and white, Rio's Precious Metal, Rio's Sticks A-lot, and the always productive Sculpzillas can entice some the larger trout looking for a salmon smolt snack!



The weather will begin to ramp up the lake fishing, especially for warm-water species, though we have seen productivity on many put and take lowland lakes in the westside of Washington. We will see bass and carp continually spawn through the next month, allowing for ample opportunity in shallow waters to target these species. Trout fishing on the western lakes will continue to be fruitful until we see water temperatures rise (mainly in the smaller ponds/lakes, as the larger lakes will need to be fished at deeper depths). Eastside lakes have still been fishing quite well, with great reports from many of the more popular lakes such as Lenice and Nunally, Dry Falls, Lenore, and the Quincy Lakes. Many ponds and lakes have been seeing higher numbers of bass beginning their spawning phase, allowing for more fish to go chase after over the Cascades as well.

Flies for trout will entail leeches and buggers trolled on a sinking line and chironomid fishing with an indicator and floating line or utilizing a midge tip line with slow retrieve. To target bass many streamers will work to entice them, though specifically Crayfish patterns, baitfish flies, and the always exciting poppers to get some top water explosions from active Smallmouth and Largemouth.



Spring time in the briny waters of Puget Sound are often the most productive of the year to target our Coastal Cutthroat trout meandering the shallow water beaches. This is inherently due to the outmigration of salmon fry from their natal streams, allowing a prolific food source for the trout. If you see fish While the fish will generally be around creek and river estuaries, many beaches with sufficient habitat in the North and South Sound will harbor fish, so don't be too picky which one you land on. Most importantly, if the current beach is devoid of life change your location to another local beach. Some of our favorite flies for the salmon fry are the Chumbody's Baby, Rio's Fry Me a River, Skerik's Hatchery Smolt, and Rio's Just Keep Swimming. While imitating the small salmonids can produce trout, other food sources are always present such as Euphasiid's, Sand Eel's and Sculpins.