Wow! What a difference a few CFS (cubic feet per second) makes. Recently the Methow’s flows peaked at about 1570 cfs at the Pateros U.S.G.S. field monitoring site at that point fishing was pretty tough for all involved. Move ahead a few 45 degree days and some 25 degree nights and we see a steady decline in flows. While we still sit well above the sixty five year average there has been an almost instant change in the mood of the fish.
In a lot of ways increased flows can lead to even better fishing on the Methow river as it has a way of not only bringing fish up but also it spreads them out leading to good fishing in many sections of the river and lots of good runs to go around. Right now fishing has been most consistent for me in an area centered around Carlton but just yesterday I was able to pull in a nice buck in just a short time in Winthrop.
With flows fast and high as they are most fish seem to be holding in the softer water either on insides, tail-outs or perhaps just the right rock or break in flow. Swinging leaches and buck tail on sink-tips has produced well and with water swollen bank to bank it’s been fairly conducive as well. The most effective presentation as of late has been the stone fly with a Hevi Bead dropper; my favorite right now is the pink and orange. Remember when working drifts now more than ever to Slow It Down, I think that’s why the Hevi Bead has been the ticket lately as it has a way of dragging with-out hanging up and it gets down quick.
I can’t stress enough to be careful this year on the Met, I don’t wade across this river on foot even in Winthrop until the flows at Pateros are less than 1000cfs. Just use your head, go with a buddy, use a staff, wear a belt, yadda yadda all that stuff but take it seriously nothing ruins a fishing trip more than getting wet or worse.
On a lighter note it looks like its pretty much time to get it on from now until the end of March barring flow spikes or season shut-downs. Just keeping checking in, I’ll do my best to keep you informed. If you would like to book a trip just drop me a line on the Guides page or at (509) 429-7298. Be careful out there, take care of one another and get that Fish On!