Life is But a Dream

Guided Fly Fishing

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The Lower Yakima River

Washington's Smallmouth Stream

Lower Yakima River Conditions Links:

Tri-Cities Weather

Yakima River at Kiona

Lower Yakima River Water Temperatures

NOAA's Short Term Hydrologic Prediction

NOAA's Long Term Hydrologic Prediction

Yakima River Basinwide Flow Site

Mountain Pass Report


The Lower Yakima River in Washington is a great option for the angler out there that needs a bass fishing fix.  From Benton City to the Tri-Cities smallmouth can be found in fairly high numbers especially in the spring as fish enter the system from the Columbia River to spawn and as out migrating salmon pass through the lower river on their way to the Pacific Ocean.  The smallmouth are prolific predators and aggressive fighters when hooked.  Top water fishing can be incredible!  Smallmouth are such large predators of salmon and steelhead smolts, as a salmonid fisheries restoration strategy, we encourage retention of some, or all of the fish we catch.  Smallmouth bass fillets make for a great fish fry! 

Fishing the lower Yakima                                                                                    

"Life is But a Dream" Guided Fly Fishing is proud to offer full day float trips to the lower river where we will mostly toss large streamers imitating baitfish and crayfish.  Large poppers and dry fly imitations twitched at the surface will also get attacked and this will be the focus of our trips.  It's a good idea to bring a light action spinning rod to use when fly fishing is not effective.  On the spinning rod we'll learn spinner bait, buzz bait, jerk bait, top water lure presentations and jigging.  We offer guided trips during prime spawn and smolt out migration time periods, so March through June, and throughout the summer with things wrapping up in mid September.


Full Day Float (8-10 hours)               $425 for 1 or 2 anglers

Booking Policy

A $50 deposit will secure your date.  A $100 cancellation fee will be accessed if a trip is cancelled without 24 notice.  

*Our full day float starts in the morning and goes for 8 to 10 hours.

Meal Accommodations                                                                                  

Our full day float will offer a boxed lunch, snacks and beverages.    


The Tri-Cities (Richland, Pasco and Kennewick) are located in Southeastern Washington, 2.5 hours from Seattle.  The lower Yakima River meets the Columbia near Richland.  We may float for smallmouth on a number of river reaches from Benton City to the confluence. 

What You Need to Bring                                                                          

Clients need to secure a Washington State Fishing License.  I'd recommend bringing polarized sunglasses, waders, wading boots, a hat, sun screen, camera, rods, reels, flies (I have a ton of flies, but the smallies love seeing new material).  Bring a spinning rod too.                                                                              

Here are some pictures to give you a taste of the fishery.

Ed, 2 at once Nice on the fly! Coolin' off bass sunset

We love smallmouth bass! extreme long arm

The lower Yakima is a desert gem and it's smallmouth county! 

Do you recognize this bass from the American Angler Magazine?

Nice measured 16 inch male MEO

  Happy Clients!

Dan and Jim bassin' it up on the lower YAK in 2005

"Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily Life is But a Dream."

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Last modified: 04/08/15