Have To Be Flexible

When you are a flyfishing guide in North Central Washington you gave to be flexible.  Methow trout season is closed for another season.  What now?  Well, yesterday my long time friend and Manager of the North 40 Fly Shop in Omak went fishing for Lahontan Cutthroat on Omak Lake.  That fishery is starting to pick up as it normally does in the fall.  The catching was slow but Keith managed to land a couple of decent fish.  It is only gong to get better.

 

I also talked with Bill at Boggan's this morning.  He tells me the steelhead catching on the Ronde is pretty darn good right now.  Go figure.  I should be heading down there soon.  At least by the middle of the month.

 

See ya on the river, Rod

Nothing New

Sorry it has been awhile.  But to tell you the truth there is nothing new to report.  We have had a bit of rain recently; however, the river is still low.  The catching has been pretty much the same through this month:  mostly average rainbows with many of them missing their adipose fins.  Dry and dropper combinations have been the best for us.  I do not expect this to change through the rest of September and the season closure the end of the month.

 

Prospects for a steelhead season are slim to none.  And all of us local guides are telling folks there will not be a season.  The number of steelhead currently over Wells is 1,312 and over Priest Rapids is 2,584.  Lower Granite has seen 11,669 so far.  The total number of fish over Bonneville is currently 100,865. The 10 year average for Bonneville is 305,216.  Quite a difference.  

 

I will be traveling to the Grande Ronde soon to set up camp.  There is still time for you to schedule a trip there.  I still have some dates open and will be fishing there through November. 

 

See ya on the river, Rod

We Need Rain

I was off the grid for a few days. Way back up in Texas Creek hanging out.  Nothing has changed much on the river.  It is super low, 217 cfs. at Twisp.  The catching is still about the same.  We are limiting our trips to half day mornings.  And I am preferring to wade right now.  It is not easy finding enough water to put an oar in.

 

I am booking trips for steelhead on the Grande Ronde.  Even though the steelhead numbers are low this year, we do not give up when the going gets tough.  We will be there as long as there is a chance to hook a fish.  I am liking November this year.  But with no season on the Methow, I will be booking trips on the Ronde for late September through November.

 

See ya on the river, Rod

Low, Low Water And Cooler Weather

Whether you are rowing a raft or a drift boat it is a bumpy ride on the Methow right now.  And I think I am the only fool still rowing a drift boat.  That might not continue much longer though.  The flow at Twisp this morning 292 cfs.

 

The cooler temperatures have been nice.  Fall is in the air.  The catching has been pretty much the same.  I have seen a few more cutthroat and a few big ones here and there.  Makes me feel a bit better.  Our last trip was a two boater with Mark, his lovely wife Angela and their two sons.  It was fun.  Angela out caught all the boys.  A dry/dropper combination did the trick.

 

Susan was here on Friday evening and Saturday.  She started down low on the river and picked up another 16 inch fish on Friday and several smaller fish.  Don't forget that the Twisp and Chewuck are closed as of the 15th.

 

See ya on the river, Rod

Smallmouth Bass On The Grand Ronde River

I just got back from two days of bass fishing on the Grande Ronde.  I went there to help out my friends Bill and Farrel at Boggan's Oasis.  I thought I was doing a fly fishing trip.  It turned out to be a conventional gear trip.  I have to say, though, that it was a bunch of fun.  Steve R. was from Missouri, and his Brother-In-Law and son, Jim and John, were from Sisters, OR.  The catching was very, very good.  The size of the bass ranged from about 9 inches up to about 16 inches.  And we missed a few that appeared to be bigger. We also saw a couple of rainbows that were very nice.  Let's say around 15" nice.

 

The Ronde is very low.  It was about 650 cfs. while I was there.  I floated from Cougar to Boggan's the first day, and Boggan's to Shumaker the second day. The second day of catching was better than the first, but both were great.  I am not even going to estimate the number of bass...  I do not count fish, so I lost count after about 5 or 6.  My guests estimated somewhere around 60 the first day.  Black and Crawdad colors were key.  For any of you that are interested in smallmouth bass, give us a call and we can get you set-up for a one or multi-day trip on the Grande Ronde.    Lodging will be provided by Boggan's.  I also want you to know that we can do it your way.  If your way is a spinning reel and rod - no problem.

 

Clint was taking people fishing on the Methow while I was fishing the Ronde.  The Methow is low @385 cfs. this morning at Twisp.  The catching has been consistent.  Mostly adipose clipped rainbows.  However, I was out yesterday evening with my friend Ken.  I released a beautiful 16 or 17 inch cutthroat that I caught on a sz. 14 Yellow Sally pattern.  We may see "HOOT OWL" yet.

See ya on the river, Griff's 

Hot Summer Days

Lots of sunshine! This last week the temperature has been in the mid to high 90's. When I got to the take-out today, the thermometer in my Yukon said 104 degrees.  The river is running about 650 cfs. and continuing to drop.  It is in great shape; but if this weather hangs on like the weatherman says it is, we could see some very warm water soon.  I took a couple of temps today in about 3 to 4 feet of water.  It was about 62 degrees next to the bottom.

 

Catching is still about the same; decent activity but mostly clipped fish with a few wild rainbows mixed in.  And I have been fishing a dry and dropper rig all day long.  Some streamers here and there with minimal success.  Give us a call if you want to throw some dry flies.

 

See ya on the river, Rod 

Lots of Action

This last week we have been on the river every day, and the action has been good.  I fished a dry dropper setup all day, every day and caught fish.  Mostly 8 to 12 inch rainbows, but there were also a handful  of good cutts and rainbows to boot.  The rainbows have been both clipped and wild.  Thursday and Friday I saw more large cutthroats then I have seen since the season started.  I fished with Rob and his son Avery on Friday.  And Rob actually had a very nice cutthroat chase a smaller fish he was trying to land.  Haven't seen that in awhile; it was very encouraging.

 

River conditions are great right now.  The river is continuing to drop.  The flow @Twisp today is 808 cfs., and I am hoping that the catching just keeps getting better and better.  We have a few open days; call us and let us take you down the river.

 

See ya on the river, Rod

It Is Time To Make Hay

The river is 1,720 cfs, @Winthrop and 2,010 @Twisp the is morning and is looking good.  The catching should continue to get better and better.  It is time to make hay.

 

I also checked in on the Klickitat yesterday afternoon.  My old friend Rolf tells me it is off color from a reported slide on the mountain, and there have been a few fish being caught.  This morning I checked the flow and it was 1,650 cfs. @Summit and 1,720 @Pitt.  I am always thinking about steelhead and swinging a fly.

 

See ya on the river, Rod

On The River

Over the last week, I have been on the river three times and have traveled it from Winthrop to Carlton.  The flow has averaged about 4,000 cfs.  And the warm weather has caused it to bump up and down a bit.  It is absolutely great to be back on the river.  There are no major hazards throughout this section, and it is in great shape.  But it is still a bit too high for good catching. Yesterday Clint and I floated Twisp to Carlton. We fished a dry the majority of the time and turned a fair number of fish.  Some small and two or three good cutts that we got a good look at. Zero photos; we are not looking to hook fish right now. We want our guests landing fish not us.

 

No prediction on when it is going to settle down.  Everytime I think it is on its way down for the remainder of the summer; it bumps back up. Right now I am looking forward to about the second week in July...

 

See ya on the river, Rod

River Conditions

I am sorry that this has been such a long time coming. But as you can see during that time we have been busy redoing the website. Feel free to give us feedback on the new site. Anything we can do to make it better for you the viewer.

 

We are still in the runoff period on the river.  The clarity is good and the river looks great - just high. The flow at Winthrop this morning is right at 4,600 cfs. Up about a 1K from a couple of days ago.  So far we have done one trip on the river - a week ago.  The catching was so-so with a handful of average size fish to the Fisknat. We are starting to book trips in July so it would be a great time for you to get on the schedule. I was going to fish with a friend today, but with the bump in flow we decided to hold off and see what happens with the flow today.

 

See ya on the river, Rod & Clint

April 15, 2017:

I was at my property in the Yakima River Canyon yesterday. Getting ready to start setting up my fishing camp there. The river is high and dirty. Not what I want to fish right now. Saw absolutely no one on the river. The flow is just under 5K.

 

The Methow looks a bit like chocolate milk right now. We have had a lot of road closures due to flash flooding all over Okanogan County.  It may be a long run-off season throughout Eastern WA this year.  Shoot, right now it is next to impossible to get to Omak Lake or Rufus Woods.

 

See ya on the river, Rod

March 22, 2017:

My friend Susan and I have spent the last two weekends fishing for Lahontan Cuttthroat at Omak Lake. It has not been red hot,  but we have landed a few nice fish.  The largest was 24" and several others in the 20" class.  We have tried several different patterns; however, olive sculpins have been best. We have talked with several anglers there who have been starting at daylight; they are telling us that from about 06:30 to 09:00 it has been excellent. A fish every cast - so they say. I can tell you this much:  it is a good cure for stagnation and cabin fever...

 

See ya on the river, Rod

March 10, 2017:

"SPEYAGEDDON": a little something to look forward to. Devoted double handed rod caster and angler, Tom McCoy, and I are planning to have a one day double handed rod casting clinic on the Methow River this summer. Tom is a Thomas & Thomas Pro-Staffer. We are currently working out the details, but we plan on having it on a Saturday mid-July. It will be a hands on clinic and there is no cost. Stay tuned - more coming. We just wanted to "whet your appetite." Oh by the way "SPEYAGEDDON" is Tom's choice for an event name.  You will have to ask him

 

Whitefish season closed on the Methow today.  The reason: WDFW had an incidental wild steelhead catch and release quote for the season and it was reached.  Beautiful day here today. Sunshine about 40 degrees and water running everywhere. Most of the secondary roads are a mess.  

 

See ya on the river, Rod

March 1, 2017:

Here we are at March 1, and we still have 2 feet of snow. The only good thing about it is:  it is hard enough on top to walk on. I am about to go stir crazy. I have only fished probably 2 or 3 times since getting home from the Grande Ronde the first part of November. Not being able to chase steelhead on the Methow, Okanogan and Similkameen has "SUCKED".  It has been a long winter. 

 

See ya on the river, Rod

January 23, 2017:

It has been a long winter here; seems like forever. With the steelhead fishing closed this year, the months have been dragging.  Right now the only thing in the valley is Rocky Mountain Whitefishing on the river and ice fishing the lakes. The best trout fishing half-way close to us is Rocky Ford. However, Omak Lake should be picking up SOON for the Lahontan Cutthroat.

 

I would like all of you to know that we will be doing trout trips on the Yakima River this spring; mid February through early June. Both Clint and I have spent a good deal of time guiding the Yakima in the past. The spring and fall is when the fishing is best in my opinion. Lots of naturals, skwala stoneflies, blue winged olives, pale morning duns, march browns, caddis etc., and the catching can be epic at times. I own property just upriver from Rosa and just up the hill from Mahre's. I will be setting up a camp there for the spring fishing. The biggest fish we have caught on the Yakima have been during the spring in the canyon from Bighorn to Rosa. By the way, the property is for sale and listed with ZipRealty, Inc.

 

Come late June we will be back on the Methow chasing cutthroat.

 

See ya on the river, Rod