- ABOUT ROCKY FORD & DESERT STREAMS
- ROCKY FORD & DESERT STREAMS GUIDED TRIP RATES
Rocky Ford Creek
Is a Central Washington desert spring creek, is located northeast of the small farming community of Ephrata, Washington. It percolates underground and seeps from the rich, desert Columbia Basin soils flowing south, eventually intersecting the massive still water impoundment of Moses Lake.
This small, well-known trout stream is home to multitudes of aquatic insects and most often hatches occur on a year around basis. It has also earned a respected reputation for growing some of the regions largest rainbow trout. Here, fish feed freely on a vast supply of aquatic and non-aquatic organisms throughout the year.
Water flows and temperature remain fairly consistent much of the season and fish can travel easily through the slow moving waters of this small fly fishing only stream. Trout exceeding 5 pounds are common in the creek, however rainbows measuring in the 16 to 20 inch fork length are customary.
This small spring creek is a virtual mayfly factory during the year. The waters of Rocky Ford churn hatches of Blue Wing Olives, Callibaetis, Pale Morning Duns as well as Trico Mayflies throughout the season. Midges are a constant emergence at the "Ford" three hundred sixty five days a year. Specific times during the season, when mayfly hatches are scarce, these small Chironomids attract the attentions of Rocky Ford Rainbows as they fin freely, harvesting these minuscule insects from the surface.
There is really never a bad time to fish Rocky Ford, however weekends during peak periods, especially the warming spring months, can get busy with fly fishermen. There is however plenty of room to fish. The creek offers over 3 miles of accessible fly-fishing water with bridges on both sides of the creek for easy access from one side to another.
February and the first portions of March will begin producing consistent daily hatches of Blue Wing Olives. By April, Callibaetis and spring Caddis will enter the show and fish will have a variety of aquatics to feed on.
Throughout the late spring and summer months of the season, fish forage on a host of terrestrial insects as well. Ants, Beetles and Grasshoppers flourish under the desert sunshine and will present the rainbows of Rocky Ford Creek with a summer time feast during the long dog days of summer. This is especially true when strong desert winds blow across the Columbia Basin. These tiny creatures are hurled into the water and become a favorite forage for fish this time of year. Large Grasshopper patterns twitched and skated along the banks; cattails and weed beds will also prove productive.
The warm summer months also provide another aquatic event as well. Damselflies as well as Dragonflies, mostly associated with our still water fisheries, also inhabit the waters of Rocky Ford in vast numbers. Trout anxiously await this cycle each year and nourish themselves on both the nymph and adult stages of the insect. Exacting imitations to match this summer food form will work well during peak periods of their activity.
Stalking the shoals of the Ford quiet and carefully during a Damselfly hatch can be an exhilarating experience. Site casting to large cruising rainbows as they foolishly feed on these summer time critters is one of our favorites at the Ford.
Blue, olive and tan adult Damselflies during the peak months of June, July and August can provide fly fishermen with a fun and exciting dry fly fishing experience at the creek.
Life below the water's surface at Rocky Ford is abundant as well. Scuds by the thousands inhabit the muddy bottom and thick plumage of weed growth that blooms throughout the creek. Trout root along the stream bottom, its deeper shelves and of course the weed line, gorging on these fresh water shrimp. Leeches, as you can imagine, are also consistent forage for rainbows. These two constant food sources aid in growing fish to proportionate sizes very quickly.
When winter arrives in Central Washington and some of our trout rivers close under seasonal regulations or cold temperatures have invaded the Kittitas Valley chocking the Yakima River with slush ice, the water of Rocky Ford stays spring creek consistent and the fish continue on their relentless feeding opportunities. Even during the coldest of winter days, Midges and Blue Wing Olives with appear in the afternoons. The winter months can be a popular time for some Rocky Ford fly fishing enthusiasts. The colder weather and other wintertime activities have chased away the summer time crowds. However, the die-hard fly fishing fanatics will be there and they have it figured out.
Rocky Ford Creek has a long fishing history. A trout hatchery was first erected on its banks in the early 1940's. Fishing became renowned and its popularity quickly grew. Over the past decades, the creek has endured several hatcheries and has under gone environmental changes. Fish barriers were placed at the creeks confluence with Moses Lake to repel non game fish from entering the creek. These intentions were well deserving, however to date both suckers and carp flourish in the creek in specific areas. However, these fish do supply a food source during their yearly spawning cycle, which trout eagerly anticipate and take full advantage of a fleshy meal.
Rocky Ford Creek is one of the few "Fly Fishing Only" streams in the state of Washington. Special regulations were set in place in the late 1990's to establish a consistent lunker rainbow fishery and it seems to be working. The creek remains catch & release only, no bait fishing and a single barb-less hook is required. There is also no wading allowed in the creek, so casting must be completed from the bank. There's not much need to wade the water anyway because an accomplished caster can easily sling line to the other bank with very little effort. Cattails and other plumage grow along the water's edge, which provides shade and cover for the fish during the hot, barren summer sun as well as provide insects refuge from lurking rainbows.
Our professional guiding team and pro shop staff constantly monitor stream and fishing conditions at Rocky Ford Creek.
If you have any questions about our professional services or the many fly fishing adventures we offer, please feel free to contact us toll free-(888)-950-FISH (3474). We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
We look forward to hearing from you and showing you the splendor of Central Washington's, Rocky Ford Creek.
Secret Desert Creeks
Hidden in the lush, brushy, back country of Eastern Washington's wheat fields, lies an desert oasis of beautiful trout streams. Thriving within these arid region waterways lives a variety of game fish. Several species of trout, which include, Rainbows, German Browns, Cutt-Bows, Cutthroats and the occasional Brooke Trout can all be found throughout these desert creeks. The fish here average 8 to 15 inches, while others top the scale and grow massive, boasting body weight exceeding six pounds.
Warm water temperatures throughout the year produce tremendous insect activity and the trout in these backcountry creeks grow very rapidly. Midges, Mayflies, Caddisflies and Stoneflies make up a majority of the trout feed thriving within the streams. Many of these species will hatch throughout the year.
Scuds and leeches are a viable commodity the entire year and an important food organism here. Their existence in these small, streams most likely numbers in the millions. Lush, thick green grasses grow up along the banks in many areas of these temperate little streams, so terrestrial life flourishes here. During the warm months of summer, Grasshoppers, ants and beetles in a variety of colors and sizes are important parts of the food chain. They are a highly preferred food source, especially when the hot stagnate desert sun is blistering across the Columbia Basin.
One other important aquatic food element in these small chains of desert streams is the Crayfish. These small, fragile trout retreats that meander across the central portion of our state are teaming with freshwater crustaceans. The Crayfish is a highly desirable resource and trout of all sizes dine on these freshwater lobsters whenever the opportunity arises. During specific times throughout the year, Crayfish begin a molting process and shed the outer layer of their fleshy skin, when this occurs they become very soft, supple and highly vulnerable. Their hard shell that was once a barrier of protective armor is now easy to pierce and digest. It is during the molting season when fishing patterns to imitate these bottom dwelling creatures can produce large size trout from these small desert streams.
Water flows are consistent most of the year, due to the massive lakes that surround this part of the state. Irrigation systems for grassland farmers also envelop the area, so at times the creeks are dewatered for farming purposes. Wading these small streams is very easy and generally recommended. I won't kid you this is reptile country. Snakes and other slivering amphibious creatures live and thrive in the Eastern Washington Desert. Chances are you won't encounter one during the day, but if you go looking for one they’re not hard to find.
Warm water temperatures during the late spring may cause an algae bloom and the rocks in the river can become very slick. Wading these small streams with a good studded felt sole is highly recommended. A lightweight, shorter length fly rod is ideal and in most instances recommended, due to the excessively high, grassy banks. If you don't own a lightweight creek rod, Worley Bugger Fly Co. has several different models that are available for purchase or to rent for the day.
This is an exciting fishery and will put your fly fishing skills to the test under its bright sunny skies. Trout do feed on the surface throughout the day, but the bigger fish constantly gorge on sub-surface nymphs and scuds that are abundant in this system. Feeding lies during the warm months are easy to detect. When the water temperatures reach into the high 50's-60's, the trout become very active and move into the faster cooler water.
Worley Bugger Fly Co. offers a Professional Guided Fly-Fishing wade trip to these wonderful destinations for one and two anglers. The day will start early at our fly shop in Ellensburg, where your guide will address the key issue of the day. Here, he will discuss and advise you on the area we will be traveling to along with flies and other accessories that will be vital for your success throughout the day. If you enjoy fly-fishing on secluded, un-crowded waters these are some great places to spend the day.
Our professional guiding team and pro shop staff constantly monitor stream and fishing conditions throughout Central and Eastern Washington. If you have any questions about our professional services or the many fly fishing adventures we offer, please feel free to contact us toll free-(888)-950-FISH (3474).
We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. We look forward to hearing from you and showing you the splendor of Washington's desert streams.
Secret Desert Streams Full Day Guided Trip: $225.00. April-October
Flies, Rod, and Reel are provided.
(Full day trips only)
A full day trip give the anglers 8+ hours on the water. Anglers are also treated to a riverside lunch with a choice of BBQ steak or chicken or a deli lunch.
A Maximum Occupancy of 2 Anglers per boat. Multi Boat Trips are Available Year Round.
Rental Waders and Boots are Available for an additional $25.00.
All rental waders are new Simms G3 Waders.
TO BOOK A TRIP CALL: 509 962 2033 or Toll Free at: 888 950 FISH
If your guide provides you with gear for the day you are responisble for it. If any damages occurs to guide gear during your trip your Credit Card will be charged for the repair fees. A signature for this new policy will be due before your trip in our Pro-Shop.
For our reschedule/cancellation/return policy click here.