Hunting + fishing
The Yakima River flows have increased slightly this past week for irrigation purposes. The water clarity is great, water temperatures are in the lower to middle 60’s and fishing remains consistent. Large grasshopper- type patterns fished with movement have been effective.
Fish Lake fly casters are taking tiger trout averaging 14 inches as well as some larger brookies. The Stayner Ducktail has been effective. Fish deep.
Amber Lake is getting warm, but fly fishermen fishing deep are getting lots of takes throwing damsels and Stillwater Nymphs. Almost all Amber Lake rainbow and cutthroat run 16-19 inches.
The Clark Fork, St. Joe and Coeur d’Alene are fishing well. Pmds and caddis are effective in the evening and big attractor patterns and hoppers during the day.
Trout and kokanee
Anglers trolling three colors of leaded line and Wooly Buggers are making consistent hookups on Coffeepot Lake rainbows to 20 inches.
Williams and Badger lakes don’t seem to be running out of trout despite hot fishing since opening day.
Chapman Lake kokes are all sizes, but a lot of them are 10-13 inches. The bite has been early, still fishing or trolling the north end.
Kokanee near Keller on Lake Roosevelt are hitting Pro-Troll or Apex two-hook rigs at 50 feet. These fish are running 2-4 pounds. Small net pen rainbow are easy to catch throughout the system.
The odd chinook is still being caught from Lake Chelan, but anglers trolling Flatfish sweetened with a piece of pikeminnow are seeing the most action.
Between Sunnybank and Minneapolis is good early. Later in the morning, work off the tip of Wapato Point.
Coeur d’Alene kokanee are biting, but most are very small. At Loon Lake, a consistent night fishery has not developed and trollers are also having a tough time now putting fish in the boat.
Salmon and steelhead
Between one and two hundred steelhead have passed over Lower Granite Dam each day this week – enough to provide some action for the catch-and-release season on the Clearwater and optimism for the catch-and-keep season that begins August 1 at the mouth.
The Chinook salmon fishing season will remain open on the upper Salmon River, upstream of the city of Salmon, through the weekend. IDFG fishery managers will assess the fishery today for the likelihood of additional fishing days next week
Tribal nets at the mouth of the Okanogan have impacted the chinook bite there, but whether the nets are in or out, the fishery can be erratic with two slow days followed by two days of phenomenal catching. Flashers and Super Bait combos are most popular. It is likely net fishing will end soon, to be resumed in October. Anglers should also take advantage of a sockeye run predicted to be the largest since the Columbia River was dammed. The daily limit is two chinook and two sockeye or four sockeye.
The fourth annual Budweiser/Lowrance King Salmon Derby in Brewster is scheduled for July 31 through Aug. 2 this year with over $15,000 in cash and prizes. Info: 509-429-0277.
Ilwaco anglers averaged 1.83 salmon per rod last week. Coho comprised 97 percent of the catch. Through July 12, an estimated 11.5 percent of the coho quota and 6.4 percent of the Chinook guideline had been taken. At Westport, the catch estimates were 493 chinook and 2,600 coho. Season catches through July 12 total 777 chinook and 3,816 coho (6 percent of the area sub-quota). A total of 87 pink have been landed. Catch estimates for LaPush last week were 33 chinook and 389 coho for a total of 23 percent of the area sub-quota. Neah Bay has given up 12 percent of the area sub-quota. Pink fishing continues to improve. Fishing in the San Juan Islands has been fairly good despite a large number of dogfish.
After two successful ventures to Diamond Lake recently, I thought I had the perch dialed in. My last trip this week, however, resulted in one perch and one bullhead for two anglers, and we couldn’t even catch a trout.
On Roses Lake in the Okanogan, the classic worm under a bobber has been producing bucket loads of bluegills.
Some anglers are still catching Pend Oreille River pike, but fishing near River’s Bend this week, I wasn’t one of them. Best reports came from the vicinity of Davis Creek and Dalkena. Grubs in 6-15 feet of water are taking both pike and largemouth bass.
Long Lake remains good for bass, and a few pike were reported caught near Tum Tum this week. The docks around Suncrest have yielded some decent largemouth, and the edge of the weeds around Willow Bay is good for 9-inch perch.
Silver Lake largemouth are hitting Senkos in the timber. Tiger muskies have been seen but not caught. Newman Lake largemouth are hanging in the pads. Good success has been reported fishing the southeast end early with Texas-rigged worms. Newman tiger muskies also have lockjaw. Downs Lake perch have not yet turned on, something they normally do after the Fourth of July. When that happens, the bite is frantic, and it’s worth a few futile trips just to be there when it happens. In the meantime, tiger trout and bass are providing some action.
Chapman Lake perch are being caught near the dam. Fish the north end for bass – either side. A 5-pound smallmouth was taken recently.
The “troll under the bridge” – the huge boar pig guarding the launch at Bonnie Lake – has not been seen lately. Some big crappie and perch are coming from the far end.
Small walleye are being caught throughout the Roosevelt system. The water around Marcus Island has been mentioned several times this week.
Coeur d’Alene smallmouth are still hitting plastics and nice-sized crappie are showing at Hauser.
The Palouse River remains good for catfish, most running 3-8 pounds. The Hells Canyon section of the Snake River is good for sturgeon.
You can contact Alan Liere by e-mail at spokesmanliere@ yahoo.com