wenatchee opening?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by the_trout_bum, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. anybody heard anything about the numbers for the wenatchee and if theyre gonna be opening for winter steelies? just moved into my apt in ellensburg putting myself that much closer to the wenatchee system. never fished it for steelhead but heard its an amazing fishery.


    the trout bum
  2. Big Tuna

    Big Tuna Member

    no word yet...not sure that it's an amazing fishery. It stayed open much later than anticipated last year because fishing was somewhat slow.
  3. Ringlee

    Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator Staff Member

    Lots of people and not a ton of fish. The rumors should start soon since it opened late October last year.
  4. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    talked to a guy at Rocky Ford one day, said the snow was ass-deep up there and guys were still fishing it, without an awful lot of luck.
    but do you really need fish to have a quality fishing experience?
  5. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    Well, here goes the typical Methow/Wenatchee: "Is it opening this year discussion?" With the numbers we're seeing, I would bet the bank on it. A beautiful river it is. I'd rather not see it put out the numbers the methow did four years ago..... keeps the allure alive. There are steelehad there and that's enough for me.
  6. BDD

    BDD Active Member

    Amazing? Compared to what and when?

    Yeah, the Wenatchee can hold some fish but I wouldn't call it an "amazing" fishery when it has only been opened once in the last decade. I would say that historically it was an amazing fishery. Most of last year was all hype anyway as most flyfishers had very limited success.

    That being said, I'll fish it again if it does open.

    I thought Joe did an excellent job on his recent article in NW Flyfishing. It was representative and realistic but provided enough enthusiasm for those ambitious types without overselling the river or causing too high of expectations.
  7. BDD-

    man im only 19 (20 next month), and had no clue that there was an tentative opening last year let alone a steelhead run of any kind whatsoever. the said "amazing" fishery was based off family and friends that have fished the system during the last 50 years (minus the last decade) and the stories of chrome bright hatcheries caught on the fly in the past. never had a chance to fish the wenatchee myself, but im keeping the fingers crossed for sure towards the announced opening. plus its a hell of a lot closer than the skagit.

    lookin foward to a wenatchee opening, good fishing or not


    the trout bum
  8. Will Atlas

    Will Atlas Guest

    the steelhead in the wenatchee are summer fish not winter. Any fish caught during winter is going to be dark having entered freshwater roughly 6 or 7 months earlier. I'm not sure what the allure of "hatcheries" is but there are both hatchery and wild fish in that system. Hatchery fish should be harvested, but the wild fish are the true prize and must be released.

    I agree with others that an opener is likely. I just wish they would hurry up and announce it, some of the best dryline fishing of the year is slipping by as we speak
  9. BDD

    BDD Active Member

    The index site sampling rate shows an 80:20 ratio of hatchery to wild fish, suggesting that perhaps the managers will want to remove some hatchery fish by recreational harvest. The good thing thing is over 50% of the hatchery steelhead are two-salt fish.
  10. o mykiss

    o mykiss Active Member

    According to fish passage center data, 10,600 fish have gone over Rocky Reach Dam YTD, but 8,100 have gone over Wells. Sure seems like a lot of fish are heading for tribs upstream of the Wenatchee, so maybe the picture isn't as bright as it seems for a Wenatchee opening?
  11. BDD

    BDD Active Member

    I think its 10,600+ over Rock Island and 4500+ over Wells.
  12. Will Atlas

    Will Atlas Guest

    look at the numbers at McNary. Almost all those fish are headed up to those tribs. The run is on the way, definitely some big surges this past week or so. They'll be there, plus Rock Island is upstream of Wenatchee isn't it?
  13. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Will, the Wenatchee is between Rock Island and Rocky Reach. The Entiat is between Rocky Reach and Wells. The Methow and Okanagan are above Wells.

    Looking at today's counts, there are 2491 steelhead between Rock Island and Rocky Reach, some of which may still head upstream. Of those potential Wenatchee fish, 1543 are wild and only 948 are hatchery. I'd say the ratio of hatchery to wild for Wenatchee is currently very low and would be surprised (and dissappointed) if it opened unless more hatchery fish return.
  14. BDD

    BDD Active Member

    Actually, I think a vast majority of those fish will be making a right hand turn up the Snake.
  15. BDD

    BDD Active Member


    Actually the numbers you quote aren't exactly accurate because they are based on video and/or live counts and the hatchery fish can't be 100% distinguished between the wild fish. In other words, there is a number of unmarked fish that are counted as wild even though they have hatchery origins. That is why they have an index site; a true representative ratio can be determined.
  16. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Thanks for that clarification BDD. Seems like the dam counts are way off. Where do you find the index site sampling numbers? Are they available on-line? One other thing maybe you can clarify: the 1395 permit says they're supposed to use the Priest Rapids count for natural-origin UCR fish, yet Priest Rapids only reports total steelhead...so what is really used? Are the index site sampling numbers applied to the total count at PR?
  17. Will Atlas

    Will Atlas Guest

    hmm, somehow I was under the impression John Day was the last before the Snake. Shows how much I know. Either way, almost 100,000 unclipped fish have passed Bonneville this year making a season on the Upper Columbia Tribs highly likely.
  18. BDD

    BDD Active Member


    Yeah, you are correct; they don't differentiate wild steelhead at Priest Rapids for the FPC counts but the hatchery/wild ratio I presented earlier in this post is from a Priest Rapids sub-sample. As you mentioned, they use a Priest Rapids sub-sample for UCR escapement as it is the first dam above the Columbia/Snake confluence. I don't believe they are posted on-line anywhere. I could give you several reasons for inaccurate dam counts but that is a different subject altogether.
  19. corysean99

    corysean99 New Member

    McNary is the dam before the snake. I believe the area before the Snake is the McNary wildlife refuge. McNary is close to Umatilla and the John Day is closer to the Dalles
  20. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Looks like I may actually get the chance to use the new Spey rod in my home waters!