Fishing: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) district fish biologist Bob Jateff of Twisp reports that salmon fishing in the mainstem Columbia River is picking up with the approach of August. “An increasing number of sockeye salmon are being caught right off the mouth of the Okanogan River,” Jateff said. “Chinook salmon fishing has been slow, but should pick up as more fish pass Wells Dam.”
Jateff reminds anglers the daily catch limit is six salmon, of which no more than three can be chinook, and only one chinook can be a wild, unmarked fish.
The action should also pick up on the Methow River and its tributaries, now that stream flows are finally dropping to fishable levels, he said, noting that those waters are catch-and-release only and that selective gear is required. He advises anglers to check the sportfishing rules pamphlet to be sure which areas are open to fishing.
“Smaller tributaries within the Methow system are good during the summer for anglers who want to catch and keep brook trout,” Jateff said. “Eightmile, Falls, and Boulder creeks are all tributaries to the Chewuch River that hold brook trout. The daily limit on Falls and Eightmile Creeks is five fish, and on Boulder Creek it’s 10 fish. There is no minimum size for brook trout in these waters.”
Jateff says lake fishing throughout the Okanogan district generally slows down during the hotter months, except for waters at high elevation. “Alpine lake fishing action picks up as the trails become more accessible,” he said. “Most high country lakes either have reproducing populations of trout or are sustained by periodic fish plants. Cutthroat trout is the main species in a lot of these waters.”
Jateff noted that anglers who fish deep during the cooler parts of the day – very early or late – can catch some nice rainbow trout in the lower elevation waters, too. “Wannacut Lake near Oroville, for example, is a deep lake that seems to hold up well over the summer,” he said.
Anglers can find specific information about fishing waters throughout the region, county by county, in WDFW’s <