Tri-Cities Scouting Reports???

SARG950

Active Member
If anyone is familiar with the Burbank Slough area (near Sacajewea State Park) off the Columbia/Snake outside of Kennewick, I'd sure appreciate any information you might have on the bass fishing (such as put-in area, road access, and fishing results...). I know it's still early but I will be over there later on visiting the mother-in-outlaw and will have a lot of water time.

Thanks.
 
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fireman10

Active Member
Sacajewea park has access as well as year round access at Hood park in Burbank. There's also a launch at Two Rivers in Finley on the Benton County side of the river. As far as the fishing I cant really help you there other than to say there's bass and pan fish there. Watch out for the wind as Wallula Junction can and does sink boats when the wind kicks up. Have fun and explore the area. The Yakima spills in up river from that area and is an under fished small mouth river that can be great in June.
 

jeffj

Old guy, still fishing.
I was in the river between The Snake and the Walla Walla yesterday. The big river was 40f and the sheltered back waters were as high as 48f. Lots of tumbleweeds in the water and a few logs. It might be a bit early for bass but the weather outlook sounds like spring is here.
 

cmann886

Active Member
Sacajewea park has access as well as year round access at Hood park in Burbank. There's also a launch at Two Rivers in Finley on the Benton County side of the river. As far as the fishing I cant really help you there other than to say there's bass and pan fish there. Watch out for the wind as Wallula Junction can and does sink boats when the wind kicks up. Have fun and explore the area. The Yakima spills in up river from that area and is an under fished small mouth river that can be great in June.
The Lower Yakima is now an overfished SMB river...no limits on bass and catfish will do that to a river.
 

b_illymac

Soap Lake Posse
WFF Moderator
I would probably fish railroad bedrock on some back pond area like Casey Pond. If the bass are prespawn you want to find warmer water areas and focus on them.
 

longputt

Active Member
The Lower Yakima is now an overfished SMB river...no limits on bass and catfish will do that to a river.
The lower Yakima is a strange story...when I was younger (50 years ago) you didn't want that water to touch you, Prosser routinely spilled raw sewage and paid a fine instead of expanding it's treatment plant and a dead cow sighting was normal; you couldn't see 8" into water. But in the Fall there was good Chinook fishery, SMB was pretty good. Then a serious effort was made to clean up the Yakima valley, efficient irrigation, sewage plants, better dairy practices, reduced cattle access and the water started getting colder and clearer, it was great success story. 15-20 years ago the SMB was crazy good (multiple 18" fish per day was normal) and there many chinook redds, you could just sit and watch the whole salmon life-cycle play out anywhere between Prosser and the Columbia R.

Now today, the lower river is clear, cold and completely choked with a grass that has virtually eliminated chinook spawning and the SMB fishery is very poor. I'm not sure the SMB aren't there but with the grass they are much less fishable for a fly rod and your options are limited.
 

b_illymac

Soap Lake Posse
WFF Moderator
Which of the fly shops could be considered as having the best info to offer???
I would venture a guess that zero fly shops target Columbia River bass by Tri-Cities this time of year and possibly the entire year. A few fish the Yak but again when it's warmer.
 

cmann886

Active Member
The lower Yakima is a strange story...when I was younger (50 years ago) you didn't want that water to touch you, Prosser routinely spilled raw sewage and paid a fine instead of expanding it's treatment plant and a dead cow sighting was normal; you couldn't see 8" into water. But in the Fall there was good Chinook fishery, SMB was pretty good. Then a serious effort was made to clean up the Yakima valley, efficient irrigation, sewage plants, better dairy practices, reduced cattle access and the water started getting colder and clearer, it was great success story. 15-20 years ago the SMB was crazy good (multiple 18" fish per day was normal) and there many chinook redds, you could just sit and watch the whole salmon life-cycle play out anywhere between Prosser and the Columbia R.

Now today, the lower river is clear, cold and completely choked with a grass that has virtually eliminated chinook spawning and the SMB fishery is very poor. I'm not sure the SMB aren't there but with the grass they are much less fishable for a fly rod and your options are limited.
If moose will eat star grass, we should import some to clean the river from Prosser down to the mouth. It is amazing as how well it grows with the clear water, full sun, and plenty of nitrate in the water. The water certainly is not cold in the summer. I have actually worried that the hot water might be the cause of the lower fish numbers now in the river. That combined with all of the star grass which competes for O2 at night. Because it is native, there are not any systematic attempt to remove it. I only have anecdotal evidence of its impact. I would like to know more about what it actually is.
 

Replicant

Active Member
I went out on the lower Yak, yesterday just for shits and giggles. No surprise, it's empty. Having fished it for the last ten years pretty regularly, I can say that there is no shortage of carp and no shortage of small, small, small smallmouth Bass. From my experience, they do migrate up river as the temperatures get warmer and they do the typical bass thing by hanging out in the deep channels (hard to get a fly down there when the water is moving fast), overhanging branches, bridges and trestles. There aren't that many deep spots in the lower Yakima, so getting bigger fish is a real challenge. More disturbing is the massive increase of Pikeminnow's these past couple of years. These things like to hang out in the riffles and around rocks and shallows and they will always rise to a fly. Normally, I would't complain about catching fish, but I do get tired of these things. They don't put up much of a fight and sometimes, they're the only fish you will catch in a day. They make great coyote food. The star grass explosion is a result of much cleaner waters these days (according to an environmental spokesperson from the WA Department of Ecology). Less turbidity equals more light and therefore faster growth of grass. There was an article a few years ago about a group of students that went in and cleaned up whole swaths of star grass around the Benton City boat launch. They did a before and after count of Salmon redds (I forget the time frame), and saw a positive increase in redds, the following season. I have seen cows and horses come down to the river and eat star grass. Livestock should not have access to the river, but the farmer's don't care and there is no one there to fine them. However, I would love to figure out a way to do a clean up and see if it's possible to make a difference. Feed the livestock and raise more salmon. Also, there are no fly shops in the tri-cities. Sportsmen's has a section, but it's pretty pathetic. Ranch and Home has zero fly gear.
 

Randall Clark

Huge Fly Guy
At least the pikeminnow are native....can't say the same about bass.

I find it ironic that they put the bounty on a native species instead of the smallies on the big C.

Don't worry, I also find it ironic that they put tigers into certain reservoirs to control rough fish, some of which are native.
 
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longputt

Active Member
I find it ironic that they put the bounty on a native species instead of the smallies on the big C.
Me too, I kind of get it where we give the pikeminnow an unfair advantage (tailraces, docks...) but it is funny that we can't fish right next to the dams like we used to. I'm guessing there are some big fat dumb and happy pikeminnow next to the dam fighting walleye for the smolts.

If they put a bounty on SMB....I think I could make a it pay!
 

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