Floating the Yakima?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by fflanner, Sep 9, 2002.

  1. I've got a question on floating the Yakima. I'm planning on floating it for the first time this weekend. I was wondering if it is safe and easy to do so in a canoe, and what sections would be recommended. Seems like the lower canyon would be the way to go. What put-in would be good? Sounds like the best takeout is at Roza. How long does the float usually take?

    Also, what camping would people recommend in the area? Any other info for a first time Yakima-er would be great.

    By the way, I floated the Snohomish on Sunday from 522 to Snohomish. My friend and I gave up on the silvers pretty quickly and just fished for cutts, which were great! I don't think I've caught a more fun fish (which probably means I haven't fished enough). Fishing from a canoe allowed us to hit the best spots, and lots of them. We'd fish by a couple logs for 5 minutes, get 2 or 3 strikes or more, and then move 100 yards down to the next. Used orange and yellow spiders on floating line. I never even bothered to change my fly. It slowed down a little when the rain started, though.

    Thanks for the tips.
  2. fflanner,

    Float times vary greatly depending on flow rate. The flow is changing right now daily as the flip flop is taking place where the reservoirs are slowing down flows. The flows are approaching the 'low' average, currently at 1700 cfs.

    Jack Mitchell goes into flow rates, distances & put-in spots in detail (among other things) in the [link:www.washingtonflyfishing.com/columns/yakima.htm|article] he submitted to this site.

  3. Chris is right, the flows have dropped and that will affect how far you can float unless you want to do a lot of paddling (also how long you want to be on the river). I was up on the river yesterday (wad fishing) and the fishing was okay early and really good late (slow in the middle, sunny part of the day). Bighorn to Red's is a good float (about 8 miles) if you start around 1-2 and fish until 7-8. Call Steve at Red's (509)929-1802, he can give you info on how fast the river is moving and how long it will take you to float a certain section. He also runs shuttles.

    Good luck!


    "In our family, there is no clear
    line between religion and fly
    fishing" Norman Maclean
  4. i floated it for the first time a few weeks ago, with david and "life is but a dream." he put us on a lot of good fish, it was hands down, the best day of fishing ive ever had, so i'd like to put in a little plug for him.
    i wade fished a bit yesterday, and got a few nice ones (16, or so) on hoppers.
    the big stoneflys were about and with a big stimulator i hooked a big one, maybe 20, but in my haste, forgot to check my tippet, snap.
    this would have been a few miles up from roza, between the roza blm site and the next site upstream, with too many consanants in a row for me to remember the name.(right by the marker that talks about the mt. mazama eruption)
    anyway, i'm going back as soon as possible, with big stimulators and stonefly patterns. fishing tight to the bank.
  5. I floated from Bighorn to the Slab a few weeks ago on a guided trip with a fishin buddy. We put in around 10am and were out of the water a little after 8pm. Stopped for lunch and a short break in the late afternoon. Had a great time. Left numerous flies in the streamside brush attempting to getting tight to the bank. That was my first guided float trip and it was a unique experience to be able to float down the river and be able to cast to the bank of your choice without looking for a good place to cross the river.
  6. One thing to remember with the river levels down this time of year is the fish are not always up tight against the banks. The water is too shallow in most places. The bigger fish will be moving to deeper water and will be in front of or behind structures (rocks/boulders). Work the seams / edges along fast & slower moving water. It seems that with the slower moving water, having the correct size fly is important. The fish have a little longer to decide to take the fly or not, so when in doubt, I go smaller.

    Good Luck!


    "In our family, there is no clear
    line between religion and fly
    fishing" Norman Maclean

Share This Page