Yakima float advice needed

Steve Vaughn

Member
WFF Supporter
My annual fishing/camping trip to the lower Yak Canyon has had multiple hurdles thrown at it this year, but it looks like I can sneak away for a couple days next week. For the 10 years I've lived in Washington I usually fish and float between Umtanum access and Big Pine (where I am usually camped). Think I know this section pretty well. This year I am staying in Ellensburg and thinking I should get to know the river above the canyon and the upper canyon better. I'm not looking for anyone's fishing hole, but rather river information. I will be floating a 1-man pontoon and am looking for info on anything I should know about the river conditions (e.g., obstructions, tricky currrents, etc.) from KOA down to Umtanum. I floated with Steve Joyce a few years ago from the KOA and there was a pretty nasty sweeper that he navigated expertly, of course, but I'm sure I would not have done so well in my small craft. Any cautionary advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

Jake

veni, vidi, fishi
It's really easy this time of year. Just floated it last weekend from Red's to Big Pines in a frameless pontoon (Outcast Stealth Pro) and had zero issues with the float.

October caddis and a purple haze dry dropper were the ticket for most of each day, with olive sculpins in the afternoon.
 

Steve Vaughn

Member
WFF Supporter
It's really easy this time of year. Just floated it last weekend from Red's to Big Pines in a frameless pontoon (Outcast Stealth Pro) and had zero issues with the float.

October caddis and a purple haze dry dropper were the ticket for most of each day, with olive sculpins in the afternoon.
Thanks Jake, but I'm looking for info on the river from KOA in Ellensburg to Umtanum. Below that I am pretty familiar.
 

Peyton00

Active Member
Koa to ringer is my normal float.
The bridge at Irene is sticky. Steer clear of the debris. Its eyed from a long distance, its not gonna sneak up on ya.
A few low spots and a corner or 2 to pay attention after the spill way. In a one man toon, its gonna be simple and u wont even notice the dog leg corners.
I dont go river right down many of the wide side braids in the big boat due to lower flows right now, but in a single toon, i would work most of the right side slots that are open.

I will be on it tomorrow and will add to my notes above if anything new is down river.
 

Steve Saville

WFF Supporter
The best trout days I ever had were in October on the Yak. I have never floated the KOA to Ringer but have heard there are some issues with a log or something of that nature. But below Ringer to Big Pine was really good.
 

Peyton00

Active Member
Fished it as planned.
I dont normally do weekends, so seeing about 8 boats in this section was not my typical view.
Low water, no issues other than the few i mentioned above.
The fish were caught on dries, nymphs and streamers. Big, fat and hungry.

Enjoy your trip.
 

Cougar Zeke

Active Member
This spot is a bigger issue at higher flows and is probably easier in a pontoon: https://goo.gl/maps/gBTJNMJDFGZGyxAc7

The problem is that the river flows under the log jam and there isn't a lot of maneuver room along the right edge. I usually have to turn the drift boat around and pull through it. There's a name for this spot, but I can't remember what it is.
 

ceviche

Active Member
NEVER accept the offer to join anyone in their rental boat and split the fee. When it was my turn to pay my part at the register, the other two had split after only one had paid, and I had to pay for 2/3. And to think I spent half the float on the oars. What a deal!
 

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