Eastern Washington Fishing Report

Lake fishing takes second place to river fishing in most of the West, but in eastern Washington that may not be the case. That’s because eastern Washington, and especially north-central Washington, abounds with quality lake fishing options. Rainbows, browns, and the unique Lahontan cutthroat, which may grow to 15 pounds or more on some waters, slam flies on a regular basis. That said, don’t forget your river options here—you’ll find steelhead on the Okanagan, Similkameen and Methow rivers, and big cutthroats and ‘bows on other area streams. If you’re headed to north-central Washington we have advice—pack a variety of rods because you’ll need them.

    Methow River (WA)

    With the warmer weather, the river is starting to bump up. Right now, it is at 2960 cfs and I would wager it will continue to rise a little each day and then start to come down a little by next week. The water clarity is still very good and should do ok for those wanting to give it a try. Always a word of caution, when the river is at its current level and rising, do not venture too far out into the current. Matter of fact, if you can stay out of it, I would strongly recommend it. For the most part, do not try crossing the river right now. Instead, work along the shorelines. Swinging streamers has been productive for myself and a some of the people I know. The fish are not too far from shore, depending on the location you are fishing. I've had good action within 5 feet of the shoreline. Still, not seeing much dry fly activity. Nymphing is another good idea that has had some good results for a few people. It seems, no one pattern is working better than another, with the exception being a red San Juan Worm. Maybe it's because of the runoff, but either way, this pattern is working. I would recommend the #8 Skulpzilla, #4 TFP Montana Mini Montana Intruder or a #4 TFP Stinging Smolt if you are so inclining to swing flies.

    Davis Lake (WA)

    Water temps seem to be doing ok for now and should hold for the upcoming weekend. Fishing from first light to about noon will be your best time to be on the water. The rainbows are still on the bite in about 12-20 feet of water. (Not much for shore access so bring your boat.) Most of the rainbows are going to run from 14-16 inches with some nice carryovers now and then. Watch your water temps -anything about 65 degrees can cause a real problem for the fish's health. Early mornings till about 11:00 a.m. would be my best recommendation. It's that time of the year when you need to be going down for them, so use a #12 Pumpkin head leech, #12 black or olive Chan's BMW. These have been working lately. The weather outlook for this coming weekend looks pretty good.

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