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Hi, my son will be taking me out on the Methow on the second weekend in Oct to camp and fish. He says it's steelhead time then but doesn't know what fly patterns are good for that particular river. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated so that I can tie up a few. Thanks for the help!
 

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I'm a teacher, I fish to eat!
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Just give the guy some fly patterns to tie! :) Yes Presentation is Key, I agree, but he is looking to fill a box. If i would have fished the methow I would be giving some advice, seeing as how i have not i have no advice to give. Sorry. Good luck to you!
 

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Hot Carl
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Just give the guy some fly patterns to tie! :) Yes Presentation is Key, I agree, but he is looking to fill a box. If i would have fished the methow I would be giving some advice, seeing as how i have not i have no advice to give. Sorry. Good luck to you!
I'm just saying: If he's concerned about what flies to use, he has a whole lot else to worry about if he wants a chance at a steelhead. Fly pattern is waaaaaay down on the list of important things in my book. And I meant it when I said that there's no wrong pattern for summer steelhead as far as I'm concerned.
 

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While escapement is looking good right now, it is not a sure thing that the river will open, and if it does, it may be later than mid October, so check the regs before going. Probably the easiest set up to fish is a nymph under an indicator. A large Pat's Stone or Kauffmans stone in black with an egg dropper should work well for you. A lot of guys use a red plastic bead for the egg coated with a pearlescent nail polish. You can also use an egg yarn pattern. Other nymphs like Prince's, hairs ears etc as droppers can also work well. Rick
 

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swing marabou spider patterns in black or purple...collar of your choice. It'll be an absolute zoo that time of year, so bring your own rock.
 

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Just do what all the guides on that river do: fish a pegged bead with split shot under an indicator. Or, if you don't want to be damned to eternal life in a lake of fire, swing just about anything. Lots of guys nymph, whether it be stoneflies, larger copper johns, and other buggy stuff or - eccchhh - trout beads. If that's your thing, go for it. As Big Tuna noted, dark marabou spiders swung on a sink tip get it done, particularly in low light conditions. I could tell you his go to color combo but then he would have to kill me. Black or purple string leeches, articulated leeches, tube flies, egg-sucking woolly buggers or leeches swung on a tip work too. So do things like skunks, wooly buggers, muddlers, general practitioners, etc. fished on light tips or maybe even a floating line. You can even catch them on the surface with stuff like greased liners, bombers, or Bill McMillan's steelhead caddis and other skaters and wakers. I remember a few years ago running into a guy who caught a fair number fishing a greyish muddler with a floating line - he would basically flip the fly behind rocks and in other pocket water and whammo - fish on. Just about everything works (or used to work) over there. The biggest problem now - particularly because it is such a small river - is that it gets absolutely hammered, so it has become harder to find undisturbed fish that respond well to traditional tactics. There is a large flotilla of guided and non-guided rafts that row laps through every decent spot of holding water dead drifting beads until they've fished the pool out. Last year was a mandatory 4-fish per day kill fishery on hatchery fish so it didn't take long for this armada of death to remove fresh fish that entered the river. I think the bobber/bead crowd has even scared a lot of the gear guys away, although we did see a guy in toon pulling plugs last year! Seriously, it's a great little fishery if you don't mind the crowds. If you happen to get lucky and be there when there is a fresh pulse of fish that hasn't seen 2,643 trout beads before they see your fly, you actually stand a good chance of catching fish. (I'm exaggerating a few of the downsides of the current Methow experience, but not by much.)
 

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Exaggeration? Not really... At least not in October. I got into a hole on the first day last year and made the mistake of leaving it around noon. I drove about 15 miles of river and didn't find a single decent run that didn't have somebody (or several people) in it. Went back to the first run, and of course there were 4 people in it by then... I'm guessing this year will be worse now that everybody has spent the entire off-season telling everybody else about how good it was.

If/when it opens, take a deep breath before you leave your car and expect company no matter how small of a hole you are fishing. I usually stick to the pocket water that first week, not quite as productive, but I usually have it to myself and it extends my fishing day since you have to bonk the hatchery fish now.

With the Columbia trib endorsement, my understanding is that they are going to increase enforcement and we got checked twice last year on the first day already. They watch from some of the roads up on the ridge with scopes and will run down if they see anything suspicious (i.e. releasing a bunch of fish). Had a warden run down and check me last spring because he didn't see me punch a fish last year, fortunately I DID punch it and he just didn't see me do it. Never guessed I was being watched with where I was fishing.

Just do what all the guides on that river do: fish a pegged bead with split shot under an indicator. Or, if you don't want to be damned to eternal life in a lake of fire, swing just about anything. Lots of guys nymph, whether it be stoneflies, larger copper johns, and other buggy stuff or - eccchhh - trout beads. If that's your thing, go for it. As Big Tuna noted, dark marabou spiders swung on a sink tip get it done, particularly in low light conditions. I could tell you his go to color combo but then he would have to kill me. Black or purple string leeches, articulated leeches, tube flies, egg-sucking woolly buggers or leeches swung on a tip work too. So do things like skunks, wooly buggers, muddlers, general practitioners, etc. fished on light tips or maybe even a floating line. You can even catch them on the surface with stuff like greased liners, bombers, or Bill McMillan's steelhead caddis and other skaters and wakers. I remember a few years ago running into a guy who caught a fair number fishing a greyish muddler with a floating line - he would basically flip the fly behind rocks and in other pocket water and whammo - fish on. Just about everything works (or used to work) over there. The biggest problem now - particularly because it is such a small river - is that it gets absolutely hammered, so it has become harder to find undisturbed fish that respond well to traditional tactics. There is a large flotilla of guided and non-guided rafts that row laps through every decent spot of holding water dead drifting beads until they've fished the pool out. Last year was a mandatory 4-fish per day kill fishery on hatchery fish so it didn't take long for this armada of death to remove fresh fish that entered the river. I think the bobber/bead crowd has even scared a lot of the gear guys away, although we did see a guy in toon pulling plugs last year! Seriously, it's a great little fishery if you don't mind the crowds. If you happen to get lucky and be there when there is a fresh pulse of fish that hasn't seen 2,643 trout beads before they see your fly, you actually stand a good chance of catching fish. (I'm exaggerating a few of the downsides of the current Methow experience, but not by much.)
 

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If you can only have one fly, make it a black beadhead wooley bugger size 6,8, or 10. Tie them on stout hooks. You can swing them or fish them under an indicator. As said beforem, don't have to be fancy. I personally like to tie spey style stuff to swing, but the nymph style presentation usually out fishes the swing. For fun, try skating a big hopper or a "waker" on a dry line before it gets cold.
 

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The Methow is going to be packed with anglers in October. I like to fish it in December/January in freezing temps. The river is not in prime shape but I love to fish it when the traffic slows down. In October you can hook a steelie on pretty much any method. Swinging, nymphing, or waking a dry. My advice would be to get out there before light to make sure you get a good run.
 

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card shark
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Rolled muddler, sz 4-6. East side ties should be sparse, and fished from afar.
 

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Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge
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Muddler with chartreuse antron tag, throw it every ware!!!!!

There are people on the river but they are very courteous and generally helpful, much better than some may have you think.....
 

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The crowds on the met are kind of a problem for several weeks after it opens(if it opens, pray with me). You can travel just a little farther and try the Okanogan River between the towns of Mallott and Okanogan. Not as many fish as the Met, but can support a lot more people
 

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card shark
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....For fun, try skating a big hopper or a "waker" on a dry line before it gets cold.
Could not agree more. Watching a steelhead follow and make repeated attempts to grab a skated bomber is better than sex.
 
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