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Rocky Ford Creek

Rocky Ford Creek is one of the Pacific Northwest's premier spring creeks. Located near Ephrata, in Central Washington's Columbia Basin, Rocky Ford offers Washington's best stream fishing for large Rainbows. Since Rocky Ford is a spring creek, trout food is abundant, water temperatures remain pretty constant year around and trout remain active 365  days a year. Rocky Ford is Fly Fishing only, catch and release, no wading, no floating devices, barbless and no lead.

Fishing Rocky Ford: The Ford is public water with easy access and lots of really large Rainbows. Spring and fall are typically the busiest seasons and you can expect to see quite a few other anglers, particularly on weekends. Crowds are lighter in the heat of the summer, but heavy growth of aquatic plants make it more difficult to fish. The fish are active in the winter and the creek is mostly weed free. The list of fishable waters in the winter is pretty small, so sunny weekends at the Ford can be busy. When nymphing Rocky, don’t spend a lot of time working fish that you can see. If you can see the fish, they have probably already seen you. It’s difficult to pass up those 25 inch Rainbows, particularly when you can see them eating real bugs. It’s far more productive to work good water where you cannot see the fish. Scuds are the dominant food source for the trout year around, so good scud patterns in sizes 18 to 12 are essential. Nymphs and streamers will fool fish all year. Sight fishing to rising fish can be very good. The best dry fly fishing currently is the Callibaetis hatch in the slower sections May through September, BWOs in faster water spring and fall and Terrestrials and Damsel Flies in the summer. Midges can present challenging dry fly opportunities year around. It’s important when fishing Rocky Ford to walk softly and keep a low profile, keep casting at a minimum and have as much separation from the fish as is practical, avoid lining the fish and use appropriate leaders and slack line presentations. When nymphing, use a small white or olive yarn indicator. Bright or heavy indicators can spook the fish. Rocky is an hour and fifteen minute drive from Ellensburg.

Rocky Ford Creek Info:     Hatch Chart     Gallery     Weather

March and April: Scuds, Midges and Blue Winged Olives

May and June: Scuds, Midges, Sulfers, Callibaetis, Tricos, PMDs, Damsels, Caddis and Terrestrials.

Low water flows in the faster, freestone section below the lower hatchery diversion have significantly hurt the hatches in this stretch, this includes Sulfers, Tricos, BWOs, PMDs, Caddis and Mahogany Duns. Slow water Hatches above the diversion remain strong, this includes Callibaetis, Midges and Damsels.

July and August: Scuds, Midges, Callibaetis, Tricos, PMDs, Damsels, Caddis and Terrestrials.

November through February: Scuds, Midges and occasional BWOs.

September and October: Scuds, Midges, BWOs, Callibaetis, Damsels and Mahogany Duns.

Leaches and Dragonfly nymphs are also abundant in Rocky Ford.

Rocky Ford Guided Trips:   .

1 or 2 anglers: $395

Add 1 angler:  $100

Rocky Ford Trip includes:

Lunches, Water and Soft Drinks, Flies, Leaders and on the creek instruction.
Rods are available at no charge. 6-8 hours on the water. Typically 6+ in the winter.

Reservations: Call: 509 697 6327 or email:

Big Rocky Ford Rainbow

Rocky Ford is typically not that difficult to fish once you know a few basics. Of course there are days when the fish a bit petulant and/or selective. Those days are often the most rewarding once you solve the puzzle. We’ve fished Rocky for 25+ years and are familiar with the seasons, hatches, and different types of water at Rocky. A day spent with us will give you the the solid foundation necessary to fish the creek on your own and be successful in most situations.