Hunting and fishing

Fly fishing

The St. Regis has dropped into the marginally fishy zone at 1,400 cfs. That’s still high but should make it fishable through the weekend before blowing out again.

They aren’t particularly large, but Spectacle Lake bluegill appear to be ravenous, and a small nymph will attract a lot of attention thrown from shore. Spectacle also has numerous 12- to 16-inch rainbow.

Good fly fishing-only waters in Okanogan County are Aeneas Lake near Tonasket and Chopaka Lake near Loomis, regional fish biologist Bob Jateff said. He said Aeneas Lake has rainbow and brown trout 12-18 inches, and Chopaka has rainbows in the 12- to 17-inch range. 

The Evening Hatch Fly Shop in Ellensburg said that although the Yakima is high, it is actually fishing quite well on the upper reach and in the farmlands. Things can change quickly, so call before making the drive. Info: (509) 962-5959.

Trout and kokanee

Spokane-area lakes that have been open since late April continue to produce good catches of trout. Best bets are Fishtrap, Amber, Badger, Clear, Fish, West Medical and Williams.

Two friends and I trolled Loon Lake on Wednesday morning, taking limits of kokanee in about three hours. Most of the fish were graphed between 25-30 feet, and we barely got out of the public launch before the bite began. On previous trips, we caught predominantly 12- to 13-inch fish, but the majority of our catch on Wednesday was the smaller 9- to 10-inchers.

In the Okanogan region, trout waters to check out are Pearrygin near Winthrop, Alta near Pateros, Conconully Reservoir and Lake near Conconully, Spectacle near Loomis, and Wannacut near Oroville. Anglers can expect to catch rainbows in the 10- to 13-inch range from all, with larger carryovers running 16 inches. Selective gear waters to try would be Big Twin Lake near Winthrop, Blue Lake on the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, Buzzard Lake near Okanogan and Rat Lake near Brewster.  All of these lakes are planted with rainbow trout fingerlings and/or catchables and should also provide good fishing for 12- to 16-inch fish.  Rat and Blue also have brown trout.

Wapato Lake in Chelan County continues to provide good fishing for rainbows in the 12- to 13-inch range, with a few larger fish up to 17 inches. Jameson Lake in Douglas County has been fishing well for rainbows in the 10- to 11-inch range along with a number of spring planted triploid rainbows in the 16- to 17-inch range.

Antilon (Long Jim Reservoir) near Lake Chelan is full of brown trout more than 11 inches and fishing has been excellent. The lake also has crappie. Roses and Wapato lakes have also been good. Wapato has 16- to 18-inch triploids, and there are several spots to catch them from shore on the west side.

The kokanee fishing on Lake Chelan has spread out throughout the lower basin. Try dodgers and apexes baited with maggots or white corn.

Grimes Lake near Mansfield opened for trout fishing Wednesday under selective gear rules and a one fish daily limit. Anglers are experiencing good fishing for Lahontan cutthroat 12-18 inches, with some fish more than 20 inches.

In the Columbia Basin, fish biologist Chad Jackson said trout fishing has been very good. “Pretty much all of the catch-and-release or fly-fishing or selective gear waters in the basin are fishing quite well,” Jackson said.  “Lenice and Dry Falls lakes are the most popular and some anglers are catching and releasing 12 to 20 or more trout per day” The fish are running up to 20 inches. Quail, Dusty, Lenore and Nunnally lakes are fishing well, and so are Warden, Blue and Park lakes in Grant County. Anglers who fished Blue recently said the fish fight like salmon.

Twin Lake in Ferry County is providing excellent fishing for rainbow and triploids. Both trollers and dock fishermen are hauling in some huge fish, with many rainbow more than 16 inches and triploids 5-9 pounds. Wedding Rings and Blue Fox Spinners have been effective.

Many northeast district rivers, including the Colville, Kettle, Little Pend Oreille and Lake Roosevelt tributaries, opened to fishing last Saturday.

Most other rivers and streams in the region will open Saturday, but portions of the Spokane River opened Wednesday. Water conditions are high.

Coeur d’Alene kokanee have not kicked into gear yet, though a few reports of small fish have trickled in. The lake is high and there is a lot of debris.

Priest Lake is high also, but trollers are making some good catches of mackinaw on plastic squids trolled behind dodgers, including several more than 15 pounds.

Salmon and steelhead

At Camp, Cabin and Home in Lewiston, Andy Alldredge said the Clearwater River chinook fishing is “phenomenal.” He adds that anglers are using wrapped Kwikfish on the lower river and backtrolling eggs closer to Orofino. There are more than 3,000 fish remaining in the quota.

The sport fishery for hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon has been extended through June 15 on the Columbia River from the Tower Island power lines upriver to the Washington/Oregon state line. Bank fishing is allowed from Bonneville Dam upriver to the power lines, located 6 miles below The Dalles Dam.

On the Klickitat River, salmon and steelhead fishing is open seven days a week downstream from the Fisher Hill Bridge. Anglers fishing 400 feet upstream from the No. 5 fishway to the boundary markers below the Klickitat Salmon Hatchery may retain hatchery chinook jacks and hatchery steelhead. The river is best described as “beautiful color, big water,” but there have been reports of fish caught.

On Saturday, portions of the Elochman and Grays rivers open for retention of hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead. Portions of the South Fork Toutle, the Green, East Fork Lewis and Washougal open for hatchery steelhead.

Spiny ray

Lake Chelan smallmouth are active well out from shore. Drop-shotting in large boulders is the way to go.

Eloika Lake largemouth are hitting spinnerbaits and Texas-rigged Senkos in the shallows, but the big females are holding in deeper water and not biting aggressively. Temperatures are in the upper 50s.

A friend with a cabin 80 yards from the Pend Oreille River has 6 inches of water in his basement. Because the river is way up, pike are spread out.

Lake Roosevelt hit 1,234 feet on Saturday and stayed that way through Wednesday, but is on the rise again and projected to hit 1,237 by Saturday. Walleye fishermen have mostly been trying other waters.

The south end of Moses Lake has been good, and the south end of Banks Lake seems to be fishing decent for keeper-size walleye in 20-30 feet of water.

Other species

Anglers are beginning to find channel cats off the mouth of the Walla Walla River where it enters the Columbia. Despite high water, they are also taking 8- to 10-pound fish from the Columbia itself. Anglers are also reeling in channel cats from the lower reaches of the Yakima.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@yahoo.com

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