Somebody forgot Mother's Day, but at least it wasn't me. The guilty party would happen to be the Yakima River, but you know what they say better late than never. Each year for the past eight years I make the trip to the Yakima River in early May in hopes of catching the Mother's Day caddis hatch just right. The past two years in a row I got the hatch timed right, but run-off kicked in just a bit too early and the river blew out. This year with a lower than usual snow pack in the Cascades I got lucky and the river levels were low when I planned to hit the river. The lower river levels didn't mean that the caddis were going to show though.
I made my first trip to the river just before after Mother's Day, weather front had shut down the hatch and made fishing a bit of a battle with the elements. Bad weather and a lack of caddis flies coming off wasn't going to stop me though so I set up a couple of nymphs and hit the water.
Wind, rain, thunder and lighting... Perfect time to fish!
If found a piece of water where a side channel met up with the main river forming a great seam and decided that it was as good of a place as any to find a trout. Half way down the seamline my indicator went down and I was tied into a monster. Now I have caught my share of nice trout on the Yakima including a few over 20" and let me just say that they had nothing on this trout. Once he was hook this fish went straight into my backing with me chasing after him. I recovered my fly line once before he decided that he wasn't having anything do with that and took off again. It was on this run that I could feel my leader bouncing along the rocks and before long my 5x tippet and lighting bug dropper gave way, only to leave me scratching my head and wondering what just happened. This encounter with a monster of the deep was enough to keep me on the water for another couple hours, but all that I had to show for it was a couple more hook ups and a 15" trout lost at the net.
Fast forward a week and I was back on the river again and this time the caddis decided to show up too. In fact it was the thickest caddis hatch that I have ever seen on the river with the air looking like a highway of bugs all flying upstream. Not only were the caddis present but the weather was beautiful with sunny skies and a gentle 80 degree breezy; the type of fishing I have been dreaming about all winter!
Beautiful weather on the river note all of the specs in the picture are caddis flies
Flipping rocks is great by spider's webs are better during the hatch... 16 Grannom Caddis?
With the amazing weather I decided to wet wade and rigged up my 4wt with a size 16 hot butt caddis and lighting bug dropper. I started by search the seam that had held the monster last week and while I didn't find him I did find a friend of his...
Not the monster, but a 19"er isn't bad either
As the hatch progressed an evening started coming on I moved to a stretch of river with a nice deep cut bank and some over hanging brush for cover. For this task I armed myself with my new 6' 1wt Scott Fibertouch rod and before long I was able to sneak up on a very active riser. With the low hanging vegetation along the banks the little 6' rod was the perfect tool and within a few casts I got a cast right into the fish's feeding lane and he rose to my dry. With a 1wt you definitely have to finesse things a little more once you get a fish on, but after a quick battle I was still able to bring the 17" trout to the net.