Catch-and-release trout fishing in the Methow River is good. The open area extends from the Lower Burma Road Bridge (below the town of Methow) upstream to the Weeman Bridge (eight miles north of Winthrop).
The smaller tributaries within the Methow River drainage are good, too. Boulder, Falls, and Eightmile creeks – all within easy driving distance of Winthrop – provide good fishing for brook trout.
Some sections of the Twisp and Chewuch rivers are open to catch-and-release trout fishing. The Twisp is open from the mouth upstream to War Creek, and the Chewuch is open from the mouth upstream to Eight Mile Creek. Expect to catch rainbow and cutthroat in the 8- to 16-inch range and whitefish up to 18 inches.
The Bitterroot in Montana is seeing above-average flows and fishing is good, as it is in the Blackfoot. The Clark Fork is pretty warm and not fishing as well as expected.
Trout and kokanee
Night fishing for Loon Lake kokanee in front of Granite Point Sunday night, three family members and I caught 40 fish in three hours. The bite remained fairly steady from 9:00 to midnight. We were in 32 feet of water, dunking size 10 Glo Hooks with maggots. The kokes averaged 11 inches, and a few exceeded 12.
Lake Roosevelt is still kicking out some beautiful rainbow to those dragging the usual flasher and fly at about 40 feet over 100-120 feet of water. Plum Creek has been a popular area recently.
A friend trolled both Davis Lake (near Sacheen) as well as Bead Lake this week, and said the kokanee fishing was very good, though the fish in both lakes were only 9-10 inches. Kokanee can also be had in northeast district waters including Sullivan in Pend Oreille County and Pierre and Deep lakes in Stevens County.
Good fishing is available for planted trout at Clear and Dog lakes in the White Pass area and for planted trout at Cooper Lake in the Snoqualmie Pass area. Kokanee fishing has also picked up at Rimrock Lake off Highway 12. The fish are deep, but can be found all over the lake. Kokanee are also available at Kachess and Keechelus Lakes off Highway 90, and fishing is good for both kokanee and cutthroat at Bumping Lake off Highway 410.
Dworshak Reservoir in Idaho is booting out good numbers of kokanee averaging 11 inches. There are good densities of fish throughout the system.
Conconully Lake trout and bass fishing has been very good recently. Large Omak Lake cutthroat are still on the prowl.
Downs Lake perch are still tight-lipped, but the largemouth fishing is good at the northeast end in the pads. It is the rainbow fishing, though, that is best. Most are 12-13 inches and plentiful in the channels between the lily pads.
You can beat the heat by fishing for rainbow, cutthroat, brook or tiger trout in higher elevation lakes on U.S. Forest Service property. Davis, Ellen, Empire, and Ferry lakes are good bets in Ferry County. In Stevens County, Black, Little Twin and Summit lakes should produce. Anglers in Pend Oreille County should fare well at Carl’s, Frater, Halfmoon, Mystic, North and South Skookum, Petit and Yokum lakes.
Salmon and steelhead
Steelhead passage over Lower Granite Dam has been in the low triple digits recently. A few fish have been caught in the lower Clearwater.
Sockeye fishing at Brewster is fairly good at times and seems to have improved from earlier in the week. A few chinook are being hooked at Wells Dam.
At Westport, the good salmon bite continues. Friends fishing there this week say most boats are limiting, predominantly on coho. The Buoy 10 fishery, which opened last week, is producing chinook as well as coho.
Baker Lake is still producing a few sockeye, but fishing has slowed down. The boat launch at Shannon Creek drops off quickly on the left side (looking from the parking lot), and is treacherous, so stay to the right.
Chelan County’s Lake Wenatchee opened for sockeye salmon fishing July 19, but with limited access due to wildfires in the area. Most roads are now open, but the delayed fishing might extend the season since the length of the season depends on participation and catch rates. An estimated 42,000 sockeye are available for harvest and fishing has ranged from okay to very good. The fish have a little blush on them now but the meat is still excellent.
Once the sun has warmed the water, bluegills become active at lakes like Silver, Loon, Sacheen, Deer and Liberty. They are no longer on beds, so go a little deeper for the larger fish. It is possible to take some good bass fishing the same water.
Silver Lake, particularly, has been excellent for largemouth recently, and a fair number of tiger musky are being hooked. A lot of the bass are small, but there are enough 2- to 3-pounders to keep things interesting. Frog baits on top are very effective and a lot of fun to fish.
Long Lake smallmouth have been easier to catch recently than the largemouth. They are not too big, but they are plentiful, and a few fish to 19 inches have been taken.
Smallmouth bass are just about everywhere in Lake Roosevelt. Work the shorelines.
If looking for walleye, throw jigs along the mud lines in the Spokane Arm, but don’t ignore the usual weed beds elsewhere. Mud lines are created in fairly shallow water later in the day, a result of increasing boat traffic. Fishing has been excellent.
Idaho hunters who were unsuccessful in the first draw for controlled hunts have a second chance drawing for deer, elk and pronghorn through August 15.
A list of available tags is available online at fishandgame .idaho.gov/tags/seconddraw. Hunters can apply for the drawing at any license vendor in the state by calling 1-800-554-8685.
Contact Alan Liere by email at email@example.com
Most recent column
It takes a village to maintain wildlife in a developing world – especially the far-flung migrants that span the continent each year. Reardan Audubon Lake Wildlife Area is a model of what a group effort can accomplish.
Recent blog posts
HUNTING -- The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has set seasons for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats for 2015, adding moose tags for the Panhandle Region and adding new ...
ENDANGERED SPECIES — The Montana man's excuse that grizzlies were a threat to his grandchildren didn't fly in court. Everett Skunkcap, 75, accused of killing three grizzly bears near his ...