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Fri., May 23, 2014, 9:08 a.m.

Best fly fishing options for Memorial Day weekend

Sean Visintainer, guide and owner of Silver Bow Fly Shop, releases a wild westslope cutthroat trout, a signature species for North Idaho fly fishing streams.
Sean Visintainer, guide and owner of Silver Bow Fly Shop, releases a wild westslope cutthroat trout, a signature species for North Idaho fly fishing streams.

FLY FISHING -- Spring runoff came relatively early last year and fly fishers were already finding good stream conditions by Memorial Day weekend.  This year you'll need to be careful not to get swept away.

Sean Visintainer of Silver Bow Fly Shop has these observations for anglers looking to cast a line over the holiday:

My first choice this weekend and over the next week will be the North Fork Coeur d'Alene. For those not up to speed, the NF CdA has been pretty darn good fishing lately. This week the water levels dropped again and the PMD's really started to pop getting Mr. Cutthroat up pretty consistently. There have also been hatches of salmonflies (mostly up high now), brown drakes, yellow sallies, caddis, etc... I'm sure I missed a few bugs on that list. The snow from most of the peaks has been long gone now and I don't foresee anymore major bumps in the river levels, probably just a nice steady decline starting early next week. The Little North Fork is also worth checking out this time of the year. 

The St. Joe River being a little more rugged country still has some snow to melt on the high peaks. There has been small windows to fish the runoff the last couple weeks, however, with warm temps in the forecast this river is looking like it will be on the higher side for another week. What's a good level you ask? When I look at the USGS Streamflow Gauge I like to see it in the 7kcfs +/- . Now I have caught fish in the neighborhood of 10kcfs... it's just super limited. Don't live by the gauges though, sometimes you just need to go out and find a little pocket along the bank and you can do just fine. 

The Spokane River opens June 1 on the lower river and June 7 on the upper. This river is probably not going to be fishable until mid June is my guess. For the low-down on fishing the "Kan" you should come to my Spokane River Presentation on June 3rd at the shop. 

Local lake fishing has been good too lately. Chironomids and callibaetis have been going pretty consistent and the damsel / dragonfly nymph fishing is getting good now that the temps are warming up. Fishing the weedy areas and drop offs should produce well on medium sink rate lines. Amber, Medical, and West Medical are all my top picks. 




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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