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Hunting + fishing

Trout and kokanee

Lenice Lake has been very good for big trout, especially if you can fish around the frequent wind storms. An olive Wooly Bugger works as well as anything.

Lake Roosevelt kokanee are biting throughout the system in 38-60 feet of water. The deeper you go, the larger the fish. Rainbow are also being caught.

Rock Lake is slow, as is Rufus Woods. Popular Williams Lake has slowed, also, but limits are still possible.

Loon Lake night fishermen are finding the big kokes sporadically, but trollers have had fairly consistent luck. Chapman Lake kokanee anglers are still-fishing during the evening hours for limits. Deer Lake mack fishermen are picking up fish to 12 pounds now and then. Priest and Chelan macks have been cooperative. Use large Flatfish.

Badger Lake can still be good for cutthroat to 17 inches, though there are reports of a lot of small bluegill. Sprague Lake has been red hot in front of Sprague Lake Resort. Most anglers are laying a nightcrawler on the bottom, but a few have also done well with only a couple feet of line under a bobber.

Salmon and steelhead

Steelhead anglers at the confluence of the Clearwater are averaging a fish every ten hours, but some mornings the bite is much faster. In the catch-and-keep section of the Clearwater from the Memorial Bridge to Orofino, the average has been a fish every five hours. The steelhead count at Bonneville has broken all sorts of records this summer, but the count at Lower Granite is actually about 4,000 fish less than last year.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has approved a fall chinook harvest season on the Snake River between Lewiston and Hells Canyon Dam beginning Tuesday, the same day Snake River steelhead harvest season opens in both Idaho and Washington. Washington anglers, however, may not keep Snake River chinook. The Grande Ronde River also opens on Tuesday, but according to guide, Rick Hedding, there are no steelhead in the river yet. A good rain will change that. The lower Yakima River will open Tuesday for salmon fishing, including all areas from Prosser Dam downstream to the Columbia River. Salmon fishing around Wells Dam and Bridgeport is pretty much over until late September.

Boat anglers at Drano Lake averaged 1.8 steelhead per rod this week. Bank anglers on the White Salmon River are catching chinook as well as steelhead. The Hanford Reach and Ringgold have been slow.

Buoy 10 anglers are averaging close to a coho per rod. Last week at Ilwaco, anglers averaged 1.25 salmon per rod. Anglers off the north jetty are also catching some fish, primarily coho. Through Sunday, approximately 80 percent of the coho quota and 91 percent of the chinook guideline had been taken. At Neah Bay and Westport, 69 percent of the quota has been met. At LaPush, it’s 88 percent.

Pink (humpy) fishing continues to be phenomenal on the Washington coast on the upper end of Bainbridge Island, in front of Edmonds, at Kingston and at Point No Point.

Spiny ray

Banks Lake walleye are coming off the humps near Goose Island on the south end. Spinners and cranks are working.

Many of Lake Roosevelt’s walleye are only 14-15 inches. A popular technique for catching them is to drag a three-eighths-ounce jig tipped with a nightcrawlers in 25-45 feet of water between Two Rivers and the Goat Farm. A friend who fished Northport this week said the walleye were small and not very aggressive.

Newman bass are pretty much “on” all day. Use soft plastics. The Tum Tum area of Long Lake is booting out lots of smallish smallmouth and some jumbo perch. A few perch to 13 inches have been mixed in with catches of Moses Lake walleye (small) and bass (somewhat larger).

Everyone knows Lake Pend Oreille has a good smallmouth population, but it also has some really big largemouth. Look for them now in the tules and around docks and weed lines.


The early archery Washington deer season runs Sept. 1-25, while the elk season runs Sept. 8-20. The general hunting season for black bear is under way in most areas of the state. Hunters are allowed two bear during the season but only one can be taken in eastern Washington.

Also opening Tuesday in Washington and Idaho are the statewide forest grouse, rabbit and dove hunting seasons. In Washington’s Pacific County, Goose Management Area 2B will be open for goose hunting Sept. 1-15.

Contact Alan Liere by email at