Oh my, it seems as if this went from a mellow fall to winter in a hurry. Totally fine with us because winter does bring some of our favorite things to do to our proverbial fly fishing plate...SRC's in the winter and spey casting/swinging for steelhead. So game on, let's buckle and bundle up and get out there!
Yakima River - Winter on the Yakima is among our favorite times to wade into this river. Low flows for the most part, cold temps keep most away and tons of water to access on foot make this a great time to explore and learn this river. Mostly going to be a nymphing game going forward with smaller flies trailed behind maybe a Pat's Stone or similarly larger stonefly pattern. Some of our fav's are Lightning Bug, Bloody Mary and other BWO imitating nymphs. Insert name as you see fit. Streamers will also work with a slower retrieve and on occasion Midge will show themselves in the slower water on warmer days. Have we ever mentioned Trout Spey? This is a fantastic time of year and killer way to approach this river. Swing soft hackles or small streamers into the soft water and tailouts of the runs...get that tug here too, it is sitting there waiting for you. Glove up, put on an extra pair of long underwear, fix some pinhole leaks and get out there. Rubber soles with studs or bars will be safe in snowy conditions as well.
Puget Sound - With much of the seasonal baitfish gone for the remainder of the year, SRC's will be hunting anything that swims so have a box with diversity in it or begin to build that diversity through this part of the year. Sound Searcher really excels this time of year with the lack of kelp in the water but so do a number of our custom flies by our staff imitating sculpin like the Sound Slugger by Mitch Randall and Moore's Keta Kandy will work well especially come spring when the fry emerge from the rivers and streams. Fish moving water this time of year, only really concern yourself with tides when it may hinder beach access or ability to fish. Know your beaches that are in the lee of the wind, this can make or break a day on the water. Ask us, we are happy to help!
Steelhead - We don't have high hopes for a full season on the Olympic Peninsula this year so direct your attention to other fisheries that maybe have more fish and winter opportunities. Right now the Klickitat is hosting some nice fish as is the Deschutes and our local Cowlitz will provide a good winter opportunity to exercise those spey rods. There is a ton to the equipment here from which heads and why to length of tips and action and length of rod and how they all work together. We are here to help make it clear so please come in and ask as well as which rivers when and where.
Hope everyone is having a great fall, look forward to seeing you all soon and as mentioned above, ASK US QUESTIONS! We are here for you.