On the Coeur d’Alene River, tubers are in full force below Prichard. Your best bet for some uninterrupted fishing is early morning.
The St. Joe is transitioning into summer mode and catching is getting tougher. The best activity is late morning and late afternoon. Pale evening duns are hatching.
The Clark Fork isn’t quite there yet, but it is getting close. River guides report excellent fishing from St. Regis down.
Upper Spokane River rainbow are hitting the Pat’s Rubber Leg pattern below a Chubby Chernobyl. Fish early and late. Also on the Spokane are smallmouth bass upstream of Sullivan Bridge.
Trout and kokanee
A friend and I were treated to a spectacular fireworks display at Loon Lake as well as hot kokanee fishing the night of July 4. The bite began at 9:30 and we were limited by 10:30. Green Glo-Hooks tipped with maggots enticed the 10- to 12-inch kokes from 32 feet of water near the island. Two nights later, we were done even earlier. Use the smallest Glo Hook you can find and offer a foot off the bottom.
A friend who lives on Deer Lake says she has caught some big rainbow and brookies off her dock. Cedar Bay has been good recently for bait fishermen with boats, with numerous 3-pound rainbow taken. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has been planting kokanee in Deer Lake for several years and they should begin showing.
Diamond Lake trout fishing has slowed down. Five colors of leaded line and a slow troll, dragging anything silver with a small piece of worm is working, but still-fishing near the springs has been better. There’s one spring near shore about a half mile west of the launch.
Waitts Lake is still pumping out trout. A friend said he and two others fished the lake at mid-morning this week and kept 15 trout. The rainbow were 10-12 inches and the browns 13-15, all taken trolling a flasher and worm-tipped fly at mid-lake. The fish were down three colors and more.
Trout fishing at Fishtrap, Williams, West Medical and Clear has slowed down in the hot weather, but early-morning anglers are still catching some nice rainbow. Badger Lake has been surprisingly good at times and the trout are a healthy 13-15 inches.
Fishing for kokanee in Swawilla Basin on Lake Roosevelt has not been fast, but the fish landed are 18 inches and up. The kokes are now schooling at around 65 feet. Pink hootchies with pink smiley blades have been effective trolled at 1.5 mph.
Lake Chelan trout fishing has been very good in the lower basin. Several large fish have been taken recently above the Yacht Club. The Ace Hi-Fly by Silverhorde has been the lure of choice, trolled just off the bottom. Rainbow fishing has also been very good.
Idaho Fish and Game has been stocking 9- to 11-inch rainbow throughout this month. Most fish have gone to small waters in the Panhandle and Clearwater regions, but 3,500 trout were also released this week at both the Deer Creek Reservoir and in Dworshak Reservoir at the Dent Acres boat launch.
The kokanee fishing at Koocanusa Reservoir in Montana is just getting started. The reservoir is still 9 feet below full pool and the water is extremely cold, so most of the action on 9 ½ to 13-inch kokes has been in the bays. Some big rainbow (up to 27 inches) have been netted by anglers trolling for kokanee. Action will build as the water comes up. Info: Randi Burch at Koocanusa Resort and Marina (406) 293-7474.
Salmon and steelhead
The opening day of summer-run salmon and sockeye fishing was productive for a lot of anglers. Super Baits were taking some nice kings at Brewster and pink hootchies were enticing Wells Dam sockeye. The water below Wells is turbulent, but the fish are there.
Chinook and sockeye are pouring over Columbia River dams. Flows below Wanapum Dam are much reduced – perfect for fishing. Fishing above Rocky Reach Dam is peaking. Anglers trolling for sockeye below the dam say the area gets crowded and heavy current and wind make fishing difficult. A pink mini squid tipped with shrimp 18 inches behind a 0 dodger is as good as anything.
On Lake Pateros, a few sockeye and kings are being caught, but rising temperatures in the Okanogan River should keep the fish in the Brewster pool and fishing should improve dramatically as more arrive.
A few Idaho waters remain open to fishing for chinook salmon. The upper Salmon River, from near the town of North Fork upstream to near the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery is currently open, as is the Little Salmon River from the Pollock Bridge on Highway 95 at milepost 190 upstream to the Boulder Creek Road.
At Ilwaco, anglers averaged 1.41 salmon per rod last week. Most boats are concentrating along the beach from North Head to the north. Westport salmon fishing is also good, as is the bottom fishing.
Although the fish aren’t large and the fishing not particularly fast, anglers on Lake Roosevelt’s Porcupine Bay are still seeing some walleye action. The mid-lake humps around Kettle Falls have also been good at times. The Kettle River has produced some 16- to 18-inch fish recently, as well as some nice smallmouth.
Crank-baiting over rocky bottoms is effective now for some decent smallmouth at Banks Lake. Most fish are from 4-15 feet down.
Northern pike on Lake Coeur d’Alene are hitting spinner baits and soft plastic frogs in 5 to 8 feet of water. Look for weeds.
Silver Lake largemouth are hitting tubes under the docks and spinner baits over the weeds, and now and then a tiger muskie will liven things up. Newman Lake anglers report similar action, including the occasional appearance of a muskie.
Good catches of largemouth bass are being made using soft baits around the docks at Diamond Lake. One report indicated some good-sized smallmouth were also being taken in the rocks west of Ortner Island in 10-20 feet of water.
Fish Lake, near Lake Wenatchee, is providing some great perch fishing now. Closer to Spokane, Long Lake, Silver Lake, Coffeepot, Lower Twin, Sacheen, Waitts, Diamond, Moses, Potholes, Bear, Fernan and Cocolalla have also seen some good perch days. Bluegills, too, are in the shallows in most of these, and a bobber and worm setup provides a lot of action and a ton of fun.
Contact Alan Liere by email at email@example.com
BACKCOUNTRY -- Here's the source of most of the area's smoke woes -- the fires in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Here's a shot I made today as I hiked south ...