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YAKIMA RIVER FLY FISHING REPORT

What’s happening on the Yakima - Hatches, river conditions, how good (or bad) the fishing is and occasional photos of Yakima River flora and fauna.

Yakima River Flows and Conditions

Teacup diagram / Reservoir levels and stream flows in the Yakima and Naches River Basins.
Realtime Stream Flows / Yakima and Naches River Basins. Comprehensive list.
Yakima River Flow Forecast at Umtanum / Forecast and Trend.

Yakima River Hatches

Current Hatches and Flies
Photos and Descriptions of the Bugs
Yakima River Hatch Chart

Yakima River Fishing Report

Weather / Current weather, forecasts and pass reports

Fishing Report Archive / Yakima River Fishing Reports from previous years

Aquatic moth Yasu-Caddis in the Canyon Scott-Summer Bow Mary-Evening Caddis Tom Canyon Bow Pale Morning Dun House Finch Shinji - Rocky Bow Dick and Big Yak Bow. Tom nice bow-Skwalla Dry springbow Chris-Spring Bow Early Spring Rainbow Nice Bow on Skwala dry Early season Bow

Yakima River Fishing Report 3-6-19   The river is currently in great shape. noaa is predicting a bump up in flows around the 8th or 9th, which may or may not be significant. Water temps at Umtanum are close to 44 degrees today. Not many adult Skwala yet, but more nymphs are staging up near the shore (Skwala emerge on the shore). Typically, warmer temps crank up the start of the Skwala emergence just before the river rises. Minimal lower elevation snow this year should translate into more stable flows this spring.

Fishing Report 3-17-18   The Skwala emergence has been pretty reliable for a week or so. A few BWOs on cloudy days. Water conditions have been mostly good so far this spring, the best in several years.

Fishing Report 3-22-18   Cold weather put a damper on the ‘catching’ yesterday. The river is on the rise today due to rain and melting snow, not looking good for the weekend.

Fishing Report 4-2-18   2300 cfs at Umtanum and dropping today, the Yak is in great shape. NOAA is predicting a big rise beginning on the 5th. Warmer weather and rain over the next few days will most likely trigger runoff and reservoir releases. Still some Skwala emerging and March Browns are begining to pop in a few stretches.

Yakima River Fishing Report 4-7-18   Photos are from the 4th. Cold and drizzly, but decent fishing. A good day with long time clients and accomplished flyfishers, Dick and Tom. March browns and Skwalas on top and nymphed with Pats stones and #14 pheasant tails. The river is still rising- 3800 cfs at Umtanum. Noaa is currently predicting that the river will peak at over 8000 cfs at Umtanum around the 9th.

Fishing Report 4-26-18   The Yakima has been on the rise for the past few days, mostly from reservoir releases. The Teanaway and other smaller tributaries are on the rise and will add more color to the river. The Prognosis for this weekend is not good. If the NOAA projections are accurate, the Yak could be in decent shape by mid-week. Rocky Ford is a good option, but expect crowds.

Fishing Report 5-11-18   The Yakima peaked at 7450 cfs at Umtanum on the 9th. NOAA is projecting that the Yak will drop a bit more over the next few days before flows head up again and will be 7000+ cfs at least through the 22nd. The reservoirs are nearly full and more warm weather is on the way.

Yakima River Fishing Report  5-25-18   A lot of this years Yakima River Basin snow pack is now in the Pacific Ocean or headed there. Flows on the Yak at Umtanum have dropped from 8000+ cfs on the 20th, to around 5000 cfs today. NOAA is predicting that the river will be around 4000 cfs by mid-week next week. Two feet of visibility in the Canyon, gradually gets better from Ellensburg to Cle Elum, but still compromised. Memorial day weekend is looking pretty marginal. Still lots of Caddis emerging, mostly grannom and a few fish looking up.

Fishing Report 5-29-18   The Yakima is in good shape. 3500 cfs at Umtanum today and the river should continue to drop for awhile. Good hatches of Caddis and PMDs.

Fishing Report 6-26-18   Water temps in the Canyon reached 65 Degrees late last week, but upwardly trending flows the last few days have cooled the river down. Flows are projected to increase until the 29th and peak at around 3600 cfs for awhile. OK to good fishing currently. Not much change from the last report.  

Yakima River Report 6-13-18   The Yakima continues to fish well. Good nymphing, mostly with small #14 and 16 mayfly and caddis imitations. Good dry fly fishing on calm, cloudy days. PMDs and caddis in all stretches and Green drakes and a few Golden stones in the upper river.

More 2018 Reports

Yakima River Report 7-2-18   Water temps are good and flows at Umtanum are aprox. 3600 cfs. PMDs, Caddis, Big Yellow Mays, Yellow Sallys, Terrestrials and still a few Golden Stones and Green Drakes in the upper river. All the mayfly hatches are slowing down. Look for Summer Stones and Caddis and more Terrestrial activity as we get further into July.

Fishing Report 7-10-18  OK to good nymphing. Pats stones and size 12-16 Mayfly and Caddis patterns. Lots of stuff has been working. Fair to good Stonefly and Caddis dry fly fishing morning and evening. Water temps have been rising 7 to 8 degrees during the day and dropping about the same overnight. which generally means that trout will feed more actively and longer during the course of the day. Water temps reached 63 degrees at Umtanum Yesterday, still in the good range.

Fishing Report 7-30-18   Checked water temps on the Yak yesterday. 67 degrees in the lower canyon, 67 at Irene Rinehart park, 65 at the green bridge at Thorpe and 63 at state boat launch below Cle Elum. All temps were checked in moving water; eddies and pools are generally a few degrees higher. Temps were checked between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Triple digit weather over the next few days, with a cooling trend starting Wednesday night according the weatherman. Overnight temps are projected to drop from 67 degrees tonight and Tuesday to 60 on Wednesday and 57 on Thursday. Morning water temps should be OK Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but afternoon and evening temps will be high. Afternoon and evening water temps should be OK by Thursday if the flows are kept at current levels (4200 to 4300 cfs at Umtanum). Land fish quickly and make sure that they are fully revived before releasing. Lots of aquatic moths in the Canyon.

Fishing Report 8-6-18   Water temps reached 70 degrees in the Lower Canyon and 67 degrees at the State boat launch below Cle Elum yesterday due to hot weather and lower flows.  Extremely high temperatures and projected lower flows over the next few days will raise the water temps even more. Early morning temps should be OK, but expect crowds, especially in the Lower Canyon and from Cle Elum to Thorpe. We’ll be taking the next 5 days off and perhaps more if the river doesn’t cool off. Cooler weather Friday night through Sunday, but dropping water levels may negate the benefits of cooler weather.  

Yakima River Fishing Report 8-22-18   Slow to OK fishing the last few days. Big drys, Big drys with a dropper and full tilt nymphing have all produced fish. Water temps reached 70 degrees in the Canyon yesterday. Daytime highs in the 90s, overnight lows in the upper 50s and lowering flows due to the annual ‘flip flop’ have kept water temps up. Temps are OK until 1 or 2 pm. Cle Elum to Thorpe temps have been a bit better. The weatherman is predicting cooler weather starting Thursday or Friday and water temps should be better by the weekend and much better by next week.

Fishing Report 8-27-18   Water temps and river flows are dropping. High water temp was 64 degrees in the Canyon yesterday, back in the good zone. Poor to good fishing over the last week as trout adjusted to lower flows and variable low and high water temps. Fishing is generally better when the differential between low and high water temps is 6 degrees or more. Water at lower temps will hold more oxygen (and will retrain this extra oxygen for a while as water temps rise) and rising water temps raise the trout's metabolism. A rise in water temps from 54 to 62 degrees is generally better for fishing than a rise from 62 to 68 degrees since there is more oxygen available at 54 degrees and 68 degrees is past their comfort zone and the temperature differential is greater from 54 to 62 degrees (just one example). Other factors are at work, so this is only a pretty good indicator of when the trout will be feeding more actively. Some summer stones, hoppers and other terrestrials, a few caddis and aquatic moths. September and lower flows usually brings a resurgence of Summer stones but this hatch has been small so far this year.

September Bow

Fishing Report 9-5-18   Great nymphing the last few days as the river continues to drop. 2050 cfs at Umtanum today. Fish have been moving away from the banks and are joining those that didn’t move to the edges during high summer flows. A big dry fly and dropper will still catch fish, mostly on the dropper. If you are a dry fly purist, hoppers, beetles and ants properly presented will pick up fish. Very light bug activity currently, summer stones, hoppers and other terrestrials, caddis, BWOs and midges.