Alta Lake: Fishing should be excellent for 11- to 12-inch yearling rainbows, with carryovers up to 15 inches.
Anglers can find a concrete public boat launch, a state park with full facilities, a private resort and an 18-hole golf course on the road to the lake located two miles southwest of Pateros. The lake, which is ideal for small boats and canoes, has a season that runs April 25 to Sept. 30.
The 184-acre lake is reached by driving 1.5 miles west of Pateros on dysyr Highway 153, then south for about a mile.
Those staying at the resort can have larger boats launched.
Andrews Creek: Open from the first Saturday in June (June 6) and through Oct. 31, Andrews offers native rainbows. Dolly Varden (bull trout) no longer may be caught legally in the creek. There is a two-fish limit. Fish must be eight inches long. Depending on the snow pack, the creek is best fished in late June.
Andrews is located 19 miles north of Winthrop on Chewuch River Road. The U.S. Forest Service maintains a campground next to the creek.
Aspen Lake: This semi-remote lake, .7 mile southwest of Moccasin Lake, received triploid eastern brook and tiger trout plants the past few years. The lake, which tends to suffer winter kill, has a season of April 25 to Oct. 31.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife owns the land on which the lake is located.
Aspen can be reached by taking the Twisp River and Big Buck Lake roads. The last half-mile is on foot.
Big Buck Lake: The seldom-fished lake, which has been planted with catchable rainbows, has a season of April 25 to Oct. 31.
Largemouth bass may also be found in the small lake, which can suffer winter kill.
Big Buck is located due south of Moccasin Lake (a private lake) on state Department of Fish and Wildlife land. The easiest way to reach the lake is follow the same directions to reach Aspen Lake off the Twisp River Road.
Big Hidden Lake: The lake, located in the Pasayten Wilderness, is for those looking for a little adventure. Located about 34 miles northwest of Winthrop, it annually produces decent sized rainbows in the 10- to 14-inch class.
The 71-acre lake lies at about 4,300 feet elevation and sees a lot of action from backpackers and horse packers.
Travel about 20 miles from Winthrop on the Lost River Road past Mazama and onto Mazama Road. A one- to two-day hike to the lake starts at the head of Lost River at the Billy Goat Corral.
The season runs April 25 to Oct. 31, although best fishing is early to mid-summer.
Black Pine Lake: Open all year, this 18-acre lake at 3,900 feet elevation is managed for cutthroat. There is a paved, handicapped-accessible route along part of the lake.
Drive two miles west of Twisp on the south side of the Twisp River, then take the left fork at the river bridge about seven miles south up Poorman Creek Road. The lake also may be reached via the Buttermilk Creek Road a few miles farther up the Twisp River.
There are a Forest Service campground and boat launch.
Campbell Lake: A catch-and-keep season (five fish limit), with bait allowed, runs Sept. 1 to March 31 at this 11-acre lake at about 2,900 feet in Pipestone Canyon near Winthrop.
A catch-and-release season runs April 1 to Aug. 31. Anglers must use selective gear with barbless hooks. No bait is allowed.
The lake is stocked annually with catchable rainbows prior to its spring opener. Though small and capable of being fished out in days, it often is productive in the winter for snowmobilers able to catch carryovers up to 16 inches.
There is a Department of Fish and Wildlife access site with toilet, but there are no boat launching facilities (car-top boats or float tubes only). The lake is difficult to get into and out of with a boat and impossible to fish from the shore.
Travel 2.5 miles south of Winthrop on the Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road, go east about a mile on Bear Creek Road and another 2.5 miles east past the Davis Lake turnoff on Road No. 1624.
Chewuch River: The river, which flows from the Pasayten Wilderness to Winthrop, is open for all game fish (except Dolly Varden and endangered steelhead) from its mouth to Eightmile Creek June 1 to Aug. 15 for a catch-and-release season. Selective gear applies, with barbless hooks and no bait allowed.
The river is closed from Eightmile Creek to the Pasayten Wilderness boundary. Several tributaries remain closed, including Lake Creek from the mouth to Black Lake.
Also closed is the upper part of Lake Creek where it comes into Black Lake, to Three Prong Creek to protect spawning bull trout.
Whitefish can be caught during a Dec. 1 to March 31 season. Hooks must be size 14 (3/16 inch) or smaller. Bait is allowed.
Cougar Lake: Open Sept. 1 to March 31, the nine-acre lake is located south of Winthrop in the Methow Wildlife Area at about 3,400 feet elevation. Cougar gets little pressure because only snowmobilers have access during winter months.
Planted with rainbows in the spring, the lake doesn’t get near the attention of nearby Davis Lake. By fall the fish should be legal size.
There is a campground nearby with a graveled boat launch for smaller watercraft.
Travel 2.5 miles south of Winthrop on the Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road, go east about a mile on Bear Creek Road to the Davis Lake turnoff, then north 1.5 miles and east for a mile on County Road No. 3514.
Crater Lakes: Open April 25 to Oct. 31, this Highland lake chain at 6,900 feet elevation includes one 15.8-acre lake managed for cutthroat. Located in the Sawtooth Ridge area on the north side of Whiskey Mountain, the Crater Lakes offer cutthroat to walk-in anglers.
Go northwest 18 miles on state Highway 153 from Pateros to the mouth of Gold Creek. A Forest Service road follows Gold Creek for eight miles. A good trail of five miles leads to the lakes.
Davis Lake: This popular Methow Valley lake near Winthrop is open to catch-and-release, selective gear anglers April 1 through Aug. 31. Electric motors can be used during the selective gear rules season.
Davis then switches to a “catch-and-keep” special winter season from Sept 1 through March 31 without selective gear rules. The popular, 30-acre acre lake is fished intensely opening day. It’s a favorite for many Labor Day weekend anglers.
Fishing should be good for 11- to 13-inch rainbow trout. If there’s no winter kill, carryovers can reach 15 inches.
There is a state Department of Fish and Wildlife access site with a graveled boat launch.
Travel 2.5 miles south of Winthrop on the Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road, go east about a mile on Bear Creek Road before heading south a mile to the lake.
Duffy Lake: The open year-round, nine-acre lake, situated at 6,500 feet elevation, is not ice-free until June. It contains cutthroat.
Take Forest Service Road No. 4420 (old No. 338) for 10 miles west of Twisp up Oval Creek to the Oval Creek Trail. Hike 4.5 miles south, then cross country east for a mile.
Eightmile Creek: Native rainbows and eastern brook live in this creek, located eight miles north of Winthrop, that is open June 6 to Oct. 31. Take the Chewuch River Road north for eight miles to the mouth of the creek.
Gold Creek: The creek, located about four miles south of Carlton off Highway 173, is closed from its mouth to the confluence with North Fork Gold Creek.
The creek is open from the North Fork upstream, and sports rainbows and a few cutthroat. There is a two-fish limit with an eight-inch minimum.
The season runs June 6 to Oct. 31. Selective fishery regulations pertain to the creek. No bait is allowed.
Foggy Dew Campground is at the junction of the north fork of the creek and Foggy Dew Creek.
Lost River: The river, which drains into the Methow River about five miles northwest of Mazama, is closed from its mouth to Monument Creek.
From Monument Creek to the outlet of Cougar Lake, there is a catch-and-keep season June 6 to Oct. 31. There is a two-fish daily limit and a 14-inch minimum size.
Anglers must use selective gear, including barbless hooks. Bait is not allowed.
A well-marked trail starts just past the bridge.
Louis Lake: This 27-acre lake, which receives a lot of pressure, contains mostly cutthroat although a few rainbows still roam the water.
To reach the 5,300-foot elevation lake, travel 22 miles west of Twisp along the Twisp River to South Creek Campground, then hike two miles up South Creek to Louis Creek Trail and another three miles to the lake. Louis Lake is open year round although ice is not off until late May.
Methow River: The river provides good opportunities during selected seasons.
There is a catch-and-release season for resident rainbow and cutthroat trout under selective gear rules June 1 through Sept. 30. The winter whitefish season is Dec. 1 through March 31.
A steelhead fishery opens by emergency rule only. That has occurred the last few years from October through March. The steelhead seasons depend on run forecasts exceeding natural production and hatchery brood stock requirements.
When open for steelhead fishing, the river is closed from the mouth to the first state Highway 153 bridge.
Under an emergency opening, anglers can keep only hatchery fish, those with a “clipped” adipose fin or a ventral fin with a healed scar at the location of the missing fin.
Dolly Varden/bull trout fishing is prohibited to help improve numbers of the native char.
Camping is available but steep river banks are not very accessible to wheelchair users.
Anglers are advised to check current sport fishing rules as the Methow has various open and closed areas along the entire length of the river.
The river starts high on the east Cascade crest at the head of the Methow Valley and runs to the Columbia River.
There are several access areas along Highway 153, which intersects with Highway 20 south of Twisp, and parallels the river to its mouth. Five Forest Service campgrounds with toilets border the upper reaches of the Methow River above Mazama. Anglers should consult a state pamphlet for seasons along certain sections of the river.
Patterson Lake: This 143-acre lake, which is open year round, is a mixed-species fishery with rainbows (11-12 inches), perch (7-8 inches) and largemouth bass.
The lake, located 3.5 miles west of Winthrop, was to receive several hundred triploid rainbows in the one- to two-pound range. Follow Patterson Lake Road from Twin Lakes. A resort and public access with toilets and a gravel launch are available.
Pearrygin Lake: This very popular lake north of Winthrop should be good for rainbows up to 10 inches and carryovers in the 14- to 15-inch range.
The 212-acre lake has a season of April 25 to Sept. 30.
The lake features a resort, a state park with hook-ups and a fish and wildlife department boat launch. Toilets, campsites and a fishing pier are handicapped-accessible.
Pearrygin is located 1.5 miles northeast of Winthrop. A road from the center of town leads to the lake.
Tungsten Lake: This small lake, which contains cutthroat trout, is located about 55 miles north of Winthrop. Anglers, starting at the trailhead at the end of the Chewuch River Road, will hike several days to the lake, located near Aspen Mountain. Alpine lakes are open year round unless listed in special rules. Anglers have best success in mid-summer after the ice is off.
Cutthroats propagate naturally in the lake, meaning fish range in size from one to 14 inches. Heavy pressure from hike-in anglers minimizes the amount of larger fish.
Twisp River: A large tributary of the Methow River, the river remains closed for all fishing from War Creek to the south fork of the Twisp River near the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness boundary. Anglers should check the state pamphlet for areas where the river is closed.
There is a catch-and-release season for rainbows and cutthroat of June 6 to Aug. 15 from the mouth to War Creek. Selective gear restrictions are in effect, including barbless hooks and no bait.
Twisp River Road follows the river from Twisp for 25 miles upstream, with numerous campsites available.
War Creek: The creek is open June 6 to Oct. 31. Like all creeks in the Methow Valley watershed, War Creek contains small rainbow (six to nine inches).
It is illegal to retain bull trout (Dolly Varden). They must not be removed from the water prior to release, Jateff said.
This creek is only for those willing to fight through the brush. The creek joins the Twisp River at the Forest Service’s War Creek Campground about 15 miles west of Twisp.
A road follows the creek for two miles and a trail runs parallel to the creek for another 10 miles to its headwaters at War Creek Pass.