Klickitat River Float Trip with Worley Bugger Fly Co

/ Boat
1 - 2 anglers
1 day
Reza A
Response rate: 
Response time:
1 hour
The Klickitat River, located in Southeastern Washington is one of the state’s longest free flowing rivers, stretching approximately 100 miles from its glacial source to the mouth of the Columbia River.

The Klickitat River originates from numerous small tributaries that course from the rugged, jagged, snow capped peaks of Mount Adams, a 12, 276-ft. active volcano. This renowned Pacific Northwest steelhead and salmon stream gains momentum quickly, dropping approximately 5000 feet in total elevation by the time it reaches the confluence of the Columbia River. The rapid, swift gradient, glacier fed currents of this river over millions of years has cut its way through deep basalt canyon walls.

Like no other place I have ever seen, age old rugged oak, fur and alder trees cover hillsides of this steep river gorge, creating a unique and beautiful environment for a day of fly fishing.

On its decent to the Columbia, the Klickitat tumbles over massive boulders, slices through narrow substratum chutes, and weaves around log-jams and other natural river obstacles. A mile upstream from the small community of Lyle, the Klickitat narrows into a torrent chute where salmon and steelhead strain against the strong currents of the river, dodging boulders and other obstruction to journey upriver. Even today Native Americans dip net for salmon and steelhead from rickety leaning scaffolds assembled along the cliff face walls perched high above the rapids as these resilient fish make their arduous trek up river to their spawning grounds

This beautiful Southeastern Washington River supports healthy runs of Chinook Salmon (King), Silver Salmon (Coho) and the Pacific Northwest Steelhead. Strains of both hatchery and wild steelhead return to the "Klick" each year and proliferate throughout the system during the fishing season.

The Klickitat River is also known for its spectacular, vivid scenery and abundant wildlife that roam the hillsides and banks of the river. Its not uncommon during your day of fishing to observe a diverse variety of game species. Throughout most areas of the river, Mule deer and wild turkeys wander the hillsides of the Klickitat Canyon.

The Klickitat River is also known for its spectacular, vivid scenery and abundant wildlife that roam the hillsides and banks of the river. Its not uncommon during your day of fishing to observe a diverse variety of game species. Throughout most areas of the river, Mule deer and wild turkeys wander the hillsides of the Klickitat Canyon.

Other sections provide ideal habitat for visiting elk herds and curious black bears. Elusive cougars wander the rocky ridges along the canyon walls. Timber Rattlers are prevalent to the Klickitat River Basin and one should always be aware when walking and fishing the banks of the river.The upper reaches of the Klickitat River serve as nesting sites for several birds of prey which include; Red Tail Hawks, Ospreys and Bald Eagles. These strong, symbols of our great country, once on the edge of extinction have adapted well to the area. During the course of the year these large birds of prey thrive on the nutritional contents of decomposing salmon carcasses.

Perhaps, the most remote and picturesque sections of river wilderness lie in the upper reaches of the Klickitat Basin. From the small mountain tributary of Summit Creek down river approximately 20 river miles to the boat launch at "Slide-out". These upper reaches of the Klickitat River are unburdened from human civilization. The peaceful surroundings here is nature at its best---one hears nothing but the forceful descent of water plunging over rocks and the pleasant sounds of wild life.

The summer run steelhead season begins each year on the first day of June. Steve Worley and members of his elite team of guiding professionals at Worley Bugger Fly Co. will be conducting fly fishing trips on the Klickitat River during the premier months. Each year, populations of both wild and hatchery run anadromous fish return to the Klickitat system.

The Klickitat River provides passage for a variety of native anadromous fish, predominantly spring and fall runs of Chinook Salmon, as well as a small number of Coho Salmon (also known as "Silvers"). The river also experiences a strong run of both wild and hatchery Steelhead. Over the years, the river has become renowned for the vast numbers of returning fish and the amazing size of these salmon and steelhead. It is not uncommon for one to catch a King salmon over 30 pounds. In fact, many anglers claim they have caught some of these "kings of the river" up to 60 pounds. Catching wild steelhead in the Fall over 12 pounds is not uncommon, while early hatchery summer run Steelhead exceeding 20 lbs are caught each and every year.

Like we had previously mentioned, the Klickitat's main source of water is supplied by the melting glacier of Mount Adam's as well as small flowing tributaries that fuel the streams rapid gradient flows as it makes it way to the Columbia River. During periods of warm weather, melting snow and ice from the glacier will increase. The water clarity will quickly turn and produce an opaque white color.

When this occurs steelhead use these river conditions to their advantage. They move from the deeper, darker runs of the Klickitat and begin holding in shallower waters. It is during these periods that steelhead feel safe and secure and can easily be targeted with flies. While others have left the river for the summer opting for clearer water conditions to return, we fish with tremendous successes.

If the valley experiences a sudden rain shower and this precipitation touches on a portion of the Klickitat feed glacier most often the water will become chocked with sand and silt. The result generally isn't good. The river will rise quickly in height and flow and water clarity will be compromised as mud flows become prevalent. During these periods we have no confidence in the fish or the fishing and we will wait until conditions improve.

A variety of fly fishing tactics are effective for "hooking up" with a Klickitat River Steelhead throughout the year. Swinging flies is by far the preferred method of catching these rainbows of the river, however it is not always the most productive. The Klickitat offers everyone a diverse challenge with unique and exciting runs. Some are good for swinging, while others are better suited for dead drifting steelhead nymphs. We have several distinct strategies that produce results time and time again. These are strong, aggressive fish so so we encourage our guest to keep an open mind and be prepared to fish for Klickitat Steelhead in a variety of fun and exciting challenges.

Spey fishing with two handed fly rods up to 16' is becoming increasable popular each and every year. Spey rods can be used on the river, however they are not necessary and in some cases over kill. A nine to nine and 1/2- seven or eight weight fly rod with floating line is generally adequate gear for fishing the "Klick".

It is usually good to have several varieties and densities of sinking tips in appropriate lengths as well. If you do prefer a two hander, a shorter length usually in the 12 foot range is sufficient for the Klickitat. Switch rods are the preferred method of fishing the upper river and our guides are very proficient in there use. We are happy to teach you this fun and productive method of catching steelhead for during the day.

If you would like to experience this incredible river for yourself or have any questions about our guided fly fishing please feel free to contact us. Our professional guiding services are very popular and highly respected and dates for the Klickitat River Steelhead season begin filling quickly each year.

What is Included:
Drinks & Snacks
Rod & Reel
1 - 2
Daily, until Fri, Nov 30 20181 day
Fishing Waters
The Klickitat River, located in south-central Washington, flows generally south from its origin on Mt. Adams in the high country of the Yamaka Indian Reservation to its confluence ... morewith the Columbia River in the Columbia River Gorge. The designated segment is the lowermost 10.8 miles of the river. At the upper end of this segment, the river flows through a broad canyon. As it drops toward the Columbia at a steady gradient of 26 feet per mile, the canyon tightens and small rapids spike the channel.

At about river mile 2.5, the Klickitat drops into a tight, rock-walled gorge. The water cascades and crashes through the rocky channel where the tribes and bands of the Yamaka Nation have used dip-net fishing continuously for generations to catch salmon and steelhead. Of the mid-Columbia tributaries, the Klickitat is one of the favored fishing sites, due to both the number of fish and the narrow canyon with its high water volume.

In addition to the river's outstanding hydrology, the geology of the gorge between river mile 1.1 and 2.5, and the dip-net fishing sites, the river is also the most significant anadromous fishery on the Washington side of the Columbia in the stretch from Bonneville Dam to the Snake River. It supports steelhead trout, Chinook salmon and coho salmon, with six distinct runs.

The lower Klickitat offers a variety of recreation opportunities, including boating, fishing, hiking, camping and sightseeing. Boat fishing is popular when the salmon and steelhead are running. There is an undeveloped boat put-in/take-out on Klickitat County Park land just below the Pitt bridge, and river access at several places along Highway 142, including a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fee camp site. The take-out is before the fish screw trap at about river mile 5, just above the Klickitat canyon gorge. Ongoing construction of the fish bypass at the top of Lyle Falls requires boaters to take out at this point. The falls also marks the beginning of the tribal in-lieu fishing sites and no boating is allowed through this area.

The only permits required are from commercial outfitters; existing commercial outfitters include beginning kayak schools and fishing guides.

The Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railroad built a railway linking Lyle and Goldendale in 1903. This branch line was abandoned in 1992 and is now the Klickitat Rails-to-Trail. The trail parallels the river's east bank from the Columbia River to Fisher Hill Bridge, where it crosses to the west bank and continues to the town of Pitt. It crosses Highway 142 and continues along the west bank leaving the wild and scenic river portion and continues for many miles upriver.
Centrally located just east of the Cascade Mountains, Ellensburg is surrounded by several great trout filled rivers, making it an ideal place to stay. Considered by many to be the ... morefinest fishery in the state, the 214-mile long Yakima, curves around the town’s southern border, adding to Ellensburg’s historic charm. Another top choice is the 80-mile Methow River, known both for its ample fish and exceptional beauty. Excellent fishing can be found on this river within a two-hour drive from town.

In close proximity to town, the 75-mile long Naches River is about a half-hour drive. Most of the Naches river basin is located in scenic national forest and wilderness areas, including the renowned Wenatchee National Forest. Often referred to as the “Miracle Mile” of small waters, The Rocky Ford Creek, about an hour from Ellensburg, is best known for its numerous and sizeable rainbow trout. Considered by anglers to be a challenging stream, it is also ranked as one of the best trout rivers in the entire Northwest.

While Ellensburg is not thought of as a town exclusively dedicated to anglers, it does have much to offer including 4 well stocked fly shops with knowledgeable owners. What it lacks in numbers (population 18,000) it makes up for with its historic buildings, a major University and a large choice of things to do.

If you are with family members or others that don’t care to fish, there are opportunities to go biking on and off road, white water rafting, horse back riding and hiking. Despite its small size, the town has an active arts community with galleries, museums and theaters. Finally, there are events like the Winterhop Brewfest, featuring local microbreweries, Buskers & Burg, a fall celebration with giant puppets, and a highly regarded, large-purse, Labor Day rodeo.

Summer is peak fishing time with a high concentration of anglers. The spring and fall seasons remain busy while only a few die-hard choose the winter months.

There are several options for traveling to Ellensburg.

Fly into Seattle (SeaTac Airport) and drive for approximately 1 ½ hours

Fly into Takima Air Terminal and drive for approximately 40 minutes

Fly into Spokane and drive for approximately 2 ½ hours

Fly into Bowers Field, a general aviation airport, minutes from Ellensburg 
The Worley Bugger Fly Co., fly fishing operations is headquartered in Ellensburg, Washington. Home of the Worley Bugger Fly Co fly shop, the Yakima River's first, full service professional ... morefly fishing shop. Our Professional Guide Team works closely with several state fisheries organizations and fly fishing clubs every year to maintain this beautiful flowing stream and enhance the quality of it's fishery for all fly fisher's.

Worley Bugger Fly Co. maintains the only staff of local, professional fly fishing guides operating guided tours on the Yakima River and Central Basin fisheries on a daily basis. Each individual works exclusively through the "Yakima River Pro Shop" in Ellensburg. This team is sought after season after season for their knowledge, patience and expertise in the fine art of fly fishing. Quality over Quantity is our standard every day of the year and the core of the WBFC Mission Statement.
Cancellation Policy
  • Cancellations made 14 days before will be fully refunded.
  • Cancellations made 7 days before will be refunded 50% of the amount paid.
  • Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.
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