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The Upper Columbia surface water temps in the American Reach are ranging from 64-66.  Plenty of cold water at lower depths. The 15′ Spring/Summer hatch season is pretty much over….We are heading into transition time.  Terrestrials and then Fall hatches.

Typically, from July 25 to Aug 20 we don’t do many trips during the transition time.  Fishing can be a bit persnickity yet there are some nice ones to be had as seen below…

Jim Eaton landed this 23+ incher on a hopper recently

We are looking forward to the fall season!


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Water temps are ranging from 62-69 depending on time and zone on the river.  The closer you are to our main cold water source (Cle Elum Reservoir) the cooler the water will be.  Over the years we have been in this situation many of times,  as Montana has.  It is important to be careful, but this is not a new occurrence.  We should not take it lightly but many are proclaiming that this is a first?  No this has been going on for years..

Reviving fish is important.  Quicker landing time is important…..Common sense is important.

In Montana,  Hoot Owl regs start when there has been three consecutive days of 74 degrees.  The Yakima’s Lower Canyon had 2 days at 71 degrees last week and we are now cooler.

Have fun and fish on.

Best fishes, Jack


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The river is back in shape and again the fishing is gooood. Tactics utilized with success lately…

Light tip and a natural muddler
Medium tip and a bucket bouncer in black and blue
Stonefly nymphs

Water temps are ranging from 60 – 64 depending on time and zone
Clarity 2.5 -3.5 feet depending on time and zone.


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The big heat and winds over the weekend caught up with us and the river is in POOR condition with about 5 inches of clarity.  Should be back in shape soooon based on the weather forecast.

Fishing was definitely good over the past week – Both the Swing and the nymph produced!

Best Swing Bug – # 8 Natural Muddler

Best Nymph Bug – Stonefly Nymph


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The river has great clarity right now – 3.5-4 ft of visibility.  There are definitely fish in the river;  some good reports lately. We will be on all weekend and give you a more in depth report.  The river is flowing at 700 CFS; at this juncture that is 40% lower than normal.   In the past week the river dropped over 200 CFS :((
Generally the Klickitat will hold at certain levels for extended periods, let’s hope that is the case this year.

Floating issues….From Stinson to Slide the river changed quite a bit since last season and there are a couple zone that are definitely ‘Drag your boat’ zones, especially in this lower water.

A mix of wild fish and hatchery in the system


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The overall cooler weather patterns coming our way are much needed. The upper county shows lows in the low 50’s and highs near 80.  This will help with water temps in the lower river.  Overall, the Yakima fared well during the heat wave.  The Cle Elum river is our saving grace as it is the largest reservoir in acre feet for our system and the water is released from the bottom and injected directly into the Yakima system.   Conversely, both Keechelus and Kachess while bottom fed flow into the Easton reservoir, warming and cooling with the season and spilling over the TOP of Easton reservoir.  This equates to some warm water in the Upper Proper until the Cle Elum river confluence.

Regardless, we are good to go. Water temps this morning 7AM
at  Cle Elum were 57.7
at Ellensburg were 58

Yesterday’s fishing was not as good with the dry…..Many of the fish we saw were on the dropper.  Fishing the dry/dopper was key.  Best dropper of the day – #14 Lightning Bug

Atkins party


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Overall cooler temps has the river clearing.  Tonight at Leidl Camp ground the clarity was at about a foot. Based on weather predictions, the river should look good sooooooon! Overall fish counts over Bonneville are slightly below the 10 year average for wild fish.  

6PM at Leidl bridge – 7/12/15


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To view current water temps use the links in the right column.  Water temps in the Lower Canyon are on the edge of a ‘no go’.   Water temp on the Yakima at Cle Elum in the AM is 56.5.  The water out of the Cle Elum reservoir is bottom fed and cold.  The water above the Cle Elum river confluence on the Yakima referred to by us as the ‘Upper Proper’ comes from Lake Easton which is top fed and currently tooo warm to fish.

Fishing has been fantastic with the dry and on the swing.  This cooling trend may help the entire river. As of today,  the safest zone for the fish is between the Cle Elum confluence and Ellensburg.

Best bugs lately – #8-10 Tan Chubby, #12 Pink Panty Dropper, #12 Morrish Hopper


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Poor Conditions Remain…

General Rule of thumb: 85 degrees or less during the day in Goldendale, 55 or less during the night and you will usually have clarity. 
If there is a ‘cycle’,   low in the river in the AM will usually be the best 🙂