Worley Bugger Fly Co.

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THE YAKIMA RIVER

The Yakima River is Central Washington's premier wild trout fishery. It proudly supports hundreds of wild, naturally spawning fish and provides fly fishermen from around the world, a unique and exciting year round experience catching these feral creatures on a fly. This fabulous blue ribbon water offers the fly fishing enthusiast with a thriving trout population. Experience a match the hatch aquatic insect event as mayflies, caddisflies and stoneflies emerge throughout the season. Absorb some of Washington States most spectacular visionary scenery and encounter a variety of wild game, wild birds and plant species along the riverbanks during the day.
Over thousands of years, the river has sliced it's way through the valley floor, cutting through huge, jagged basalt stone canyon walls before reaching it's final destination with the Columbia River, well over 200 miles from its origins.  This blue ribbon trout stream originates from the water's of the Stuart Mountain Range. The rugged, massive peaks of Mt. Daniel and Mt. Stuart tower over the Kittitas Valley at elevations exceeding 9500 ft. The high mountain snows of winter, blanket these mountains most of the year creating the annual water reserves, which are contained in 4 separate man-made reservoirs. It is from these waters in which the majority of the Yakima River flows.

A Yakima River Rainbow

These waters are collected from numerous high mountain lakes and small mountain tributaries that burst during the spring's warming months. As melting snow begins to thaw, small tributaries of the Yakima fill, bursting with the winters snow pack accumulations and each reservoir begins to fill. These reservoirs store massive amounts of water behind man made impoundments of wood, stone and concrete. During spring and early summer water is released from these facilities to vacillate farming irrigation and water needs for the Kittitas and the Lower Yakima Valley as well as providing valuable fish habitat and fly-fishing recreation. The Keechulus, Kachees, Easton and the Cle Elum Reservoirs, supply the Upper Yakima River with the necessary water to produce some of the best fly fishing the state has to offer.

Here, fly-fishermen come to test their skills, find peace, tranquility, and make new, long lasting friendships with the river and the WBFC staff. For the family and staff of Worley Bugger Fly Co, fly-fishing the Yakima River is our way of life. We have chosen this profession because of our deep passion, commitment and dedication to the environment, the river and the precious resource it provides.  As a professional outfitter, guiding operation and pro-shop, we realize that added fishing pressures are applied to this resource throughout the year. Working closely with local fisheries biologists, state fisheries agencies and local fly fishing clubs, the staff and guiding team of Worley Bugger Fly Co. actively participate in maintaining this beautiful flowing stream and enhancing the quality of the river for everyone to enjoy.

A Yakima River Westslope Cutthroat

With over twenty years of experience fly fishing the Yakima River we are but one of many fly-fishing outfitter services living here in Ellensburg. To set our selves apart from our competitors, we take pride in operating our business like no other. We could staff dozens of people to operate our fly fishing tours, however we prefer a more moderate approach opting for knowledgeable, friendly and quality staff rather then quantity. We think you will agree once you meet our trained staff of professional fly fishermen.  Ask around.  Our reputation speaks for itself.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE YAKIMA RIVER

Before the introduction of white settlers to the valley, Yakama Indians made their home here, living on the vast stocks of fish and game the river and land provided. Abundant runs of wild Spring Chinook Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Coho Salmon and Steelhead made the adverse journey from the Columbia River to return to the spawning grounds of the Yakima for centuries. Native Bull trout and West-slope Cutthroat were plentiful in the main stem and small tributaries of the river.

YAKIMA RIVER ACCESS MAP

By the late 1890's irrigation dams and canals were placed on the lower river with little or no fish passage available for these anadromous fish.  In 1939, the Roza Dam, a hydro-electric/irrigation diversion dam located 18 miles south of Ellensburg in the Lower Yakima River Canyon was constructed. Upon its completion, the last remaining runs of wild steelhead and salmon were barricaded, unable to reach their sacred spawning grounds in the Upper Yakima Basin. The dams fish passage for steelhead and salmon was not a concern until the mid 1980's, when new legislation under the Endangered Species Act constituted reconstruction of the dam facility.
Once construction was completed these sea-going rainbows once again had access to the Upper Yakima River Watershed. However, by the time the project was completed over 50 years had passed and the wild steelhead of the Upper Yakima River Basin had nearly gone extinct. To this day less than 1% of the original run returns to the upper river for spawning.  The majority of Yakima River steelhead today relies on the tributaries of the Lower Yakima as well as the Naches River for spawning purposes.
In the early 1980's, special fishing regulations were put in place on the Yakima to help strengthen the numbers of rainbow trout that had been stocked for decades by the Fish & Game commission. With the help of local fly fishing clubs and agencies, the start of the 1990's provided Washington state fly fishermen with the first no kill, catch & release, bait prohibited trout fishery. Protection of a naturally spawning wild rainbow population was in place. This protection would insure future generations of naturally spawning rainbow and cutthroat trout, already well established in this Central Washington Watershed.

A Yakima River Wild Steelhead

With trout sizes and population densities steadily increasing, the Yakima is becoming legendary with fly fishermen world-wide as they make the journey to fish it's trout filled waters year after year. With the construction of water retention reservoirs and diversion dams around the turn of the century, an aquatic insect population has thrived. It has created a virtual abundance of stoneflies, caddisflies as well as several different species of mayflies that will emerge throughout the season.
The Yakima is also home to several species of baitfish, including Sculpin, Dace, Stickleback and Red Side Shiners. A substantial population of crustaceans such as scuds, snails and Crayfish also coexist within the waters of the Yakima. These larger food items play an important part of the dietary consumption for the resident fish throughout different stages of the year.
With the reintroduction of salmon to the Yakima system, fishing and fly selection is in a constant progression. As salmon fry hatch they become vulnerable as well as the latter stage, the smolt to larger predator trout. In the spring fishing patterns that represent these small salmon can produce proportionate rewards.
In the early Fall months, Chinook that have been holding in the deep pools of the Yakima begin their life ritual. Building of spawning beds becomes top priority for these kings of the river. It is during these times that egg patterns in appropriate color and size are of interest to the rainbows. In areas of the river where large populations of salmon are spawning you will find many of your aquatic imitations will go untouched all day. The trout engage in a feeding frenzy, feasting on a smorgasbord of salmon eggs thrust into the rivers current by spawning salmon.

A Yakima River Rainbow

Over the next several months, a feast of nutrients is induced into the Yakima River system and our resident trout along with a host of other organisms reap the benefits of these massive sea going fish. Decaying and rotting carcasses feed the river and all of its earthly inhabitants.
Living within the bountiful Yakima River Valley, we are fortunate to have acquired an intimate knowledge of the river, the aquatic insect life and it's wild trout population. As a fishing guest of Worley-Bugger Fly Co., you can be assured that your day of fly fishing with us will be an outdoor experience that will bring you back to fish with our team each and every season.
The Yakima in most areas the majority of the year is a big Pacific Northwest River. Several months of the year, irrigation demands fill the river and the Yakima is swollen from bank to bank. It is during these times the river is fished most productively from the drift boat.
Our full day and half-day fly-fishing adventures on the Yakima River are conducted from a warm, safe, comfortable, McKenzie style fiberglass drift boat. These boats are configured exclusively for fly-fishing and provide adequate room, stability and comfort for each fisherman, whether you are casting from the bow or the stern.  Floating any of our big western rivers, especially the Yakima with a qualified oarsman at the helm is a fun and rewarding experience in itself. As your professional fly fishing guide glides the boat down and across the river, your skills will be challenged and in most cases..rewarded!
With guide encouragement and instruction you can place your fly tight along a grassy undercut bank, underneath overhanging vegetation or placed ever so lightly along a thick foam line. These exciting challenges provide you with a fun and rewarding fly-fishing experience throughout the day.
Fishing from the drift boat also gives you an overall strategic advantage as appose to walking or wading the banks and streambed of the river. Having the ability, as well as the versatility to move and cover more river quickly as well as being able to target specific areas of the river, provides you with the tactical advantage needed throughout the day. The Hyde Drift Boat is our brand of choice. These boats are guide friendly, easy to row and maneuver, are safe, reliable and have become the workhorse of the industry. There is plenty of storage capacity for extra rods, gear bags and additional clothing.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. Reserving your fly fishing day with one of our professionals is simple. Call us toll free at 888-950-FISH our stop by our pro-fly shop in Ellensburg. A friendly member of our staff will be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you have and arrange your day of fly-fishing on the Yakima River.
The WBFC staff is also equipped to accommodate large groups for business trips though out the year. Worley-Bugger Fly Co. maintains a staff of 5 local professional guides. For your scheduling convenience and arrangements, please contact us ahead of time with your group size. The professional fly-fishing staff of Worley Bugger Fly Co. looks forward to hearing from you and showing you the splendor of Central Washington's Blue Ribbon Trout stream, the Yakima River.