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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi:

I am a new member of this forum and a Pennsylvanian. Each year for the past 17 I have fished Yellowstone Country as part of a group of fly anglers who go there annually.

This year I have a unique need. I have a son, daughter-in-law, and brand new grand-daughter who live in Everett. As part of this year's trip I am flying into Bozeman in late July, but driving to Everett to see the "kids" first.

I will then drive back to Bozeman to meet the "rest of the gang" for the trip down to Gardiner, MT where we always stay.

The trips to/from Everett/Bozeman only allow for fishing on the return leg to Bozeman. I'd like to have at least one Washington State fly fishing experience, and by plotting my estimated times of departure from Everett and estimated times enroute, along with other considerations, leads me to conclude that the best (perhaps only) chance to flyfish in Wash state on this trip would be some section of the Yakima River with reasonable access from I-90. I might have perhaps 4 hours to get on and off the interstate, buy an appropriate short-term non-resident license and wet a line for at least 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Can anyone suggest the best way to accomplish this plan? I would need to know where to quickly pick up a license.
There is no time for a float. I have the "Flyfishers Guide to Washington State" by Greg Thomas, but it doesn't give much help in the area of "walk in fishing."

Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Thanks to all for just reading this request.

Bob Ballantyne
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Man, that was a quick reply. Thanks.
The date of this event will be 25 July. I will not have float gear with me. I'd rather walk in and wade, but a short float is not out of the question. I could readjust some things to do that.
:)
 

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You can get a license in either Everett before driving over or at the Wal-Mart in Ellensburg (just north of the I-90 / Canyon Road exit about 2 miles). Contact Steve Joyce, at link below, about 1 week before you leave Pa and he can give you some great ideas on what's happening on the Yak. Red's Fly Shop is in the middle of the lower canyon at milepost 15 (about 16 miles south of I-90). He's got rafts/drift boats for rent or you can set up a float with Steve for a guided trip. He'll give you good advice if you want to wade fish. The lower canyon has a number of pull outs as the road follows the river closely from Bighorn to Roza.

http://www.redsflyshop.com/

Good luck!

Greg

"In our family, there is no clear
line between religion and fly
fishing" Norman Maclean
 

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Heres the gig:
go to http://www.greatlodge.com/cgi-bin/licenses/customer_options.cgi?st=WA&r=0.13495373377759096 to get your liscence, then follow the advice of others by getting of 1-90 in ellensburg at the canyon rd. exit, and drive down the canyon rd. toward yakima for say 10 miles and you will be in great water. for details on flies, water flows, and access, go to theeveninghatch.com/yakreports2003.htm, this will give you ample info. At this time of year hopper fishing is good. fish close to the bank!! good luck
-tom:thumb
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Tom, that's the kind of info I was looking for. The other stuff I'll save for a future trip when son can go along for a few days.
By fishing near the bank I guess you mean to use the drift boat technique of casting to "the break" between still water and the moving river. Always works on floats and wades on the Yellowstone.
This is a great site. Thanks to all. Hope to drop in once in awhile and may get my son to register.
:)
Bob Ballantyne
 

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The suggestion to get your license online was right on target. Since your fishing time is limited you might want to skip the drive to the canyon, and stop a little further west by Cle Elum. The river parallels the freeway and there are some great spots to fish. It's also easier to wade than the canyon, particularly that time of year. My favorite spot is right off the Golf Course road exit. Email me if you'd like detailed directions.

Scott
 

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Bob, you have the right idea - but to be more specific, on the Yak during high flows (dam controlled for irrigation purposes) your best bet is to wade out if safe and cast tight (as close as possible) to the bank\brush with large hopper patterns (size depending on water visiblity). Of course working the seam lines is a good bet too when you can find them...

If conditions aren't looking ideal (high flows, too windy, or whatever), consider hitting the upper river from the dam above easton on down to cle elum. Or if you don't mind smaller trout, the forks of the snoqualmie should be in good shape about that time... Rocky Ford wouldn't be too far out of your way either.
 

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At that time of year and with limited time, and limited to the bank, I'd drive south on the canyon road to the Umtanum Recreation area, and walk upstream to fish hoppers along that big hayfield. ( Map at http://www.worleybuggerflyco.com/Yakima.htm ) Include some green, tan, and yellow triple deckers in the hopper selection because they're a dead on match for the green meadow hoppers. Also there should be caddis action and maybe PED action late in the day.
 
G

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Bob -

You'll appreciate low summer flows so much more after a late July afternoon on the Yak... That river is basically a glorified irrigation ditch in the summer months.

Pods essentially amount to fish spread out along the stream bank where, if you did step in, you'd be two steps away from inundation and being swept away (if it didn't occur immediately). Most trout are right where the grass of the banks is meeting the water, or under the grass, or under the bank. The transition, or seam, between slower and faster water is literally right at or under the banks, in most cases. If not, that seam will never be so far out into the river that you'd have to wade to reach it.

80%+ of all trout I've hooked and seen hooked on the Yak in late July were hooked 3 feet or closer to the bank - and most of those were actually more like 1 foot or closer. This is the zone where (most of the time, that time of year) there is the combination of depth, cover and relief from current/adjacence to current which equals trout hangout (d+c+Rc+Ac = trout hangout). Since 20 feet of flyline past the rod tip is miles for these purposes, and because wind can be around, don't hesitate to "line-up" for accurate, resounding hopper placement tight to the bank. Also, have caddis, PMDs (infrequens) AND Little Yellow Sallies... big beetles and little ants can be deal makers as well.

And, oh yeah, have a few ******* along if you want to fish the "bikini hatch" (they can be selective).

Good Luck

:beer2
 

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Bob, something else you might want to consider on the Yak if the flows are high, look at hiring a guide for 4 hours or so. I think the evening hatch would do something like that. I know last year, I did a short day trip with them and it was well worth it.

If the flows are high, I would fish the river in the Cle Elema area versus the canyon in the Ellensburg area.

- jim
 

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I forgot what I was supposed to remember.

Boy,this is really neat. Somebody from out of State asks a question and everybody jumps on the band wagon to help. Now this is what this web site is about. Good work fellas.:thumb :thumb :thumb :thumb

Jim
 

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RiverFishing

Jim...

I was reading all this and thinking exactly like you. Wow! What a great bunch of citizens! Makes one proud to be a part of this site, doesn't it?

Mike:thumb
 

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Bob,

I do the Bozeman/Livingston to Seattle drive every summer. It will take you about 13-14 hours factoring in stops and the time change to get between the two cities.

If you want a full day on a WA river you'll likely need to hit the river, stay the night, and o do the trip in one blast the next day. If you have time you can stop and fish some awesome spots along the way ie Skykomish, Snoqualamie, Yakima, Spokane River, St Joe, Rock Creek, Clark Fork, Little Blackfoot, etc .

Of I-90 in WA I would recommend the Yakima for trout. That time of year the BLM is letting a lot of water out of the dams for irrigation so the wadding can be iffy, but if you email me or send me a PM I will try to get you onto some near by streams that will be a good bet.

Near Everett there are a lot of choices that time of year for Steelhead. You may be abl eto sneak out for a few hours and hit one of these stream to (that time of year it gets light at 5 am and dark and about 9-9:30PM) The Skykomish, N. Fork Stilliguamish and Snoqualmie are great rivers for chasing summer run fish (at that time mostly hatchery fish). There are also some good west side trout streams that hold mostly small but beautiful wild rainbows and coastal cuttthroat near by if you had at least a half day.

As for your license, you can buy it online from the WDFW (link on the main page of this site) before your trip so you can spend more time fishing along the way.

There are some PA guys that stay the same place I stay at in MT every year. Good guys but they tell a few of the biggest fish lie.. er I mean tales you've ever heard. My in laws are old Penn State alumns and will be moving from Michigan to Bozeman in July.

Again send me an email or PM me and I can put you into some good water on your way to MT. [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Scott:

Hmmm ... wonder if that's my crowd? Do you stay at Hillcrest Cottages in Gardiner and hang out in the Wapiti and Town Cafe?
However, my guys don't tell fishing lies, just a little
"reconstructive mythology."
:beer2
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Man, you can say that again. What a great bunch of guys that have responded. This is definately a "thanks a million" deal for me.
:thumb

I have a pretty tight schedule to maintain this year, but I can see that 2004 may be a year from some extra time in Wash State. I have never fished in your state. Another son lives in Colorado, one in NH and a daughter in Alaska, so I've made the rounds of those states plus places like Flaming Gorge in Idaho.

Trout fishing in PA is OK if you know where to go, but nothing like the NW USA.
:)
 

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If you only have a couple hours to wade,I would park at the Ringer launch and fish upstream to the rv park.This stretch has some awsome holes and is very wadeable as long as the runoff isnt too bad.Exit 109 I believe off I-90 will put you on canyon rd then take a left for 2-3 miles Ringer rd is about 2 miles south of ellensburg off canyon rd right before ya start entering the lower canyon on the right.
 
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