Methow Opens for Steelhead

One of the prettiest streams on the planet is Washington’s Methow and it recently opened to fly fishing for steelhead. That should cause an alarm to go off in your brain chiming, “Go there and fish.” The Methow isn’t known for giant steelhead, but I’ve caught 10 to 15-pounders there, on swung flies and nymphing. If I go back this year it’s going to be all about the swing, with egg-sucking leeches and Pick Yer Pockets. Following is a little more info on the fishery and what’s going on there. ┬áLet me know if you hit the Methow.


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on Wednesday opened sport fishing for hatchery steelhead on the mainstem upper Columbia River and in central Washington tributaries, the Wenatchee, Icicle, Methow and Okanogan rivers, until further notice.

In addition, the WDFW announced that the Similkameen River will open to hatchery steelhead retention beginning Nov. 1.

Jeff Korth, regional fish manager for WDFW, said approximately 14,000 adult steelhead are expected to return to the upper Columbia River this year — enough to allow the department to open area steelhead fisheries.

Korth noted, however, that fishing will be more tightly regulated than last year because fewer hatchery steelhead are projected to return this year and wild steelhead are expected to make up a higher proportion of the run.

“Careful management is required to protect naturally spawning steelhead listed under the federal Endangered Species Act,” Korth said. “While these fisheries traditionally remain open through the winter, we may have to close fishing early due to the higher number of encounters with wild steelhead expected this year.”

Korth said anglers should check WDFW’s website ( throughout the season for possible changes in the fishing regulations.

On all rivers, anglers will have a daily limit of two hatchery steelhead, marked with clipped adipose fins and measuring at least 20 inches in length. Anglers are required to immediately release any steelhead with READ MORE

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3 Responses to Methow Opens for Steelhead

  1. Sam Lungren says:

    I got my first steelhead in Okanagan and my first on the fly in the Methow. Great streams over there!

  2. Sam says:

    Greg… We have our fly shop going in Omak now so ill be around a bit… Let me know if you make it over… Quite a few of the areas around have been good recent.


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