Wading the Yakima

My brother-in-law would like to try flyfishing for the first time and it seems the Yakima may be the place to do so. Any suggestions on good wading access? Is the river generally wadeable this time of year? We hope to go in a couple weeks. Access in the vicinity of a campground, (Reds?, Easton?) would be a plus, I hope to take a trailer.

o mykiss

Active Member
I am by no means a Yakima expert, but I fished the Umtanum area (about 20 minutes south of Ellensburg; take Canyon Road exit off I-90 and head south) a week and a half ago and found there was lots of wadeable water that was very accessible. Later in the year, I'm not so sure because it looks like when the brush greens up it could be difficult to get access to the water, but this time of year it is quite good. Oh, and the fishing was great.

Chris Scoones

Staff member
Here is the usual flow of the Yakima. If it rains like it did last week it should be obvious that it will not apply.


The sharp rise in April/May and decline in Sept/Oct are the flip flops controlled (mainly) by Keechelus, Kachess & Cle Elum lakes / reservoirs for Yakima Valley agricultural purposes.

I've got links setup on this sites [link:www.washingtonflyfishing.com/flows.htm|flows] page but the one's you'll be looking at the following:

The Yakima River
http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/images/red_dot.gif [link:wa.water.usgs.gov/rt-cgi/gen_stn_pg?station=12484500|Yakima R at Untanum]
http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/images/red_dot.gif [link:wa.water.usgs.gov/rt-cgi/gen_stn_pg?station=12488500|American R nr Nile]
http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/images/red_dot.gif [link:wa.water.usgs.gov/rt-cgi/gen_stn_pg?station=12502500|Ahtanum Cr]
http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/images/red_dot.gif [link:wa.water.usgs.gov/rt-cgi/gen_stn_pg?station=12510500|at Kiona]

Generally, when Untanum is under 2000 cfs you should have access enough to be productive on foot. Of course the lower it goes, the more access you have. During the winter months the flow is very low, down to 700 cfs at times. Last week pushed it up to 3000 but by the time you guys go I'm sure it'll be back to normal.

If the flows are a tad high at that time I'd tend to stay in upper sections if I were on foot.

Excellent information fellas. Thanks! I was told today by a flyfishing co-worker the canyon should be good and recommended Reds to stay at. I'll be visiting my daughter in Ellensburg this weekend so I'll take time for a little familiarization tour.

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