July 17, 2009 in Sports

Hunting + fishing

By Correspondent

Tip of the week

The Brewster Pool and Wells Dam can both be good for chinook. The Brewster bite is very early in the morning, however, while the bite at Wells Dam is for sleepyheads. It picks up later in the morning and runs most of the day.

Braggin rights

Coeur d’Alene Fins and Feathers owner/guide, Jeff Smith has put clients on numerous northern pike this week, at least four in excess of 10 pounds. Smith fishes spinnerbaits along the weed lines in Carlin, Cougar, Mica and Rockford bays.


Anglers fishing near one of the net pens on Rufus Woods Reservoir say that judging by the number of triploids caught recently, there is another hole in the net.

Heads up

•If you get a chinook salmon at Wells Dam or the Brewster Pool, take it to the Triangle Shell in Brewster where it will be weighed and photographed and entered to win weekly prizes. A grand prize will be awarded in September. The biggest fish entered so far weighed 39½ pounds.

•Pahsimeroi Hatchery near the town of Ellis, Idaho, has been stocking jack salmon (those less than 24 inches) into both Kid’s Creek and Blue Mountain ponds. They are also “recycling” excess adult salmon back into the Salmon below the Pahsimeroi River. Sawtooth Fish Hatchery will also start recycling excess adult fish back into the river downstream of the hatchery.

•Washington fishermen and hunters will soon see several changes in recreational license fees, approved by the 2009 Legislature to help maintain state fishing and hunting opportunities. These include a two-pole option in specific waters for an additional, annual fee of $20 ($5 for resident seniors), a temporary, 10 percent surcharge on sales of recreational licenses, permits, tags, stamps and raffle tickets (effective July 26 until June 30, 2011), and a new $7.50 annual fee for adult anglers who fish the Columbia River and its tributaries for salmon and steelhead.

Fly 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.

Spiny ray

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.

Other species

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

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