Friday, 22 May 2015

Yakima River, Washington State - USA 2015

My plan was to drive east from Seattle to Montana and make it to Spokane on the very eastern boundary of the state by the end of the day. But barely 2 hours out of the city and through the first mountain pass I arrived at the little town of Cle Elum where my rental car came skidding to a halt. What caught my attention and caused me to stop was a fly shop on the main street called Trout Water, and after popping in and buying a few flies I found myself buying a one day state fishing licence for $11 and some change. Shortly afterwards I found myself knee deep in the Yakima River, just off the noisy Interstate-90 which I had been driving along minutes before. I had a couple of hours to see if I could catch my first Washington trout.

I fished up a long pool with no success, initially trying a Stimulator dry fly and then the same fly with a beadhead nymph below it. Near the head of the pool I noticed a small movement near my feet and looked down to see a collection of what looked to be either stonefly or salmonfly nymphs crawling slowly about the rocks. On to my tippet went a newly purchased #8 stonefly nymph and within a few casts my indicator bobbed under the water and a strange looking fish leaped out of the water. A whitefish! It was nice to start my American sojourn with a new species on the fly.

From the same pool I later caught a plump little rainbow trout on the same fly. I searched long and hard for any telltale sign it was to be my first cutthroat, but as hard as I looked for throat markings I couldn't discern any. I will have to wait a little longer to meet up with a cutthroat.

With that little itch scratched I could finally continue on my way to Montana!

I've spent the past five weeks in cities. Big, boisterous cities including Auckland, Tokyo, Seoul and Vancouver. As I head east behind the wheel of a rental car, master of my own destiny, encountering mountains and trout along the way, I can feel my soul being replenished by the embrace of nature.


  1. Justin
    Isn't it amazing while driving beside highway streams always get our attention, I guess that is the fishing blood in all of us. This post is a perfect example of how to use the hatch to your advantage. Congrats on the catch!!
    Thanks for sharing

    1. Hi Bill. When I'm driving I'm ALWAYS on the lookout for trout streams! Those close to me are now resigned to slowing down over bridges or stopping completely so I can peer over them. I feel a close connection with rivers. Thanks for leaving a comment.

    2. I can vouch for this! Great picture of the whitefish.

    3. Haha, Kate knows what it feels like to be a passenger seat sufferer!