Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout, Kokanee, Brook Trout, Mountain Whitefish, Sucker, and Westslope Cutthroat
This large Tieton River impoundment stretches along Highway US-12, about 10 miles east of White Pass. It is in the Wenatchee National Forest at 2,922 feet elevation (at the spillway). It is open to fishing year-round. Rimrock provides good fishing for eight- to 11-inch kokanee; with a generous kokanee catch limit of 16 fish. Rainbows are also available, some up to 16 inches. This is normally one of the best and most popular kokanee-fishing destinations in Yakima County from early May through August. Trolling and still fishing is effective and chumming is permitted. There is a 5 trout daily limit (excluding kokanee) with no minimum size requirement.
The lake is closed to fishing for bull trout. Please carefully release any bull trout that are inadvertantly hooked.
South side of White Pass Highway between White Pass summit and the town of Rimrock.
Take U.S. 12 east from White Pass or west from Naches. The highway parallels to the north shore of the resevoir for several miles. Turn south on Forest Service Road 12 at either end of Rimrock to reach the south side of the lake.
Forest Service campgrounds that offer tent and RV sites, drinking water, and rest rooms, plus private lodges, boat ramps, stores, gas stations and restaurants are scattered along the highway on the north side of the lake. Boat ramps and campgrounds are also available on the south side of the lake, near the east end.
Some years Rimrock is the most productive lake in Washington for Kokanee, giving uo tens of thousands of these fine eating little Sockeye Salmon in a single summer season. When it’s prime, usually through July, anglers even catch Kokanee from the banks, a rarity in most Northwest Kokanee lakes. Unfortunately, the reservoir’s valuable Kokanee population takes a back seat to agriculture irrigation, which is why Tieton Dam was built and the lake was formed in the first place. A few years ago the lake was drawn down to little more than a river running through a wide basin, but the Department of Fish and Wildlife had time to plan for the event and “saved” large numbers of Kokanee for replanting after the reservoir refilled. As a result, Kokanee fishing is now as nearly as good as it was during its heyday in the middle-eighties. The fish aren’t to big, averaging eight to eleven inches, but there’s a 16-fish daily limit and good anglers have little trouble reaching those numbers in a few good hours.
Strings of trolling blades, followed by Wedding Ring spinners, Needlefish, Double Whammys, and other flashy lures, account for the many of the Kokanee. Tip the hooks with maggots or Berkley Power Wigglers to improve your chances.
The lake is also stocked with Rainbow Trout, which can be caught on all the usuall spoons, spinners, wobbling plugs, and baits. Rimrock holds a few hefty Bull Trout, but if you catch one, you have to release it unharmed and as quickly as possible. Some of the troll caught Rainbows are caught on the Kokanee gear, but you can catch them still fishing with slip sinkers and worms or Power Bait.