Yakima Overnight Float Advice? Mid-September

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Mark Moore, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. So I'd like to do an overnight float on the Yak in mid-September with a few friends who are new to fly fishing. I have never fished the Yak but understand mid-September is good timing. I am experienced with this kind of trip so can be on point but a few of the guys are newbies.

    Here a few questions-

    What is a good 2 day float (where to where?)

    Recommended campsites for the night before we launch and mid way?

    Where can I rent rafts?

    Thanks :)
  2. Horn rapids, you can just row back to the launch after camping, no need for shuttle, plus fall run kangs. I'll rent ya my drift boat for a sixer of icehouse
  3. If you're interested in trout fishing, I'd recommend somewhere above Roza Dam. I'm most familiar with the lower canyon and there are established campgrounds at Ringer and at Umtanum and Lmuma (Squaw) Creeks.
  4. Campground at Ringer?
  5. Contact Red's Flyshop in the Yakima Canyon about rental craft. There are a few options for a two day float, critical elements is flow rate and how long you want to be on the water/stopped/fishing.
  6. What about staying at the KOA and doing the float above to KOA and then KOA to Ringer? They were offering shuttle service... not sure if they still do. It's a nice campground and an advantage is having a good, safe place to stay.
    Jeff Dodd and Ed Call like this.
  7. After a little more research we will almost certainly rent rafts from Red's. We just need to figure out floats that will work within their shuttle program.
  8. It'd be tough to stretch a single float to 2 days, with a night on the river in between. Best thought would be to pick a camping area (Big Pines or Lmuma, or stay at the KOA or Yakima River RV Park off Ringer Loop Rd)' and just float different stretches each day.
    Ed Call, JesseC and Luke77 like this.
  9. Hi Mark,

    I'm going to echo what Itchy Dog said, especially at these flows. You can cover a LOT of distance in a single day right now, so you'd be better off doing two floats and just staying at a campground. Additionally, we don't run shuttles further up than Irene (http://redsflyshop.com/shuttle-service-on-the-yakima-river), so if you planned on floating the farmlands, you'd have to coordinate something different for a shuttle. There are some other shops in Ellensburg that may be able to help out with that though, I'm just not familiar with their boundaries. That being said, my advice would still be to pick two different floats in the canyon and stay at a designated camp ground.

    Give our shop a call @ 509-933-2300 and they can take care of it all for you.

    Another thought for lodging, you might inquire about reserving a wall tent on the river at Red's and staying the night there. I'm not sure what the pricing is, but if you call 509-933-2100, they should be able to get you the information.

    Have a great trip!
    Mark Moore likes this.

  10. No public launch sites above the KOA currently.
  11. There was one a few short rivers miles upstream that was on private property but that the owner was allowing access... forgot the name of the launch, but the KOA owner knew of it and how to get there. That was a couple years ago. If no longer available, that's a bummer because it was a nice option to afford a short float if desired or lollygag along and make an entire day of it.
  12. To clarify, there are no public launch sites below the Diversion Dam at Thorp and the KOA. There are WDFW access areas at Thorp and East Cle Elum. There are public launch areas at Hanson Ponds in Cle Elum and at the ball fields in S. Cle Elum. There are WDFW access areas at Bullfrog Road and Ensign Ranch. None of these places are secret.

    To provide some context, Kittitas County has recently completed a Shoreline Management Plan that hasn't been updated since the 70's. There has been lots of development on and along the river since then. At a meeting last night in Ellensburg, myself and several other guides attended to speak up on how State, Federal, public, and private launches are classified on the river for future development. One in particular, due to a dispute between landowners in the area, was recently classified as a "marina" and subject to additional regulations and fees in order to "operate."

    The period for public comment has passed, but we were able to get the Planning Commission to accept the SMP with recommendations that the language referring to boat launches undergo further discussion to ensure that what we commonly know along the river as a "launch" isn't defined as a "marina" moving forward. There are already public, WDFW, and BLM launches that are of poor quality and could be called unsafe and one of the goals expressed was a consistent access profile (read, what should a launch look like and how equipped) that would start the ball rolling on replacement, repair, or upgrade.

    For all of the badmouthing and poor regard expressed towards guides on this forum, sleep tonight knowing that a handful of us cared enough to show up and speak on behalf of all wade and drift boat anglers to ensure that access (yes, ACCESS) to the Yakima and other navigable streams in Kittitas County remain as is AND be considered for improvement in the future, for the benefit of all. Thank you to my peers who attended.

    That being said, there are wonderful opportunities to do overnight floats on the river but because of that, you probably won't have anyone give up their secrets. The easiest and best equipped (read, bathroom and trash facilities) are in the lower canyon at the BLM sites. Of note, beginning next year all of the BLM sites in the lower canyon will be online for reserving months ahead.


    rory, Jeff Dodd, Dan Nelson and 3 others like this.
  13. Who's bad-mouthing guides? I want names dammit! Thanks to you and others for trying to secure good public access to our rivers. We all have a vested interest in protecting our rights to access public lands.

    By chance do you know the name of the launch I'm referring to? I recall it had a small donation box for collecting $5 and seemed only a few river miles from KOA.

  14. Time to string up the Bassturds that are bad mouthing the guides. I for one appreciate the labors of Derek and other like-minded fly fishing professionals who are doing their best to preserve and make safer existing access points while opening up other access points, spreading fishing pressure across the system.

    Thank you gentlemen.
    Dan Nelson likes this.
  15. Thanks everybody. I'll post a follow up when we get back.
  16. One two day float that I like is to launch at East Cle Elum, camp at the beach on river right that has an old barn just up from it (maybe 8 river miles below the ramp). Used to be a swimming hole before the land owner closed it. If you camp there be sure to stay below high water mark! Next day float to Thorp bridge or (a challenging take out) the rip rap river left before the diversion dam. Below the Diversion Dam, Steve Worley has an access, and we have lost the access behind the Thorp fruit stand and the one on the other side of the river due to abuse. It would be nice to see the old Gladmir Park access reopened! Rick

Share This Page