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As frigid, artic like temperatures drop the mercury levels well into the single digits across the entire Pacific Northwest, we prepare for the yuletide gatherings of our annual Christian holiday with family and friends that’s now only a few short weeks away.  It’s hard to believe the Christmas holiday is here once again. 






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Life in the Yakima River Valley is good, just cold at the moment.  With little or no precipitation over the past week, the Rodeo City is barren of any snow fall.  The surrounding hillsides that shroud the breezy little fly fishing community has a light dusting at this time with little or no snow insulating the banks of the river.  The Yakima is in the beginning stages of a winter transformation.  The river itself has started to choke bank to bank with chunks of floating ice and in places is frozen across.  From those living along the river it must feel like deja vu all over again?

Last November, we experienced an unusually warm and mild month.  This year once again, the annual daily temperature was in the upper fifties with very little or no precipitations in the lower elevations.  Last December, moderate day time highs lingered about until the middle of the month, until finally a week before Christmas, a dumping of large snow fell on the river valley. 

This year, the artic blast arrived a week early as some warmer high temperatures around the freezing level are predicted towards the end of the week.  Wow, that will feel like a tropical heat wave!  For those that may not remember or never heard, the New Year was a physical struggle for many living within the flood plane of the Yakima.  On the 5th of January, a major rainstorm blasted the high elevations of the Kittitas Valley which in turn created a massive wall of water.  Residents of county experienced the largest river flood since the spring of 1996.  Flows in excess of 27,000 cfs were recorded and the entire west side of Ellensburg was buried beneath 2 to 3 feet of water as homes, businesses and families were displaced for weeks.  Fortunately for many others the rains subsided.  If the storms intensity would have continued a few more hours, the damages and effects would have been far more severe throughout the entire county and most likely we would have seen the river at a record level since they began recording its flow.

Between January and June of this year, the river operated at an inconsistent high level due in part to the late arrival of heavy winter snows and the excessive melting of that snow.  The Teanaway River was a constant nemesis as large volumes of water roared down this small river that converges with the Upper Yakima above Bristol Flats.  The entire month of May the river swelled bank to bank operating at 7000 cfs, discharge mainly from the man made reservoirs that filled to capacity earlier then expected.  In June, summer flows of 4000 cfs or more were consistent from day to day and spring fishing was no more.  Between February and April open windows of opportunity allowed us some periods of Skwalla, Blue Wing, March Brown and Caddis fishing.  New runs, holes and channels were formed and in some parts, especially through the Farmlands of the Yakima a whole new river was created.

Summer and Fall provided us with great terrestrial, caddis and mayfly fishing with September taking the grand prize this year.  As water flows were reduced around the Labor Day Weekend, the extreme water conditions we experience through the spring months birthed thousands of Crane-flies larva.  These long, lanky critters provided some outrageous surface fishing on the Yakima throughout the month.

Anadromous fish were a big topic this year as both Steelhead and Salmon thrived in record breaking numbers in the Columbia River tributaries.  This spring, the Yakima again experience a good return of Chinook Salmon to the upper river water shed. 

Fisheries personnel were expecting approximately 17,000+ fish, however that number fell shy as just under 8500 were counted breaching the fish ladder at Roza Dam. These fish also provided us with some extraordinary September fishing in the Upper Yakima water shed as their spawning rituals commenced.  The river has also experienced a fair number of returning Coho this November and plans and construction are now underway to reintroduce Sockeye to Lake Cle Elam, the Yakima Rivers largest reservoir.

For the second time in over a decade the Wenatchee River opened to Steelhead fishing.  Data collected over the fishing period this October confirmed the majority of the fish returning to the river were adipose intact, wild steelhead.  This was great to hear and a valuable piece of data collected, especially after ten years of fishing closures.  The Upper Columbia Tributaries like the Methow, unfortunately didn’t present the same statistics.  Although thousands of fish returned to the river, the majority are of hatchery decent as well as being small, one salt fish.  Even with a four fish mandatory kill on hatchery steelhead many of these fish will remain in the system this spring and spread their infectious genes, diluting what is a fraction of the wild fish pool.  This is an unfortunate tragedy for the recovery of wild steelhead in the Methow and the mis-management of a beautiful steelhead fishery.

The Klickitat River is a different story all together.  It’s a bit of an anomaly and fishes different then other streams because it is so different from other steelhead rivers, especially the far upper reaches of the river.  The wild fish are big, vibrant and powerful and will hand you your hat in the blink of an eye.  They have only to travel a short distance from the salt to the cool glacier waters of their origin.  After nearly a decade of guiding the Klickitat, the river continues to amaze me as well as the fish that inhabit its water.  The river had a great run of fish this year and it was good to see more salmon this fall.

Our spring Smallmouth fishery in the Lower Yakima was somewhat disappointing again this year.  While it was on, the fish were impressive as were there appetite for flies both subsurface and surface imitations.  However, the length of the season was so short because of the water conditions it made it near impossible to predict the fishing.  The river was either to high or to low.  Finding the happy medium was a short window.  The Nachess River and its spring water flows converging with the Yakima contribute much of the inconsistencies.  Hopefully this spring we will see more manageable conditions.

We are remain optimistic that winter will arrive within its normal accord and drop an annual reserve of snow fall in the Cascades.  This will once again provide the river, fish and farmer’s adequate water storages for the new season and provide us with a consistent base for some early spring stonefly and mayfly fishing.

As we enter our 15th year of fly fishing services in the valley, we want to thank you and wish everyone a joyous and happy holiday season.  For those that go above and beyond the call of duty for our country and sacrifice their time away from family and friends, we thank you especially!

We look forward to seeing you in the New Year for fishing, fellowship and fish tales!  Happy Holidays from the staff @ Worley Bugger Fly Co.


After a beautiful, warm October, old man winter is once again trying to assert himself this third week of November, just seven days before the official beginning of the holiday season.  Today, a November storm is passing over the Yakima River Valley from both the south and the west as light misty rainfall descends on the Ellensburg area this morning. 

The higher elevation hillsides surrounding the Rodeo City are receiving a light, dusting of snow at the mountains tree line. I welcome this time of year as the season changes from colorful, warm autumn days to the brisk snow covered river banks.

The Cascade Mountain Range is a whole different story.  Successive, winter storms are now are massing snow accumulations in the upper elevations of this mountain pass, which separate the two distinct landscapes of the fertile blue ribbon river valley and the metropolises of Seattle.  Regardless of road and pass conditions, fly fishermen are still roaming to the reaches of the Central Basin in search of their favorite game fish, trout and or steelhead.

The Yakima and its catch and release watershed is still a diversion for some.  Others are spending their fishing time in the eastern desert, kicking about the numerous quality still waters of the Columbia Basin before their seasonal closure at the end of the month. 

Many as well are still venturing north to the Methow in search of Pacific Northwest Steelhead.  After WDFW expanded an additional section open to fishing in the Lower Methow River late last month, fish and fishermen alike are bottleneck in the whole lower end of the river.  The “meat market” as it is so rightfully inscribed is run to run with both fly and gear fishermen.  Fishing ethics and etiquette has gone by the wayside as competition for water and fish has become the priority here.

For those that don’t want to wrangle with the fish mob, Kittitas Counties, Yakima River is crowd-less of people.  The river conditions are stable and consistent and so is the fishing.  The river and fish at this time are in transition from fall forage to winter feed as insect hatches begin to diminish and trout turn their attentions to other natural food sources. 

At this time, the “Yak” has two different species of salmon building redds and spawning in the river.  Both Fall Kings and Coho are actively working the river rock bottom of the farmlands of the Yakima.  Smaller tributaries that lead to the main stem are also key areas for Coho to inhabit.  The trout waste no time or energy keying in on this easy frame fattening meal that is deposited in the river bed by these fish.

For those seeking and searching for insect hatches and fish feeding, the last days of the mayfly emergences can be found in the high density Baetis beds of the Lower Farmlands and some sections of the Lower Yakima Canyon.  Don’t expect a full blown eruption of mayflies like you find in October each day.  If conditions are right, the late afternoons have been producing some light blue wing activity this week.   However, expect midges in both gray and black to be the dominate bug hatching during this time. 

The river swallows that can be a key component in the fall for locating mayfly hatches have abandoned the river for the winter in search of the warmer drier climates of the southern hemisphere.  The Winter Stoneflies have also been steadily showing up during the warmer light afternoons this week as well.


As the boys of summer do battle in the Bronx for the crown pennant of baseball, autumn is well underway here in the Pacific Northwest’s, Yakima River Valley.  Cool, crisp, clear nights give way to pleasant sunny days.  It’s this time that you can truly appreciate being outdoors on any of our beautiful Washington rivers.

It’s also another consecutive warm start to November as mild temperatures here in the river basin continue into the first week of the month.  A welcome site for us each day as the Yakima continues to produce consistent hatches of mayflies and caddisflies each afternoon.  With the winding back of the clock this past Sunday and the new time change in effect, count on the bug activity to begin happening an hour later in the day now, so make your adjustments in your fishing techniques and start times if you can.

Concentrate your efforts in the foam lines, small back eddies and current seams of the river during this afternoon hatch.  At this time you’ll find tiny Baetis in size 18 & 20 with Mahogany Duns running a size bigger.  Late afternoon October Caddis will also occur, especially in key areas of the river, where these insects are predominate.  Fish are forming in pods now so take your time.  Finding those pods of fish is the key to success throughout the month.

The continuation of these hatches through the first portion of November will reside solely on how the valley weather conditions play out over the course of the month.  If we continue to experience mild days with temperatures in the mid fifty degree range, expect them to happen.  The days were the air temps fall below this mark will be sketchy at best for a hatch.  Your best bet if that occurs will be a wet fly method of streamers or nymphing rigs.  Whitefish we begin their yearly spawning activity this month as well, so be prepared for that as well.

One event you can count on throughout the month of November to maintain its consistency is the strong run of Summer Steelhead that have streamed up the Columbia River in vast numbers this fall.  The only factor that could throw a kink in consistent fishing conditions would be a big rain storm moving through the Klickitat or Wenatchee Valley during the month. 

Both rivers are susceptible to heavy rains and at this time the Wenatchee is high and not in the best fly fishing condition.  However, the river is dropping quickly and if our days remain dry it could be in good shape for fishing this weekend. 

Even though the Methow Valley has received some moisture over the past week, the effect on the river has been negligible at best.  An estimated 20,000 fish or more have stage in the Methow this past month, so in places especially the lower portions of the river its like shooting fishing in a barrel and busy with anglers.  The Klickitat Steelhead season remains open until the last day of November.  The Methow, Wenatchee and other Upper Columbia Rivers are not on a scheduled season, but most likely with the numbers of fish will remain open until the last day of March 2010.

Hope to see you out there!


With the month of October well into its third week, autumn is alive and in full bloom along the rivers and streams of Central Washington.  No matter where your fishing adventure takes you, the rivers of the Pacific Northwest are adorned in a multitude of inspiring seasonal colors. 

Whether you stand ankle deep in the Yakima casting mayfly imitation to rising rainbows or fish flies for Summer Steelhead on the Wenatchee, Methow, Klickitat, or Grande Rhonde, the rivers of the Evergreen State are a mighty fine place to spend an entire day, especially this time of year.

A host of changes came about quickly as a sudden cold snap enveloped the Yakima River Valley last week.  Air and water temperatures dropped quickly, which made for some rather challenging fishing conditions.  Behind that a wrath of heavy rain showers pummeled the river basin, which actually this time of year is a welcome site for us.  It helped bring the water temperature back up and in turn also initiated the fall mayfly hatches on the Yakima.  Those who fished last week were treated to just that.

Blue Wing Olives, Light Cahills and Mahogany Duns are stealing the show each and every afternoon across the waters of the Yakima.  With a couple of different scenarios in order for the day, come prepared with an assortment of match the hatch mayfly imitations.  With a succession of heavy rain storms late last week and this past weekend, water conditions on the Yakima remained in perfect fishing shape. 

The Lower Canyon continues to receive a hint of color due to irrigation return from Wilson Creek, which can actually mask bad presentations and drifts aiding the less skilled fly fishers.  Above the Canyon, the Yakima continues to flow gin clear, so exacting presentations and drifts are more crucial as the fish tend to be far less forgiving. 
Be prepared at this time to match the hatch with patterns in sizes 16 for Light Cahills and Mahogany Duns and 18 thru 22 with the Baetis.  Having a couple of good cripples, emergers and nymphs for pre and post emergent hatches is also recommended.

Most areas of the river are also seeing the October Caddis hatch in the late afternoons as well.  Large, bright bellied orange imitations work well to simulate the Halloween Caddisfly.  It’s also good to have a good pupa imitation for pre-hatch fishing conditions.  Size 8 and 10 will do the trick.

The Summer Steelhead fishing continues to draw a lot of interest from fly-fishers alike as the Klickitat, Methow, Grande Rhonde and Wenatchee all have a great run of fish this Fall.  Extraordinary numbers of Steelhead have breached the Wells Dam on the Upper Columbia River is month as the numbers topple the 24,000 thousand mark.  The rivers are in very good condition at this time and fishing well.  Expect good conditions well into the month of November if weather patterns continue on the mild side.  The Klickitat's water conditions have varied with the Portland rain storms that have moved across the Glacier.  Dry conditions now are improving water conditions daily.

If you haven’t been out fly fishing this fall make plans to travel to your favorite destination river for a day or two.  Fishing is good, the scenery is absolutely spectacular and the weather now is warm and dry for October.


With the last few day of September pending, the residents of Kittitas County and visitors alike have been enjoying the past several weeks of September in the Yakima River Valley.  Those hot summer days we experienced in August have given way to cool, clear nights and warm sun filled days.

The beginning signs of autumn are becoming more pronounced each day along the banks of the Yakima.  The rivers foliage, trees and brush are in there beginning stages of fall metamorphosis.  By the middle of October, the river will be adorned and decorated in an array of color, creating a spectacular experience for those spending time in and around its wonder. 

The Yakima River raged with water for the majority of the fly fishing season.  Just after we celebrated the New Year, winter rains flooded the banks, businesses, homes and small towns of Easton, Cle Elum and Ellensburg.  The spring came and went with weeks of high, extreme water conditions.  This summer was consistent as normal irrigation flows were discharged from the reservoirs, swelling the river from bank to bank, as we experienced a torrent of triple digit heat. 

Now, as we approach the end of September, the river is a mirror trickle of itself flowing humbly over the river rock cobble and basalt bottom.  Banks and submerged structure once hidden under hundreds of cubic feet of water are now exposed, providing access to foot fishermen while still providing a slow steady pace for floating fly fishers. 

Trout are forming in specific waters during the day and will continue to do so over the next few weeks.  As weather and water temperatures change, so will their feeding and resting lies.

Its still big bug time as the peak of the Summer Stonefly hatch will most likely occur this week.  The Crane flies also continue to buzz about the water, most likely a condition caused by the excessive water conditions we experienced this year.  The fish are hot on them in some sections of the river and will continue through the remainder of the month.

Cooler weather with some rain showers are expected throughout the week which in turn will create a couple of different scenarios on the Yakima if this forecast rings true. The fall mayflies that have been showing in just small traces will become much more pronounced.  Baetis and Light Cahill’s will take on a major role during the fishing day and will make up a larger percentage of the daily diet much of October.

In places, the October Caddis will also be an important food species for Yakima trout.  Be prepared to fish pupa, emergers and adult imitations in specific areas of the river where this big hatch occurs.  This rather large, orange bellied bug hatch will occur much of the month of October many years lasting into the first weeks of November.

Spring Chinook Salmon are finishing up their final acts of spawning at this time in the Upper Yakima.  Most of the activity is occurring in the Upper Yakima, Cle Elum River and its tributaries; however the Upper & Lower Farmlands are also vital spawning grounds for these fish.  Watch for spawning marker ribbons hanging in the trees along the river or for spawning beds that are or where being dug by these fish.  Be careful not to displace or disturb the redds when wading or dropping anchor in the river.

Its not just trout fishing that’s on everyone mind this October, but the big run of Columbia River Steelhead that have made their way home to their tributary waters like the Klickitat, Grande Rhonde, Snake, Wenatchee, Methow and many others.  The fisheries department announced late yesterday that a steelhead opening is now in effect in the Upper Columbia River and its tributary river.  These include the Methow, Wenatchee, Entiat and Icicle and Okanogan Rivers.  The focus of the fishery is to retain fin-clipped hatchery steelhead from these rivers, so Wild Steelhead will have more access to the limited spawning areas.  Last year 9600 steelhead were recorded over Wells Dam before the Methow River opening.  As of today, over 20,000 have been recorded over the ladder at Wells.  Reports from both the Methow and Wenatchee coming into the pro shop here in Ellensburg today was “fishing is off the charts!”


With only a little more then a week left before the end of summer and the official beginning of Fall, Central Washington’s, Yakima River is now just a mirror trickle of its summer self.  River volumes have been drawn back, way back and the river is operating well below normal for this time of year.  The volumes we are experiencing now are typical of winter flows, not mid September.

With such low water, fish have been corralled into specific water types as we continue to experience a variety of different day and night time temperatures.  Weekend highs toppled the high ninety degree mark here in the Kittitas Valley Basin.  The Yakima above the Lower Canyon is “Gin Clear”.  Irrigation water continues to enter the Canyon south of Ellensburg distorting the water to a degree.

If you plan to fish above the Lower Canyon you will be expected to achieve drag free drifts while fishing the appropriate water.  Our upper age class fish typically won’t engage a dragging fly so, line management and controlled drifts will be crucial, especially with little or no cloud cover.  It won’t matter whether you are nymph fishing or dry fly fishing.  Big, bright light will also intensify the drag on your line and fly!  Be aware and make the necessary adjustments.

This week, the day time highs have cooled nicely and we are experiencing a comfortable eighty degree day today as the extended forecast calls for much of the same over the remainder of the week.

As the lower water conditions transformed, a variety of aquatic insect hatches have emerged for September fly fishing.  There are several insect hatches that are happening or are in the beginning stages at this time.  The two main aquatic events that are occurring now are of the larger variety, which include stoneflies and craneflies. 

Yakima River Cranefly AdultThe Yakima Summer Stonefly, the Shortwing Stones are hatching up and down sections of the main stem.  Hundreds of males have metamorphosed from nymph to adult and have now staged along the river banks in wait.  Stonefly casings dot the river rock stream bed that is now exposed along the waters edge.  The much larger female stonefly began showing up late last week and they have been busy returning to the water in an egg laying frenzy.

Hordes of Craneflies have ascended on the river this September as well.  The wet, damp, soggy river banks are home to possibly thousands of Cranefly larvae and right now the egg layers are skimming the slower water currents along these specific banks depositing eggs. 

Match the hatch fishing, with this larger aquatic critter creates some fun and exciting dry fly fishing opportunities.  The Upper and Lower Farmlands as well as areas of the Upper Canyon are littered with them at this time. 

Select the proper water, proper placement and proper technique when fishing Cranefly imitations.

The rivers Mayfly fishing is beginning to take shape as well as Light Cahill’s and sporadic Baetis hatches are now occurring.  Size 14 and 16 light colored patterns to imitate the Cahill.  Much smaller for the BWO’s of course.  Both these hatches will become much more intense as the cooler weather and water settle in towards the end of the month.  Also towards the end of September expect to see orange bodied October Caddis forming along the rivers edge as well.

The Columbia River continues to see great numbers of Summer Steelhead returning and breaching the dams of the river.  Many are anticipating an early opener of the Methow River this year because the big numbers.  Over 15,000 steelhead are expected to enter the waters of the Methow this Fall.  Over 14,000 have already breached the Wells Dam on the Upper Columbia at this time.  The “Klick” is and will continue to see new fish as well through the month of November. 

Its looks to be a terrific Fall with plenty of local fishing opportunities.  I hope you are able to get out and enjoy some of it.


With the month of August in it’s forth and final week, the summer of 2009 is unfortunately winding down.  The Yakima River in Central Washington is also beginning its seasonal transformation as flows are being drawn back and reduced from the reservoirs in order to initiate the irrigational flip flop that occurs every August.

The once swollen river that swelled from bank to bank is beginning to take on a whole new look.  Islands, submerged stream structure and sediment hidden under hundreds of cubic feet of water during summer is starting to expose itself. 

This has opened the river and allows those traveling the Yakima on foot much easier wading opportunities.  River flow reductions will continue over the next week and much more river will become available to those on foot.  With reductions in water it also means fish have an easier time of it, allowing for them to move to new holding areas and feeding lies. 
Working the stream shore and undercut grassy banks are no longer the crucial zones where you will find fish holding now.  As the river continues to drop, fish will move to new holding water and begin to concentrate in very specific places.  Identify these places correctly and you will find pods of feeding fish.

The Male Short Wing Stone....The Yakima Rivers Summer Stone FlyThe decrease in water over the past several days has triggered a significant event throughout the main stem of the Yakima.  The beginning stages of the Shortwing Summer Stonefly hatch has begun as the male stones are materializing along the rocky shore lines of the Yakima at this time. 

Fish have quickly honed in on this large aquatic migration of stoneflies and are feasting on both the nymphs and the adult version when ever possible.  Scan the shallows in the early mornings for big hungry rainbows!

The whole terrestrial activity is also on going as this year’s hopper fishing has been fantastic.  Hordes of grasshoppers fill the banks of the river in a variety of sizes and colors and will continue well into the month of September as we enjoy the warm sunny weather of the Kittitas Valley.

Hatches of Caddis continue and watch for Blue Wing Olives, Light Cahills and Craneflies to become important food items going into Autumn.

Prepare yourself, your fishing partners and friends for the upcoming Fall fly fishing season of September, October and November as the Yakima, Klickitat River and a hopeful season on the Methow begin.  We look forward to seeing you.


As the month of August progresses, the summer sun continues to bare down and blast it warm sunny rays across Central Washington.  As predicted, last week we experienced a drop in temperatures, but once again the heat is driving mercury levels upwards towards the high ninety degree range today.

With this intense heat over the past thirty days, the grasshopper and terrestrial fishing throughout the day has been fantastic on the waters of the Yakima.  The thick, dense summer grasses of the river are alive with a multitude of summer terrestrials at this time. 

This year we’ll see them around well into the month of September.  Yellow and Tan hopper at this time seem to be working the best, but you will find a host of colors will invoke a strike from fish this time of year.  Especially as we begin to see more Summer Stoneflies both male and female begin to emerge along the Yakima’s river banks.

As the month moves along, we will begin to see more male stoneflies staging along the banks of the river, so early morning fishing with nymph patterns will be a productive method for catching fish.  Night time and early morning stone nymph movements and migration occur and fish will forage heavily on these large aquatic species during these times.

The projected number of Summer Steelhead both hatchery and wild fish origins to cross the Bonneville barrier dam on the Columbia River this year by fisheries biologists is 350,000 fish.  As of today that number has been exceeded! 

Over 460,000 steelhead have already breached the fish ladder at Bonneville and steelhead by the thousands continue to arrive on a daily basis from the waters of the Pacific.  As you may expect the Lower Columbia River tributaries such as the Klickitat, Wind, White Salmon, Sandy, Cowlitz and the Deschutes are all seeing great numbers of the fish and will continue to well thru the Autumn months of September, October and November.

Because the Mount Adam’s drainage rivers such as the Klickitat, Wind and White Salmon have cooling glacier waters, many fish are visiting these fabulous steelhead fisheries at this time.  The only draw back right now is the intense heat these valleys are experiencing in this area of the state.  Triple digit heat is happening and projected over the next couple of days.  When this occurs, glacier silt is deposited into the river from Mt. Adams, creating un-ideal conditions for fly fishing.  A cooling trend over the weekend will slow this process and create some good fishing opportunities for early next week. 

Our dates for guided fall fishing on the Yakima, Klickitat and the Methow (new regulations will occur this year on the Methow) are beginning to fill quickly.  Please check your calendar contact us as soon as possible for a favorable fishing date.  We look forward to seeing you.


It’s hard to believe the month of August has already begun.  It seems just a short while ago it was spring here in the Kittitas Valley?  I’m not sure where the time goes these days, but as the month gets underway, a major heat wave continues to blast super sun across our state. 

Several days the high temperatures have topped the triple digit mark here in Ellensburg and the surrounding communities as record heat is being recorded in many other portions of our state as well.   It seems now a cooling trend is on its way later in the week.

The warm afternoons haven’t slowed the fly fishing on Central Washington’s, Yakima River either.  As a matter of fact its pretty safe to say the heat as intensified the fishing as hordes of grasshoppers and other terrestrials in near biblical proportions are alive and active in the thick river bank grasses of the Yakima now!

As many western rivers begin to naturally drop in volume this time of year, the main stem Yakima courses with water, swollen bank to bank as the reservoir controlled river flows continues to operate at peak summer time levels.  Undercut banks and overhanging grasses provide shelter and shade for many of our resident rainbows. 

At times, especially during the heat of the day when terrestrials are at their peak activity levels, resident rainbows will settle in these prime feeding lies.  Believe it or not, an inch away from these places with your favorite imitation can be the deciding factor between interaction with fish and an unproductive drift.  Casting patterns along the banks, where river current flow under or along the grasses provide several key essential for fish. 
Crafting natural dead drifting presentations can be a fun challenge during your day as well as you hone your accuracy skills.  There is no shortage of great water to fish on the Yakima as you drift from run to run, so if you miss the first spot don’t worry anther one is just a cast away!  Pick up and recast!

During the heat of the day, trout that aren’t feeding on bank foods will move into the tops of riffles and pocket waters.  Working them with a hopper-dropper scenario can be fruitful and productive as fish lie in the heavy oxygenated currents feeding on drifting nymphs and other food sources.  Adjust your tippet and dropper length according to river speed and depth of the area you are fishing.  Incorporating fluorocarbon as part of your dropper system can also be essential to aid in quickly sinking your pattern while providing adequate depth of your fly.   Not sure how to set it up?  Click Here.

This time of the year the Yakima is not an easy river to fish on foot below the convergence of the Yakima & Cle Elum Rivers.  There are some areas that offer access to the big water, but a fly fisher on foot will find far less difficulty and low water flows above the confluence of these two main rivers.  This area of the river is much smaller, intimate and gin clear, but is also home to some of the rivers largest rainbow trout.  Towards the end of the month, you will begin to see a draw down of river flows as the Bureau of Reclamation and KRD prepare for the annual flip flop in September.  Once this begins more areas of the river will open up and opportunity will abound.

With the intense heat the past couple of weeks, the river bank grasses and flora have thrived growing thick and lush while the desert foothills surrounding the river have dried creating immense fire dangers.  Living in these river bank grasses you will find a variety of terrestrial creatures in a multitude of colors.  Grasshoppers in green, yellow, brown, tan and red will all be apparent and when selecting an imitation to match them any of these colors will be excellent choices.  Ants in black, brown and red can also be key components during the day.  Beetles in black and green are also good choices.  Honey Bees, Wasps and Hornets are also good alternatives as hundreds of these busy insects make their hives close to the river every summer.

Over the past couple of weeks predictable hatches of aquatic insects haven’t been so predictable.  Some days PMD mayflies will occur, some days they don’t.  The same rings true with the Yellow Sally this summer.  However, the only reliable match the hatch fishing now is the caddis hatch will usually begin in the early portions of the evening.  If you stay on the river long enough chances are you experience an intense summer bloom.

JULY 17th

The continued high doses of Central Washington sunshine keep blasting warm belting summer rays as air temperatures today are forecasted to reach the near triple digit degree mark.  Summer is well underway in the Yakima River Valley as river flows begin to operate on a more consistent level.

Gusting winds late Sunday and the first portion of the week that toppled the 35 mph mark have brought about some changes this week on the river.  Fish that were once spread out in specific areas of the river have now moved, holding tight along the grassy, under-cut banks during the afternoons.  The trout are now beginning to recognize their summer forage feeding opportunities.


The hot periods we have experienced over the past month have propitiated the terrestrial activity along the banks of the Yakima and the tall, thick summer grasses are ripe with a multitude of grasshoppers in a variety of colors.  Tan, yellow, olive and brown in size 8, 10 and 12 are best. 

Patterns tied with rubber and foam, create a unique and life-life profile and are a ton of fun to fish.  Concentrate these flies tight along the banks, brush and other structures you see.  Trout that hold in these areas of the river are constantly looking and anticipating this insect’s unfortunate departure from the river bank grasses. 
During the high heat of the day is when this insect is at its peak activity level and are most vulnerable.  Ants and beetles are also a good choice to fish in red, black, orange and brown.  Sizes 14, 16 and 18.

The hopper-dropper scenario is a good option during the day as well for areas of the river that offer long, cool riffles.  During the heat of the day many fish that don’t seek cover along the banks will move into these areas.  Big doses of oxygen and cold ground water infiltrate the river rock bottom in these places.  Bead head nymphs will work well as fish feed on small mayfly and stonefly emergers. 

Afternoon hatches of Pale Morning Duns and Green Drakes are happening at this time.  The Yellow Sally Stoneflies have also become a daily occurrence as well and through August will be an important insect during the late afternoon.One fortunate factor for our river as air temperatures rise during the day, water temperatures still remain cool, at or below the sixty degree mark.  Insects continue to hatch and fish remain active even during the hottest portions of the day.  Unlike many western rivers where river volumes and flows are not controlled, higher water temperatures produce river closures or slow fishing during these periods of intense heat.If you fish the Yakima into the latter portions of the day caddis will also become apparent.  A late afternoon caddis hatch will occur in places, so be prepared with a size 16 tan caddis in pupa, emerger and adult patterns.  Late evenings, when the sun is starting to set is also common place for another hatch of caddis.  Here dark patterns work best.  Peacock, brown or olive in size 16 are a sure bet.

JULY 2nd

The blistering hot days of summer have arrived here in Central Washington as those afternoon July waves of heat torch the near ninety degree mark on the mercury meter.  It’s a welcome site for many after a long cool spring.

Over the last days of June, the river continued to operate at a level well below the normal scope of operations for this time of the year.  Most seemed amazed at the fact given the full capacity of the main storage reservoirs below Snoqualmie Pass.  Typically summer flows for June are generally around the 4000 ft level or higher.  We’ve seen the river as low as 1600 ft during the last week to ten days.  What is the reasoning behind it?

After a massive flood in January, the worst the river has experienced in thirteen years (1996) much of the empty storage capacities from the previous season in the reservoirs began to fill.  The flood was then followed by late February and March snow accumulations, which dumped several feet of new snow in the mountains. 

April produced a series of heavy rain storms that we do not generally encounter in the Kittitas Valley.  This added even more water to the reservoirs as low lying snow pack that rested below the tree tops in April was quickly dispatched.  While these wet soggy days were occurring river flows were such that releases from the dams would have escalated even more potential flooding throughout the Yakima basin. 

By May, the high elevation snow pack that had accumulated throughout spring suddenly began to disintegrate under a hot Central Washington sun.  Air temperatures escalated into the nineties and rapidly melting winter snows filled the remaining reservoir storage capacitates quickly.

Dam operations began dumping thousands of cubic water from both the Cle Elum and Keechelus water reserves.  For almost 3 straight weeks the river operated at near double the amount of normal for that time of year.  The summer water used for irrigation purpose for Lower Yakima and Benton County farmers was gone.

Now even though water reserves are at near full capacity water volumes are being regulated in small increments even with the sudden wave of warm temperatures we are now experiencing.  The river over the past several days is seeing a moderate staging of more water where volumes are increasing at a few hundred feet a day.  This trend will most likely continue as long as the warm temperatures persist. 

There is also another factor to consider.  Almost 4500 Spring Chinook Salmon this year have breached the dam at Roza and are at this time making their way up river to their annual spawning grounds in the Upper Yakima Basin.  Spawning will begin in late August or early September.  A season on hatchery fish is under way at this time below Roza and will continue until July 15th unless otherwise advised.

So as you can see it hasn’t been a normal Yakima River spring.  But we are quickly on our way to turning that around as the summer fishing gets underway.  With river flows on the rise, wading the river is going to be more difficult for those that were out last week, especially when it topples the 3000 ft level (which it did today in the lower canyon).

At this time your traditional summer bugs are happening throughout the river system.  Caddis, Mayflies and Stonefly hatches are happening along the river as well as the beginning stages of our summer terrestrial fishing.  Grasshoppers, ants, beetles and other attractor patterns are all working well at this time.

For those that like to pursue the warm water species, the Lower Yakima at this time is in as Smallmouth fishing has been happening over the past couple of weeks.   Though there has been some terrific days of fishing here with flies, this section of river needs a shot of water to keep the river in good condition through the month of July.  By the looks of the graph today we are getting just that. 

The staff and management of Worley Bugger Fly Co. wishes everyone a Happy 4th of July.  Thanks to our forces here and abroad for their continued sacrifice!

JUNE 18th

As the first official day of summer begins this Saturday, the once swollen Yakima River has dropped significantly over the past week.  After several weeks of operating at nearly twice its normal flow for this time of the year, Central Washington’s Blue Ribbon trout stream is now flowing at an unusually low volume for the mid month of June.

The river continues on a downward trend after a blazing heat wave in May and early June quickly dispatched the snow pack water reserves in the Cascade Mountains.  As swift currents of water infused the Yakima’s Reservoir systems storage capacities were filled and accommodations had to be met to account for summer water reserves. 

With the lakes completely filled to capacity, water was flushed from the dams which accounted for the majority of the swollen river.  NOAA issued a statement last week expecting drought conditions in many of the North Cascade Rivers this summer due to the quick snow pack melt.
The draw back in the Yakima system continues and will most likely continue especially with the cooler temperatures we are experiencing over the next week.  With the river operating at its current level it’s not especially hard to go out on a limb and say its fishing quite well.  After 6 months of high water the river is now fishable (January, February, March, April, May & June we experienced high water flows on the Yak).
The rivers water temperatures are at moderate levels and the river is producing several hatches of Mayflies, Caddis and Stones. Morning, afternoon and evening Caddisfly hatches are occurring up and down the entire 75 miles of catch and release waters.  Tan and dark bodied imitations in adult, pupa and emerger size 14-16 are a must have for summer fishing.

Pale Morning Dun Mayflies will be happening through these sections as well in the early portion of the afternoon.  A pattern fished in size 16 is dead on in both dry and nymph.  Watch for a Green Drake hatch in the afternoon as well through the Farmlands and the Upper Yakima.  It’s the time of year when the river will produce a hatch of these ultra large mayflies.

There is also plenty of stonefly activity as Golden Stones and Yellow Sallies are now prevalent through the majority of the river.  We are also in the beginning stages of terrestrial fishing, so ants, beetles and other attractor patterns can be important and somewhat overlooked during the day.  It won’t be long and the “hoppers” will be dancing through the tall, green river bank grasses as well.

With flows dropping in the Upper Yakima and Naches River Basins, the Smallmouth fishing is finally starting to happen.  Conditions are improving on a daily basis in the lower river and smallie fishing is beginning to heat up.
Their is also some Summer Steelheading opportunities now.  The Klickitat River opened for steelhead fishing June 1st and is starting to see good signs of summer fish pushing in at this time.  July and August last summer were terrific and produced some very good days of fly caught steelhead.

JUNE 5th

After three weeks of blistering hot sunny weather those late winter, early spring snow pack accumulations that piled up in the Cascade Mountain Range quickly began to liquefy under the blazing Central Washington sunshine.

The main storage reservoirs that control the Yakima River’s main stem flow filled to capacity in a hurry.  Water releases from these man made facilities was being discharged in large volumes to make room for in coming water supplies for basin irrigation needs and recreational usage this summer.

Over the past couple of days, discharge from the reservoirs has been drawn back and reduced as the Bureau of Reclamation steadily regains control of the water.  Cooler day time temperatures have assisted in the cause and are a welcome site to many of us. The past couple of days the river has dropped in volume considerably.  Even earlier in the week when flows were high, water clarity was still around two feet.  With big reductions in water discharge each day, we should see the river return to normal summer flows by this weekend.

The fish will begin adjusting to a somewhat normal rhythm of water and summer fishing will be underway.  You can expect the same with the river aquatic species as well.  Once the river has settled, the Yakima will begin to produce a consistent summer time hatch of caddis, stones, and mayflies.  Expect Golden Stoneflies, Yellow Sallies, Pale Morning Duns, Green Drakes, Craneflies and several varieties of afternoon and evening caddis hatches.

With the extreme warm temperatures that have been occurring, the desert lakes are becoming seasonably warm and fishing is slowing down in many of them.  Damselfly hatches are occurring in most at this time.  My recommendation for those looking for good lake fishing is to concentrate your efforts now in many of the higher elevation lakes at this time.

It’s also that time of year to begin targeting the warm water species as well.  As water flows recede in the Upper Yakima, Smallmouth fishing in our rivers lower end will begin shortly.  Water releases in the Naches Basin are still operating at a large scale, but as those flows are reduced over the next several days, the Lower Yakima will drop in volume and begin producing terrific Smallie and Bucket-mouth fishing.

This year the smaller tributaries and creeks of your favorite river (s) will open tomorrow, Saturday June 6th.  After decades of opening the first day of June, WDFW changed that regulation this year making it the first Saturday of June.  The majority of them however are high and unfishable, but most likely be in better condition by the middle of the month.

The Klickitat Rivers Summer Steelhead fishing also opened on June 1st.  Unfortunately at this time not many fish are breaching the dam at Bonneville.  Last years summer fishing was the best we had experienced in several years.  Well keep you updated as more summer fish enter the cool waters of the “Klick”.

MAY 20th

After yet another series of warm, wet weather more spring runoff is coursing through the main stem of the Yakima at this time. 

With air temperatures exceeding the eighty degree mark this past weekend, water releases from both the Easton and Cle Elum reservoirs is also adding to the already immense volume of water flooding areas of the river.

A log jam in the main stem of the Yakima above the town of Cle Elum is creating problems as well.   Flooding is now occurring in this area of the river with water over some of the roadways. 

Cooler weather the past couple of days has aided in dropping the flows a bit, however the extended forecast for the next several days is projecting another warm spell with air temps predicted to reach the high eighties or ninety degree mark.

At this time we would like to extend a sincere thank you to the men and women who have served or are now serving in the armed forces around the globe.  Your sacrifice, dedication and service to our nation is truly appreciated!  
Wishing you and your families the best this Memorial Day Weekend.

MAY 6th

Another bout of high water ensues has several powerful rainstorms have pushed across the Kittitas Valley the past couple of days.  Water continues to be an issue for us this past 30 days as frequent reoccurrences between Mother Nature and consistent conditions continue to occur.  These heavy bouts of rain have driven water flows back up as many of the Yakima’s main tributaries have swollen in size with more snow melt.

At this time the today, the lower river here around and below Eburg has about a foot of visible clarity.  Water volumes are up around the 3000 foot level, which make it extremely difficult in most areas of the river for bank and wading anglers.  More rain showers are predicted for this morning with dry conditions over the next several days.  If dry conditions occur, we should see the river begin to settle once again and return to fishable condition within a couple of days. 

One of the finer points about the river is its ability to settle and drop quickly.  If you are planning a trip this weekend to the Yakima check the river height and speed gauges on our website or call the pro shop in Eburg for the latest update.  Last week the river showed some consistency in its flow and its ability to produce some terrific mayfly hatches.
Afternoon cycles of March Brown Mayflies and Blue Wing Olives have been great in very specific sections of the river.  Some areas have produced only a handful or very light emergence stage of both mayflies, while others have generated thick dense clouds of mayflies lasting several hours at a time. 
For those on foot it can be a difficult and somewhat frustrating hatch to fish.  Having the ability to move quickly from spot to spot during the afternoon is crucial most days in finding the hatch as well as finding the fish.  Water lows have been low over the past couple of weeks and the trout still remain in pods in specific water current.

Mother Day is this coming Sunday and each May we expect to see giant blooms of caddis filling the river with clouds of Grannom Caddis activity.  At this point I would have to say that that hatch is going to be a week or more behind schedule.  Water conditions and water temperatures dictate the emergence of this aquatic insect, so most likely the hatch will be minimal at best if forecast and conditions ring true.  We will see what happens over the next couple of days.  Happy Mothers Day!

Its also big stonefly time and the Yakima is in its beginning stages of producing the monstrous stonefly, the Salmonfly.  Keep your eye out for this three inch or longer bright orange bellied stonefly if you plan to fish the river over the next week or ten days.  They have been showing up in limited numbers at this time.  It could be the turning point in your afternoon.

One thing that has been consistent is the basin lake fishing.  A lot of fly fishermen have been roaming the Central Washington desert lakes and finding good, reliable fishing almost daily.  The fly shop continues to receive good honest reports from the still-water fisheries.  I have had some reports that fishing has slowed at Lake Lenore, but at this point there are some many options in the desert for you to try.  Trout, Bass, Panfish and many more are all available now.

This past weekend at the Ellensburg Fairgrounds, the Washington State Council of Federation of Fly Fishers held their 3rd annual fly fishing conclave and fly tying event.  Congratulations to the council members and club affiliates for another fantastic conclave!  Thank you to the volunteers that worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this yearly event happen once again.  Over 100 hundred volunteer fly tiers from Montana, Idaho, Oregon, California and Washington were on hand crafting flies for both salt and freshwater.  If you missed it put it on your list for next year! 

However for those of you residing on the west side, mark June 20th on your don’t miss calendar for the 1st Annual Jimmy Green Memorial Fly Fishing Fair and Casting Expo” will be held.  Sounds like a great event.  Check it out here!

APRIL 23rd

Another round of water is now surging down and into Central Washington’s Yakima River after a chain of warm April days arrived here in the valley earlier in the week.  Hot, sunny weather is to blame for the recent swell in river volume. 

Melting snow pack from the Cascade Mountain Range as well as much of the lingering low lying snows around the Kittitas County Basin have melted and are draining into the main stem portion of the river at this time.  Cooler days and night are now occurring with low temperatures dropping back down at the freezing level.  This will help stabilize flows, but expect poor water conditions throughout the entire Yakima basin over the weekend. 
Water releases are occurring from Easton Reservoir which in turn have created high water flows and dirty water conditions in this smaller area of the Yakima. The flume at Bristol flats is also operating at high levels at this time.  Mild temperatures are expected over the weekend and for those looking to get out of the house, a multitude of fly fishing opportunities abound.  The basin and desert lakes are still reporting good fishing. 
Chironomid style strategies has been the most popular, however some desert lakes are now reporting some good to moderate mayfly hatches at this time.  Rocky Ford Creek is producing a BWO hatch in the afternoon and fishing quite well.

APRIL 10th

After a month long stretch of temperatures ranging well below the norm for this time of year, a couple of warm spring days earlier in the week have taken its toll on Central Washington’s, Yakima River.  The cold, snowy month of March has once again contributed piles of fresh new spring snows for the annual summer water reserves in the Cascades this year.  With that said, snow melt has found its way into the main stem of the Yakima.

Those cool day time temperatures we experienced also preserved a fair amount of low lying snow pack around the foothills of the Kittitas Valley.  Sudden warm temperatures over a couple of consecutive days topping out around the seventy degree mark on Sunday and Monday initiated a sudden snow melt and the tributaries of the Yakima began rising quickly.

At this time the Yakima below the Teanaway River and its confluence with the main stem Yakima are running high and muddy with zero clarity.  Water volumes in these sections have double in just a short period of time.  The Upper River from the headwaters above Easton to the Teanaway has increased in volume but remain in fishable condition.

It’s hard to say what Mother Nature has in store for us over the next several days.  This morning a small rain shower is passing through the Ellensburg Valley.  We will see how much moisture it has in it and what effect if any it has on the river flows over the holiday weekend.  The remaining weather outlook for the Easter weekend looks promising with expected cooler temperatures, which should aid in bringing the river back to fishable condition for us as long as it stays dry.

The stonefly hatch is still occurring in the upper river along with March Browns and Blue Wing Olive Mayflies.  Once the entire river returns to fishable condition, we should begin seeing more consistency in the hatches and the spring fishing.  The good news is it’s the first part of April and there are plenty of options for some good weekend fishing.  As of the first of the month, the majority of desert basin still water fisheries are now open.

  Reports have been trickling in to the fly shop all week about Dry Falls.  Some fly fishers have reported good fishing while others have experienced slower sessions.  The popular lakes such as Lenice and Nunnally continue to produce great fishing reports from the majority of fishermen.  Information coming from those fishing at Lake Lenore have been reporting slower conditions now.

The staff and management of Worley Bugger Fly Co. wishes everyone a safe and peaceful Easter Sunday.  The fly shop will be closed in observance of the day and will reopen on Monday morning.

MARCH 27th

Its official now as the arrival of this years spring equinox has occurred bringing with it some warmer days and evenings here in Central Washington.  Spring flowers dormant for months under ground have sprouted and are beginning to bloom. The fertile grasses of the Kittitas Valley have thawed from the hardened ground of winter and are starting to green and thicken.  Giant birds of prey have also returned to the Yakima River Basin.  Ospreys and Eagles dot the valley’s farmlands as they feast on the afterbirth of new born spring livestock.

For the past couple of weeks we have been anxiously awaiting some warmer weather and water temperatures.  The colder month of February extended itself into the first couple of weeks of March as each day the rivers water temp struggled to hit the forty degree mark. 

Over the past week those temperatures have surged at times propelling well into the high forties in the afternoon.  With that now happening, Skwalla Stoneflies have been a regular afternoon hatch on the Yakima.  Both genus of stoneflies have paired up, mated and the ripe egg laying females have been returned to the waters edge in the afternoon.

Last weekend we experienced a heavy set of rain showers both Friday and Saturday that settle around the valley floor. This melted some of the low lying hillside snow and in turn most of the smaller streams that feed the main stem of the Yakima were discharging some dirty water. 

Water clarity was certainly an issue in the lower river for surface presentation fishing.  Dry fly silhouettes even with stonefly patterns proved unreliable in most cases.  For those that choose other methods of fly fishing such as nymphs or streamer tactics reported much better fishing results.

Water clarity, height and conditions are now fine in the Upper River around Cle Elum, down thru the Grasslands of Thorp and on into the Farmlands around and below Ellensburg. The Lower Yakima River Canyon is reporting dirtier water conditions as the Wilson Creek drainage at the mouth of the Canyon is secreting somewhat foul water at this time.

Its also mayfly time on the Yakima as afternoon hatches of Blue Wing Olives have been occurring in some areas of the river.  Right now the hatch is a little less predictable then what it will be in a week from now.  As the month of April approaches, the rivers March Brown hatch will begin to take form.  If you have yet to fish this spring mark April on your calendar. 

By the middle of the month, Skwalla Stoneflies, March Browns and Baetis hatches will all be occurring in the afternoon.  Towards the end of April throw Caddis into the mix as well.

The fly fishermen that have been dedicating their time to the still waters of the Central Basin continue to report fine fishing at Lake Lenice, Nunnally, Beda, Quincy Lakes and now the ice free Lake Lenore.  Some have chosen to fish Chironomids while others continue to run slime lines or sinking tips with leeches or buggers.  Both methods have faired equally well.

MARCH 17th

It’s the middle portion of March already and we are still anxiously awaiting the start to our stonefly season on Central Washington’s, Yakima River.  Water temperatures are the biggest nemesis to its start.  At this point the cold night time temperatures continue to drop the mercury below the freezing level each evening.  The good news is each new dawn the days grow longer and we see the air and water temperatures becoming warmer.  Consistency in both each day is the key to propelling the start of the aquatic hatch. 

This past weekend their was some sporadic adult Skwalla activity through the Farmlands sections of the Yakima and also some mixed reports of seeing them thru the Lower Canyon in places in the afternoon.  The staging has been happening for weeks as both the male and female have congregated along the banks of the river waiting for the opportune time. 

By watching the extended forecast and predicting how things are playing out, spring fishing is taking on the same similarities as last season.  Overlapping hatches of Skwalla Stoneflies, March Browns and BWO’s in April will all be occurring.  As we progress further into the month mayfly nymphs will begin to play an interracial part of the daily fishing as well. 
Warmer weather is predicting later this week with mixed rain showers which could easily fuel a hatch of Baetis.  March Browns will become apparent towards the end of the month, especially thru the Farmlands and Grasslands section of the Yakima.  Water temperatures throughout these sections of the river have been warming quickest over the past 30 to 45 days.

Steelhead fishing on the Methow is still open and the river is seeing more and more fish each day reenter from the winter holding waters of the Columbia.  At this time the river is expect to say open until the end of the month.  These are summer steelhead from last season, not fresh chrome winter fish.

Our stillwater fisheries continue to produce extremely well and most of them except for Dusty, Lenore and Dry Falls (April 1st opener) are completely ice free.  Lenice and Nunnally are producing some very nice sized rainbows, browns and tiger trout.  A mixed assortment of flies have been effective.  Chironomid fishing has been good, but will most likely be better in April when water temps come up a few degrees more.  Leechs, buggers and other attractor type flies fished on slime lines or sink tips have been working best.


As we begin the first week of March in the Yakima River Valley, a variety of weather disturbances has moved across this portion of the state.  A mixture of precipitation in the form of heavy rain showers at times combined with flurries of sleet and snow have drenched Kittitas County over the past 72 hours.  However over the past three days, the Central Washington sunshine has been exploding with warm spring rays.

By the looks of the extended weather forecast, another cold spell is setting in for the weekend.  Earlier this week the rivers water temperature surged well above the 40 degree mark for the first time in over two weeks.  What you will find when this occurs is actively feeding fish well into the late afternoon as those water temps increase and stabilize. 

The stonefly activity we have been waiting for will also occur and trout will be searching the shallow edges and banks of the river for the stranded Skwalla females as they float haplessly on the water.  On Friday, temperatures are expected to plummet once again, perhaps even into the teens at night which will once again drive the water temperature back down.  I hate to say it but if it happens expect slower fishing conditions on the river if this occurs.

On Sunday, March 1st   the start of the statewide seasonal lake opener got underway.  Both Lake Lenice and Lake Nunnally reported excellent fishing on the first day and the pro shop here in Ellensburg continues to receive daily reports of the same. 

A variety of tactics are producing fish which include a couple of different Chironomid techniques.  And for the not so patient fly fisher the strip leech method as well.  Take your pick both have been equally productive.  As of a few days ago Lake Lenore was still sheeted with ice.

This past Saturday, fly fishers from around the state converged on the grounds of the KOA along the banks of the Yakima River for the 10th Annual “Yakima River Clean Up”.  In total 79 participates (-3) lent a helping hand and picked refuge and other debris from the Green Bridge in Throp all the way to Roza Dam in the Lower Yakima River Canyon.  We can not thank everyone enough that participated for their hard work during the day as they collected over 2800 pounds of trash from the river.  These fine individuals also donated 267 pounds of non perishable food to the cause.  The “Fish Food Bank” was very grateful for this contribution and extended a whole hearted “Thank You” to the fly fishing community!  We also do the same!!  THANK YOU!!


Spring has just about sprung in the Yakima River Valley as the residents of Kittitas County bask in the rays of the Central Washington sunshine every day. The arrival of our spring migratory birds like Robins and Swallows have returned this week, so we know the cold days of winter are just about behind us.

The river had been fishing very well throughout the week but for what ever reason we experienced a much slower day yesterday then what we have seen since the river returned to fishable condition in January?  I think everyone was scratching their heads yesterday. Hopefully today the fish were more cooperative for everyone.  Yesterday was a bright, warm sunny day and at this time the Yakima is low and clear.  We are experiencing more cloud cover today and much more is expected this weekend which in turn should help the fishing over the weekend.

With our warm periods during the day we are beginning to see some insect activity on the river.  Winter Stoneflies and Midges have been occurring during these times.  Their have been a few reports to the fly shop earlier this week of some surface Skwalla fishing, however with water temps still in the low forties its not quite happening in full force yet.

If you do plan to head to Central Washington this weekend be careful of the states Highway patrol.  A step up program has been instituted to site more speeding motorist on 1-90 and Highway 10.  Be especially careful coming east down Indian John Hill and the Throp Hill.  These are two places that are watch carefully and speed traps are conducted during the weekends.

This year, the 10th annual Yakima River Clean Up and Canned Food Drive will be held on Saturday, February 28th.  Once again Jerry Leath, owner of the Ellensburg KOA will host this yearly river event.  We appreciate the KOA’s willingness to host the event again this year, especially after last months flood swept through the Ellensburg Campground leaving a wake of wreckage and debris for Jerry. 

If you do plan to attend or would like further information you can call the pro shop in Ellensburg or visit the clean up portion of our website.

Also remember this we are also holding another “Canned Food Drive” for the Kittitas County Food Bank.  With the state of our country and economy many less fortunate families are in desperate need, especially in rural Washington.  We appreciate everyone’s willingness to participate in what we feel is a very worth while event.  For every canned food item you bring you will receive (1) raffle ticket.  The more items you bring the more chances you have of winning the big prize at the end of the day.  This year despite the economy our manufactures and manufacturer representatives have generously provided the clean up with some extraordinary prizes!  We look forward to seeing everyone again this year.

Just a reminder, Central Washington’s quality still-waters will open March 1st.  Less then 2 weeks away!


With the first month of the New Year now behind us, the first week of February has graced the Yakima River Valley with a barrage of sunshine and warm spring like days.  Cool, crisp, clear nights and mornings are still in normal range for this time of year.  However, those cool, frosty morning lows give way to gorgeous sun filled afternoons as the day time highs top out in the high forty degree range each day.  More of the same is expected over the weekend with a slight chance of some precipitation on Friday.

The river is in excellent fishing condition and is also operating at an unexpected warm water temperature for the first portion of February.  By early afternoon water reports are recording highs in the low forty’s.  This in turn is producing a higher metabolism rate for our Yakima Rainbows. 

It’s also encouraging a massive migration of stoneflies as we near the beginning once again of the Yakima River Skwalla Stonefly season.   Infinite numbers of stoneflies are now forming along the banks of the river in anticipation of the first new stone hatch of the season. 

If water conditions stay the same as well as air temperature, we could begin to see the first signs of adult stones by next week.  (46) Forty six seems to be the magic hatch number however I have seen them in good numbers well below that mark. 
The months of February and March are consistently fantastic times to fish Central Washington’s Yakima River.  Flows generally remain low and stable as water temperatures begin to increase.  These combinations ignite aquatic insects on the river and turn big rainbows into feeding machines.

With most of our spring run-off out of the way this year due to last months extreme flooding river and fishing conditions should remain very consistent this year.  There is still plenty of snow high atop the Cascades and it’s due to get more before the end of April.  However the majority of that snow accumulation most likely will be captured in the four storage reservoirs just below those rugged mountain peaks.


The start of 2009 for many families living in the Ellensburg and Cle Elum River Valley’s was an intense beginning as a massive thunderstorm swept over the Yakima Basin reeking havoc and driving all of the local rivers and streams to flood stage conditions.  Cooler, drier, winter weather over the past week has contained the Yakima River well within its banks but not before it crested well above flood levels. 

In just a few hours we witnessed the Yakima escalate in flows from the mere hundreds to well over 25,000 cfs, the sixth largest flow recorded on the river since the early 1940’s.  This was the largest flood the residents of Kittitas County have experienced on the Yakima since 1996.  Damage to homes and business along the river was severe in most cases and many families in West Ellensburg area and River Bottom Road where evacuated as a state of emergency was issued. 
Many roads, bridges and streets still remain closed due to wash outs.  The Ringer Loop road remains closed at both intersections with no access to the Ringer Road boat launch.  The asphalt is in disarray and displaced in many places.  There is no word yet on when the county will be able to repair this well traveled road and reopen access to the boat launch.

Despite all that bad news there is some good news.  The river has dropped considerably and is fishable.  It continues to flow a little high for this time of year, but we each day we watch it drop several inches.  The Worley Bugger Fly Co. guide staff has been out all week exploring the new river and many changes have occurred, especially in the Lower Farmlands section. 

The flood waters at this time have carved new channels and open up this area of the river completely.  Sections above this have also benefited from this natural event.  For those of you that fish the river often many new and exciting areas have been created which will make for some exciting fish opportunities this spring. If you are getting the cable fever from the long, cold, wet winter we have experienced then put fishing the Yakima in February on your list for a things to do this year. 
This second month of year is a great time to experience fly fishing Central Washington’s Yakima River.  Pre-staging stoneflies will be gathering along the banks and the bigger, older rainbows of the river will be strapping on their feed bags for this seasonal migration of aquatic insects.  Many days high temperatures in the upper 40’s create a fantastic fly fishing experience!


It’s a dramatic start to a new year in Central Washington as Mother Nature raises her ugly head for the residents of Kittitas County.  After a month long bitter cold spell and heavy winter snow storms, massive rain showers doused the Yakima River Valley on Tuesday.  The Yakima River and all of its tributaries have swelled at an incredible rate and are now at or above flood stage. 

Portions of West Ellensburg were evacuated late yesterday afternoon by emergency crews as residents watched the water rise quickly around their homes and businesses. The main stem Yakima continues on a steady rise, especially the bigger size tributaries like the Teanaway River in the Upper County and the Nachess River in the adjoining basin to the west. 
Highways and Interstates between Seattle and Ellensburg have been closed for over 24 hours as of today and aren’t expected to reopen any time soon.  Massive mudslides, avalanches road washouts and flooding roadways have created dangerous conditions. 
Homes and businesses built close to or along the river from Easton to the Lower Yakima River Canyon are feeling the full effects of some very severe weather conditions with no relief in sight as of this afternoon.  Heavy winds are now also kicking up which in turn will create more snow melt around the valley.  Stay tuned.

A Professional Fly Fishing Outfitter Service
306 South Main #3
Ellensburg, WA 98926

A Professional Fly Fishing Outfitter Service
306 South Main #3
Ellensburg, WA 98926



Click To Enlarge Graph-Yakima River @ Easton Click To Enlarge Graph-Yakima River @ Cle Elum
@ Easton @ Cle Elum
Click To Enlarge Graph-Yakima River @ Teanaway Click To Enlarge Graph-Yakima River @ Ellensburg
@ Teanaway @ Ellensburg
Click To Enlarge Graph-Yakima River @ Umtanum Click To Enlarge Graph-Yakima River @ Prosser
@ Umtanum @ Prosser


@ Easton @ Cle Elum
Click for Ellensburg, Washington Weather And Wind Forecast
@ Teanaway @ Ellensburg
@ Umtanum @ Prosser


Since 1998, the Worley Bugger Fly Co. Pro Shop in Ellensburg has offered the largest selection of high quality fly fishing tackle and supplies in Central Washington.  Kittitas Counties first and foremost pro shop serving the Yakima River Fly fishermen.

The Worley Bugger Pro Shop

Our pro shop is staffed with friendly, highly knowledgeable, professional fly fishermen to assist you with any questions you may have.

The Worley Bugger Pro Shop

Select from 2500 different fly patterns at Ellensburg's premier Pro-Shop only minutes from the Yakima River.  Located 1 mile from Exit 109 off of Interstate 90.


8:00 am To 5:00 pm

7 Days A Week


Online Ordering 24-7


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