Water flow: 1400 +/- at Cle Elum 2300 +/- at Umtanum
Visibility: 60 inches
Water temperature at mid-day: 54 Degrees F
Water condition: Clear
Best time of day to fish: Seasonally dependant
Best stretch: Depending on flows, both the Upper and Lower Yakima have great stretches - most well-known is between Easton and Roza Dam.
Best access point: The Upper Yakima has easy access along I-90, between Easton and Cle Elum. Between Cle Elum and Ellensburg, there are multiple launch points for boats. There is accessible wading, depending on flows, from the BLM campgrounds in the Lower Canyon.
Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:
January - February: midges, small winter stoneflies, mayflies March - May: skwala stones, golden stones, caddis, mayflies June - August: short-wing stoneflies, salmonflies, caddis, crane flies, mayflies, terrestrials September - December: October caddis, mayflies, midges
Fish species: Westslope Cutthroat, Wild Rainbows and Whitefish
Fishing season: Year-round; seasonal hatches make for great spring, summer, and fall fishing.
Nearest airport: Seattle Tacoma International Airport
Recommended fly fishing leader: 9 Foot Leader
Recommended fly fishing tippet: 4X Tippet
Best fly fishing rod: 9' 5 Weight Fly Rod
Best floating fly line: WF Trout Fly Line
Best sinking fly line: Streamer Stripper Sink Tip Fly Line
The Yakima River is Washington's only blue ribbon trout stream, flowing 70 miles from Easton to Roza Dam in the lower canyon. Access to the river for wading is good along I-90, through the upper river and down Yakima Canyon road. The river has distinct sections - narrow, braided, and tree lined, or deep into volcanic basalt walls towering above the water.
Wild Rainbow and Cutthroat trout inhabit ...
the river, which is open year round - a unique aspect of trout fishing in Washington. Hatches are equally inviting - from Skwala to Golden Stoneflies, March Browns to Green Drakes, Caddis, and in the heat of summer - casting hoppers and large foam attractors into the banks, as the sun goes down.
There is plentiful lodging and amenities in the Ellensburg and Cle Elum area - you can be on great water only 90 minutes from downtown Seattle. Fishing is year-round for the hearty, but optimal conditions run from mid-February until May; then again from July until late October.
The Caddis dry fly fishing is getting better and better everyday, all techniques including dry fly fishing, nymphing, and streamer fishing have all been producing fish.
The Yakima river is in incredible shape right now, the flows are lower than normal for this time of the year, and the extended weather forecast looks great and the caddis hatch should keep going strong.