December 15, 2016
Since we have no steelhead season on the Methow this year, dedicated stream anglers in the area have been left with little opportunity since the end of September. Fortunately, the winter whitefish season has arrived, bringing at least the excuse to get out on the river. Curious how the river is doing? Check out current river flows here I fished a short section of the Methow below Twisp this week, and managed to catch one good sized whitefish on a size 16 bead-head hare’s ear nymph. The Methow is open for whitefish from Gold Creek to Winthrop, and above Weeman Bridge. The Chewuch is also open all the way from the mouth to the Pasayten Wilderness boundary falls. Whitefish gear rules are in effect, limiting you to a single hook with a hook gap of 3/16” or less (standard size 14), though bait is allowed. (See WDFW regs for specifics). Want to try out some new flies or stock up on favorites? Check out our fly selection here Whitefish will usually be found grouped in slower water. Target the lower sections of runs with at least a couple feet of depth. Any small bead-head nymph such a hare’s ear or prince should do the trick, especially if it has a bit of shine to it. You might want to use a bit of split shot to get to the bottom where whitefish feed. I caught this one by jigging my fly near the bottom in a slow current under an overhanging tree. Because it was so cold, it only took a couple hours for me to decide that I’d gotten what I came for: a good tug on my line, a fish to take home for dinner, and most of all, the peace of being in a beautiful place with no one around. (And some frozen fingers). I wish you the same!
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