Weekly hunting and fishing report


Fly Fishing

Fishing is good on the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene. Mayfly and golden caddis patterns will produce. The upper river is getting a lot of pressure, but that’s where the larger fish are. The St. Joe River is fishing top to bottom. The Spokane River levels are good. Fishing has been fairly consistent throughout the day.

At Silver Bow Fly Shop, Sean Visintainer says smallmouth bass fishing on the Grande Ronde is “amazing.” Info: 924-9998.

Fly fishermen are doing pretty well at Rock Lake with sinking line and wooly buggers.

Trout and kokanee

Loon Lake night fishing has been excellent. Use Glo Hooks tipped with maggots, white corn or even a small piece of worm at 32 feet. Friends who trolled Loon this week said the best bite was past the island. They got limits but noted they lost far more kokanee than they boated.

Waitts Lake remains hot for trout. Trolling at mid-lake has been excellent for rainbow. Very few browns have shown recently.

Trout anglers can still reap the benefits of the Father’s Day weekend extra stocking of jumbo triploid rainbows at West Medical and Williams lakes. Clear Lake is also producing some good catches of rainbows, and anglers are finding good but not great fishing for rainbow and brook trout at Fish Lake near Cheney. Sprague Lake also remains good for big rainbow. The afternoon bite has been best.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area Manager Juli Anderson reports “varied” fishing success at the Lincoln County area’s Z-Lake, with some anglers getting a few bites from small rainbow trout and others reeling in trout over 20 inches. Z-Lake is walk-in only. Rattlesnakes and ticks are common.

Rock Lake browns have been hard to come by recently, but there seems to be plenty of planter rainbow up high. The water is down and launching is difficult. Visibility is about 2 ½ feet.

Fishing at the small lakes on Columbia County’s Wooten Wildlife Area slows down in July with warmer weather, but the Tucannon River fishing picks up. 

Roses Lake in Chelan County is a good spot for fat rainbow 12-16 inches. A deep troll with anything tipped with nightcrawler seems to be pretty standard. Blue Lake on Limebelt Road near Omak is producing brook and rainbow trout from 13 to 16 inches.

Bonaparte, Leader, Conconully Reservoir and Conconully Lake are good bets for kokanee and rainbow 10 inches and up. There are lots of bass in those lakes, too.

Patterson Lake is a great spot for kokanee, and the big Lahontan cutthroat trout in Omak Lake are still hitting. Palmer Lake has some large kokanee and fishing is good, but the lake is red hot right now for perch and crappie.

Fishing for stocked rainbow trout is still going strong on lowland lakes near Yakima, Ellensburg and Cle Elum. WDFW fish biologist Eric Anderson said he especially likes the prospects at Clear, Leech and Dog Lakes in Yakima County and Lost Lake and Cooper Lake in Kittitas County, where WDFW has planted hundreds of 1.5-pound jumbo trout.

Kokanee fishing is picking up at Rimrock Lake in Yakima County. Although the fish are small, anglers have been doing well fishing 10 to 30 feet deep, trolling just about anywhere on the lake. Other kokanee hotspots in the Yakima area include Bumping Lake, Keechelus Reservoir and Kachess Reservoir.

Coeur d’Alene kokanee are only 7-8 inches and haven’t yet moved to the north end. Chinook fishing has slowed, but more fish in the teens are being landed.

Salmon and steelhead

Anglers on the Little Salmon River can continue to harvest jack salmon. The limit is four. Harvest of adipose-clipped adult and jack Chinook remains open from the Pollock Bridge upstream to Smokey Boulder Road until further notice.

Fishing for summer chinook and sockeye salmon opened July 1 on the Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam up to Wells Dam, and from Brewster to Chief Joseph Dam. The river section from Wells Dam to the Highway 173 Bridge at Brewster opens July 16. Maglips with herring wraps are often recommended for summer chinook, while sockeye seem to like shrimp, flashers and anything red.

Anglers are starting to catch a few of the Wenatchee summer chinook. The Wenatchee Salmon Derby is July 18-19. Visit wenatcheesalmonderby.com for details. The derby boundary has been extended to include Wells Dam this year.

Some west side rivers, including the Bogachiel, Calawah and Nisqually, opened for salmon fishing July 1. Baker Lake in Whatcom County opens for sockeye salmon July 10.

Anglers fishing for salmon off Ilwaco and Westport have been successful in finding both coho and chinook, while those on the north coast are catching mostly chinook, said Wendy Beeghley, fish biologist for the region.  “With strong salmon runs predicted for the Columbia River this year, ocean fishing is likely to remain productive through the summer,” she added.

Spiny ray

Central District fish biologist Randy Osborne says catches of crappie and perch are pretty good at Bonnie and Downs lakes in southwest Spokane County. Newman Lake has been fishing well for largemouth bass and some big crappie.

Banks Lake largemouth are in the reeds in the Devils Punchbowl and elsewhere. Fish slowly and quietly as they spook easily.

Walleye anglers keep returning to Porcupine Bay on Lake Roosevelt for their best success. Crankbaits trolled in 20 feet of water were consistently taking fish last week. The Kettle River area has been moderately productive for some decent-sized ‘eyes.

Other species

All but one marine area in Puget Sound will be open for crab fishing beginning today. The exception is Marine Area 7, where the crab fishery opens July 17 in the area’s southern portion (San Juan Islands/Bellingham) and Aug. 15 in the northern portion (Gulf of Georgia). Rich Childers, shellfish policy lead for WDFW, said recent test fisheries indicate the crab population in Puget Sound remains abundant. “We continue to see healthy numbers of crab throughout Puget Sound,” he said. “With such strong numbers, crabbing should be good from opening day all the way through the end of the summer season.”


There’s no wait for nonresidents still hoping to purchase a license to hunt deer and elk in Montana this fall. A number of first-come first-served surplus licenses, good for antlered deer and elk in most hunting districts, can be purchased online or over the counter at any Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks office. For more information visit FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov. Click 2014 Nonresident Deer & Elk Combo Hunting Licenses.

Contact Alan Liere by email at spokesmanliere@yahoo.com

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