Yamsi Ranch is located in southern Oregon on the headwaters of the Williamson River, about a half hour drive northeast of Chiloquin. This working cattle ranch has about twelve miles of the upper Williamson River flowing through the property plus a 300 acre lake.
Each year, more of the stream is being rehabilitated and presently, about six miles offer excellent fishing for wild rainbow and brook trout. Rainbows measuring more than thirty inches have been caught and released and the largest brook trout grow to twenty-five inches, perhaps the largest stream-dwelling brookies in the West. Rainbows are planted in Hyde Lake and they grow large.
Guests stay in the main ranch house with private bedrooms and shared baths or a recently built cabin with a bedroom, bathroom and living room on the ground floor and a sleeping loft on the second floor. The ranch house contains many antiques. Breakfasts and dinners are served family style. The food is well cooked and Gerda's desserts are becoming famous. Guests are encouraged to make their own lunches after breakfast.
An orientation is provided for first time visitors to show how to reach the productive parts of the stream and how to find the lake; guiding is extra at $100/day. A 3-day/3-night stay is required. The rate for a minimum stay is $675/person and the additional day rate is $225/person. Electricity is produced by a generator, which runs in the morning and evening. Only the sounds of nature will disturb your sleep.
Chris and I have always enjoyed visiting Yamsi Ranch, its informal atmosphere, caring hospitality, well prepared food and excellent fishing. We've caught and released both rainbows and brookies exceeding twenty inches. There are drake hatches in June, Hex hatches in July, and fishing the undercuts during any time in the season can produce good catches.
The upper Williamson flows through marsh land and is similar to the upper Gibbon River in Yellowstone National Park as it winds through an open meadow. On the upper stretches close to the ranch house, expect to find the land alongside the stream boggy in many places. Downstream the banks become more firm. We've found that having a small RV is very convenient while visiting Yamsi as you may be three miles or more from the ranch house while fishing and want a place to take a break or eat lunch.
Our original report on Yamsi Ranch was in Volume II, Number 2, March 1993. An update report was filed in Volume VIII, Number 1, January 1999.
For more information
PO Box 371
Chiloquin, OR 97624
web site: www.yamsiflyfishing.com
Photos by Christine and Michael Fong ©1999