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Some would say some of the best of the Yakima is from now until the April.  I would have to agree.  Obviously, if the river is frozen over like much of the Lower river has been for the past month it makes it a bit difficult to fish…lol.  Much of the middle and upper river will not freeze over during the big cold spells.   Generally the Lower river is where we see most of the ice.

Watch for days where the water temp warms instead of drops.  If you see a weather pattern that is going to increase the water temp even by 1 degree….That is thumbs up.

This Gage is in the Upper Canyon between Cle Elum and Thorp
Yakima River Water Temps at Horlick

This Cage is as it is stated, near Ellensburg.  This particular location is generally the coldest water temp readings on the entire river
Yakima River Water Temps at Ellensburg

#8-12 San Juans
#8-12 Pats Stones
#8-12 Skwala stone nymph renditions
#14-18 Prince nymphs, Lightning Bugs, Caddis Larva
#18-20 Midge Pupae

#4-10 Streamers
Wolley Buggers, Sculpzillas, Sparkle Minnows,

Short leash nymphing and Nymphal Drift 




February and March are a great time to swing the Upper
Columbia. As with any river during the winter/early spring,  watch for the weather pattern that is at least slightly warming and not dropping for optimal activity.

Line types

Spey – Generally standard Skagits, Scandits, Scandi’s with some long line applications here and there.

Single hand lines- Dry line to 24 feet of 300 grain sink tip.

Choice of line and density depends on depth, flow and mood of fish

Fly Choices #2-8 Catch Alls, Buggers, Bow River Buggers, Sparkle Minnows, Sculpzillas



Not all of them are big, but each and everyone is special.

Numbers of fish looks to be worthy and the North Olympic Peninsula will be open.  Unfortunately the South Olympic Peninsula will pretty much be closed.

Line recommendations

Spey – Generally standard Skagits, Scandits, Scandi’s with some long line applications here and there.

Your Skagit lines can be either floating or multi density like the Game Changer, Creeper or Fist.

Make sure to have a variety of Sink tips to add to your spey head….Suggestions would be to have a variety of tips from 7.5 – 12.5 feet in length from 3 inch  to 10 inch per second sink rates.