Skip to content

Yakima River

In a state known for steelhead and salmon, the Yakima River in Central Washington is the state’s premier wild trout stream.  Eighty five miles of water upstream of Roza Dam holds wild rainbow, and insect hatches that feed them heartily.


The river is now managed for wild trout.  This includes catch and release regulations along with barbless hooks.  The result has been some great fly fishing, followed by head-scratchingly slow days, but that only adds to the mystique of trying to solve this fishery.


The prime fishing water begins below Lake Easton although the uppermost part of this stretch is hazardous and holds smaller than average trout,


When the Cle Elm River joins the Yak, fishing really picks up. This area, known as ‘the flats’ is a favorite for boaters and bank anglers, with an abundance of great riffles with which to ply their passion,


Below this comes some daunting canyon water, with the addition of the Tenaway River.  There is a public trail but it is for serious hikers only, it does though provide access for the hearty to this lightly pressured water. Some nice whitewater also keeps some of the less-experienced boaters on the sidelines.


Below this stretch is some of the most premier water, boaters have this stretch to themselves, with take-outs conveniently located at the end of the best water.


The hatch chart reads like an insect all-star steam, and keeps the angler and fish heightened for most of the seasons.


Yakima River, Washington
Hatch Chart

Insect Size Begin End
Midges    18-22    January 1 May 31
Skwala 8-10 January 15 March 30
BWO 18-24 January 1 May 1
BWO 18-24   September 15   November 30
March Brown 12-14 March 1 May 30
Green Drake 10-12 March 1 May 30
Caddis 12-18 April 1     September 15    
Salmonfly 6-8 April 1 May 15
improvedgs-detail.htm Golden Stonefly 10-14 May 10 July 31
PMD 14-16 May 1 August 31
Yellow Sally 14 May 1 July 15
Trico 22 July 1 October 15
Mahogany Dun 14 Sep 1 October 15
October Caddis 8-10 Sep 15 October 31
Midges 22 November 1 December 31

Visit our Washington Flies by Location page here: