Antilon Lake in Chelan County is in the hills north of Manson, Washington. There are actually two small lakes, and the lower one has been good recently for foot-long browns. Olive green Wooly Buggers and full sinking lines are a good bet.
Trout fishing opens in hundreds of rivers across the state Saturday. One of these, the upper Spokane River from Upriver Dam to the Idaho border, will open for catch-and-release fishing. There are some big wild fish in this stretch.
Fly fishing for bass is again popular on Coeur d’Alene Lake. Anglers are using leeches and Wooly Buggers around structure, particularly docks.
Downs Lake is a good spot for 10- to 11-inch rainbow on the fly.
Trout and kokanee
West Medical has remained consistently good this spring. Bank anglers fishing near the first Bull pine on the Northwestern shoreline are taking a lot of 12-inch trout throwing both bait and lures.
Lake Roosevelt kokanee to 20 inches have been slamming Cha-Cha Squidders behind DD dodgers in the Spring Canyon area. Rainbow are being caught on the same setup.
Omak Lake on the Colville Reservation is getting quite a bit of attention because of its large Lahontan cutthroat. An F7 chrome flatfish has been enticing fish in the 2- to 3-pound range, and much larger fish are a possibility. Surface trolling has been best. Pearrygin Lake is full of 9- to 13-inch rainbow. A trolled dodger and Wooly Bugger is extremely effective, and fly casters are also doing well.
Chelan Lake kokanee fishing is far from fast, but persistent trollers are putting some beautiful 16-inchers in the cooler.
Hayden Lake kokanee are in big schools. Find one and the action is good, but these schools are getting more difficult to locate and some anglers are wondering if the big kokes have been fished out.
Fishing for brown trout on Rock Lake has been good but not fantastic. The fish range mostly from 16-19 inches. The stained water makes this lake treacherous for those who aren’t aware of the many rock pillars just under the surface.
Priest Lake macks of 3-5 pounds are being dredged from the bottom from Mack Alley south in about 120 feet of water. The kokanee there appear to be much smaller this year than last.
The Tucannon River impoundments in Columbia County are good choices for rainbow trout. Big Four, Blue, Curl, Deer, Rainbow, Spring and Watson lakes were stocked with hatchery rainbow in late May.
Salmon and steelhead
Two sections of the Snake River (below Ice Harbor Dam and Lower Granite Dam) reopened to fishing for spring chinook salmon last Sunday, while two other sections of the river (below Little Goose Dam and near Clarkston) will reopen today. The sections of the river below Ice Harbor Dam and Lower Granite Dam will be open Sunday through Tuesday each week. The river below Little Goose Dam and in the Clarkston area will be open Thursday through Saturday each week. The daily catch limit for hatchery adult chinook has also been increased to two per day as well as four hatchery jacks measuring less than 24 inches. For more information on the Snake River spring chinook fishery, check the emergency fishing rule at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.
Idaho has approved fisheries on portions of the South Fork Salmon and the Upper Salmon rivers. The seasons will open June 21 on both rivers. Limits will be four fish per day, only two of which may be adults.
Some of the best fishing in the region this month should be on the Icicle River, where the spring chinook salmon fishery opened May 23. There are about 6,000 hatchery chinook predicted to return to the Icicle.
The Grande Ronde River opens Saturday for trout and smallmouth. Generally, trout anglers ply the water up from Boggan’s Oasis and bass anglers head down. A new public access map to the Grande Ronde is available for downloading on the WDFW eastern region webpage.
Jump-Off Joe Lake in Stevens County has a good population of decent-sized perch. Try the middle of the lake straight out from the public access. Some nice largemouth have been caught recently close to shore.
Eloika Lake seems to get overlooked for perch after the ice fishing season, but the fish are still there in huge numbers. Find the deepest water available – generally in the channel north of Jerry’s Landing. Eloika largemouth are on beds in 3-4 feet of water.
Long Lake crappie are scattered around structure and docks with no huge concentrations found this week. A tiny jig head and either a white or chartreuse curly tail grub will do the job.
Bass anglers are doing almost as well as trout fishermen on Clear Lake. Some 5-pounders were taken recently.
The Moses Lake Walleye Classic will be held on Moses Lake this weekend. While not as large on average as Potholes walleye, those in Moses Lake appear to be more numerous. The next sanctioned walleye tournament is the Governor’s Cup out of Kettle Falls June 28-29.
Walleye fishing is fair to good on Banks Lake, though a lot of the fish are sublegal. Anglers are also picking up an occasional decent-sized burbot. Small walleye are still in the Spokane Arm in good numbers.
Tiger musky in area waters are biting. They are found in eastern Washington in Silver, Newman, Evergreen, Red Rock and Curlew and in northern Idaho’s Hayden and Hauser. Unlike Muskellunge or pike, this hybrid cross prefers small lures over large ones. They don’t generally hit topwaters and don’t usually hit after dark. Look for them in shallow water near logs and weed beds.
Hundreds of thousands of shad have been counted at Bonneville Dam. Bank anglers are doing well just below the dam at the Steamboat Landing Dock in Washougal. Boat anglers are catching fish from Longview upstream.
Spring turkey season is over. Unless hunters are planning to hunt turkeys this fall, it’s time to report spring turkey hunting activity whether turkeys were harvested or not. Reports can be filed by telephone (toll free at 1-877-945-3492) or online.
Most recent column
The curtain has opened on the last act in the Columbia River system’s “Year of the Salmon.” The performance began with good returns of spring chinook followed by this summer’s post-dams record returns of sockeye and a great showing of coho. Now the big stars …
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