Fishing Patterson Lake In Methow Valley

Most Washingtonians have probably heard of the little tourist town called Winthrop, just over the other side of the towering Cascade Mountains. A famous ice cream and candy shop, Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe is just to the traveler’s right after shortly coming into town. A delicious restaurant is across the street, Three Fingered Jack’s Saloon and restaurant, along with an abundance of little shops and goodies ranging from clothes to other touristy knick-knacks. This town is tucked away into a well known valley called the Methow Valley which is home to a variety of recreation that draws people year-round to its place on the map.

Patterson Lake Okanogan County Washington State

One place in particular that my family is drawn to is Patterson Lake. It’s roughly 130 acres in size and a quick hop and a skip out of town (about 7 miles). 

What draws us back is the opportunity to spend time together as a family out on the boats! We love loading up on snacks, grabbing the fishing gear and sunscreen, and heading to the water. We have spent hours on the water, chasing endless species of fish. The lake is surrounded by rolling hills, filled with tall ponderosa pine trees and other vegetation. There is wildlife all over and plenty of space, even on busy weekends for others to zip around and enjoy the lake. The wildlife includes: a variety of species of birds, fish, mule deer, bears, turkeys and more! A big reason why the lake holds the safety and beauty it has for so long is probably due to the 8hp limit a boater can have as an engine in their boats. The lower horsepower engines create less of a wake as boats cruise up and down the lake which in turn has smaller waves crashing up against the banks and eroding the land and destroying the vegetation.

Paterson Lake fishing pole
Paterson Lake

The lake offers an assortment of fish to be caught just about year-round. All from Kokanee, to trout, perch, and bluegill. Of course the options are endless in the strategies in which to catch the elusive creatures. I have seen people troll behind boats, sit and throw spinners, bobber fishing and even fly fishing. Those are just the different techniques, but the tackle and bait is usually at the discretion of the angler. There seems to be no limits, which gives the opportunity for any and all to come and enjoy the prestige lake as well and their fishing styles. One more type of fishing that is not done by many but still very intriguing is ice fishing. This lake is an ice fishing hot spot where fishermen and women come to catch the bounty of trout, perch and bluegill as well. Some just use an auger and bore a hole through the ice and go for it while others get fancy and put a pop up, bottomless tent, bore the hole, get a space heater and enjoy one of their favorite past times in some level of comfort. 

But that’s not all this lake has to offer. The border of the lake offers 4.5 miles of trail where people can be seen walking, running or even mountain biking! Little spots of beach provide for excellent swimming in the summer time and with the beauty of the area, provides the chance to sit back, be quiet and bask in the natural beauty the area has to offer.

Paterson Lake
Paterson Lake
Paterson Lake fishing pole

Next time you are in the Methow Valley and anywhere near Winthrop or Twisp, you must go spend a day at Patterson Lake. Remember though, a Discover Pass is needed for parking. If you don’t have one, get a day pass from a licensed dealer so you too can enjoy the time enjoying the great outdoors.

Patterson Lake Okanogan County Washington State

Licensed dealers for Discover Pass or day pass:

    900 S HWY 20 WINTHROP, WA 98862
    950 HWY 20 WINTHROP, WA 98862
    429 E METHOW VALLEY HWY 20 TWISP, WA 98856


Directions from Twisp:

Roughly a total of 11 miles, 15 minutes from Twisp to the lake

  1. Head west on 4th Ave toward Division Street
  2. Turn right onto State Rte 20 W/Division Street
  3. Continue to follow State Route 20 W
  4. Turn left onto Twin Lakes Road
  5. Turn left onto Patterson Lake Road
  6. Follow this road and the lake and parking lot will be on your left.


Directions from Winthrop:

Roughly 7 miles, 12 minutes from Winthrop to the lake

  1. Head southeast on Riverside Ave toward State Rte 20 W
  2. Turn right onto Twin Lakes Road/White Avenue
  3. Continue to follow Twin Lakes Road
  4. Slight right onto Patterson Lake Road
  5. Follow this road and the lake and parking lot will be on your left.

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