Yakima River 7.22-24

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
My family and some of my fishy friends met in E-burg for some KOA Kamping, socializing, fishing and food. Friday evening found us floating from KOA to Irene Rinehard Park. The advanced scouting intel from one of the staff at Red's told us of a pretty significant blockage just above Irene. We planned to scout it and portage as needed, the solo boats (Scadden Assaults and Watermaster) would be easy enough to move around obstructions. We found the normal left slot fully obstructed. The right side in these flows was low making a run through the 8' gap in the rock diversion dam the best line. No portage today. Some casting practice was had and some fish were brought to hand. Bitterroot, Greggor and I had a very good time. Alex MacDonald picked us up when finished.

Saturday the family loaded on the cataraft and the friends group floated from Umtanum to Big Pines among an ample supply of the tube hatch. Again with the two fishy chicks up front I was pleased at the manners of all we encountered on the float. The Mrs took the oars for a while, despite feeling a bit sapped by the heat and sun. We are from the wet side and the weather was a bit harsh on her. She did a pretty good job rowing the cataraft despite the boat being set up for my reach and positional preferences.

Sunday brought our final float, this time it was Bitterroot, Greggor, Freestone and Mumbles. We took on the KOA to Ringer float for some quality float time and some gear swapping and evaluating as we now had two different generations of Kodiak and two Assaults, various oar combinations and fins of at least three types. Today everyone caught fish with Freestone and Bitterroot doing me the service of catching some of theirs right close to me, perhaps rubbing it in my face? Greggor took the river left branch again, after we discussed that was NOT the way to go. We were just starting to worry when he arrived at the first partial blockage grinning about hooking many and landing five in the same area. The group moved on past that first narrow slot to enjoy some lunch and hitting some really fishy water only to come away with nothing at that pit stop. Later, halfway between Irene Rinehart and Ringer we found the two trees of concern. Heavily greened tree down on the left protruding into the river. Just beyond it sticking out and bobbing from right to left is another moderate sized branch. Problems here. First, most of the water flowing in this area goes under the root wad with the bobbing branch. Second, passing the left then pulling behind it would be tough because both splits of flow run over shallows where getting a good oar stroke would be tough. Needing a good oar stroke is critical and we decide to portage this tricky bit. Not sure that we can all maneuver our boats in that depth of water, flows and with the two main obstuctions and a few other things of concern. A nice off the huge log drop in was about 50 yards away through high irritating grass, endless mosquitos and it was only 95 degrees! Two carrying each boat for ease, two trips, all positioned on the logs we dropped in one at a time, Freestone, Greggor, Bitterroot and Mumbles. All away without incident, lots of sweat and bug bites later.

There was a lot of great scenery, casting, catching and good times. Unsure how many caught how many but I'm sure I was somewhere solidly in last place. I caught a few and had a good time, surrounded by beautiful scenery, no tube hatch, no other boats but the four of us and great friends. Awesome day, even if it took us forever to get to ringer.

A few photos, maybe my friends can add what they took. I was enjoying myself so much I did not take very many photos.

View attachment 43034 View attachment 43035 View attachment 43036 View attachment 43037 View attachment 43038

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Derek, when did you go through. I love that overall stretch. Remember when we hit it at 4200 cfs last year. That was a fun ride and fun day on the water for sure.

Gregg Lundgren

Now fishing on weekdays too!
Nice job on the report Mumbles. Here is a picture of what looks to be a happy trout from river left. Not sure why, given his sore lip. I was pretty happy though. Five hits brought just two fish there, but thanks for thinking better of me.

I need to get a waterproof camera. Too much work to dig it out of the dry bag. Wish I had more pics.

Derek, In the encyclopedia of river fishing, under inexperienced oarsman, I think my photo is posted there.:rofl: Bitterroot: Don't you dare!:p

Derek Young

Emerging Rivers Guide Services
Mumbles, that video is from Saturday, the 16th of July. Fish wise, we did well on double PMD's. That is some of my favorite water as well. Greggor, consider yourself lucky to fish with that group - a nicer and more easy-going collection of great people you'd be hard pressed to find.


Love vintage graphite!
A few more pics of another great trip.....

Prepping for the days float.
View attachment 43056

Diversion dam in background
View attachment 43061

Mumble's dutch oven biscuits & gravy...good stuff!
View attachment 43057

Freestone put on an excellent spread of snacks before the pulled pork main course. Check out Mr. Monkey Feet!
Hey Mark, do I see a bag of craisins?????
Alex, as usual, did his part to keep us all well fed. Thanks Alex!
View attachment 43062

Some fishy little chicks around the fire.
View attachment 43058

Mumbles coming over the diversion dam.
View attachment 43063

Extreme danger beyond this point? Danger is our middle name!!!!
View attachment 43059

Greggor floating by.
View attachment 43064

This is the extreme danger. We portaged and I have about 500 mosquito bites to prove it!
View attachment 43060

The precarious log drop put in.
View attachment 43065
Wow guys, what a fantastic posting!!! Thanks for sharing that and all the pics :) I haven't floated a river in my pontoon yet, and I learned several good pieces of information about doing so from your post, as well as to have fun doing it ;)




Not to be confused with freestoneangler
I was honored to be able to fish and camp with you gents and it was a fun float and adventure, mosquito bites and all. And with Alex, Ed and Lonnie in the kitchen, we ate very, very well - Craisins and all!

I owe a special thanks to Lonnie and Ed for indulging me by letting me try various oars, fins and boats in an attempt to find the perfect set-up. Ed, I wish I could have gotten on the water with your fishy chicks! Tell them I'll take a rain check. I'm just glad it was Greg who was nearby, not your little ones, when I lost that big fish and a choice word slipped out; sorry Greg.

Here's Ed with a plate of his delicious biscuits and gravy:

The Sunday float crew:

Mr. Mumbles focusing on the fish instead of the skeeters:

I'm looking forward to next year's trip!

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
For those familiar with the traveling luxuries with Alex MacDonald, that bar on the table over my right shoulder in Freestone's first photo...classic filled mobile bar...Alex style.

As for the skeeters, I was nearly immune once I had on my new Exofficio convertable trousers, buzz off shirt, buff and that crazy looking hat. I was pretty hot during the portage and log launch.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Mumbles tried a mint julep from the Alex Macdonald traveling bar!!!!!!!
True...and then I handed it back to Bitterroot, the true Montanan mint julep lovin' sheep nuzzler with velcro on his hip waders. I went back to my beer without missing a beat. I also was not drinking that light beer made from rice...Native Montanan.
Nice trip and report. Wish I was able to go along, but instead have to live it through a great report like this. Looks like everyone had fun. Will have to view some of the pics from home since the govt computer does not allow all to show.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Mark, you have a boat that will work well on the Yakima.
Nick, you have a boat that will work well on the Yakima.
When are we going to fish the Yakima? One can never fish enough days with enough friends.