Near Yakima and Ellensburg, the Yakima River offers exciting flyfishing opportunities for rainbow trout. The rainbows average from 10 to 14 inches, but you may find some up to 20. There are some brown trout and cutthroats. This freestone river is best for floating, but wading is possible except during the summer.
Starting at its headwaters in Easton, the Yakima River heads southeast winding about 70 miles to the southeast through meadows and then finishes with a 20 mile canyon to Yakima.
The Upper Section is ususally defined as the 46 mile stretch from Easton to Ellensburg. This section is usually clearer than the lower section. It runs through forest and is usually accessed by floaters up to the dam.
The Middle Section is usually defined as Ellensburg to Thrall. Its only a 4 mile section running through farmlands and then it enters the canyon near Thrall.
The Lower Section is typically defined as Ellensburg to Yakima. It's a 20 mile section through the canyon to Roza Dam, which is just before Yakima. This section of the Yakima River is very popular for fly fishing. There are numerous put-ins for floaters and there is roadside access if you want to wade out.
During the summer, watch out for rafters and kayakers, especially on the weekends and mid-day.
If you are looking for a downloadable GPS Yakima River fly fishing map, click here.
Note: When fly fishing in the Washington, a valid Washington State fishing license is required in your possession at all times.
Overall, Yakima River is the 3rd most popular fly fishing river of all 12 fly fishing spots in Washington.