Outdoors

In Brief: Spring chinook season kicks off

Erika Holmes holds a bright spring chinook she caught on the lower Columbia River. (Jeff Holmes)
Erika Holmes holds a bright spring chinook she caught on the lower Columbia River. (Jeff Holmes)

SALMON – Two sections of the Snake River in Washington below Little Goose Dam and Clarkston will open to fishing for spring chinook salmon today for what biologists are predicting to be an excellent run of fish up the river and into Idaho.

Two other sections of the river below Ice Harbor Dam near Pasco and below Lower Granite Dam will open Sunday.

Each section of the river will be open three days a week.

The Little Goose Dam and Clarkston area sections will be open Thursday through Saturday. The sections of the river below Ice Harbor Dam and below Lower Granite Dam will be open Sunday through Tuesday.

In Idaho, springer seasons will begin Saturday on the Clearwater, Lochsa, Lower Salmon, Little Salmon and Snake River in Hells Canyon from Dug Bar to Hells Canyon Dam. Closing dates will be determined by harvest quotas.

• See a special report on the 2014 spring chinook fishing outlook in the S-R’s Sunday Outdoors section.

Invasive species stickers required

BOATING – Idaho’s invasive species sticker requirement extends to most vessels, including non-motorized boats and inflatables longer than 10 feet.

The sticker comes with Idaho boat registrations, but a separate sticker must be purchased if your boat is registered out of state or if you have an unregistered non-motorized craft. Cost: $22 for power boats, $7 for nonmotorized.

Purchase stickers online at parksandrecreation. idaho.gov.

The Idaho Panhandle has up to five mandatory boat inspection stations on area highways. Boaters must stop to have their boats checked for invasive species.

No license required on special days

FISHING – Washington and Idaho are among the many states offering free fishing – no fishing license required – on designated days in June.

• Idaho’s Free Fishing Day is Saturday, June 14th.

• Washington will double the fun by allowing anglers to fish without a license Saturday and Sunday June 7-8.

Other requirements waived at Washington fishing waters and access sites include the  Discover PassColumbia River salmon/steelhead endorsement, and  two-pole endorsement.

All other rules apply.

• Montana offers Free Fishing on Father’s Day weekend, June 14-15.

Fly Fishing Fair in Ellensburg

EVENTS – The annual Washington Fly Fishing Fair is expanding in 2014 far beyond a fly-tying gathering to a two-day event packed with casting workshops, a nine-hole casting course and a slate of more than a dozen seminars. The programs cover fishing tactics for waters from Western Washington to the Smith River in Montana and everything in between.

The fair, sponsored by the Federation of Fly Fishers Washington State Council, is May 3-4 at the Kittitas Valley Event Center in Ellensburg.

Info: (425) 308-6161, washingtoncouncilfff.org”>href=”www.washingtoncouncilfff.org/wfff%20”>washingtoncouncilfff.org /wfff

Record fall chinook season predicted

SALMON – Washington is forecast to be flooded with a record 1.6 million fall chinook headed to the Columbia River this season.

For perspective, the record 2013 returns of a million fish exceeded the best previous year on record by around 400,000 fish.

In addition, nearly a million coho are headed to the Columbia, fish managers say.

That translates into one of the best ocean seasons in memory for the ports of Illwaco, Westport and Neah Bay starting this spring through summer followed by record catches of fish as the run moves up the Columbia and Snake rivers.

The fall chinook fishery in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia peaks in late September and early October.

Fly fishing clinic for women

FLY FISHING – Spokane members of Trout Unlimited are organizing a women-only fly fishing clinic at a private lake stocked with trout on June 21st.

The all-day event is geared to beginners, complete with materials, but ladies and girls who have experience and simply want to sharpen their fish-catching skills are welcome, said co-organizer Hilary Hart.

The $50 fee includes meals and an “after party,” said Hart, who noted that some scholarships are available.

Info: (509) 532-0522. Register online: tinyurl.com/flyfishing Women

Fly fishers cast out to disabled vets

FLY FISHING – Project Healing Waters has reached out through fly fishing to help several dozen Spokane-area disabled veterans since the Spokane-area chapter was founded two years ago.

Members of the Spokane Fly Fishers joined the 140 other volunteer organizations, including PHW, dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans. The emphasis is on healing through fly fishing, fly tying education and outings.

The group continues to seek monetary donations and good-quality fly fishing equipment for use by the vets, as well as volunteers interested in helping outings and clinics.

Contact Norm Scott, (509) 315-8867, email: phwffspokane@ gmail.com.

Info: projecthealingwaters.org

Retreat answers anglers’ prayers

FISHING – A Weekend Fishermen’s Retreat, with programs ranging from fishing to Catholic faith, is set for June 27-29 at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center.

The theme, “Launch Out into the Deep (Luke 5:4)” will be keynoted by Paul Coutinho, who has a doctorate in historical theology.

While Coutinho, a native of India, will bring an Eastern flavor to Western spirituality, two Northwest fishermen will provide the angling content:

• Pat Neal, a North Olympic Peninsula fishing guide, steelheader, author and humorist.

• Deacon Allen Peterson, owner of Swede’s Fly Shop of Spokane.

Info: Immaculate Heart Retreat Center, (509) 448 -1224, ext. 109.


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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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