Outdoor Storytellers – Fishing The Methow River

WINTHROP, Wash. — It’s about an hour before sunset over the eastern Cascades. 

As a solitary figure steps through the grasses along the Methow River, through the brush on the only trail he walks, pushing up grasshoppers as they flutter away, he stops and picks one up to match it to a grasshopper pattern in his fly-box.

“Grasshoppers, about that size like we just saw, up to about two inches eventually, trout love ‘em,” says Greg Knaub.  “Especially in the evening time.”

Knaub calls the Methow River and its picturesque valley home.  He, along with his wife, Alison, and their one-year-old, Keller, own the Mt. Gardner Inn, which is just upstream in the town of Winthrop.  So quick, solitary trips to the river are common for Greg.

“It’s a wild river,” he says.  “There’s no dam here so it’s very special fishery in the sense that these fish are always constantly changing and the conditions are changing.

“The average size in the main stem is in the 12-to-14 inches,” Knaub continues.  “Sixteen is a real nice fish and 20 and 22 is a trophy.  Twenty-four is something to brag about.”

Something to brag about, well, no.  As according to Greg, this is a real nice cutthroat.  Greg, much like most fly-fishermen, is loyal when it comes to fly-patterns.

“They are a pattern called a fuzzy-wuzzy,” Greg explains.  “It’s like a Chernobyl ant.  It’s got two layers of foam.  I add a little red thread to give it a little more dimension. The parachute in the front and the deer hair kinda help you tell which direction the fly is sitting.”

But whether the fuzzy-wuzzy is sitting forward or backward, Greg’s always got his fishing straight.

“It’s a good sign that the fishery here in the Methow is definitely getting better,” he says, “and we’re really happy to see these fish doing so well.”

For more information on fishing the Methow River, check out the Mt. Gardner Inn’s web site.