The Yakima River is experiencing summer flows and the fishing has been decent despite the heat and high water. The #12 black Copper John is a good pattern to start with.
The Big Spokane River is still one of the most consistent destinations for trout fishing without the vinyl hatch.
Trout and kokanee
Trout in all local lakes have gone deep and the bite pretty much dies after 10 a.m. and does not resume until around 6 p.m. Marshall Lake is a tranquil yet productive spot for trout. Trollers dragging Wooly Buggers in the evening are doing well on Waitts Lake, catching both browns and rainbow.
A friend night fishing for kokanee in front of Granite Point on Loon Lake says he found a limit of 11-inch kokanee. He said moving his boat just 20 feet made the difference from a hot-bite to no-bite at all.
Curlew Lake trollers are having good action on 16- to 18-inch rainbow near the state park. Night fishermen dunking PowerBait are also doing well, and fishing seems to be as good off the resort docks as in a boat. Info: Fishermen’s Cove Resort (509) 775-3641.
Twin Lakes near Inchelium is yielding good catches of rainbow and brook trout. The brookies average a pound each and rainbow up to 5 pounds each. Trollers are dragging muddlers and still-fishermen prefer worms or PowerBait on the bottom.
Access is excellent now to alpine fishing lakes in the South Cascades. Dog and Leech lakes in the White Pass area of Yakima County and Lost Lake near Snoqualmie Pass have lots of rainbow and cutthroat – plus it’s a whole lot cooler there.
Priest Lake trollers are finding macks with dodger and Squids down deep north of the islands. Most anglers prefer to locate columns of fish and use a drop-shot rig with soft plastics such as Gulp Minnows for the fish, which run mostly 2-5 pounds.
Salmon and steelhead
A mixed bag of chinook and coho are coming in at both Westport and Ilwaco. Fishing has been good, but somewhat erratic.
A friend fishing at Brewster this week said plenty of 2- to 4-pound sockeye were landed, as well as a few large kings.
Baker Lake sockeye will soon be near the 5,000-fish mark, and fishing is getting good. These are big sockeye – up to 8 pounds. The standard rig starts with a size 0 Big Ring dodger followed up with a 2-inch pink mini Squid sitting on top of two 2/0 red hooks on a 25- to 30-pound leader about 14 inches in length.
Tip the hook with the tail of a pink or purple coon shrimp and you’re ready to go. Start at 20-30 feet at first light and drop down another 10 feet an hour from there on. You can keep an eye on Baker Lake trap counts at www.wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon
An estimated 42,000 sockeye will be available for harvest above the natural spawning escapement goal of 23,000 on Lake Wenatchee. The season could end on short notice depending on participation and catch rates.
A few steelhead have been caught from the lower Clearwater during the catch and release season that began July 1. Steelhead numbers over Lower Granite Dam this past week are averaging about 75 a day. The catch and keep season on the Clearwater from the mouth to the Memorial Bridge begins August 1.
The lower half mile of the Kettle River has been decent for anglers jigging in 8-14 feet of water.
Best luck is along weed lines that parallel the shoreline. Walleye angling is also said to be good in the eddies near China Bend. The most popular method there is to drag a bottom walker and a spinner tipped with half a nightcrawler. Walleye anglers also say they are marking a lot of fish in the Daisy/Hunter area.
Crappie action is picking up again at Potholes Reservoir. Fish the beaver huts. Largemouth bass fishing is excellent in the dunes.
Walleye action is not as consistent, but worm harnesses off the face of the dunes will usually get you some fish.
Pend Oreille smallmouth have been active. Hauser Lake has given up some nice largemouth recently. The perch bite has been off and on.
Diamond Lake has also been decent for bass.
Twin Lake near Harrington has been excellent for largemouth, but watch out for rattlesnakes at the launch and campground. It’s not a good place to take a dog.
Bass anglers putting in at the Department of Natural Resources launch on Long Lake are finding fish both up and down the reservoir. The Spring Canyon area of Roosevelt is loaded with smallmouth, most 10-12 inches.
Clear Lake is good for some nice-sized bluegills. Loon and Silver also have decent bluegill, as do Fernan, Hayden, Cocolalla and Hauser.
Kokanee anglers fishing Loon at night are seeing hundreds of bluegills around their boats, and some of these are big enough to fillet. It’s a great diversion for kids (like me) when the kokes aren’t biting.
Northern pike fishing on Coeur d’Alene Lake has been good along the weed beds. The Chain Lakes are also producing.
Halibut are still open out of Ilwaco and will continue until the quota is met. New this year is a “Near Shore Fishery,” which allows anglers fishing for bottom fish on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday to keep any halibut caught.
Idaho Fish and Game is seeking public input on sage-grouse hunting proposals. Sage-grouse are being considered for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act, primarily due to habitat loss from such things as wildfire and invasive plants.
Sage grouse experts have determined that carefully regulated hunting is not a primary threat to populations, and Fish and Game closely monitors sage-grouse annually to ensure hunting will not compromise the population. Learn more and provide comments at: https://fishandgame .idaho.gov/content/webform /2014-sage-grouse-season-proposals
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