Description for the Yakima RiverThe Yakima River located in southeastern Washington is a main tributary of the Columbia. The river is roughly 200 miles in length. It is named after the native Yakama people. The river provides irrigation for the agricultural needs in the area. Due to these demands, the river has been heavily altered from its original form with dams and canals to provide the irrigation.
The river is known for its rainbow trout fly fishing. It is the most popular trout fishery in the state and can become quite crowded in the peak summer months. The trout fishing is primarily concentrated in the upper portion of the river. The water temperature in the lower river, from Toppenish Creek to Tri-cities, is too warm to support a trout population.
The rainbow trout are prevalent as the river flows from Cle Elum through Ellensburg and down to Yakima. The Cle Elum region turns out the largest sized rainbows over any other section of the river. Fish ranging from 10 to 18 inches are common in the upper river but the possibility of 20+ inchers exist. Streamers can be effective for the larger fish and there is a good grasshopper period in August and September.
Steelhead and salmon exist in the river, but check the regulations to know the status of these runs and if there is a season open.