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Griff's Fly Fishing Adventures fishes the following rivers:

METHOW RIVER

Methow Trout and Scenic Half-Day Floats

Full Day 2 Anglers - includes flies, leaders, tippet and shore lunch $425

Before I tell you about the river, I have to tell you the story about one particularly awesome fish. She was landed just before the 2010 steelhead season ended, taken in a run between Twisp and Carlton by my friend Sue.  We knew we had a winner so we forwarded pictures of the fish to the WDFW Regional Biologist, Bob Jateff, and ask him to have the Department's biologists operating the steelhead trap on the Twisp River keep an eye out for her.  Several weeks later, I stopped by Bob's office to talk with him a bit. It was then that he told me that they had trapped her just days before and that he had some "cool" information to share about her.  Keith Roe, one of Bob's Creel Census Techs, was with me at the time and Keith was also present when I helped Sue land the fish.  Both of us were all ears.  Bob proceeded to tell us that the biologists were able to positively identify her from the pictures. 

Come to find out, they trapped this same fish the year before.  At that time, they put her to sleep, inserted a pit tag in her head so they could track her on their scanner system, and took a scale sample.  After doing DNA testing, they determined that she was a resident Methow River Cutthroat, nine years old when first trapped, making her 10 years old when Sue caught her.  And now the rest of the story:  the Methow River was regulated as a "Catch & Release" river beginning in 2000.  You got it.  She was a juvenile the year the Methow went catch & release.  Believe me, she had the hook scars to prove it.  In fact, she was wearing a big heavy pink jig piercing when we landed her.  What an awesome testimony for "CATCH & RELEASE FISHING."  2011 Update: Sue's fish was trapped again this year! She is now 11 years old and we're keeping our finger's crossed that she'll return again in 2012....  

       The Methow River is an absolutely beautiful, pristine, freestone river flowing out of the North Cascades into the Columbia River at the town of Pateros, Washington.  It flows through the Methow Valley and passes through the towns of Winthrop, Twisp, Carlton, and Methow on its way to the Columbia.  This river produces some of the largest Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout in the State of Washington.  It is also one of, if not the best, dry fly rivers in the northwest.  The trout season is from June 1 through the end of September.  The best dry fly fishing is mid-July after the flows drop and stabilize through the closing in late September.  We normally float the river and fish from the boat, but also spend some time stopping and wading good spots.  Unlike the Yakima, this river also has a returning run of Upper Columbia River summer steelhead.  It is managed as an Endangered Species Act (ESA) management fishery so it does have some unique regulations.  For the last several years, it has been open from mid- October through February or March for the harvesting of hatchery steelhead.  The months of October, November, mid to late February, and March are the best steelhead fishing.  As an ESA managed fishery, wild steelhead can not be targeted or kept and hatchery fish must be kept.  This river only opens for steelhead when the ratio of hatchery fish to wild fish is right and the run is large enough to support the fishery.  Our steelhead fishing is done both wading and using a boat; it depends on the conditions and pressure on the river.  This is a river that can be swung or nymphed.  We fish sections from Winthrop to the closure boundary, however, our main focus is centered around the town of Carlton and below.  This river is worthy of the few extra miles that it takes to get here.  The drive over the North Cascade Highway in the summer is awesome.  The scenic value of this entire region rivals anywhere in the lower forty-eight. 

 

Methow Flow @ Winthrop
Methow Flow @ Pateros

 

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Okanogan River

Full Day 2 Anglers - includes flies, leaders, tippet and shore lunch $425

The Okanogan River is one valley east and about 20 miles from where my home base is.  It is completely different from the Methow. Slowly meandering its way south out of Lake Osoyoos.  The Okanogan is a tributary of the Upper Columbia River.  It empties into the Columbia just upstream of Brewster, WA, some 70+ miles, south of its source.  Part of Lake Osoyoos lies in British Columbia, and part of it is in the United States at Oroville, WA.  

If there is a sleeper steelhead river in this state, it has to be the Okanogan.  To look at it, you would never know that steelhead and salmon swim this river.  Bass, yes, but not steelhead.  Well, I am here to tell you that it definitely has steelhead.  It normally opens for steelhead fishing the first part of October at the same time the Wenatchee, Entiat, and Methow Rivers open.  However, steelhead enter the Okanogan a bit later than the other 3 rivers with the best fishing kicking in late November.  February and March are normally the best months.

The Okanogan also receives a large run of sockeye salmon starting in July.  The last few years those runs have been phenomenal.  They are heading to Osoyoos to spawn.  Along with the steelhead and salmon.  The river contains good numbers of smallmouth bass,  and some locals believe that the next state record smallmouth will come from this North Central Washington stream.  The smallmouth fishing normally picks up after the run-off in June and lasts throughout the summer.

Bank access throughout the river is not easy.  Most of the shoreline is private property, and the east shoreline from the mouth to just upstream of Omak is on the Colville Indian Reservation.  A Tribal Permit is required to access the river on Tribal Lands.  There are boat accesses just upstream of the mouth, at the Monse Bridge, at the mouth of Salmon Creek in the town of Okanogan, at the Omak Stampede Grounds, at the town of Riverside, at the town of Tonasket, and at the Oroville Bridge.

One thing is for sure, I will be spending more time on this river during the winter months and early spring chasing steelhead.  Most of the time when the Methow closes early this river stays open.  And angler numbers is not even close to the kind of pressure seen on the Methow.  You can also be sure that I will be exploring its nooks and crannies for those bronze backs, smallmouth bass, too.

Similkameen River

SIMILKAMEEN RIVER

Full Day 2 Anglers - includes flies, leaders, tippet and shore lunch $425

The Similkameen River runs through Southern British Columbia and discharges into the Okanogan River near Oroville, Washington.  It is approximately 122 miles long, and its drainage basin is 2,900 square miles.  The river is said to be named for an indigenous people named <Similkameigh> meaning "treacherous water".  It contributes 75% of the flow of the Okanogan and crosses the international border between the U.S. and B.C. at the village of Nighthawk, Washington.

The American side of the river is home to Enloe Dam, and from Enloe to its mouth where it empties into the Okanogan is probably 5 miles at most.  So the section that I fish is not very long and because of Enloe steelhead are at the end of their journey when they get here. The fishable section runs along and through Oroville.  I should point out that Enloe was constructed in the 1920's and is no longer operating. Enloe is located in a deep, straight up and down, rock faced gorge that was home to a natural waterfall that was impassable for fish. Anyway, that is what the old timer locals tell me.

There are some awesome runs on the river, and you can definitely catch fish there when the time is right.  No real angler pressure.  Kind of a little hide-out for a loner like me. 

GRANDE RONDE RIVER

Two and three day Package trips with lodging at Boggans Oasis- contact for pricing

This river is in my home country and is one of the most beautiful rivers in one of the most beautiful settings in the country.  A great trout, steelhead, and smallmouth bass river.  This deep canyon is also home to a variety of big game as well as upland birds.  It is not unusual to see deer, elk, bighorn sheep, bear, chukars, grouse, coyotes, mountain lions and cowboys on horseback roaming its steep rugged hillsides.  It is best known for its dry fly steelhead fishing in the fall.  
The best top water steelheading is in late September through October, but the river fishes through the winter and into mid-April when it closes, that is if it doesn't ice over during December and January.  February through mid-April can be awesome using nymphing techniques.  The best fishing during the early spring is between Cougar Creek and Boggan's Oasis. 

At this time of year, the Washington fish are held up above and below the Cottonwood Creek Acclimation Pond. There can be as many as 6,000 fish holding in this approximately 4 mile section of river, and egg patterns can fish well.  The river flows can be kind of volatile this time of year if you get an early run-off.  I have seen it go from about 1500 cfs to 10,000 cfs pretty darn fast and look like chocolate pudding.

The best smallmouth bass and rainbow trout fishing starts in June when the river opens again and extends through the summer.  Fishing is closed mid-April to the first Saturday of June to take the pressure off the spawning steelhead.  Both smallmouth and rainbows can also be taken on dries throughout the summer.  Air temperatures in the canyon in late July and August can easily exceed 100 degrees, so you want to have plenty of water and sunscreen.  A big hat is also very nice.  Buckaroos don't wear big hats just for looks; in fact, their name for the hat is "my shade."

I don't talk much, but I can talk about this river for at least 30 minutes.  My Uncle and Aunt owned a ranch at Enterprise, OR just south of the river, and I spent a lot of summers there.  It is definitely one of my favorites along with the Methow and Klickitat.   

Grande Ronde Flow @ Troy

Local methow and Okanogan valley lakes

Full Day 2 Anglers - includes flies, leaders, tippet and shore lunch $400

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