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.