Wade fishing the Yakima near Cle Elum

sbonvallet

New Member
I am fairly new to fly fishing. Hoping to wade fish the Yakima river near Cle Elum. I am also new to this area and would love some input as to areas amenable to wade fishing. I know some folks are reluctant to give up their “secret spots” but any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
Not getting any hits are you. It's mostly a boat show in that area. River runs fast there and not good wade fishing. Just a hint as you should try behind the Easton Ponds. The river is wader friendly there Also learn the Fishing access spots in that area. There is some good water at those access spots that are easy to wade. Get a DeLorme Atlas. It calls out the access spots. Or go to Wooly Bugger Fly shop in Ellensburg. They have maps of that river.

Now I'm not giving out any secrets here as the info is on a map can't be too many secrets there.
 

wetline dave

Active Member
The Yak is running a bit high for me to wade right now. It seems irrigation flows are happening and it will be like this until September. When the flows are greater than 2000 cfs at Umtanum I tend not to wade. You can probably find a spot or two to wet a line but if you wade be careful.

You can check flows at USGS river guage Umtanum.

Dave
 

Jojo

A sometimes eternal optimist
WFF Supporter
I am fairly new to fly fishing. Hoping to wade fish the Yakima river near Cle Elum. I am also new to this area and would love some input as to areas amenable to wade fishing. I know some folks are reluctant to give up their “secret spots” but any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
When i first started fishing we used to fish the Yakima near Cle Elum a lot. We used to stay a couple of nights at the Timberlodge and eat at Mama Vellones for dinner, watch a Seahawks game at the Caboose. It was always a fun trip. I love Cle Elum.

There were lots of places to pull off and park and walk over the railroad tracks to fish. Since i was new I liked it because it was easy to get to, and easy casting and wadable when we went. I personally never caught a big fish there, mostly 10” or smaller but it was so pretty. (Later i had better luck at the canyon but that was alway busier.)

But if you are new to fishing and don’t care about big fish it might be a good place to start. We usually went late summer though.

But over the years there were more and more drift boats and it was just too difficult to fish. Very smart fish in the Yakima and I’m not a smart fly fisher.
 

Jojo

A sometimes eternal optimist
WFF Supporter
The Yak is running a bit high for me to wade right now. It seems irrigation flows are happening and it will be like this until September. When the flows are greater than 2000 cfs at Umtanum I tend not to wade. You can probably find a spot or two to wet a line but if you wade be careful.

You can check flows at USGS river guage Umtanum.

Dave
YES! Do check the CFS by Umtanum. The Morning Hatch told me about that and we always did that before we went. @sbonvallet if you are anywhere near a fly shop get yourself acquainted and buy everything you need there and not online.
 

sroffe

Active Member
When i first started fishing we used to fish the Yakima near Cle Elum a lot. We used to stay a couple of nights at the Timberlodge and eat at Mama Vellones for dinner, watch a Seahawks game at the Caboose. It was always a fun trip. I love Cle Elum.

Mama Vellones was a destination for my father and his fishing buddy on their return trip from Chopaka. Good food.

At risk of hijacking the thread I love stopping in the morning for breakfast at the Sunset Cafe.
 

Jojo

A sometimes eternal optimist
WFF Supporter
Mama Vellones was a destination for my father and his fishing buddy on their return trip from Chopaka. Good food.

At risk of hijacking the thread I love stopping in the morning for breakfast at the Sunset Cafe.
We used to always do breakfast at the Cottage Cafe! I also loved that restaurant that was Italian and it started with a “S” i want to say something like Spamoni’s but i know that’s not right. The Mexican restaurant there was good too. We did this trip for years before i got tired of it.

Edited to add: this was all before Suncadia was built. The Timberlodge always remembered us and we always got the same room cause it had a little sitting room.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
Though the river may be high, you can fish it from shore and have success throughout the summer.
The higher water will push the fish right up next to shore.
You can catch fish without getting your feet wet.
Look for areas with rip rap and fish the small pockets of soft water behind rocks that stick out a bit in the river. My favorite technique is to fish a dry directly upstream and drop it into those soft water spots. Be ready as lots of time you’ll get a rise as soon as your fly hits the water.
I’ve caught lots of nice bows and cutts over the years doing this on the Yakima.

The area around the South Cle Elum bridge offers this type of water I’m talking about as far as rip rap.
There are a number of areas along the river that offer that same type of water if you are willing to explore.
Have fun.
SF
 

Irish11

Member
We used to always do breakfast at the Cottage Cafe! I also loved that restaurant that was Italian and it started with a “S” i want to say something like Spamoni’s but i know that’s not right. The Mexican restaurant there was good too. We did this trip for years before i got tired of it.

Edited to add: this was all before Suncadia was built. The Timberlodge always remembered us and we always got the same room cause it had a little sitting room.

We used to swing by the cottage cafe after turkey hunting (never got a bird there, but it was close and fun to occasionally see one at least) in the Teanaway. Owens Meats is also a go-to while in Cle Elem.
 

creekcaster

New Member
onx or base map apps is a good tool for finding access, keeps you off private land and take some of the guessing game out of it.
 

Jojo

A sometimes eternal optimist
WFF Supporter
We used to swing by the cottage cafe after turkey hunting (never got a bird there, but it was close and fun to occasionally see one at least) in the Teanaway. Owens Meats is also a go-to while in Cle Elem.
yes! Best beef jerky!
 

Peyton00

Active Member
It seems Stonefish has worked the high water steelheading back in the day.
I remember guys saying the river is blown, the water is up in the grass, dont waste your time.
We go and catch fish at our feet.
Humans struggle....fish adapt.
 

gt

Active Member
when i was in school in Ellensburg in the early 60s, we went and fished the Yak when we had some spare time. we did not check water levels, we just went. i remember a short drive, can't remember the road, to a turnout next to some railroad tracks. a short walk into a rail bridge and a big gravel bar, always something to catch. winter we fished down toward the canyon for white fish in the riffles, always a good time as well. people want to make this way to complicated. the fish don't leave the river because of levels, all you need to do is learn and adapt.
 

Rorem

New Member
There are definitely places to wade if you're willing to hike a bit, and there are big fish to be had in the Cle Elum area. TheTroutwater fly shop is right on main and they will offer advice over the phone. I've waded at the Golf Course exit, which has access at the end of the frontage road; the Bullfrog Road exit, turning right to access the Yakima and left for the Cle Elum River; South Cle Elum where there are side channels; and all along Highway 10 east of town where the railroad tracks parallel the river. Good luck!
 

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