Another Yak Trip Disappointment

Dr Bob

Active Member
My fishing buddy and I made a trip to the Yak yesterday for the first time in about 3 years. We first fished the canyon area. We both are retired, but due tot to number of cars at pull outs and boats on the river, we both had to check our cell phone to make sure it was Thursday and not Saturday. We passed three of our favorite pull outs before finding one with no cars. We don't like crowding other fishermen. Nice day, packed a good lunch, but fish were not cooperating. We did not see or talk to anyone who caught a fish. I managed to get one fish on a bugger. It was about 11 inches.

We then moved up river to fish along the road between Ellensburg and Cle Elum. Same story with cars and fishermen at pull outs. Was yesterday some holiday I'm not aware of?? We finally got a spot that a fellow fisherman was leaving. He had not had a strike in 2 hours of fishing. We tried our luck, but same story. Having not been wade fishing the Yak for 3 years, I was surprised by the trash at the pull outs and along the river and the batch of No Trespassing signs at some of our past favorite fishing spots.

It appears the Yak has become very popular and abused. Couple that with the fishing and I don't think I will making another trip to fish the Yak again real soon. I may take part in a Yak cleanup sponsored by Worley Bugger.

Dr Bob
I drifted Teanaway to Thorp Bridge wednesday. Saw three guides in drift boats and a guy in a watermaster in addition to two bank anglers late in the day. We caught a decent amount of fish on Size 8 October Caddis and size 16 bead head hares ears. Almost all cutthroat.

I switched my drifts from the lower canyon to the Teanaway-Thorp stretch after encountering 29 bank anglers and 5 drift boats on a 1993 October drift below Ellensburg. For the longest time you'd see very little pressure and no guides or perhaps John Farar or Chuck Cooper drifting Teanaway to Thorp. Seems like the guides are onto the upper Canyon now. I have mixed feelings but all the guides I encountered Wednesday had a good attitude.

Nice to see the cutthroat making such a comeback. Used to be all rainbows.
Last edited:
Someone complains about bank anglers and cars and trash at pull outs and it turns into a guide bashing thread?

All of the local shops on the Yakima, with Reds at the front of the line, work hard to contribute to the health of the water they fish.

Let me help solve the problem...
The OP hasn't fished the river in 3 years, goes to the spots closest to the road, during the most popular time of the year to fish and wonders why its busy?????

Rob Allen

Active Member
Booming economy means people have more time and money for recreation. Couple that with a region experiencing huge growth and that means too many people for limited resources. Two solutions 1. Tank the economy 2. Keep the population from increasing. Both are very easy to do.
To get any form of solitude in the out doors you have to work harder than everyone else. No two ways about it.
The main thing to remember about crowds is that you are a part of it.
Lastly 2 hours in one spot? Unless that's a huge area he wasn't covering enough water to be productive.
I figure a good bank trout angler should be covering at least half a mile per hour unless he is catching lots of fish or fish are visibly feeding.
Worst thing you can do is fish a run with a copper john then turn around and fish the same run with a prince or other nymph. Go hunting for active fish don't pound fish that don't want to eat.
Lol hope at least a little of that was helpful.
It has been my experience it takes 2+ weeks after the flows have dropped (Labor Day weekend) for fish to find their new 'homes'... Also better right after the morning sun hits the water. I look for a big hill to the East so that I can sleep in longer - just sayin'...
Last edited:


Active Member
Any river with a paved road running alongside is the kiss of death anymore. Think NFCDA or St Joe where at some times of the year it is harder to find a parking place than it is to find fish. Along a stream the obvious spots just get fished to death with almost everyone stopping to fish obvious water. It is the same in both Idaho and Montana but they have more and better streams and fewer people. In Washington the Yak is about the only game in town and seems to be just over run.

I grew up fishing streams in SW Virginia and love stream fishing. I lived in Bishop, CA for awhile and fished the Owens River and dozens of Sierra streams. After moving to Vancouver Wa I fished the Deschutes, all of the the west side steelhead streams including the Wind and the Klickitat , in Oregon as far south as the Umpqua and as far east as the Donner and Blitzen along with the Crooked and Metolious. I am still a danger when driving along any stream as I tend to look at the water instead of the road.

But when I moved to the FrozenTundra the handwriting was on the wall: fish lakes or perish. The fish are much bigger, the lakes generally less crowded and there are hundreds of them, many under fished with surprisingly large fish to be had despite general regs. My advice on the Yak would be to just give it up to the hordes and stop punishing yourselves. Last week I caught around 50 fish over 15" with most in the 16''-19'' range and several over 20'' all in lakes often when I was the only guy on the water. Try duplicating that on the Yak-it may take years-if ever. I gave up on the Yak back when I was 60 as it just didn't compare to the Deschutes and now at 80 I have zero interest in it. I can catch more and bigger fish 5 miles from my house on the mighty Pend Oreille and almost be assured of being the only guy on the water. For everything else there is a lake with a fine fishery nearby and no need to tolerate the crowds.

It's a simple formula really-either reduce your expectations for fishing on streams or adjust to your environment by fishing lakes. I'll be fishing a lake in the coming week and sharing it with a few other fishermen but with over 300 acres we won't be the least crowded and will probably all catch fish over 20".


Old Man

Just an Old Man
I live in Butte now and there isn't any lakes near where I live or I'd be back to buying something that floats to hit them. And my closest Skinny water is about 25 miles away. Up over a pass either way I go. And you all know I don't like passes. The Silver Bow Creek and Blacktail creeks run through town but there isn't anything is them. The tug is the drug But I don't seem to be getting to them.

When I lived in Dillon I was close to 3 Blue ribbon streams. And one place a little farther away. But the land is flat and I can drive all over the flat land Plus I had a few Reservoirs close also. I think I'm living in Fly Fishers Hell.
It's been getting worked hard for a long, long time now. I really wish they could ban guiding on it.
Is it code for yak guides to have sleeve tattoos, snap back hats and bright color stunner style sunglasses topped off with a flannel shirt? Seems to be yak guide uniform from what I've seen on Instagram.

Honestly ban all guides from our waters and I wouldn't be mad :)


Active Member
I am not a Red's fan at all...
Why? Very nice shop, huge selection. Great place to test cast rods; I'm not sure where you'll find a bigger selection of rods if test casting your next purchase is something on a person's list. I also found they can help trouble shoot line to rod; help make that match (and in my case determine my old spey rod was, in fact, a telephone pole).

If not Red's, who? The Worley Bugger, The Evening Hatch, Troutwater? Seems to me a little town like E'burg, with three in town fly shops and one out of town, is supporting a customer based need.

But no, I don't like the crowds on the river.

(ps. got my garlic bed prepped yesterday and will plant it just before flying to Japan, thanks again)

Latest posts