A hiker fly-fishes for trout just before sunset at Basin Lake in the Seven Devils portion of the Hells Canyon Wilderness. (Rich Landers)

Guns, rods & wilderness: Backcountry sportsmen convene in Spokane 

Sportsmen hooked on the rewards of hunting and fishing beyond roads and rigs are dropping their packs in Spokane this week. The 4th annual North American Rendezvous of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) will convene at the Red Lion in the Park on Friday and Saturday. The schedule includes a brewfest, workshops, banquets, keynote address by a TV hunting show host, a film presented by an ethicist and other programs open to the public for the price of a ticket.

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TV host: Hunting effort key to satisfaction

In the world of TV sportsman shows, at least one star is trying to avoid skewing the reality of hunting and fishing. “I try to paint the real image of public land hunting on my show,” said Randy Newberg of Bozeman, TV host and producer of Fresh Tracks and On Your Own Adventures on the Sportsman Channel.

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Chuck Littlecrow of the Kalispel Tribe removes pike from a Pend Oreille River gillnet. (Rich Landers)

Field reports: Pend Oreille River pike netting starts

FISHING – State and tribal workers will begin setting gillnets Monday for another season of suppressing non-native northern pike in the Pend Oreille River downstream from Newport. The Kalispel Tribe in cooperation with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will deploy nets where pike congregate Monday through Friday until May.

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THURSDAY, FEB. 26, 2015

In brief: Free fishing seminars scheduled for local anglers

Anglers can pick up useful local information on fishing techniques at free seminars scheduled this month in the Inland Northwest. Six bass and walleye seminars are scheduled on Saturday during the February Fishing Frenzy at Spokane Valley Marine, 7915 E. Sprague. The presentations will be made by area anglers as well as Bassmaster pro John Murray.

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Weekly hunting and fishing report 

Fly fishing Sunday is the opener in the Quincy Wildlife Area. Lenice and Nunnally didn’t get much attention last season and could be very good this year. There are big rainbow and some browns in these lakes. Dusty Lake has also been popular over the years with fly fishermen looking for large rainbow, browns and tiger trout. It is a walk-in lake.

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SUNDAY, FEB. 22, 2015

THURSDAY, FEB. 19, 2015

Weekly hunting and fishing report

Fly fishing Lake Roosevelt doesn’t get much pressure from the fly fishing community, but a few hardy anglers are testing their cold water tolerance and stamina in float tubes. A recent report indicated an Egg Sucking Black Bugger brought a couple of fish to the net in the vicinity of 7-Bays.

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SUNDAY, FEB. 15, 2015

Field reports: Feds may restore grizzly bears to North Cascades 

WILDLIFE – A tentative federal proposal to restore grizzly bears in the North Cascades will be explained at public meetings next month. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service are taking public comments for an environmental impact statement before deciding whether to take an active role in restoring the grizzly bear to the North Cascades Ecosystem.

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THURSDAY, FEB. 12, 2015

Kansas City angler catches monster northern pike on Bighorn River in Montana

Famed for its spectacular trout fishing, Montana’s Bighorn River recently gave Kansas City, Missouri, fly angler Nathan Diesel a big, toothy surprise – a 38-inch, 16-pound northern pike. The catch is so surprising because northern pike aren’t common to that stretch of the river, especially ones that big. The men were fishing in the 30 miles below Yellowtail Dam where the Bighorn River flows cool and clear, making it a productive and popular trout fishery known around the world.

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SUNDAY, FEB. 8, 2015

Sean Visintainer, right, of Spokane landed this tarpon on a fly with a fishing guide in Jardines de la Reina, Cuba, in January 2015.

Far-flung fly fishers hooked on Cuba 

A group of Spokane fly fishers already had a trip planned and tickets purchased before President Barack Obama announced on Dec. 17 that he was working to relieve U.S.-Cuba restrictions on travel and commerce. They headed out in January for a round-about journey to an island nation that U.S. citizens have had to dream about or jump through hoops to visit.

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Don Childress of Sandpoint prepares to release a Siberian white-spotted char while fly fishing in the Kamchatka region of Russia. (Courtesy)

Far-flung fly fishing in Russia

Don Childress of Sandpoint fondly recalls being among the first Westerners to cast a fly in Russia’s remote Kamchatka Peninsula steelhead and trout streams, where the smallest rainbow of the three-week trip weighed 6 pounds. Two decades later, another member of Panhandle Trout Unlimited returned from the region’s Zhupanova River and found the magic and the lunkers are still there.

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THURSDAY, FEB. 5, 2015

Mackenzie Ryan boats a kokanee from Lake Pend Oreille. IDFG surveys indicated a population of 1.4 million adult kokanee, one of the highest estimates since the 1970s.

Landers: Pend Oreille kokanee top ‘State of Lake’ review 

Anglers responded with hooks, lines and the best success rates in decades to the recovery of kokanee in Lake Pend Oreille last year. The Idaho Fish and Game Department says anglers harvested nearly 150,000 kokanee from the lake in 2014, buoyed by the state raising the kokanee daily bag limit last spring from six to 15 fish. 

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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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