Outdoors

Hunting and fishing

Fly fishing

Fly fishermen are doing well on Hog Canyon. The most successful are dragging black nymphs behind kick boats for rainbow to 18 inches.

There are lots of fish available to fly fishermen on the quality lakes near Quincy. When the wind is not blowing, Dusty and Lenice have been good.

The Grande Ronde River was high at midweek, but the color was good and the fish were biting. Clearwater River fly anglers are finding cooperative fish above Orofino.

Steelhead and salmon

The South Fork Clearwater has seen decent steelhead fishing this week, but fishing has been generally poor in the Snake River drainage. The Salmon River has good fishing from Whitebird Creek to the Little Salmon River.

Drano Lake and the Wind River from the mouth upstream to 400 feet below Shipherd Falls open to fishing for hatchery spring chinook and hatchery steelhead today. Fishing will be slow, as only 14 adult chinook had been counted at Bonneville Dam through Wednesday. Below Bonneville, boat anglers are averaging one chinook a day for every 20 rods. The entire lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam will be closed to fishing for salmonids March 20, March 27 and April 3.

Effective today through May 2, Bonneville Dam to the Oregon/Washington border will be open to fishing for hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead. Bank fishing only will be allowed from Bonneville Dam to Tower Island powerlines (about 6 miles below The Dalles Dam).

Coeur d’Alene chinook salmon are finally coming up in the water column. At Fins and Feathers in Coeur d’Alene, Jeff Smith said trollers are having their best success with planer boards and herring, though a few are hitting diving plugs.

Trout and kokanee

Liberty Lake brown trout fishing has slowed down for anglers tossing plugs near the public access, but those dunking bait on the northwest side did well this week. Most fish are about 16 inches.

Deer Lake still has a lot of ice, though there is a little open water near shore. A friend who fished there last weekend said he must have drilled 80 holes over different depths and couldn’t find a fish.

Roses Lake near Chelan is finally shedding its ice. Anglers are already working the public access area from shore for rainbows and perch.

Potholes Reservoir trout fishing has been spectacular, whether by boat or from the Mardon Resort dock. Most of the fish run 18 to 23 inches.

Caliche Lake has been fair for stocked rainbow, but Burke Lake is booting out lots of 2-pound fish and a few triploids more than 6 pounds.

Fishing at Martha Lake, just east of George, has been excellent. Limits are easy and some larger-than-usual trout have been taken.

Triploids continue to be caught at Rufus Woods for anglers using marabou jigs in chartreuse or white tipped with a nightcrawler.

Trolling deep-running crankbaits such as the Luhr Jensen HotLips and Rapala Shad Rap will also take fish.

Rainbow trout in the 14- to-24 inch range are being taken at Banks Lake.

The water level of Lake Roosevelt was 1,270 feet on Wednesday, which puts the following launches out of commission: China Bend, Evans, Hawk Creek, Marcus Island, Napoleon Bridge, North Gorge and Snag Cove.

There is a little open-water fishing for trout along the edges of Kelso and Fernan lakes in Idaho, but there is still a lot of ice.

Spiny ray

Rose Lake in Idaho is seeing some good open-water angling for a mixed bag of spiny ray. Pike fishing is only fair. Look for good panfishing in the next week or so on the east end of Fernan.

The Coeur d’Alene Chain Lakes are wide open, though water is low and it is not possible to access all spots. Bait fishing near the bottom has been fair to good for pike.

On Lake Coeur d’Alene proper, pike fishing continues to improve in bays such as Wolf Lodge, Harlow Point, Carlin and Turner. With the low water, Cougar Bay and Windy Bay are accessible by boat only.

Some big walleye have been caught recently on the Snake near Lyons Ferry.

The Pend Oreille River is cold. The water level is dropping and pike are biting, but fishing is slow. The Sandy Shores launch is out of the water and the Davis Road launch is extremely muddy. Cusick or Newport are the best bets right now.

Walleye fishermen are catching fish on the Spokane Arm, but few more than 12 inches.

A few smallmouth and walleye are being taken on Banks in water ranging from 35 to 50 feet in midlake locations such as Steamboat Rock, Barker Canyon and the deeper edges surrounding Barker Flats.

Walleye angling is excellent in The Dalles and John Day Pools.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@ yahoo.com

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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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