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retired to fish
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone fish the Methow for steelhead in the spring? My Dentist says its the place to be in March. I'm planning on going over for a few days and would be interested in your experiences.
 

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Still fly fishing in the PCW
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5,370 Posts
Welcome to WFF! The Methow, like other rivers, fishes better in the spring than the dead of winter as the water temps increase and the fish prepare to spawn. Is it the place to be in March? The fish have been in the river for months so many people prefer to head over to the Olympic Peninsula to target fresh, bright fish. However, there are fish in the river and people who can identify likely holding water and make a good presentation may have success. If you are new to steelheading and/or haven't fished the Methow before, I don't know that your success rate will be any different on the Methow than anywhere else until you figure it out. While the fish will be more active in March, it is still steelheading so a hook-up is by no means a sure thing and it can fish ok one day and be a total bust the next. Methow steelhead tend to be very trouty so nymphing small traditional trout patterns can be productive or if you prefer to swing, there is great swinging water and again, small sparse patterns can work well. Everybody has their favorite bugs and techniques so don’t be afraid to try things in which you have confidence.

If you go, please read the emergency regulations very carefully. The wild steelhead in this river are ESA-listed so it has some very special and unusual regulations. The river is open for the sole purpose of removing the hatchery steelhead to prevent them from spawning and because of that, anglers must harvest any hatchery fish they catch, up to a limit of 4, then they must stop fishing for the day. Releasing hatchery fish will get you a big fine and WDFW is watching this closely. All wild steelhead must be released without removing them from the water. If you are not willing to kill all the hatchery fish you catch, you should head over to the Olympic Peninsula for brighter fish that you can catch and release. If you’re going to be up in the Methow anyway, then bring your rod and have fun, just be sure you understand the rules and purpose of this unique fishery.
 

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dirty dog
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5,326 Posts
An electrician I had working for me last week showed me pics of 4 limits taken in the Methow two weeks ago.
Three guys + three limits = 12 beautiful hatchery steel head for the bbq.
I would say you better get after the Methow soon before it gets closed.
PM for details on what fly was used.
 
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