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Yakima River Fishing Report // September 21st, 2023

Yakima River Fishing Report // September 21st, 2023

Yakima River Conditions and Report

River Flow: 924 cfs (low, best wading of the year)

Water Temp: High 50's - topping about 60 today. 

Trending: Flow is stabilizing. Should be done dropping.

Water Clarity:  4' at Red's. Clear. 

Hatches Upcoming and Current:

  • Summer Stoneflies (tan belly, dark back #6-#10) - Almost done.
  • Baetis Nymphs
  • Zebra Midge
  • Crane Fly Dries and Larvae
  • October Caddis Pupae
  • #10 - #6 Stonefly Nymphs (stoneflies live 2-4 years, so any color/size is typically good)
  • Sculpin and Various Streamers #6 - #8
  • Caddis (a few at night - mix of Octobers starting)

It's wading time. Combine a float trip (or guided trip) with a request to wade a few riffles or rock piles throughout the day. Much of the year the Yakima is simply too high for effective wading so now is the time! Wear good wading boots and neoprene wading socks, and a staff isn't a terrible idea. It's not trecherous wading, but it can be a bit slick on the larger boulders.

These past few nights of cool temps has the fish thinking winter is coming and the feeding will be on like Donkey Kong here in no time.  We are still finding fish in the riffles especially choppy sections with whitewater covering the fish. They love the protection this provides and you'll want to get down in the bottom half of the column. It's a perfect time to surgically work over a small piece of water, and if you bought a Tight-Line or Euro style setup these past couple of years, now is when you'll see this technique become an extreme advantage. The low water has the trout huddled tight and it can take a perfect presentation to dig 'em out of the buckets.

For optimal dry fly fishing, you'll need shade. Especially for the big leggy critters like Summer Stoneflies. These are a nocturnal insect and the trout prey most heavily on them at dusk. Still no October Caddis hatching yet but they'll show up any day now with cooling weather. That is a fun hatch!  In the afternoon as the light angle gets low, that's when the ol' Crane Fly Skate and Twitch action gets very good.

Trout spey action just picked up these past couple days.  Our guides and instructors in our Trout Spey Fishalongs are consistently catching fish.  Not big yet, but very, very soon :-).  Size 8 Sculpzillas and the like producing consistent grabs.




    Recommended Flies:

    Vehicle Shuttle Service

    We move cars, not bodies. Just choose your float, leave us a key and we will valet your rig from launch point to take-out. 

    River Flow Links

    Yakima River Flow Prediction Chart

    While the chart is only a "prediction", it is based on historical data, weather forecasts, current weather, current snow-pack etc. You can use this to get a rough idea of how the river is going to react to predicted rainfall, run-off, etc.

    Yakima River Flow Prediction Chart at Umtanum

    Yakima Water Temperatures


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    Thomas Titus - May 17, 2022

    Good morning,

    I’d like to see if it would be possible to set up a personalized fishing trip. I recently purchased a new flyfishing raft setup and I’d like to take a rowing lesson in it. Ideally I’d like to setup a guided trip for me and my best friend using my raft (if possible). Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back.


    Joe Rotter - April 25, 2022

    RE: Smolt Pushes – Great question! We feel your pain. There isn’t a very good line of communication from the operators on when they plan to push, but we do have a contact there that has given us a heads up a time or two. I’ll see if can get on a regular notification and share it here.

    Joe Anderson - April 19, 2022

    Is there any information regarding water releases for the “smolt pushes”. I would like to think that they could do these on a somewhat regular basis or give some sort of warning. As a weekend warrior with a 3+ hour drive (one way) it would be great to be able to predict when these increased flows will occur.

    Aaron - April 18, 2022

    All time March brown hatch in the canyon today!

    Rafael Amilca Salado - February 18, 2022

    Thanks Joe! I’ll be sure to stop by on in tomorrow unless Boston continues to get more delays & cancellations. : (

    Joe Rotter - February 6, 2022

    Bob, great question! Most all the takeouts are good for pontoon boats depending on how close you need to get to the river. For full sized drift boats or trailer access, just avoid Mahres and Big Pines downstream of Red’s. Other than that, you are all good!

    Bob Conley - February 5, 2022

    what put in/take out ramps are snow free enough for my one man pontoon? Suggestions appreciated for put in take out points for 3-4 hour float this week. thanks!

    Joe Rotter - February 4, 2022

    Hi Wes, I think you’ll be in great shape. The river is low and clear now. We do have a PILE of snow in the low valleys but the extended forecast suggests stable weather.

    Joe Rotter - February 4, 2022

    Hi Rafael, there is no better place to start than Red’s Fly Shop. Within a few minutes of the shop you can be wade fishing on public water right here in the scenic Canyon section. Just come on in and chat with the crew here, we’ll help you out!

    Wesley Holt - February 2, 2022

    Gonna be heading up to the yak around Valentine’s Day for some fly fishing. What’s the prediction you think on the conditions.

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