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THE METHOW RIVER

The Methow Valley located in North Central Washington is and continues to be one of the best-kept secrets in the entire Pacific Northwest. With a myriad of outdoor activities to choose from, the Methow Valley has served as a sportsmen's paradise for Washingtonians for decades now. Just one of the many activities practiced in the Methow Valley is fly-fishing for Summer Run Steelhead on the pristine, Methow River.
The Methow River
 
With classic riffle and bolder strewn run after classic run, the Methow River is truly a Steel-heading paradise. This magnificent river affords fly fishermen of every skill level the distinct opportunity to swinging flies, fish heavily weighted wet flies and nymphs or skate and wake dry flies for the most sought after game fish in the world, the Pacific Northwest Steelhead.
 
The Methow River originates high in the North Cascades Mountain Range and meanders through six major vegetation zones with precipitation ranging from 100 inches to 10 inches a year. The Methow dashes, darts cutting its way over eons of time across large river rock boulders as mountain snows thaw during the warming months of spring.
 

Methow River Steelhead

Eventually, the Methow converges with the mother of all steelhead rivers, the Columbia River at the small town of Pateros, Washington. Salmon and steelhead returning to the Methow system must navigate over 500 miles upriver from the salty waters of the Pacific Ocean, while breaching 9 mainstream Columbia River dam passages. A phenomenal feat of nature in its own right.
In their lifetime, these magnificent Pacific Ocean going fish breach these man made obstacles twice. They pass over the dams on the way to the ocean and upon their return to the Methow River. Here salmon and some steelhead will perform their last living passage, the spawning ritual. Surrounded by farmland, timber and bushy, green meadows, the Methow River is truly a fly-fishing paradise, running clean and clear for much of the season. Remaining relatively wild, it is not uncommon to see numerous mule deer feeding along the river or road, eagles and osprey picking at a decaying salmon carcass or the occasional wild turkey sighting. Experience this wild life adventure while you cast flies for some of Washington States finest steelhead east of the Cascades Mountain Range.

A Methow River Wild Steelhead

The Methow River steelhead are a summer run species that enter the Columbia river between the months of June and July. Typically they make their way up river in force during the first couple weeks of September. This however, is dependant solely on the amount of water in both the Columbia and Methow River systems. With high water flow, fish tend to arrive early to the system. During periods of low water and a warm Columbia River watershed, steelhead movements will slow until water conditions improve. Once flows increase and water temperatures recede, steelhead resume their up stream travels.
Low returning Steelhead numbers in the mid nineties prompted an indefinite closure of all sport fishing for salmon and steelhead in the Methow River as well as many other Upper Columbia River tributaries. Since that time, the returning numbers of Steelhead has steadily risen in the Upper Columbia River, due in part to an intensive hatchery rearing program spearheaded by several local, state and private fisheries agencies.
In September of 2002, a “special emergency” opening for catch and release fishing was prompted on the Methow River. To say fishing was good is the understatement of the decade with anglers catching almost unheard of numbers of steelhead on a daily basis. Since then, the steelhead numbers have continued to grow, prompting special openings each year in October for steelhead on the Methow system. Each year we eagerly anticipate the opening of the Methow River, generally during the first few days of October.
Methow River Steelhead
The Worley Bugger guide team attacks the Methow in two differently modes. By October, flows are low in the Methow allowing a steelhead fly fishermen to access the river by foot.  There is plenty of access points along the entire 35 miles stretch of river, where steelhead stage and a fly anglers can nymph, swing or skate a dry fly. Here you have the ability to travel up or down the road in warm, comfortable vehicle targeting key spots throughout the day.
For those that prefer to fish longer stretches of river or want to see more of the Methow, a float trip on a two man raft is also available to you as well.  Here you can fish one full section of river putting the boat in the river at point "A" and float several full miles of river to point "B" while fishing every nook and cranny between.
Anyone who has fished the Methow before knows that at times the fish are in the lower river, sometimes holding in the upper portions, and many days they are in both the upper and lower portions of river.
 
Either way we will be prepared to fish the Methow River with maximum versatility. Utilizing the entire river instead of one specific section of water increase the chances of hooking up and landing a magnificent Methow River Steelhead. If you would like to experience this incredible river for yourself, please contact us well in advanced to insure your day of fishing. A representative of Worley Bugger Fly Co. will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have. 888-950-FISH.
 

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