The Yakima River begins in the Cascade Range at Keechelus Dam near Snoqualmie Pass, Cle Elum, skirts Ellensburg to the west and then heads south toward Yakima. The river runs the entire length of Kittitas County. It is used for all sorts of recreational pursuits in Kittitas County including rafting, and fishing especially during the summer months.
The Yakima above Roza Dam is widely considered the best trout fishing stream in Washington. Best catches are in March, September and October for wild rainbows averaging 11 inches or more. And larger rainbows in the 13 to 16 inch range are not uncommon. Fly fishing is especially good in September and October, although fished year around. Also available are 8 to 16 inch whitefish in January and February. The river is open year-round between Roza and Easton Dams, but catch-and-release only and with selective gear rules. The entire river, including tributaries, are closed to fishing for bull trout and steelhead.
Many different fishing rules apply throughout the entire reach of the Yakima River. It would be wise to check the latest regulations pamphlet for details. Rules are enforced! There are many access points along the Yakima River from the high lakes to the canyon. They are all worth exploring!