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Klickitat, Wenatchee, Methow, and Naches River Flows

Klickitat River Flows and Conditions

The Klickitat River can be very fussy when it comes to run-off.  This is due to the steep drainage pattern that rolls off of Mt. Adams and other scenic high country.  The Klickitat is glacial in nature and disturbances like rain, sudden snow melt, high country mud slides, and avalanches can disrupt the water clarity in a matter of hours.

The Klickitat typically opens for Steelhead June 1st, the fishing in June, July, and August can be good if runoff conditions allow it to run clear.  Although there are not as many fish in the river at this time of year, you only need one or two in order for your day to be a success! 

We have fished the Klickitat River from 600 cfs up to 2,500 cfs depending on the time of year and nature.   In June the river can run high and clear especially if the weather is mild and the night time temperatures are cool.  In July the river can be very glacial, look for daytime temps in Goldendale, WA below 80 degrees for a couple of days prior to help clear the river.  Usually in mid-August the river becomes less sensitive as the nights start to cool down and the glaciers tighten up.  From September 1st on, the biggest threats to water clarity are high country rain especially if it comes down on top of fresh high country snow.  We wish there was a formula to help predict this, but every burst of rain is different because it is all about how the exposed soil on the glaciers react to the rain.  Sometimes the river will rise and stay clear enough to fish... sometimes even a small disruption will put the river out of shape and very muddy in a matter of hours.  It can be a gamble.  Fishable water clarity can range from 18" or less to as much as 8' depending on the day and time of year. In July and August 18" - 24" is very typical and our favorite is about 3-4' of visibility at all times of year.  Too clear and the fish are spooky.

On the graph, look for a stable river flow or a dropping trend.  The best fishing is typically immediately after a spike in river flows as the river is dropping.  The best days are usually risky!  The morning will be off color and you will be wondering if you will get any fish... this river recovers fast and if you are the first fly they see as the river comes back into shape you just might get 'em!  Many anglers on multi-day trips will be blown out on Day 1, ok fishing Day 2, epic fishing on Day 3.  Totally worth waiting it out.