Methow River Float Trip with Worley Bugger Fly Co

/ Boat
1 - 2 anglers
1 day
Reza A
Response rate: 
Response time:
1 hour
The Methow Valley located in North Central Washington is and continues to be one of the best-kept secrets in the entire Pacific Northwest. With a myriad of outdoor activities to choose from, the Methow Valley has served as a sportsmen's paradise for Washingtonians for decades now. Just one of the many activities practiced in the Methow Valley is fly-fishing for Summer Run Steelhead on the pristine, Methow River.

With classic riffle and bolder strewn run after classic run, the Methow River is truly a Steel-heading paradise. This magnificent river affords fly fishermen of every skill level the distinct opportunity to swinging flies, fish heavily weighted wet flies and nymphs or skate and wake dry flies for the most sought after game fish in the world, the Pacific Northwest Steelhead.

The Methow River originates high in the North Cascades Mountain Range and meanders through six major vegetation zones with precipitation ranging from 100 inches to 10 inches a year. The Methow dashes, darts cutting its way over eons of time across large river rock boulders as mountain snows thaw during the warming months of spring.

Eventually, the Methow converges with the mother of all steelhead rivers, the Columbia River at the small town of Pateros, Washington. Salmon and steelhead returning to the Methow system must navigate over 500 miles upriver from the salty waters of the Pacific Ocean, while breaching 9 mainstream Columbia River dam passages. A phenomenal feat of nature in its own right.

In their lifetime, these magnificent Pacific Ocean going fish breach these man made obstacles twice. They pass over the dams on the way to the ocean and upon their return to the Methow River. Here salmon and some steelhead will perform their last living passage, the spawning ritual. Surrounded by farmland, timber and bushy, green meadows, the Methow River is truly a fly-fishing paradise, running clean and clear for much of the season. Remaining relatively wild, it is not uncommon to see numerous mule deer feeding along the river or road, eagles and osprey picking at a decaying salmon carcass or the occasional wild turkey sighting. Experience this wild life adventure while you cast flies for some of Washington States finest steelhead east of the Cascades Mountain Range.

The Methow River steelhead are a summer run species that enter the Columbia river between the months of June and July. Typically they make their way up river in force during the first couple weeks of September. This however, is dependant solely on the amount of water in both the Columbia and Methow River systems. With high water flow, fish tend to arrive early to the system. During periods of low water and a warm Columbia River watershed, steelhead movements will slow until water conditions improve. Once flows increase and water temperatures recede, steelhead resume their up stream travels.

Low returning Steelhead numbers in the mid nineties prompted an indefinite closure of all sport fishing for salmon and steelhead in the Methow River as well as many other Upper Columbia River tributaries. Since that time, the returning numbers of Steelhead has steadily risen in the Upper Columbia River, due in part to an intensive hatchery rearing program spearheaded by several local, state and private fisheries agencies.

In September of 2002, a “special emergency” opening for catch and release fishing was prompted on the Methow River. To say fishing was good is the understatement of the decade with anglers catching almost unheard of numbers of steelhead on a daily basis. Since then, the steelhead numbers have continued to grow, prompting special openings each year in October for steelhead on the Methow system. Each year we eagerly anticipate the opening of the Methow River, generally during the first few days of October.

The Worley Bugger guide team attacks the Methow in two differently modes. By October, flows are low in the Methow allowing a steelhead fly fishermen to access the river by foot. There is plenty of access points along the entire 35 miles stretch of river, where steelhead stage and a fly anglers can nymph, swing or skate a dry fly. Here you have the ability to travel up or down the road in warm, comfortable vehicle targeting key spots throughout the day.

For those that prefer to fish longer stretches of river or want to see more of the Methow, a float trip on a two man raft is also available to you as well. Here you can fish one full section of river putting the boat in the river at point "A" and float several full miles of river to point "B" while fishing every nook and cranny between.

Anyone who has fished the Methow before knows that at times the fish are in the lower river, sometimes holding in the upper portions, and many days they are in both the upper and lower portions of river.
What is Included:
Drinks & Snacks
Rod & Reel
1 - 2
Daily1 day
Fishing Waters
Nestled in the Methow River Valley and known as the Jewel of the Cascades, this 80-mile Columbia tributary is known for its great beauty and abundant trout. By car, it can be reached ... morewithin two hours from Ellensburg or about 3 ½ hours from Seattle. Five towns dot the valley landscape - Mazama, Winthrop Twisp, Carlton and Methow – each with a charm of their own.

The Methow and its tributaries, the Twisp River, Cedar Creek and Early Winters Creek begin in the high, Methow Pass area of the Cascades and continue to join with additional tributaries until their confluence with the Columbia River at Pateros. The Pacific Rim Trail follows the River’s upper reaches while other landmarks such as Star Peak and Mt. Bigelow, two of the state’s highest peaks, add to the river’s splendor.

The river can be waded or floated. Anglers tend to divide the river into three sections: Winthrop to Twisp; Twisp to Carlton; and, Carlton to Gold Creek. Each has differing flows although the lower section has rapids and tends to be turbulent.

Steelhead season changes annually but the trout season typically opens June 1st and closes September 30th. The section below Winthrop is considered by many to be the most desirable. Dry fishing throughout the summer is excellent but fall/winter is the best time, especially for those interested in steelhead. Still something of an insider’s river, the clear watered Methow is often overlooked by anglers and is rarely congested.

Species include wild rainbow trout, wild cutthroat, native bull trout, steelhead (indigenous and hatched) and chinook salmon. While fish tend to average about 12 inches, there are recent reports of 18-25 inch trout being found southeast of Carlton.

Before booking a trip, check to see if the river is closed for spawning and if all fish need to be released. Depending on conditions, anglers may be permitted to keep hatchery steelhead.
Centrally located just east of the Cascade Mountains, Ellensburg is surrounded by several great trout filled rivers, making it an ideal place to stay. Considered by many to be the ... morefinest fishery in the state, the 214-mile long Yakima, curves around the town’s southern border, adding to Ellensburg’s historic charm. Another top choice is the 80-mile Methow River, known both for its ample fish and exceptional beauty. Excellent fishing can be found on this river within a two-hour drive from town.

In close proximity to town, the 75-mile long Naches River is about a half-hour drive. Most of the Naches river basin is located in scenic national forest and wilderness areas, including the renowned Wenatchee National Forest. Often referred to as the “Miracle Mile” of small waters, The Rocky Ford Creek, about an hour from Ellensburg, is best known for its numerous and sizeable rainbow trout. Considered by anglers to be a challenging stream, it is also ranked as one of the best trout rivers in the entire Northwest.

While Ellensburg is not thought of as a town exclusively dedicated to anglers, it does have much to offer including 4 well stocked fly shops with knowledgeable owners. What it lacks in numbers (population 18,000) it makes up for with its historic buildings, a major University and a large choice of things to do.

If you are with family members or others that don’t care to fish, there are opportunities to go biking on and off road, white water rafting, horse back riding and hiking. Despite its small size, the town has an active arts community with galleries, museums and theaters. Finally, there are events like the Winterhop Brewfest, featuring local microbreweries, Buskers & Burg, a fall celebration with giant puppets, and a highly regarded, large-purse, Labor Day rodeo.

Summer is peak fishing time with a high concentration of anglers. The spring and fall seasons remain busy while only a few die-hard choose the winter months.

There are several options for traveling to Ellensburg.

Fly into Seattle (SeaTac Airport) and drive for approximately 1 ½ hours

Fly into Takima Air Terminal and drive for approximately 40 minutes

Fly into Spokane and drive for approximately 2 ½ hours

Fly into Bowers Field, a general aviation airport, minutes from Ellensburg 
The Worley Bugger Fly Co., fly fishing operations is headquartered in Ellensburg, Washington. Home of the Worley Bugger Fly Co fly shop, the Yakima River's first, full service professional ... morefly fishing shop. Our Professional Guide Team works closely with several state fisheries organizations and fly fishing clubs every year to maintain this beautiful flowing stream and enhance the quality of it's fishery for all fly fisher's.

Worley Bugger Fly Co. maintains the only staff of local, professional fly fishing guides operating guided tours on the Yakima River and Central Basin fisheries on a daily basis. Each individual works exclusively through the "Yakima River Pro Shop" in Ellensburg. This team is sought after season after season for their knowledge, patience and expertise in the fine art of fly fishing. Quality over Quantity is our standard every day of the year and the core of the WBFC Mission Statement.
Cancellation Policy
  • Cancellations made 14 days before will be fully refunded.
  • Cancellations made 7 days before will be refunded 50% of the amount paid.
  • Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.
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