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Hatch size and timing can vary quite a bit from year to year due to weather, river conditions and other, more mystical factors. The descriptions above are based on 25+ years fishing the Yakima and are good but not absolute indications of what to expect month to month on the river.

March: BWOs mid day and Skwala Stoneflies in the afternoon. March Browns are getting cranked up.

April: Skwala and BWOs in the first week or two and March Browns are at their peak. Runoff can be an issue in the spring, but March and April generally produce the Yakima’s best dry fly action for big fish.

May: Still a few BWOs followed by Mahogany Duns and the epic American Grannom (Mother’s Day Caddis) hatch. Salmon Flies in the upper river.

June: Pale Morning Duns, Big Yellow Mays, Yellow Sallys, Terrestrials and a variety of Caddis. Golden Stones and Green Drakes in the upper river. The biggest variety of hatches of the year.

July: Summer Stones and evening Caddis begin to emerge in earnest and Hoppers and other terrestrials become important menu items.

August: Summer Stones, Hoppers and evening Caddis. The river begins to drop towards the end of the month as the  annual ‘flip flop’ begins.

September: The Yakima finishes dropping  from summer to fall levels in the first half of the month. Generally the best nymphing of the year for numbers of fish. Summer Stones in the first few weeks followed by October Caddis and Light Cahills as the water cools.

October: October Caddis, BWOs, Mahogany Duns and Light Cahills. Traditionally, the best small dry fly fishing of the year.

HATCHES

November: BWOs and Mahogany Duns until Mayfly hatches are replaced by Midges as water temps drop.

December / January: Nymphs and streamers. Trout metabolism slows as the river cools, so they require fewer calories and eat less. Fish tend to congregate in or near slower, deeper water. Persistence in finding and working the fish is key in the winter.

February: As the days get longer and water temps begin to rise, trout and trout food become more active. Trout begin to feed heavily as the water warms and spring spawning time approaches. Nymphing can be very good.

Seasons on the Yakima

A Brief History: Prior to implementing new regulations on the Yakima River from 1983 to 1990, the river was a stock, catch and kill fishery. The restoration of wild trout in the Yakima  began in 1983 when a selective fishery designation was placed on the river from the mouth of Wilson creek to the Teanaway River and all planting of hatchery fish was stopped in favor of natural reproduction. In 1986 bait was prohibited from Roza dam to Easton and in 1988 the river from Roza dam to Easton was designated as a selective fishery. The final step in creating a quality wild trout river was taken in 1990 with the designation of the Yakima River from Roza dam to Easton dam as a catch and release fishery. Many people worked to finally achieve this goal, but special thanks go to Rolland “Rollie” Schmitten, an avid fly fisher and former Director of Wash. Dept. Of Fisheries and former National Director of Marine Fisheries.

Winter - November 15 through February 28

5+ hours for 1 or 2  $300  -  lunch not included          

Main Season - May 1 through November 14

Full Day for 2   $425   -   Half Day for 2   $350
Full Day for 1   $375   -   Half Day for 1   $300

Spring - March 1 through April 31

Full Day for 1 or 2  $375
Half Day for 1 or 2  $325

Yakima River Guided Trips:

Full day trip includes:

Lunches, Water and Soft Drinks, Flies, Leaders and on the water instruction. Rods are available at no charge. 8+ hours

Half day trip:

Same as full day, but no lunch. We will target specific hatches or fish the most productive time of day. 4 to 5 hours

Reservations: Call: 509 697 6327 or email: bruce@yakimariverangler.com

The Yakima is the longest river entirely in Washington State, originating at Keechelus Lake and flowing 214 miles to the Columbia river near Richland. The catch and release stretch of the Yakima river, from Easton Dam to Roza Dam, can be divided into five different sections, the much smaller upper river between Keechelus dam and the confluence of the Cle Elum river, the upper flatlands near Cle Elum, the forested upper canyon below Cle Elum, the lower flatlands near Ellensburg and Thorpe and the Yakima River Canyon between Ellensburg and Roza dam. An average of 300 days of sun per year, combined with three reservoirs which insure good flows and cool water in the summer from Keechelus dam to Roza dam, provide an ideal environment where trout and trout food thrive.The river between Union Gap and Benton City is low and warm during the irrigation season and supports very few fish. The Yakima from Benton City to Richland has higher flows in the summer and is a very good Small Mouth bass fishery.

Yakima River Quick Links:

Teacup diagram / Reservoirs and Flows
Yakima River Flow Forecast at Umtanum
Stream Flows
/ Yakima and Naches River Basins.
Yakima River Water temps at Horlick
Yakima River Water temps at Ellensburg

The flow forecast is subject to lot of variables and is only an indicator of probable flows. The water temps are not particularly accurate, but they are useful for monitoring up and down trends.

The Yakima River is located in the eastern “dry side” of the Cascade mountains in Central Washington. Our home water is the 75 mile long Blue Ribbon section of the Yakima between Easton and Roza dam. The river flows from forest to desert in this stretch and is home to wild rainbow and cutthroat trout, abundant wildlife and amazing scenery. With over 75 miles of diverse water and one of the longest dry fly seasons in the West, March through mid-November, the Yakima River is the top fly fishing destination for wild trout in Washington.

Fishing Report, Bugs and Weather

Fishing Report   What’s happening on the Yakima
Hatch Charts   Yakima River Bugs
Hatches   Photos and descriptions  
Current Hatches and Flies   Hatches and Flies
Weather  Current weather and forecasts

The Canyon from ‘Pac Man’

Yakima River