Fishing Season: Year-round; seasonal hatches make for great spring, summer, and fall fishing.

Yakima River - WA

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Temperature 53°



Water Temp:


Ellensburg Angler's Tip of the Week

Warm weather and a recent bump of water to flush juvenile salmon downstream has colored up the water some. River is still fishable and should start dropping.

Directions open in app

Map of Yakima River

Water Flow Data

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Ellensburg Angler

5-Day Outlook as of 5/13/24

Cooling down after the “heat wave”. Flows are dropping and weather is cooling.

Techniques & Tips as of 5/13/24

Nymphing With an indicator should produce strikes throughout the day. Pats rubber leg in black, or brown with a bead head dropper. Caddis and mayflies midday through the afternoon. Streamer bite can be productive on cloudy days, zonkers,sculpin patterns.salmonfly stonefly adults in the afternoons.

Local Species Available Year-round; seasonal hatches make for great spring, summer, and fall fishing.

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    Westslope Cutthroat

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    Wild Rainbows and Whitefish

Ellensburg Angler's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Stimulator Orange 8
Gee's Supafly Stone Dry Tan 10-12
Moto's Minnow White/Grey 8
Tunghead Pheasant Tail Jig Natural 14-16
Pat's Stonefly Black/Brown 6-10
Chubby Chernobyl Pink/Tan 8-10
Tunghead Soft Hackle Hare's Ear Tan 14-20
Tunghead Pheasant Tail Jig Natural 16
Psycho May Olive/Black 16
Purple Haze Purple 16-18


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Ellensburg Angler's Recommended Gear

Description: About Yakima River

The Yakima River is Washington's only blue ribbon trout stream, flowing 78 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, Summer, and Golden Stoneflies, along with some Salmonflies, we also see March Browns, Green Drakes, Caddis, and a incredible Blue Wing Olive hatch, and in the heat of summer we enjoy casting hoppers and large foam stonefly attractors into the banks. There is plentiful lodging and amenities in the Ellensburg and Cle Elum area - you can be on great water in less than 90 minutes from downtown Seattle. Fishing is year-round for the hearty, but optimal conditions run from mid-February until Mid November.

Nearest Airport:

Seattle Tacoma International Airport


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

Best Time 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:

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.