Thursday, February 11, 2010

1 year yak-free

Last monday marked exactly one year since I fished the mighty irrigation ditch know as the Yakima River.  It's strange to think that I have gone so long without fishing a river I loved for such a long time.  The Yakima is the river I learned how to row on, guided for 5 years on, floated well over 1000 times, and made some of my best friends while fishing it.  Although it doesn't have a ton of fish in it, and certainly not alot of big ones(in fact I can think of few rivers that can hand you your ass so quickly), when the stars align it can produce some great fishing.  It is the difficulty of catching fish from the yak that is so alluring to many anglers, and so infuriating on many days.

Alot has changed between now and when I first started fishing the yakima.  The Evening Hatch fly shop was still a burger stand, Red's fly shop was a single wide trailer and not a resort, the smiley face wall was still a smiley face, "big pines" was still the slab, "Lluma" was still squaw creek and you could launch a boat at both Bighorn and Umptanum.

Many of the changes happen to the river itself.  All of my buddies still fishing the Yakima tell me that the farmlands is completely new after the big flows of last spring.  It's cool that even as an irrigation ditch for the lower Yakima valley, there are stretches of the river that can change so dramatically in one high flow.  Floating any river alot you learn the slight changes and nuances, which helps keep a river you have fished a ton fresh and exciting.

Here's a few of my favorite pic's from over the years on the day's the yak gave it up good.

Possibly the best day I ever had on the Yak, with Jason Boitano, 2005

Baptie with one of the bigger fish I saw in my time on the yak, 2005

Me and Chou celebrating the longest day of the year by doing two marathon floats.

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