Dave Graybill - 11/21/2011
Winter arrived in Leavenworth and most of Central Washington all at once this week. One day it cold but sunny and the next there was a good pile of snow on the ground. It isn’t going anywhere either. We can now seriously settle into winter mode, which isn’t a bad thing. There is a lot to do when the weather turns chilly here in Central Washington.
I am trying to get out on the Methow River to do some steelhead fishing, so I checked in with a couple of my buddies that are on the water nearly every day up there. Keith Roe, who is a “tech” with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, is a good example. Those that fish the Methow have bumped into Keith as he checks on the number of wild and hatchery fish taken during the steelhead season. He has had pretty good success on the Methow so far this season. He had a stretch of four days where he got at least one hatchery fish every day. Activity had been high, as usual on the Methow this season. It has slowed considerably since the chilly, snowy weather hit the region. This kind of weather really separates the men from the boys, he said. Not only do a lot of anglers hang it up when the weather is in the low double digits, he really sees the traffic from the west side drop off. They are missing out on some great fishing, but the passes are too much of threat a for them to make the trip.
I also talked with one of my fly fishing buddies, Kevin van Bueren, of North Cascade Fly Fishing. He said there was a period in early November when everyone was catching fish. It didn’t matter how they were fishing either. They could either be swinging flies or fishing with nymphs and have a very busy day. Now it seems the fish are changing their mind from day to day. Some days swinging works fine, while other days you’re better off fishing with an indicator. Also, earlier in the season egg patterns were very effective. That’s when there were a lot of kings and coho in the river. These fish have pretty much done their thing now so many anglers are switching to small nymphs, like Copper Johns or small Prince Nymphs and the like.
Before I forget, one of the things that Keith Roe mentioned was that Shane Magnuson was getting limits of steelhead for his clients near Pateros. I know that Magnuson likes to fish right at the bridge where the Methow comes into the Columbia, and also downstream a ways in the area know as The Rocks. Roe said that he was fishing in the estuary, above the bridge lately, and he was really doing well.
One of the other reports I got this week was from Banks Lake. There is an annual bass tournament here every year, and it was held up again, even though the water is down 30 feet. The Freeze Out was a great success, with most anglers getting limits both days and it took about 29 pounds to win it. This is a typical weight to win this tourney, so the low water didn’t hurt a thing. I talked to Keith Jensen, who helps out in the tackle shop at Big Wallys in the summer, and he said the bass have just recently started moving into deeper water. They were hanging out near where they used to until the temperatures took a serious dip. They will now look for warmer water, which will be deeper. I mentioned that one of my better days on Banks was in the middle of December, and he said he wasn’t surprised. The fish aren’t very active then, but if you find them and find out what they will eat you can load up.
I want to get a reminder out about the trip to Belize. The plane doesn’t leave until February 3rd, but you had better call the folks at Journey Travel and Tours right away, there are only a total of 20 people that can go along. If you want to be one of them call 509-662-7775 right away. They have got a great rate on the air, rooms at one of the best resorts on Ambergris Caye reserved, and even the guides booked. This is my favorite destination for fishing and it’s going to be a great trip.
If you are a fan of my Fishing and Cooking TV Shows I have very good news. I will be launching a new cable television show in early January. It will be an hour long, airing at 9 a.m. and again at 5 p.m. every Thursday. What makes this show even more special is that each show will be archived, and you will be able to watch the shows after they have aired on your computer anywhere at any time. The Fishing and Cooking TV Shows are streamed, so if you don’t have cable you can watch the programs if you log on while they are being broadcast. These new shows have that special feature of being archived, making them much more accessible to people that don’t have cable or are out of the broadcast area. I have plans to make the shows very informative, with some being “seminar style” and others providing information about programs like Healing Waters, and what local organizations like Trout Unlimited and the Wenatchee Sportsmen’s Association are doing. I would like your input, too. What topics would you like to see covered in the new show? Shoot me an e-mail with your suggestions.
Dave Graybill - The Fishin' Magician
week of Nov 21st, 2011