Yakima question

gt

Active Member
when i was in school in Ellensburg decades ago, i fished the Yakima at every opportunity. but that was decades ago. my wife is looking at this summer and the possibility of staying at the Canyon River Ranch. i realize this is a crap shoot and lots can happen between now and then. but i am interested in your opinions regarding fishing during this summer time period. June, July, August, September are all possibilities for us. so your opinions will help shape out choices. also, should i try and book a guide through this facility or should i focus on a guide from Red's??

thanks for taking a few moments to fill me in, it's been a long time since i was on this river.
 

Atlantic Salmon

BECU Member
WFF Supporter
I think the end of July is my favorite time on the yak followed by mid-September. I’ve caught more big fish in July than any other month by far. The tribs are also in great shape then.

Not sure about guides. They can probably all row you into fish.
 

cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
WFF Supporter
Hi GT,
Most of my experience is in fishing the Yakima Canyon and my comments are focused on the Canyon (say Ringer to Big Pine). The Upper River and the Farmlands may be quite different.
The fishing experience is quite different in summer (June/July/August) vs. September. In the summer, the flows are high (often 4000cfs) for irrigation and there are few opportunities for wading. At these flow, you are either fishing a pair of nymphs under an indicator or precision casting a hopper or summer stone dry to within inches of the undercut bank as you drift downstream. In September, flows are below 2000cfs and wading is much easier. There might still be a few fish fixed on hoppers (until the first frost) but October caddis dries and pupa also are common. And there should be BWOs (and other mayflies) hatching in the afternoon.
Steve
 

long_rod_silvers

WFF Supporter
If you want golden leaves and crisp morning air, with slower clearer water, September is your time to go.
If you want bikinis and hoppers, and long floats of throwing big bugs at grassy banks, August and July is your time to go.

Both can be fun - depends on what you're wanting to do. Personally, I prefer September. River clears up and has some structure and the bikini hatches are done for the most part. Air is crisp and it's not too hot and you can get out and wade and fish spots.

As far as guides: I thought Reds and Canyon River Ranch are owned by same person.
There are other shops that offer guides and other guides. Only been on one guided trip years ago, I wouldn't call it a guided trip though, more of a trip down a river with another guy that rowed us - he was awesome though and we had a blast and I wasn't really looking for an in your face 'guide', so all was well. I've got his number somewhere if you're interested in the more laid back approach, PM me and I'll see if I can dig it up.
 

Sportsman

Active Member
Staying at the Ranch is a nice splurge: great fly shop and staff, restaurant is right there ( great breakfasts and expensive dinners). If you use them as a guide, there is no hassles with shuttles/tweakers. Plus they'll arrange shuttles for you if doing your own float.
 

O' Clarkii Stomias

Active Member
I always liked hanging out in the canyon in September vs the heat of the summer. The lower flows after the reduction of irrigation make for more diverse fishing opportunities. Never been guided on the yak, but I hear good things about red's. Plus awesome fly shop
 

Sportsman

Active Member
I always liked hanging out in the canyon in September vs the heat of the summer. The lower flows after the reduction of irrigation make for more diverse fishing opportunities. Never been guided on the yak, but I hear good things about red's. Plus awesome fly shop
Almost as good as when we could camp there along the river. Ringer to Reds and the next day was Reds to Big Pine. Great Times!!
 

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