Summer Fly Fishing In Central Washington

Summer fly fishing is coming to a close in the Yakima River Valley as the month of August is quickly drawing to an end.  It's been a warm summer and the heavy, fast flowing river is now beginning to recede. This time every year, the Bureau of Reclamation begins drawing the Yakima River back and they reduce the flow structure in the Yakima, which is refereed to as the "flip flop".

As they bring the water flows down in the Yakima, flows will slowly increase in the Naches River in the next drainage to the west.  Here, Yakima and Benton County irragators can continue to draw water from two other storage reservoirs as their growing season tends to operate on a longer schedule, then the mighty Timothy Hay producers in the Kittitas Valley.

As these flows recede, several key components begin to happen in the Yakima.  Sub straight and other structure that has been buried under several feet of water all summer long, begins to appear.  Now, the Yakima takes on the look and feel of a late August and September Northwest river.  

Low flows and medium to small river rock cobble, create endless riffles and runs.  Exposed boulder fields and small pools form along the bank and rip rap, which craft a variety of trout feeding stations for a hundred feet at a time. Sharp, slippery basalt boulders in the both the upper and lower river canyon, expose frothing foam lines off both sides of the current seams, where ideally trout take refuge and feed at their leisure.  It now appears that the Yakima has become the perfect river for autumn.

We are in the beginning stages of the prime fishing season in Central Washington. September and October are thee months not to miss on the Yakima River.  Don't put your fly rod away until for the year until you have experienced the fall fishing.  The fishing can be legendary and the scenery is nothing short of spectacular.  The fall foliage begins changing and brilliant colors blend together creating some sensational yellow, orange, red and green eye candy that is to exciting to miss. 

You can expect incredible aquatic hatches of Summer Stoneflies, Craneflies, Blue Wing Olive Mayflies, October Caddis, Light Cahills and Mahogany Duns.  Flying ants and hoppers will continue thru the first few weeks of September as warmer weather will prevail.  It is really an incredible time to be outdoors.  If you live in the Pacific Northwest make sure to get out and enjoy it.

Here is an important link to pay attention to during the year.  This will take you to the real time flow gauging stations on the Yakima. Learn to read these and you will never be disappointed.

You can always call or visit the Ellensburg Pro-shop for any information that you may need.  Our knowledgeable, friendly staff can be a benefit to you and aid in your successful fishing day here in the Yakima River Valley.  Stop by we guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Steve Worley-Owner-Head Guide
Worley-Bugger Fly Co.

1713 South Canyon Road
Ellensburg, WA  98926

Listen Every Monday Night At 7:00 pm to our live podcast of "Guide Chronicles" On Ellensburg Community Radio at

1713 South Canyon Road
Ellensburg, WA 98926


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