Pearrygin Lake is a popular fishing destination in Washington’s Okanogan County that provides anglers with a great chance to catch rainbow trout.
Besides plenty of trout, Pearrygin Lake has excellent camping and fishing access, plus the spring-fed lake is near the charming Western theme town of Winthrop.
While fishing gets off to a fast start in the spring starting in late April, typically summer is the peak season overall for visits to this lake, when temperatures or usually in the 70s and sunshine is plentiful here.
Fair warning, Pearrygin Lake anglers have fairly low chance of catching much beyond rainbow trout.
Though an occasional brown trout has been pulled from the lake in the past, its reputation is built almost entirely upon its rainbow trout, which are stocked by the tens of thousands.
Another fair warning: With so much camping and other things to do, and so many trout, this place is quite likely to be busy right on through Labor Day, at least.
The fishing season for Pearrygin Lake starts on the fourth Saturday in April, unlike some year-round lakes in the area, and the trout fishing should be good from day one.
Trout fishing holds up fairly well all season, though catch rates definitely will slow during the busy and hotter summer months and then pick back up in the early fall before the lake closes after October.
WDFW stocks the lake with around 50,000 fry or fingerling rainbows each spring, and those fish grow into keeper sizes by the following year in this rich lake to make up much of the catch in this approximately 200-acre lake.
However, the state also stocks a fair number of legal-sized catchable rainbows and a modest number of jumbo-sized trout each spring to supplement the lake-reared trout.
The majority of trout caught here are pan-sized rainbows between 10 to 13 inches, with catches trending larger during the fishing season. A handful of larger trout are pulled from the lake, with 15-inchers reasonably common and some larger fish.
How to Catch
Anglers looking for rainbow trout in Pearrygin Lake have the usual trout-fishing techniques to consider.
First of all, bait-fishing is always a popular option, and is definitely the go-to method for bank anglers. Effective baits including natural choices like nightcrawlers and salmon eggs or artificial doughs such as PowerBait.
Boating will get you into the vicinity of even more trout, and many anglers turn to trolling with either bait or a variety of common trout lures including small spoons and spinners, small wobbling plugs and others.
Some lures and/or baits are often fished behind a dodger or set of lake trolls to attract the attention of more trout.
Slow-trolling a wet fly also is a great way to catch actively feeding trout.
With both still-fishing and trolling, a two-pole endorsement is allowed here and would give you more chances to find the bait or lure that the trout are hitting best that day.
You can also cast a number of lures or artificial flies if you like a more active approach to catching trout.
Morning typically offers the best bite at Pearrygin Lake, when the water is the quietest and trout tend to feed more heavily.
If you need some more weapons in your fishing arsenal, we have an easy-to-read article outlining the best ways to catch rainbows and other trout.
Planning Your Trip
Pearrygin Lake is far enough from most Washingtonians that you’ll want to plan an overnight trip.
Where is Pearrygin Lake?
This lake is in the Methow River Valley east of the North Cascades National Park, among grassy shrub-steppe hills dotted with trees.
Pearrygin Lake is less than 10 minutes from Winthrop, but expect to drive a little over four hours driving northeast from Seattle or a little less heading northwest from Spokane.
Camping and Activities
Speaking of luxury, some Pearrygin Lake anglers might prefer to stay in a room at one of several hotels or resorts in the Winthrop area.
Hiking, swimming, bird- and wildlife watching, horseshoes, water sports and hanging out in Winthrop are all popular things to do while you’re not reeling in trout.
Fishing and Boating Access
Bank fishing is fairly easy to find at the lake, from several public access points in the state park and elsewhere along the more developed north side.
Boating is even better, as the state park, private resort and WDFW all have boat launches at the lake.