A brand-new, pocket-sized fishing guide will tell you exactly where to go and what to fish for.
If you were raised in a fishing family you’ll have heard of the legendary fishing in Okanogan Country and the upper Columbia River.
In fact, you might even have fished there yourself — perhaps first as an infant in a full-body life vest, strapped to your mom’s chest and wide-eyed at all the beauty around you. Then maybe as a toddler with your first-ever, very-own fishing pole. You might even remember the first time you touched a cold, slimy fish with your tiny finger, the awe and delight (or maybe fear) that spread across your face as you looked at the thing you had just caught, yes indeed, by your very own self.
If you didn’t have the great fortune to be raised as a fishing-person, then this is your lucky day. There’s a brand-new, pocket-sized fishing guide that will tell you exactly where to go and what to fish for on your next destination fishing adventure to Okanogan Country.
The locally famous “Fishin’ Magician,” Dave Graybill, hand selected, wrote and consulted on each of the 26 locations in this 44-page guide.
With full-color pictures, maps, directions and lots of juicy details, this handy-dandy free guide will get you fishing in no time!
Here are a few highlights to whet your appetite.
GRAND COULEE || Lake Roosevelt
This big reservoir above Grand Coulee Dam has been known for excellent fishing for kokanee, rainbow trout, walleye and smallmouth bass for years. The kokanee state record is from Lake Roosevelt, weigh in at over 6 pounds, and anglers expect to set a new record every year. In the winter months there are boats scattered from just above the dam up to Keller Ferry looking for these big kokanee. Although the limit is just two, fish anglers flock to Roosevelt to get them.
Anglers will fish deeper and deeper as the water warms in the spring and summer.
Rainbow trout are planted at a rate of 750,000 each year. These are triploided and grow fast. It is not unusual to catch trout weighing 3 pounds while fishing for kokanee. Fishing along the shore, particularly on shallower flats, can be amazing.
UPPER OKANOGAN || Palmer Lake » Loomis
Close to the town of Loomis, this large lake in north Okanogan Country is big on opportunity for anglers year-round. In the spring, the kokanee attract anglers here for their size and numbers. Some years Palmer produces kokanee more than 18 inches long. Also in the spring, Palmer lake is known to produce big large-mouth bass and some of the biggest smallmouth bass found anywhere in the state. It also supports a very good population of yellow perch and whitefish. There are also rainbow trout, black crappie and bluegill.
PATEROS || Alta Lake » Pateros
This has been a family favorite for decades. This scenic, deep lake is just a couple of miles from Pateros and is the first trout lake encountered as you enter the Methow Valley. Be prepared to catch some fat rainbow trout of exceptional size and maybe some kokanee, too. There is a state park and a boat launch on the north shore.
METHOW || Methow River
If there is a river in heaven, it must be the Methow. Wandering more than 80 miles through the scenic valley, it has the classic bends and riffles that make anglers’ mouths water, and for good reason. The water not only looks good, it is full of a variety of game fish. When the spring runoff settles down, the fishing for big rainbow and cutthroat is outstanding, and it lasts clear through the summer. Spring salmon are now appearing in the river in good enough numbers to allow fishing for them in the May or June time frame. In the fall it is known for some of the best steelhead fishing in the state. It attracts anglers, particularly fly fishers, from all over the country.
The fishing seasons for spring salmon, steelhead and coho are announced through emergency regulations by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and anglers need to look for these announcements through the WDFW website. The trout seasons are detailed in the WDFW Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.
Enjoy some fishy fun when you journey to sunny Okanogan Country. Get your free copy of the Okanogan Country Fishing Guide, either digital or print (while supplies last).