North Central Washington: Fall chinook salmon fishing continues through November on the mainstem Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam. The fishery is possible because over 60,000 chinook primarily from the Hanford Reach fall chinook hatchery programs have returned above Priest Rapids Dam, including over 25,000 above Rock Island Dam.
The intent of the fishery is the removal of excess hatchery fall chinook from the Upper Columbia River Basin, so the daily limit is six chinook salmon, with or without fin clips, of which only three may be adult chinook. All coho salmon caught must be released, so barbless hooks must be used. See all the rules for this fishery in the Fishing Rule Change.
WDFW Okanogan District Fish Biologist Ryan Fortier calls the Methow Valley a sportsman paradise now, between the steelheading and hunting underway. The Methow River from the mouth to the confluence with the Chewuch River in Winthrop opened to hatchery steelhead and rainbow trout Oct. 15 until further notice.
The steelhead fishing remains strong throughout the Methow River, Fortier said, with the highest success coming from jig/bobber anglers followed by fly anglers.
The mainstem Columbia River (from the powerlines crossing the Columbia River approximately 3/4 mile downstream of Wells Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam) and the Okanogan River (from the mouth to the Highway 97 Bridge in Oroville), also opened to hatchery steelhead and rainbow trout Oct. 15 until further notice. The Similkameen River, from its mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam, opens Nov. 1 to hatchery steelhead and rainbow trout until further notice. See all the rules for these fisheries in the Fishing Rule Change.
Banks Lake walleye and yellow perch fishing has slowed down a bit, reports WDFW fish technician Aulin Smith, although some anglers are still catching a few down 50 to 60 feet.
The Banks Lake trout bite is yet to pick up but a few have been caught around Electric City and the Devils Punch Bowl area near Steamboat Rock State Park, Smith said. Try trolling crank baits or flies for them.
Smith also noted that Banks Lakes last bass tournament will be held on the weekend of Nov. 7-8, when some nice fish will surely be caught.
Banks Lake was recently stocked with about 600,000 kokanee and 150,000 rainbow trout fish for the future, Smith said.