Prettiest Wade Fishing in the State

August 28, 2016

While beauty is somewhat subjective, there are many of us that find the Upper Cle Elum River to offer some of the most beautiful scenery on any fly fishing stream in the state.  It is just spectacular!  On the upper sections the mountains surrounding the narrow valley look like the Alps. From what I can tell, I work in a fly shop and have never been to Austria!

A couple of the other guides from Red's Fly Shop and I have been taking beginners up to the Cle Elum River for some Walk and Wade trips called Fly Fishing 301 - The Final Step.   We teach them all sorts of basic skills and have an amazing fly fishing trip. I believe the photos really do almost all of the talking.  There is about 2-3 weeks left max for these trips before the nights get so cold in the mountains it shuts the fishing off!

The area we went is absolutely beautiful.  This is an area I can hike around without even needing to catch fish and be perfectly satisfied.  The great part about this area is the creek fish are opportunistic and usually simpler to find.  Once the water levels are at the right flow, this is a great area for beginner to advanced anglers and real exciting for families!

The river was crystal clear and just the right depth.  

We spent time together learning how to cast along river banks, dead drift from upstream, cross stream, etc., to safely navigate back and forth around quicker moving water, and much more.  Today we all had success seeing a large amount of fish and learning a ton of new information!

Look for the anglers!  That is a seriously huge rock. Don't tell me that doesn't look like fun bouldering around on that stuff catching trout!  This river has some serious power when the river is up. 

Essential Gear for These Trips

You don't need to have a bunch of expensive gear for this trip, but the anglers that are prepared seem to have a better time.  A fly rod that is fun to cast, flies they like, and boots that provide good traction make hiking this river easy.

The Redington Butterstick in the 7' 3 weight or even the 6' length is a ton of fun for these little trout.  It is just more fun when the rod flexes on short casts.  

The Mountain Stream Creek Assortment is a perfect mix for fishing the Upper Cle Elum. Its a one box outfit that will work anywhere in fact!  It has flies on both sides of a waterproof box and will last you more than a season for sure. 

The Simms Intruder Boot is the best "wet wading" boot there is.  It is perfect for summer time fly fishing on these streams.  It doesn't fit over waders, but goes right over your bare feet.  Super convenient with both rubber outsoles for steap sidehills and felt for in river traction.  

  1. Looks super fun