Outdoors

Hunting + fishing

Fly fishing

McDowell Lake, which opened Saturday, is producing excellent fly fishing for rainbow, most running 18-21 inches. A bloodworm pattern fished near the bottom has proven effective.

Amber Lake is 55 degrees at the surface and the new plants are taking chironomids. Those who go deeper with Buggers or Stayner Ducktails are catching larger carryovers.

Dry Falls Lake trout ranging from 14 to 20 inches are taking damselfly nymphs.

Rocky Ford, a spring creek north of Moses Lake, is a standout among the region’s field of high-water streams this week, remaining excellent for huge rainbow.

Salmon and steelhead

More than 120,000 spring chinook have poured over Bonneville Dam and they’re still coming at a rate of about 8,000 fish a day. On the Snake River, Little Goose Dam is seeing 1,000-2,000 fish a day, and Lower Granite has counted a total of about 7,000 – enough for decent to good fishing according to Clarkston guide Toby Wyatt.

Snake River areas open for spring chinook fishing in Washington have increased, the WDFW announced Thursday. For details, check the agency’s website. The increased opportunity follows the prediction that about 200,000 springers are headed for the Snake River.

Two sections of the Yakima River will open Saturday to fishing for hatchery spring chinook. Area 1 is from the Interstate 183 Bridge in Richland to 400 feet downstream of Horn Rapids. Area 2 is from the Interstate 82 Bridge at Union Gap to the BNRR Bridge about 500 feet downstream of Roza Dam.

The Wind River has been excellent for chinook fishing. Beginning Saturday, the stretch above Shipherd Falls will open.

Trout and kokanee

Stormy weather somewhat dampened participation in Saturday’s fishing opener in eastern Washington.

Cedar Lake in Stevens County was the top producer, with everyone checked getting their limit of trout to 13 inches. Rocky Lake, also in Stevens County, gave up 4.42 fish of similar size per angler.

At Jump-Off-Joe, anglers dragging dark-colored Blue Fox Vibrix spinners did well, but the bite on Sunday was slow. Many of the fish were brown trout to 20 inches.

In Spokane County, Williams Lake was the top producer with 2.34 fish per angler. West Medical was the second-most productive and Fishtrap was third, followed by Badger, Fish and Clear. Several 22- to 27-inch tiger trout were caught at Fish Lake. Clear Lake gave up quite a few browns to 19 inches.

Loon Lake anglers had a fair opener, catching 12- to 14-inch net pen fish and 12-inch tiger trout. Mackinaw of 11, 12 and 14 pounds were checked in at Granite Point.

Waitts Lake net pen fish are small, but a lot of carryovers and brood- stock sweeten the pot, with German browns up to 8 pounds. Anglers are trolling deep to get away from the yearling fish.

Marshall Lake anglers caught a lot of 14- to 15-inch cutthroat on Saturday’s opener by still-fishing deep with eggs, worms or grubs. Big Meadow and Yokum, also in Pend Oreille County, were not heavily fished, but the catch rate was more than 2.5 trout per angler, a few topping 12 inches.

In Grant County, Deep Lake was one of the most popular, but anglers averaged less than a fish each. Blue Lake was better, with nearly a two-fish average. Park Lake anglers averaged 2.89 trout each, but Warden Lake beat them all with anglers taking 3.39 fish each.

In Douglas County, Jameson Lake was good for almost 2.5 fish per angler, the yearlings running 10 inches and the carryovers about 14.

Conconully Lake and Conconully Reservoir each gave up about two fish per angler. Yearling rainbow were 9-11 inches and carryovers 13-14.

Sprague Lake fishermen are catching triploids to 4 pounds. The lake is full of natural food.

Liberty Lake’s recently planted trout of about 10 inches are hitting on a slow troll, as well as single salmon eggs still-fished close to the bottom. Anglers still take an occasional large brown.

The southeast side of Deer Lake has been good for 16- to 18-inch rainbows.

Kokanee fishing is good at Dworshak Reservoir and Waha Lake in Idaho. Washington kokanee destinations such as Loon, Chapman and Horseshoe usually don’t pick up until mid-May.

Last weekend’s trout and kokanee derby on Lake Roosevelt had 138 entries. Dave Steinbach won the kokanee category with 4.24 pounds, followed by Brandon Whitney with 4.13. The rainbow division was won by Dave Kruger with 7.21 pounds, followed by Steinbach with 6.51.

The K&K Spring Derby on Lake Pend Oreille runs through Sunday. As of Wednesday, the largest mack was 19 pounds, caught by Lana Kay Hanson. The largest rainbow was 13 pounds, 2 ounces, caught by Corey LaRue.

Spiny ray

Anglers are catching some nice crappie off the docks at the boat launch at Spirit Lake in Idaho, but they haven’t been biting until after sundown. During the day, perch are more common. A few bass are being taken. Hayden has been good for pike and largemouth.

Liberty Lake water temperature is close to 55 degrees and bass fishing has been decent. For best success, get your presentation into the weeds.

Moses Lake has yielded a few walleye to anglers dragging jigs and artificial grubs on bottom. The Potholes Open Bass Tournament last weekend was won with a stringer weighing more than 47 pounds.

Both Snake and Columbia river smallmouth are turning on. Lipless crankbaits or tube jigs are bringing strikes. Friends who fished the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt said they caught several fish 16-18 inches.

Pend Oreille River pike and some heavy largemouth are smacking white spinnerbaits. Most fish are coming from water less than 4 feet deep.

Other species

Halibut fishing will begin out of Ilwaco on Saturday, open three days a week, Thursday through Saturday until 70 percent of the quota is reached. It will reopen later. Westport/Ocean Shores halibut will open Sunday and run two days a week, Sundays and Tuesdays.

Puget Sound’s recreational shrimp season opens Saturday with one popular area, Discovery Bay, open to shrimpers for the first time since 2005.

Hunting

If you haven’t enticed a turkey into shotgun range yet, you still have a month to put a bird in the freezer. Hens are beginning to nest now, and the next two weeks should find the big toms especially lonesome.

Contact Alan Liere by e-mail at spokesmanliere @yahoo.com.

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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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