Central Washington Flyfishing

Fly fishing the Yakima

Gunnar Hinds, Staff Reporter

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The Yakima River is one of the most popular rivers in Washington State for fly fishing.

Fly fishing is open year-round to the public and for those in Ellensburg, it can be a way to experience the outdoors.

Something that CWU students may not know is that Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals (OPR) has people who are knowledgeable about fly fishing. Nick Poprawski works for OPR and has insight about different locations on the river.

“OPR does a lot of work with the river guides by helping with extra rafts, and some people in the past have also helped on guided-trips with outfitters in town,” Poprawski said.

Professional guide service Worley-Bugger is a welcoming and educational shop for people both new to fly fishing and the professionals. Worley-Bugger has been in business in Ellensburg for 25 years.

Worley-Bugger prides itself on having a complete pro-shop and guide services. A guide service is a qualified fisherman who takes people out on the river to give them experience fishing and teach them about the area.

For beginners to the sport, the shop holds fly-tying classes that are inexpensive and useful if you want to save money on flies.

Fly tying methods are taught at these classes, which is making an imitation of a bug that fish would eat.  One of the things taught at the classes is that flies can be made with common household items. Most of the classes will give information on flies used on the Yakima River.

“This is when all the bugs start coming out and fish become more active because it is warmer out,” Steve Worley, owner of Worley-Bugger said.

Guide services in the spring are $295 and during the summer, they are $450 for a full day of fishing.

“We do classes every week at the shop and we also do a lot of fly tying classes at the university,” said Worley. “This area in 100 square miles you can catch so many different species of fish, we really do have it good.”

Worley talked a lot about flies for trout fishing on the Yakima River in the summer. He said there is about a two-week period for each fly. He talked about how bugs hatch and during a short time the trout will like to eat that bug for the upcoming weeks.

Troutwater is another fly shop located in the heart of downtown Ellensburg and has been open for eight years, and the Cle Elum shop has been open for 16 years.

As for beginner spots on the Yakima, “Irene Rinehart park is a great year-round place for beginners and Ringer Loop Road,” said Ted Truglio, owner of Troutwater.

Truglio also recommended other spots on the Yakima River such as Ringer Loop Road, which has a boat launch and a walking path to get up and down the river.

Troutwater does business with Suncadia, a resort in Cle Elum. Troutwater does all Suncadia’s guided trips from fishing all the way to bird watching. In cold weather Truglio recommended to use Mayfly Blue-Winged Olives, and in warm weather he recommended Pheasant Tail Nymphs.

“The best time of the year to fly fish in this area is summer through fall,” Truglio said.  

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