After battling high flows for weeks we are starting to see an end to streamers and nymphing and we can start focusing on some good pocket water and seam fishing as the river drops. There’s no doubt that the river is shaping up and as the summer moves forward there will be some great fishing ahead. We have been seeing caddis through out the day and the the yellow sallie’s hatching late in the day. Although the terrestrials have yet to show up in abundance we still have been mostly productive hooking fish with a size 8 terrestrial pattern dropping it with sallies and caddis and have great luck on them all. try a big foam pattern to get some attention and drop it with a small yellow stone anywhere from 10″ to 18″ below and you will see some great results if your fishing the right water. The flow is still high enough to create some dangers in both floating and wading so be careful and remember to stay hydrated in this hot weather and if you have any questions give us a call. (509) 429-2974 or Check out our guiding page to get all the information needed on booking a guided Methow River fly fishing trip with us and always remember to respect the fish!
The peak of the spring Methow River run off has subsided and we are starting to see a decrease in flows. Some hotter weather and rain might show a quick spike in flow before we hit rock bottom. Every year it’s the same old high flow battle but we still manage to pick a few fish here and there. The high flows can create many challenges for the Methow guides,anglers, and the fish. As a guide in high flows you have do a lot of back rowing to keep anglers nymph drifts consistent and swings productive. A healthy 30lb anchor and some meat on the shoulders can help too. It’s all about casting at the the banks,tail outs and back eddies. Working slow water is where you can find fish in high flows as they are trying not to exert to much energy in the fast current. Taking a break in these waters is a must when the flows are 2500 CFS and higher. It’s not quite hopper season yet but never rule out a big fat foam pattern in late June cause the trout will smash the hell out of it if introduced. Swinging streamers in these targeted areas can produce some nice Methow gold when fished the right way. The yellow sallies will start to come off by late June early July so nymphing slow water under a foam pattern has worked year in and year out for us since the early 1970s. Just kidding, we aren’t that old but seriously it works!! Concentrate on slow water and as the month goes on it will shape right up. Good luck anglers!!
What can I say about the VestPac. Well I can say a lot. It’s not like most chest packs and when we were first introduced to them by our friend Casey in Wyoming we were excited because not only was the pack cool it was new and different and the company was a small start up, and who doesn’t like to support a small start up that has awesome new products. The first thing I thought about the pack was there wasn’t much to it and it reminded me of the packs that heli loggers use in the woods to hold there radios and chew cans. After using the pack it became so versatile to what we do as anglers. The owner of the VestPac is not only a fly angler but a avid skier and had both sports in mind while designing the pack. The Vestpac is a light weight pack that has a hydration system that is removable from the back side. It’s 3d air mesh design acts like a climate control system when your hot. Whether your skiing or on the water and it gets wet I’ve noticed it doesn’t retain the water and become heavy. The unit fits snug under your ski or wade coat and fits perfect on the chest for easy access and it’s almost like it’s not even there. Now I’ve owned several different packs and they all serve there purposes for different occasions and work just fine but I’ve found that the VestPac is the go to pack for a day trip. I can put everything I need to be successful on the water in my VestPac and even a little more. You can conveniently attach fly boxes to the inside of the fold down flap with velcro strips which are included in package when you buy one. For as long as VestPac has been selling these chest packs we have been wearing them and I can tell you that they are awesome and all our guides wear them while guiding and fishing. Check out there website for more details www.vestpac.com
Over the years we have taken many people on guided fly fishing trips in the Methow Valley. We have had some of the best times on the water with them, but when I think of some of the greatest stories we have its all been with kids. I get the biggest smile on my face because sharing knowledge with the kids is where the passion begins. Don’t get me wrong, some kids aren’t in to fishing and when you get out on the water they just want to throw rocks and trample through the brush and mud. However, when they really take to fishing it’s so cool to watch little tikes set the hook on monster fish and land them on a fly rod. Their ear to ear smiles they have on their faces is priceless and they are truly the future of our sport and will carry on the legacy and art of fly fishing for years to come. Here’s some of our stories guiding kids fishing.
Taylor is one of my good friend’s kids who at the time I think was only 6 or maybe 7. They had moved back to the Valley and Clint (Dad) wanted to catch steelhead so as you all know steelhead fishing can sometimes be challenging and we weren’t having the best luck. We had been fishing hard for 2 days and still no steelhead for Clint, so on the third day we decided to take his son Taylor out fishing with us. There we were, two grown men out in the river, waders on, expensive rods and big casts but no steel. We had set Taylor up on the bank with a rod and all of sudden we hear “I got one guys, I got one”! Clint and I look at each other and we both say “Rock” then we hear a massive splash like a boulder hitting the water and we look over and there he is, Mr. steel, tail walking on the end of Taylor’s line and while he’s just reeling and reeling with a big smile on his face. We ran through the water, I think I might have fallen and we are yelling “stop reeling”. Rod doubled and the fish making acrobatics moves Taylor finally land his first steelhead before his dad.
These youngster’s parents called us wanting some casting lessons. As most of you guys know it can be hard to teach kids at times because they are not always focused on what you are trying to teach and these two boys where absolutely not interested in fly fishing. So after going through the 10 and 2 mechanics of a fly cast I could tell that I was loosing them so we went to the water and my thought was if I could get a fish on right away and they could witness it then I could get them back. I made a cast, nothing. I made one more cast and nailed a fish. Both boys saw this and were immediately at my hip watching and asking questions. After I released the fish they both picked up their rods and started working through what I had just taught them. While this was happening I could see that the 15 inch brown trout I had just caught was still hanging around in the shallows and while one of the boys was trying to manage his line I watched his bug sink and that brown swam over and literally pick up the bug of the bottom and darted into the depths. We ended up landing the fish and capturing the moment.
Maria had never been fishing and when her dad called to book the trip he said that he really wanted her to have a good experience fishing so that someday they could both share a passion for fly fishing together. Her dad was doing well casting a hopper dropper system and had landed a fish or two but Maria was empty handed and starting to get frustrated. By lunch we had stopped and started to eat and she kept fishing a little orange stimulator and while we where eating she hooked her first fish ever and the look on her and her dads face was one I will never forget.
I’ve guided seasoned veterans that have been in the game for 50 years and Ive guided novas and new anglers time and time again but there’s nothing like sharing your knowledge and passion for fly fishing with kids who are truly the future generation that will carry on the art of fly fishing. Fly fishing can teach youngsters so much, it can teach patience and motivation. Its shows you how to look outside the box and try new things. It teaches you to never quit on something just because you had one bad day. It’s showed me how to relax, listen and enjoy what is going on around me and not to ever take it for granted. If I had any advice for parents it would be to get your kids outdoors so they can experience the true tranquility that it offers and the valuable life lessons that might be learned.
For years I felt a sense to give back. I’ve always felt like it was my duty to give back to my community, help with a cause or donate my time. It’s hard to pick one cause to reach out to but I’ve made it a personal goal to donate my efforts in any way possible to help them all from this point on. Over the years I’ve put it on the back burner because of my busy life schedule but often I think about it and feel a sense of anxiety that I haven’t met this one personal goal and that maybe my donation can make that little bit of a difference and who know maybe it might just crest that threshold for the foundation or cause. At first it made no sense due to the fact that we had to make a living, but finally we have found a way to help donate to a good cause. We have made a pretty big hat order and have decided that we will donate 50% of the proceeds from every sale of our hats to the Casting for Recovery foundation to help the fight against breast cancer. I’ve never been more excited to get out in the community and get these hats sold so we can start getting funds to the foundation. You can donate to by visiting the website at castingforrecovery.org
Flowing out of the North Cascade Mountain Range is the Methow River. A freestone stream that stretches over 80 miles through the Methow Valley’s beautiful national forest, farm lands, and the small western theme town of Winthrop. The Methow Valley is a do it yourself kind of place where Methow made products like roasted coffee, grains, beer and wine is not uncommon. The recreation in the Methow is exceptional and offers many options for the outdoor enthusiast. In the winter its the snow sports and steelhead fishing, and the loup loup ski area provides the community with a local ski hill just a few miles from any Methow Valley town. The cross country trail system is the largest in North America with miles of groomed trail to explore. Summertime in the valley provides a lot of hiking, biking, horseback riding and yes, more fishing.
For our group of guys there is a season for fishing during most other outdoor seasons we take part in, and when we have a season of fishing you can bet we take advantage of it. We grew up fly fishing the Methow River. Searching for that big catch on the river was a great activity for us as youngsters. For me there’s nothing like floating the Methow River, casting for trophy trout and navigating the stream. When you’re out on the water floating. you’re free; free from your daily grind, free from the stress or hectic fast pace life we sometimes live. There is never a problem you have in your life that can follow you to the river. It’s all left at the bank before you step foot in the water and will most likely be easier to deal with after you leave and I think that’s why fishing is a form of meditation for some.
It’s all about preparation. We spend all night before the trip getting flies tied, rods rigged up, new leaders and tippet set, the raft cleaned and many beverages and food items stocked in the cooler. Hours of preparation for a few seconds of glory is always rewarding but most of all it’s humbling, humbling to know that serenity is always just a cast away. Double checking with our clients the night before is not unusual, and after all this we might get a few hours of sleep. We are up early with locally brewed coffee from Lariat Coffee Roasters in Winthrop to load up the equipment, meet and greet our clients and hit the H2O. We spend any where from 4 to 7 days a week and 4 to a 8 hours and day on the water with clients or just with each other mastering the art of the fly fisherman. Our customers can count on local experienced guides that have been fly fishing their entire lives and take pride in what they do. At Globetrouters it’s not only important that we show our clients the best Methow angling experience possible but that we gain friendships that will last a lifetime.
Our guide staff is one of the best in the Methow Valley. They have a lifetime of fly fishing experience and have been professionally guiding for years. Our trips consist of local, knowledgeable guides that strictly fly fish and always give 100% of their efforts to make your day a success. There is no doubt that when you fly fish the Methow River with one of the Globetrouters you have not only gained a wealth of knowledge but a friendship.
Spring is in the air and with spring brings the beautiful vibrant colors of the Methow. The hills begin to turn green and the river brown. The flowers on the hills bloom almost to make a painting by Ginger Reddington. Locals burn weeds and dead grass to get a head start on lawn maintenance and fire control. The sun is more potent now and there is usually always a mild gust of wind. Businesses are getting prepared for the big summer months and patiently await for the pass to be opened.
For us it’s the low land lake opener. As we put down our 7wt fly rods and 10 lbs tippets and leaders for steelhead, we pick up our 4wt rods and begin rigging them for the still water of the low land Methow Lakes. The lakes that aren’t covered in ice now fish great if they are open but as the ice melts from the surface of the lakes, we start seeing a rise in temperatures. The wind starts to turn sediments and nutrients up from the bottom of the lake, and the turn over begins. After this transition it will usually take a few weeks for the fishing to pick up again.
The transition from steelhead fishing on the river to still water trout is huge. It’s a break from the big casts and big bugs, essentially making small and fewer casts per day for smaller fish. For me it’s the scenery, with every change of fishing season comes an evolution of scenery that is remarkable, and that for me is just as good as catching big fish. It gets you primed for the river opener in June and an opportunity to dial your equipment in to a tee. For some, it’s a chance to wipe the dust of the old aluminum boat and trolling motor that never gets enough use. This is also a time to get the kids out on the water for the first time to teach them the basics of the fly cast and how to tie knots. Still water fly fishing is the best way for new fly fisherman to master the art of the cast.
The Methow low land lake fishing opener is always highly anticipated by avid anglers and is a great way to get the family out on the water to have a ton of fun. The opening day is Saturday April 26th. Have Fun!
Exercise Good Fly Fishing Ethics
Growing up we all have been taught how to be respectful to others and a good sport. For most, it starts with playing organized sports. Competing with your fellow teammates to win a spot on the team or playing other schools for a better standings in the league. Competitiveness is instilled in just about everyone and sometimes if you let it get the best of you, you can jeopardize your integrity. I’ve seen a lot of things on the water that would make your great grandpa want to bend you over his knee for a spanking.
They say that the “Tug is the Drug” and we all are addicts for the tug. Anglers spend lots of time getting all rigged up to hit the water. They hit the water with a sense of urgency to get to the best spot before the next guy and stick that monster fish. But sometimes you just didn’t get up early enough, and there, in your spot is that teenage kid that is always up earlier than you. The thing that anglers forget is that they aren’t the only guy with an addiction to fishing and that though you worked hard for that spot, there is miles of other water to fish. When I come across another angler on a stretch of water that I want to fish I simply engage them in conversation, talk fishing, and politely ask if I can work the hole behind what they have already fished. Nine times out of ten the other angler is OK with that. If not, I say thanks and I find a new spot. While guiding on the water I’ve come across the same situation and almost every time I will bring my clients somewhere else. We must exercise good fly fishing ethics on the water. Who wants to fish right next to someone anyway. Here are a few anglers and situations you might come across on your stream.
The “Stand off” which in my early days I have been involved in. The “Stand Off” is where you get to your favorite fishing spot and you look onto the stretch of water you love so much and see fish, only to look across the river to see that there is another angler scoping your spot. The “Stand Off” begins when you make eye contact with the other angler for a couple seconds wondering who is going to move first, then make a mad dash to the hole to get your line wet first. That happened to me once and I felt so ashamed that I ended up giving the spot up to the guy.
Then there is the “Mad Angler”. This guy is usually not from your home waters and drove for hours to hit this one spot that he fishes every year. He’s tired and eager to nail a fish and is on a schedule. Don’t mess with this guy because you will find yourself getting cussed out and you and him will most likely be rolling around on the bank, river brawling.
My favorite is the “River Rock Star”. This guy is all about being well known as a guide or fly angler. He usually has some sweet gear and will do anything, I mean anything to capture the moment of his glorious catch to share on social media. Taking selfies with fish underwater and getting a possible sponsor logo in the shot is not beneath him.
The “New Guide”. The new guide is usually a great angler but has not been on the water with clients enough and doubts his guiding abilities. This guide is basically shameless. He’s all these anglers wrapped in one but has the $400 bill hanging on his shoulders and wants a big tip. This guide will usually bring clients to the same spawning grounds to hammer the fish over and over again. These guides usually have lots of confrontation with other anglers and guides. Ethics are something he more than likely is unaware of. Making his clients happy is priority and he will go to great lengths to secure a hefty tip.
The “Novas Angler”. The novas angler has all good intentions but lacks the knowledge that time on the water gives an angler. Mentors for novas anglers are a must. These guys have spent more time on Google and fishing forums than on the water. They need to know the basics of fish handling, identification, ethics, and state rules. No fault of their own. Hiring a guide will always progress you faster through the sport.
“Guide On Guide Brutality”. This is where two guides in competition come across each other on the water. Egos flaring and eager clients wanting to get on fish will make rival guides say anything. Avoid this by all costs. Your client will respect you more if you ignore the confrontation.
Anymore it’s not about the good old thrill of a great fish to catch and release or a story to tell your friends over beers, but it’s come to be about a long handled fish photo to share on social media sites to get likes or catching the biggest fish. Respect your fellow angler. It’s truly on our generation to teach good ethics and educate so that the kids and novas anglers alike can enjoy fishing the right way and we are able to catch these fish for years to come without negative occurrences. The sport is one of the last pure sports we have, and with it’s purity there really is no place for unethical actions, because at the end of the day, it’s about the fish and the Kids.
Methow River Steelhead Report – After all the accumulation of snow this week in the Methow we still have managed to get some warmer weather and hit the Methow River to chase some steelhead. We have been finding fish in the slow walking pace water at the end of the run, hooking up with fish on both the swing and dead drift. This time of year it’s all about the double beaded stones and chironomid droppers at a 4-6 foot depth that has proven to be very productive. The fish are spread out throughout the system so pick your water wisely. To be successful at nymph fishing for steelhead it’s all about a good up stream cast, mending your line, and having a solid dead drift. Having no drag while maintaining a taught line for a hook set that will make for a solid connection. Really, the list goes on but just remember the basics and have fun. Also remember that you need a fishing license with a catch record card and a steelhead endorsement (Link Below). The Methow River is single barbless hook only and has a mandatory retention on hatchery steelhead. If you catch a adipose present steelhead you must keep it in the water and release it unharmed immediately. That’s right guys no trying to one hand the fish and get a picture with the other hand to show the world. Bring a net and a buddy and cut your time in half and save a fish. We are now booking Methow River steelhead trips for the rest of February and March that include 15% off. You can contact us at 509.429.2974 or email us at i[email protected]
Methow Fishing Report – Cool mornings and warm afternoons are making for some great steelhead fishing with a beautiful change of climate throughout the days on the Methow River. Splitting time between walk wading and floating has shown to be very productive and using golden and black stone flies 4-6ft deep has proven us much luck in this late season. Get out and fish and if you need the Globetrouters guidance you can book your Methow fishing guide trip today with Globetrouters Guide Service by calling 509-429-2974 or email us at [email protected]
We value our customers and want to save them as much money as possible for their help in supporting our business which in turn helps sustain our local economy. Hiring a guide to fish your favorite stream can get expensive over the years and at Globetrouters we understand that. That’s why when you fish with us you will only pay our full price one time and then you will receive 15% off for life on any of our guided trip services. We will also be giving 15% off any guided trip booked before May 1st. Take a look at our guiding page to take advantage of other ways to save on your next guided trip.
We have got word that the 2013 steelhead season will open on October 16th and like always, we are excited to get out there and cast for monster steelhead. For us, The Methow River steelhead season has been something we have valued for years as locals growing up in the Methow and we invite all anglers of all experience levels to come with us on a day of steelheading and we will teach you a combination of instruction and successful fishing techniques and of coarse an amazing one on one experience with your guide packed with knowledge. Our Methow River steelhead guides are locals that have studied the Methow River waters and have proven successful time and time again. This season is looking pretty good with 5,580 hatchery fish and 2,700 wild fish coming over the Rock Reach Dam. (See links below) The season may be short so book your trip with us as soon as possible and receive 15% off your next trip with us. Tight Lines!!
Today we had a guides day off for a little Methow fishing and you know what guides do on their day off? We fish. We floated a lower section of the Methow and had an absolute amazing day. We floated a good 8 miles of water on our new Outcast Pac 1300 raft which makes for a perfect angling experience on any stream. The fish were hungry and strong taking just about every foam hopper and stonefly pattern we had. Later in the day a monster drake hit me in the face in mid cast and I was able to catch some great photos of it (see picture below). We only had green drake patterns but a brown stimulator worked just as good and we continued to put fish in the net. We put well over 25 fish to the net and had many fish commit the quick release. We have had a great month with clients doing a lot of catching and having a great time soaking in the sun and of coarse the awesome Methow views. For all you folks wondering about how the Methow fishes in July, stay up to date with our blog and contact us about trips and river levels.