Tucked away in the rain shadow of the North Cascades and surrounded by bright orange cottonwoods and high desert ponderosa pines, Patterson Lake is one of the most loved recreation destinations in the Methow Valley.
An 8 m.p.h. speed limit restriction has maintained the tranquil nature of the lake that is popular for both fishing and easy paddling. Don't have a boat? You're in luck. Rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and small sailboats can be rented from mid-May through October at the Patterson Lake Cabins on the lake's northern shore.
For the fly fishers visiting the lake, there are abundant opportunities. According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, you can "expect to catch kokanee in the 10-11 inch range and yellow perch in the 6-8 inch range. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass inhabit the lake and are best caught during early morning or late in the evening." If you're out of tackle or your partner needs some extra equipment, head up Patterson Lake Road an additional 2 miles to Sun Mountain Lodge, where they have a fully stocked fly shop.