Yakima River, Lower Canyon (Hosts - Peter Maunsell and Phil Friend)
The Lower Yakima Canyon, from Wilson Creek to Roza Dam, offers more than 20 miles of relatively easily floating. NFA will set up camp at either the Big Pines Campground or newly protected river front property, both right on the river. This is sagebrush country, a basalt and desert landscape home to Bighorn sheep, deer, and plentiful hatches of insects.
Your primary catch will be trout and whitefish. Almost all of the trout are rainbows. Many of our group will be floating from any of the several launch sites downstream to the Big Pines campground or from the Big Pines campground down to the Roza impoundment. If you don’t have a boat there is easy access via numerous pullouts on Canyon Road running alongside the river, state route WA-821. In the spring and at the end of the summer through the fall, wading is not difficult, When the river runs high during the summer due to upstream releases for irrigation, wading is more difficult.
What to Bring for Fishing:
• Washington state fishing license
• Suitable floating devices including pontoon boat, raft, or drift boat.
• PFD is always recommended for wading and riding in boats.
• It is very likely to be quite cool during the day and significantly colder at night. Bring clothes that will keep you warm. Although we are on the “dry” side of the Cascades it rains here too. Bring rain gear.
• Hat and sunglasses
• Camera (in a zip lock bag)
• 4-6 weight rods and floating lines
• 3x, 4x, and maybe 5x tippet, depending on which flies you use
• Check the local fly shops on what is working but bring a variety of nymphs including Stone, Copper Johns, and Bead head Prince Nymphs; streamers including buggers; and Caddis.
• Water bottle and drinking water for when you are on the river.
• Waders, wading boots and wading staff
What to Bring for Camping
• Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad
• Change of clothes (You may get wet)
• Rain gear
• Folding Chair
Food & Beverages:
• The outing fee only covers Friday and Saturday night dinners and Saturday and Sunday coffee.
• Bring your own food for breakfast and lunch.
• Bring your own wine, beer, or hard stuff.
• East on I-90 to Ellensburg.
• Take exit 109 to Canyon Road
• Drive south ~20 miles,
• Your host will give more precise instructions as the date gets closer, depending on which campsite NFA will use.
Cancellation Deadline: Deadline for cancellation is 8:00 p.m. the Sunday before the outing. If you need to cancel, please contact the Outing Host(s). There will be no refunds after the cancellation deadline.