Upper Wheeler Reservoir, located approximately 11 miles southwest of Wenatchee in Chelan County, will open Saturday. Wheeler Reservoir has been closed to public access, but arrangements have been made to grant public access to recreational anglers under fly fishing, catch and release regulations. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will stock the lake and the Wenatchee Valley Fly Fishers will maintain the site.
The Yakima River in Kittitas County is seeing good nymphing throughout the system. The river is in good shape and a few salmon flies are showing with the more predominant caddis.
Trout and kokanee
Loon Lake kokanee are still near the surface and susceptible to a trolled Wedding Ring-type lure tipped with maggots. It is not uncommon to take a large rainbow this way.
After the May 3 kids fishing derby on Clear Lake, the fish remaining in the netted-off area were released into the lake, adding some huge rainbow to an already good fishery.
Fishtrap Lake trollers are dragging both flies and Rapalas with great success. Most trout are around 11 inches, but fish to 3 pounds have been taken recently.
Friends trolling perch-colored Hotshots at Williams Lake one evening this week said it was constant action from 4-8. Included in the catch of planter rainbow was an 8-pound broodstock trout.
Spokane residents Bill and Nettie Blosser fished Sprague Lake Tuesday for 10 trout that weighed a cumulative 33 pounds. “They just fight like crazy,” said Nettie, who said fish were jumping all over the lake. Worms and marshmallows on bottom did the damage. The Blossers also said a recent outing on West Medical with a bunch of kids from their church created smiles, squeals and a lot of 12- to 14-inch rainbow.
Diamond Lake anglers are catching numerous small rainbow near the surface and some larger rainbow and browns at 30-40 feet. Trollers are dragging Wedding Rings, Krocodiles, Apexes or Needle Fish.
Coffeepot Lake is getting a lot of interest lately from fly fishermen and trollers looking for big trout. Trollers out of the launch and farther past are finding a lot of small fish, but the larger trout are at the far end – many 20 inches and more.
Park Lake in Grant County is seeing excellent rainbow fishing from boat and shore. Most of the fish are this year’s plants, but trout to 3 pounds are not uncommon.
Fernan Lake rainbow are small but cooperative. Trollers are taking them with small flashy spoons and green spinner flies.
At Pend Oreille Charters (208-610-8540), Kurt Arnter said the lake is full of fat rainbow and mackinaw and fishing has been excellent. His boat did well during the recent spring derby, mostly for rainbow, which he entices with flies on a planer board. Arnter predicts some of the ’bows will be pushing 25 pounds by fall. Kokanee are also abundant again in Pend Oreille.
Salmon and steelhead
Chinook anglers are beginning to catch fish in Washington and Idaho waters near Clarkston/Lewiston. More than 33,000 chinook had passed Lower Granite Dam by Tuesday. Fish are mostly bright and in excellent condition.
Chinook fishing has been good around Little Goose Dam, with a number of nice fish caught off “The Wall.”
Wind River chinook anglers are crowding the water, but fishing was slow this week.
A friend who fishes Lake Roosevelt regularly said his intended smallmouth trip this week turned into a walleye-fest when he found the bass weren’t biting yet. He reported nonstop action on small ’eyes in the Spokane Arm.
Potholes Reservoir remains hot for walleye with the best action in Crab Creek, along Medicare Beach and in Lind Coulee. Most of the fish have been good eating size with nothing particularly large. The best rig has been a 3-ounce bottom bouncer with a Smiley blade and a slow death hook baited with half a crawler.
Walleye fishing on Banks Lake is picking up steam. Many fish in the 16- to 18-inch range are coming in, but there are a fair number of fish more than 20 inches and a lot of dinks. Most of the action has been in the 20-depths, plus or minus. Some of the best action last weekend was at the Devils Punchbowl, in Poplar and Kruks bays and the Million Dollar Mile stretch.
The south end of Coeur d’Alene has been good to pike fishermen, as has Cave Lake in the Chain Lake system. The fish are shallow, hitting soft plastic frogs or rubber worms in 3 feet of water.
A catfish derby begins Friday at Lyons Ferry Marina and runs for a month. Anglers will be allowed to weigh in one fish per day with the largest fish at the end of the derby winning a full-day guided fishing trip with YJ Guide Service.
WDFW approved eight days of morning razor clam digging running through Tuesday. The agency also announced a list of proposed digs, which would run May 27 through June 1. For updates on upcoming digs, visit the WDFW website at: wdfw.wa.gov/fishing /shellfish/razorclams /current.html.
There are still a lot of lonesome toms running around while the hens incubate eggs. If you haven’t found success, you still have until May 31.
The Farragut Shooting Range opens Friday and will be available every Friday from noon until 7 p.m. and every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. through the first week in November. Handgun use is still prohibited until the 50-yard range safety improvements are completed. Idaho Fish and Game is opening a 12-position, 200-yard rifle range and, for those who would like to learn shotgunning, a four-position informal trap range. User fee for the range is $5 per day. New this year is range access using Perimeter Road on the east side of the Park, so those who are only shooting can avoid paying the Farragut State Park entrance fee on top of the range use fee.
Contact Alan Liere at “>email@example.com
Most recent column
Some upland bird hunters like their pheasants wild. Others don’t care where the rock-star game birds originate as long as they’re in the field and ready to fly when the Eastern Washington season opens on Saturday.
Recent blog posts
SHOOTING -- The Seattle Times series of stories on lead poisoning issues at shooting ranges is providing more food for thought and action: The youngsters knew their sport could be ...
FISHING -- A coho fishing season will open on the “middle” Yakima River on Wednesday, Oct. 22, -- for both hatchery and wild fish, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department ...