GPS Coordinates: 45°51’4.63″N 120°59’1.69″W
Trip Questionnaire: Please click on the link below. This will take you an electronic questionnaire form that we ask you to complete and submit to The Fly Shop. Please be sure to click the “Submit” button at the end of the form. The information provided will help us — and the outfitter best coordinate your trip. THANK YOU!
Trip Questionnaire Click HERE
Getting to The Steelhead Ranch
The Portland International Airport (PDX) is the closest major airport to the Ranch at just under 2 hours. Portland International Airport is the largest airport in the state of Oregon, accounting for 90% of the state’s passenger air travel. Portland International Airport offers over 100 direct flights to over 75 destinations. The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is 225 miles away and just under 4 hour drive away from the Steelhead Ranch.
A majority of guests prefer to rent a car and make the drive to and from the lodge on their own. It’s nice to have a vehicle for mobility. Your guides will provide transportation to and from the lodge on your fishing days.
Type in 780 Harris Ranch Rd, Goldendale, WA 98620 for Google maps directions
Normal check-in is any time after 6:00 PM and check-out time is always right after breakfast, although special accommodations can be arranged for when needed and requested.
The guides fish the river with both swing and nymph tactics. For those of you who would like to exclusively swing flies on the Klickitat, they can make it happen. For those of you who would like to nymph the Klickitat, they know the runs. For those of you who would like to mix it up, and do both, they do it all. They are well versed in all techniques from skating dries to slack line drifting egg patterns. We don’t presume to tell you how you should fish the fly for steelhead, they will however listen to your desires and build an adventure based on those requests.
Gratuities are a personal decision based on services rendered. Normally, guides are tipped daily as you may have a different guide each day. We recommend that you tip your guide on a daily basis, somewhere in the nature of $100- $150 per day, per boat/guide (usually shared between two anglers). For the lodge staff, (chefs, housekeeping, wait staff, etc.) we recommend $50 per day per person and pay them separately at the end of your stay. If you have any questions concerning gratuities, please feel free to call or ask the lodge owner for guidelines.
As soon as you have your flight schedule finalized to Washington please forward it to us at email@example.com, so that we can coordinate your transfer to the lodge.
The weather on the Klickitat can vary greatly. Later on in the fall into November be prepared for anything. Live by the layering system so you can be prepared for everything. It can be warm and sunny but it can also be wet and cold so be prepared for a week of anything mother nature can throw at you.
Depending on your carrier, most guests have great coverage at the ranch and the surrounding area.. There is decent Wi-Fi throughout the property.
Important Tackle Note:
Evening Hatch-Steelhead Ranch winter steelhead program is a catch-and-release only facility.
Fishing Licenses: You can purchase your Washington fishing license online at Click Here
Jack has a modest bar with many common liquors on hand as well as beer and wine served with dinner. This is included in the price of the trip. Dinks typically on hand are, Smirnoff Vodka, Pendelton Blended Whisky, Bombay Gin, Chivas Scotch, Coors Light, Costco Select IPA, 14 Hands Cabernet. We cannot guarantee these will be present, if you have a special drink you prefer, please bring it along.
The Lodge is located on a 40 acre ranch which features a beautiful double mountain view and ‘Bonanza style’ ranch like comfort – the nearest neighbor is 1/4 plus miles away. The lodge is a 3 bedroom ranch style building with a big dining room where guests can enjoy a family style meal as well a large living room where you and your fishing partners can congregate before dinner to enjoy a beer or glass of wine and share stories of your day on the water. Within the Lodge, is a master bedroom that has two beds. Each of the other two additional bedrooms has 2 twin beds. In addition to the main lodge there is a separate cabin that can be utilized that has two beds and a bathroom as well as Jack’s 650 square foot cabin, that has a bedroom with two beds and a living room. The Lodge can accommodate 10 anglers in double occupancy or single occupancy for 6 guests.
Dan is the gracious host that prepares the meals for you while you are staying at the Steelhead Ranch. Dan’s youthful and happy demeaner is infectious and it is hard to be around him and not have a smile on your face. You will not go hungry when staying at the ranch. His cooking is amazing and considered upscale homestyle comfort food and his shepherd’s pie is to die for. After a long day chasing Steelhead on the Klickitat river, Dan will keep you fed and your energy up while recharging back at the lodge.
If you have any food allergies or medical conditions we need to know about email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Evening Hatch provides all flies, leaders and tippet. They can provide you with rods and reels with some notice. We encourage you to bring your own rod/reel set up and some of your favorite fly patterns. If you choose to use their rods and by chance the rod is broke there will be a $100 charge for repair/shipping fees.
Nymph fishing from the boat is the most effective way to catch steelhead on the Klickitat. Nine foot to ten foot rods (7-8 wt) are most popular when fishing steelhead or salmon from a boat. Spey rods are the go to tool if you want to swing flies. Spey casters will certainly have an advantage with distance and efficiency. Spey casters can simply cover more water more effectively and the team of expert instructors have all the tools to work with novice and veterans alike!
The most popular choice of Spey rods for Steelhead are in the #7 and #8 weight category between 12.5 and 14 feet long. Your choice of rod for the trip is a matter of personal preference, though we have found that the lighter, relatively shorter rods are about perfect for every situation in the runs of all of these rivers. If you are having trouble deciding which rods are the most suitable for you, we would be more than happy to give you some expert advice, based on our experience there!
This is probably the most important part of your tackle system! A Reel of mediocre quality will not withstand the brute force of a fresh sea run trophy. Any high quality single action reel with 150+ yards of backing capacity with a good drag system will work fine. You hard-core guys know your classic Hardy’s and other noise makers will sing regardless of the drag system.
Single handed lines that are specific to steelhead fishing are the best. Scientific Anglers Amplitude Anadro and Rio Trout and Steelhead are favorites here at the shop. Most feature a longer head which allows the angler to manage the fly at greater distances and mend line to maintain control over their presentation. Below are some examples of what we feel are the most suitable Spey lines for fishing for Steelhead.
This will serve as a general guideline that anyone with any questions about equipment should follow.
If you are uncertain which line you should select to properly match your rod, do not hesitate to contact us. We are experts in this field and we are happy to assist you in preparing the correct rod/line combinations:
Skagit style lines are basically shortened, condensed shooting heads developed in the Pacific North West by a hard core group of anglers that were looking for a way to cast sinking tip and large weighted flies long distances, with a very short compact casting stroke, and small D-Loop. These lines have become very popular with steelheaders due to the fact that they are easy for both the expert and novice to cast, not to mention extremely useful in situations where room for a back cast is limited. These lines also work very well for people who prefer to fish shorter 12’-13’6 foot rods. The Airflo Skagit Compact heads can be very effecient tools on the Klickitat. These lines should be paired with the MOW sink tips in Heavy(T-14) or Medium(T-11) for these rivers. Many Skagit casters prefer to prepare their own sink tips using varied lengths of T-14. We prefer these custom tips in 2.5ft increasing length incriments. Give us a call if you have questions on these iterchangeable sink tips.
Scandi lines are the full floating version of the Skagit. Also short belly shooting heads, they are amazing at very efficiently loading the rod with a compact stroke and little effort, even in tight conditions. Long leaders are required to anchor these Scandi lines during the casting stroke. These are used in situations where you are throwing smaller flies and fish are moving farther up in the water column to take the fly.
Leaders for nymphing are very simple. 7.5’ 3x and 2x will get you by. Leaders for fishing sink tips in steelhead fly fishing are very simple…15lb Maxima. You may want to bring a larger selection simply to insure that you will be prepared for any and every situation.
For the Scandi Lines, you will want long leaders, between 12 and 16 feet long, to provide the line stick of the anchor point. Rio’s nylon mono Steelhead Leaders are great and inexpensive, Airflo’s Poly Leaders are the best casting, but cost more.
Chest high breathable waders are recommended when fishing any cold water these days and these rivers are no exception. Durability and comfort are key elements to consider when selecting a wader, there are many different manufactures that make quality products.
These rivers are primarily cobble and small to moderate gravel, with a few obvious boulders. Some stretches do have larger rocks, and can be more difficult to wade in. If you’re used to using a wading staff at home we do recommend you bring it with you. Felt soles are strongly suggested. “Sticky” Vibram rubber-soled wading boots do not work well here. We also highly recommend studs on your felt sole wading boots, you will wade better and feel safer and fish more effectively. Be careful getting in and out of the boat. The Simms Carbide Studs are the best, good grip but also not super sharp so they aren’t as hard on the rafts.
This is extremeley important piece of gear when fishing for Steelhead. You do not want to get caught with less than excellent rain gear and layering. Be prepared for what Mother Nature has in store and you will fish much longer hours… and catch more fish! Your choice of garment must allow freedom of movement and keep you dry, even in a downpour. We would be happy to suggest ideas for a raincoat.
The “layering” system works best with today’s top quality synthetic and wool garments. The idea is that by adding or removing multiple layers of clothing, in varying thickness and insulation, you will be able to obtain ideal body temperature and comfort, instead of just one big layer that you are either hot or cold in. If you have any questions we would be pleased to offer advice on the many options of the layering system. Do not use COTTON layers in these conditions.
If unsure of what gear you need to fully enjoy a week on the Klickitat River, we would be pleased to recommend equipment options. Although we do not seek to endorse specific brand names, our extensive experience has shown certain products to be superior.
Guides will provide fly patterns and this is included in the cost of your trip, but you might bring some of your favorite steelhead flies as outlined below.
The steelhead menu. Some are dark and somber, others are vibrant and bright, due to the diversity of water conditions. Even the same river can display different moods and may go from low and clear to high and muddy in a matter of hours. Have a large assortment of wet flies in varying sizes, colors, and weights for your entire stay. Flies that would spook fish in one condition may be barely visible in another. Rember to have flies also in varying weights and sizes as well as a variety of colors. It pays to carry a variety of patterns and be prepared for whatever nature and her fish can throw at you. Steelhead will always be deliciously unpredictable. Tube Flies are the newest fly design concept to hit steelhead fly fishing and the possibilities are endless. Tubes allow steelhead fishermen versatility when it comes to meeting changing conditions by changing the type of tube they use, allowing more control over the depth and action of the fly. They also have the advantage of having a larger fly with a shorter shank hook, exactly what is called for to drag out large steelhead. The stinger style flies will also allow this and the Intruder Style flies are a favorite on the Klickitat. Some patterns they like 2-4 inches of a Bunny Leeches and or Intruder. Color combos: Black and blue, Cherise and Purple, Black Red and Purple. Muddlers sizes 2-8 in Natural and purple.
If you plan on Nymphing the usual natural nymphs like Pat’s Stonefly in Black and Black and Orange as well as a double beaded Peacock stone in sizes #4-8.
If you are there when Coho are around you can bring 3-5 inch Pink flies for stripping.
Ask us here at The Fly Shop® to put a package together for you that will work in all of the fishing scenarios you may encounter, we will have you prepared before you get there.
In an effort to “Kick Plastic”…We ask that you bring your own favorite water container… in turn, your guide and vessel will have a clean supply of water to fill from.
Ranch (253) 329-7697
Jack Mitchell (509) 859-2280
The Fly Shop®
800-669-3474 • BUS. 530-222-3555
(Open 7 days a week, 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.) E-mail: email@example.com