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Fishing in Central Washington

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  Fishing in Central Washington
Fishing spots in Kittitas County are plentiful and waiting to be discovered on your next getaway. Our location in Central Washington is near many water bodies - many of which are accessible for anglers of many types - whether they prefer shore fishing, fly fishing, or boat fishing!

Enjoy the Lakes and Rivers found here in Central Washington, and stock up on supplies at one of our area's sportsmen's shops.

Types of fish waters throughout the county may include:

Black crappie, Brook trout, Brown trout, Bull trout, Burbot, Carp, Channel catfish, Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, Cutthroat trout, Golden trout, Kokanee, Largemouth bass, Largescale sucker, Mountain whitefish, Pumpkinseed, Pygmy whitefish, Rainbow trout, Sockeye salmon, Steelhead, Westslope cutthroat, or Yellow perch.

Before you go, be sure to check the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's website for more information on seasons, limits, and species at your spot-of-choice.

End your day on the water with a meal at one of our many local restaurants.

Why spend just one day on the water? Make it a full weekend escape with a stay in a local campground or one of our many other accommodation types.

Share your views and catches with us!


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Results: 1 - 18   of 18 results
Wilson Creek
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Wilson Creek is located approximately 5.8 miles from Ellensburg, near Thrall. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including small mouth bass, sucker and carp.
The stream is also stocked with rainbows. There are two branches within the city limits of Ellensburg and are open year-round to juveniles-only.
Columbia River
It flows for more than 1,200 miles, from the base of the Canadian Rockies in southeastern British Columbia to the Pacific Ocean at Astoria, Oregon, and Ilwaco, Washington. Although humans have lived along the river for more than 10,000 years, modern engineering in the 19th and 20th centuries has dramatically altered the Columbia. Some scientists believe that today the river is environmentally threatened and that drastic action should be taken to reverse the changes made to the Columbia during the last 150 years.
Teanaway River
Cle Elum, WA 98922
Teanaway River is a beautiful stream located just 5 miles south east of Cle Elum. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including trout, channel catfish, and largemouth bass. The river is fair for rainbow trout from June through August. Cutthroat can be found in the upper reaches. Selective gear rules are in effect, including the North Fork. This stream and its tributaries are closed to fishing for bull trout, salmon and steelhead. Open season is June 1st through October 31st.

Cooper Lake
Cle Elum, WA 98922
Fishing is open year around on Cooper Lake. Cooper is a consistent producer of brook trout and rainbows measuring seven to 10 inches long. Also, brown trout in the 1 to 3 pound range have been caught in recent years. Small kokanee and cutthroat are also taken. A boat launch is available, but all motors are prohibited by county ordinance.

This lake is 3 1/2 miles northwest of Salmon-La-Sac and is accessible by Forest Service road from the upper Cle Elum River. Take I-90 to Cle Elum and turn north on Highway 903. Drive three miles past the north end of Lake Cle Elum and turn west (left) on Forest Service Road 46. Follow it about five miles to Forest Service Road 4616, turn north (right), and follow the road along the north side of Cooper Lake.

Cle Elum, WA 98922
Kechess Lake is open to year around fishing. Nice size kokanee are caught by early June. Also rainbows, cutthroat and burbot are also taken. There is a 16-fish catch limit for kokanee, in addition to the two-fish, 12-inch minimum size trout daily limit. The lake is closed to fishing for bull trout as are most of the local lakes. It is a very popular lake with good camping areas and good boat launching.

About five miles west of Cle Elum Lake, just north of I-90.  Turn north at Crystal Springs onto Forest Service Road #49 and go four miles to reach the upper end of the lakes west side. Take Forest Service Road #4828, which is accessible off Forest Service Road #49, or turn north off the freeway near Lake Easton to access to six miles of the southern portion of the lakes west side. To reach the east side of the lake, turn north off I-90 near Lake Easton onto Forest Service Road #4818 and drive two miles to the lake.

Lake Cle Elum
Cle Elum, WA 98922
Fishing open year-round.  No boat-launching facilities after mid-summer due to reservoir reduction. This area reservoir gets light fishing pressure and produces 8 to 12-inch Kokanee. Trolling is most effective. Some lake mackinaw are caught each spring, and burbot, an edible predator fish, are also available as well as lake and rainbow. The lake is closed to bull trout fishing. Camping, swimming, boating, picnicking, and fishing are available at the reservoirs especially in the streams below the dams.

Directions: About seven miles northwest of the town of Cle Elum on Hwy 903.

Lost Lake
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Fishing open year around. Small kokanee and brook trout provide most of the action. Brookies average nine inches, but larger rainbow trout are stocked each year. The daily limit is five trout, with no more than one over 14 inches.

Take the Hyak exit from I-90. Take Forest Service Road #9070, following it to the northwest corner of the lake and the boat ramp. To reach the southwest corner of the lake, turn south off I-90 at Crystal Springs (Exit 62). Turn west on Forest Service Road #5480 and follow it two miles to Lake Keechelus. You'll find this lake about a mile west of Keechelus Lake.

Fio Rito lakes
Ellensburg, WA 98926
These two lakes alongside I-82 between Ellensburg and Yakima provide some good, easy-access fishing throughout much of the year. Most fish from the bank, but boat fishing is allowed. However, no gas-powered motors are allowed. Rainbows are mostly caught, but often hatchery fish are planted in one or both lakes. An occasional brown trout is also caught. Year-round open fishing on these lakes. Fishing should be good for eight to 14 inch rainbow trout, with some brown trout available. Black crappie and yellow perch may also be caught from time to time.

About three miles southeast of Ellensburg, alongside I-82, with access via Thrall Road Drive up #6 road until you reach the public access fishing sign.

Yakima River
Ellensburg, WA 98926
The Yakima above Roza Dam is widely considered the best trout fishing stream in Washington. The best catches are in March, September and October for wild rainbows averaging 11 inches or more. 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!

Red's Fly Shop
14706 Hwy. 821 Near Mile Marker 15
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Red's Philosophy on Business:
We are old fashioned. Take care of the fish, take care of the customer, and both of these will take care of us.  You can count on Red's to lead the way in customer service and in conservation on our local waters.  Thank you for your support!

Manastash Lake
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Year-round open fishing season. A consistent producer of 8 to 14 inch eastern brook trout, but heavy algae blooms in mid-summer can make fishing tough. This high-country lake (5000 feet elevation) is usually accessible to four-wheel drive vehicles by late May. It's a long, rough trip just to fish for pan-size brook trout here, but this 24-acre lake nestled among the pine-covered mountains of southwestern Kittitas County is a worthwhile reward for your effort. Small lures from the bank is the best approach, or wade out far enough to give you back-casting room but the bottom is muddy. June is the best month to fish here, but anglers find decent success all summer.

Follow Umptantum Road which turns off of Main Street at McDonalds Restaurant. Take a right on Manastash Road and head west into the canyon. The trailhead is about nineteen miles west of Ellensburg.

Mattoon Lake
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Mattoon Lake is located just on the outskirts of Ellensburg. Open season is year-round. This lake offers good fishing for 8 to 14 inch rainbow trout. Larger rainbows are planted each year. Also brood stock rainbows in the 6 to 12 pound range are stocked in late fall. Mattoon offers a good bank fishing opportunity for those who do not have boats, although the lake gets quite weedy during the summer months. Boats with internal combustion engines are prohibited. This is a great place to take the family for a fun fishing. Disabled access available.

Located outside of Ellensburg. The lake just off of Umptantum Road about a half mile from Main Street in Ellensburg. Umptantum turns off of Main Street at McDonalds Restaurant.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Ellensburg, WA 98926
The Alpine Lakes wilderness area is comprised of 394,000 acres in the state of Washington's rugged Central Cascades region. The area is home to more than 615 miles of hiking trails that wind their way around the region's numerous alpine lakes. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure with high lake trout fishing one of the region's premier attractions.

There are more than 1,600 alpine lakes, also known as high lakes, in western Washington. There are at least 950 additional alpine lakes located east of the Cascade Mountains. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates that more than 100,000 anglers visit these lakes each year.

Some of Washington's alpine lakes have self-sustaining trout populations. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife maintains an active, rotating stocking program for the lakes. Some lakes are stocked annually while some others are stocked every 2 or 3 years. Some lakes only are stocked once in a decade while other lakes are intentionally left barren.

The U.S. Forest and National Park Service advocates the practice of catch-and-release fishing in Washington's alpine lakes. This involves keeping only those fish that will be cooked and eaten that day, and releasing all others back into the wild.

Fish that are native to the alpine lakes may include brown trout, mackinaw and bull trout. Commonly stocked varieties of fish include rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and eastern brook trout. In some instances, lakes may be stocked with golden trout, Montana black-spot trout or Atlantic salmon.

Easton Lake
Roslyn, WA 98941
Open fishing season here runs from the Saturday before Memorial Day through October 31st. This lake has fair fishing after late May for 8 to 10 inch rainbow. There is an eight-inch minimum size limit as well as a two-fish daily limit on trout other than eastern brook trout. The lake is closed to fishing for bull trout. With an abundance of trout, Lake Easton is a great place to take the kids on an early summer fishing vacation. Camping at the State Park is available, but reservations are a must!

The Lake is one mile northwest of the town of Easton. Drive east from Snoqualmie Summit or west from Cle Elum on I-90. Follow the signs to Lake Easton State Park.

Mercer Creek
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Mercer Creek is a stream located just a half mile from Ellensburg. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including rainbow trout, sucker and even Chinook Salmon here. Whether you're bait casting, spinning or fly fishing your chances of getting a bite are good.

This stream is stocked with rainbow trout within Ellensburg city limits, but inside the city limits it is open to youngsters only. Open season runs from June 1st through October 31st.

Lavender Lake
Roslyn, WA 98941
Open year around to fishing. The lake is only a few acres in size but big in popularity with Kittitas County anglers and others who happen by on I-90 and stop to try their luck. A generous spring plants of hatchery rainbows mean the best angling action occurs from May to early July. Expect good fishing for rainbow trout. Disability access is available.

Three miles east of Lake Easton State Park, near the north side of I-90. Take I-90 to the West Nelson Siding Road exit and turn north. The lake is just north of the interchange.

Keechelus Lake
Roslyn, WA 98941
Year-round open season. Fishing here can be very good at times, primarily in May and June, for eight- to 12-inch kokanee. Burbot are also available. Kokanee and trout limits are the same as in Kachess. The lake is closed to fishing for bull trout. Keechelus gets very light fishing pressure, with poor boat launching after the reservoir is drawn down.

Three miles southeast of Snoqualmie Pass, along the south side of I-90. Take the Hyak exit from I-90. Take Forest Service Road #9070, following it to the northwest corner of the lake and the boat ramp. To reach the southwest corner of the lake, turn south off I-90 at Crystal Springs (Exit 62). Turn west on Forest Service Road #5480 and follow it two miles to the lake. If you want to fish the east side of Keechelus, stay on I-90 to where the freeway parallels the shoreline and look for wide highway shoulders where there's ample room to pull over and park.

Cle Elum River
Cle Elum, WA 98922
Cle Elum River is a mountain stream located just 3 miles from Cle Elum, near South Cle Elum, WA. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including channel catfish, yellow perch and Coho Salmon.  It is a very popular recreational area, with large campgrounds at Salmon-La-Sac. The lower river is open year-round, with selective gear rules and catch-and-release only for trout.

The river above Cle Elum Lake offers small rainbows and an occasional eastern brook trout. It is also on selective gear rules between Cle Elum Lake and the outlet of Hyas Lake, and retains the June 1st through October 31st season. Whitefish angling should be good during the special December 1st to March 31st between the dam and the mouth.  Check for gear rules for the Cle Elum River. The entire river is closed to fishing for bull trout, salmon and steelhead.

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