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NrthFrk16 10-11-2002 11:52 PM

Upper Columbia and Tribs Open to Steelhead Fishing
Against this year, the Upper Columbia and the Methow, Okanoghan and Similkameen River will open to steelhead fishing due to the large surplus of hatchery steelhead returning to them.

Wish the Wenatchee was next as it is a MUCH closer drive.

Upper Columbia Emergency Regs

Moonlight 10-12-2002 10:34 AM

..for the heads up Ryan.


flytyer 10-14-2002 11:54 PM

I fished the Methow near Winthrop yesterday. This was the first time in 7 years I made the drive over the hill to do so. Saw several spawning Chinook (good to see this) but no steelhead that far upriver. It was very low water as well, although the water temperature was good. Lots of October caddis around too and some normal sized (10 to 16 inch) resident cutthroats were picking some of them off.

Lots of hunters there at this time of year, very few fishermen. Probably has to do with the time it takes to get there and the relative lack of easily seen river access. It is a very wadable river that is simply beautiful. It seems to have been made for floating line work.

Go now because after the snows fly and the north Cascades route is closed for the winter, it is a very long (as if it is not now) drive by way of Hwy 2 to Wenachee, then north to Winthrop from there. Making the trip about 5 1/2 or 6 hours out of Seattle or Everett. Over the north route, it is still 3 hours from Mount Vernon over the hill to Winthrop, not quite 4 hours out of Everett.

Nailknot 10-15-2002 01:18 AM

Sure is great country up there. Is it worth fishing the Methow for steelhead in the next couple weeks? Have the fish shown? I wonder if they move to a dry like the Snake/GR fish? I've never seen the Sauk or Cascade so low. Think rain! ;)

watersprite 10-15-2002 07:34 AM

Great news!

So this coming weekend I can choose from a <2 hr trip to the Methow of a >2.5 hr trip to the mini-spey clave on the Sky. Hmmm.

Might not make the clave afterall. Sure wanna do the Methow.

Such tough choices :chuckle: .


watersprite 10-15-2002 10:00 AM

Well the son weighed in - the mini-spey clave for the 19th! Plans may work such that I can do the Methow on the 27th provided the pass stays open.

Love it when there are multiple choices such as this, one simply can't lose!


Leland Miyawaki 10-15-2002 01:37 PM

I used to fish the Methow quite often as I passed the more crowded Wenatchee and opted for another hours drive north.

This time of year, I fished the lower river above Pateros. The fish come to dries as well as low water wets.

My most memorable fish was a huge wild buck that took my skated dry when it disappeared from view behind a downstream rock at the end of my swing. All I heard was a "click" of it's closing mouth. I lifted the rod and came tight. The fight was witnessed by a number of people who stopped their cars on the road up above the river. The sun was on the water and they all had a perfect view of the fish. In fact, they all saw it before I did. When I landed it, they all applauded.When I released it, I heard a woman ask someone, "What did he do? What happened to his fish? A man replied, "He let it go, he's a catch and release fisherman."

What a great feeling.


Nailknot 10-15-2002 06:35 PM

Thanks Leland. What a great story. Well, looks like I might have to go explore and come back with a field report this weekend.

flytyer 10-15-2002 10:03 PM


I really wanted to go closer to Pateros but my wife wanted to stop in Winthrop and try the river there. Like you, I like the Methow because it doesn't have that many fisherman on it. Seems like folks go to the Methow Valley to hunt or fish a lake at this time of the year.


I fell the same dilema you do about the mini clave this Saturday. I can either drive an hour to Ben Howard access or 3 to the Methow Valley. I really want to go to the Methow, but I also know that the Upper South Fork of the Sky will have fish in it as well. Additionally, I have a friend who moved to Northern California 3 years ago visiting over on the Olympic Peninsula this month and he wants me to go over and fish with him on the upper Hoh, Calahwa, Bogey, and Sol Duc. Alas, my plans to take time off work this month to fish the Olympic Peninsula have not worked out. I have a new employee and problems with one who has been there that I inherited.

I sure want to get back over to the Methow before the pass closes. And the Thompson River is beginning to call now too. My father was right, work does get in the way of fishing when the fishing is best.

Moonlight 10-21-2002 01:27 AM

There are alot of anglers around Pateros, and the river is low and the water temperature is 46 they are not real eager to take a dry. We did manage a few on Grease lined Speys but it is a slow show at best.
The bottom dredgers may be doing a little better but I'm not so sure.
On a positive note I didcatch a 21" cutthroat that was built like a Cigar Box.
It is a beautiful valley and the weather was as mellow as you can hope for this time of year. One of my fishing partners has streamside property that we stayed at and still we found an excuse to leave the hospitable environs "No Fish"

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