April 16, 2010 in Sports

Hunting + fishing

By Correspondent

Tip of the week

On days when that gobbler will sound off but won’t come closer, try replicating a fight to coax it in. Whatever type of call you are using, make a series of purrs of varying length, tossing in sharp clucks to increase the sense of agitation.

Braggin’ rights

Spokane resident Otto Klein and I broke a five-year opening-day jinx when he shot a big gobbler north of Spokane. With the pressure off, I can relax and concentrate on shooting the jake I’d like to serve at my annual wild game dinner in May.


The 2009-2010 steelhead run broke the modern-day record, with about 312,000 fish counted at Lower Granite Dam through late December. That number is double the average for the last 10 years and easily broke the record of 262,000 fish counted in 2001.The only bad news is that the run was made up of predominately one-salt A-run fish. The two-salt B-runs, bound mostly for the Clearwater River, were down considerably from last year.

Heads up

•April 30 is the deadline to mail in steelhead/salmon catch record cards.

•Don’t forget the bounty fishery on Lake Pend Oreille. Spring is a good time to take macks and rainbow near the surface. Every mack of any size and rainbow trout more than 13 inches long harvested through March 2011 pays $15.

Fly fishing

The Coeur d’Alene River has spiked and been on the drop the last couple of days. Fishing has been good in the lower stretches. The St. Joe River has also seen a big spike, which should have brought some fish up from the lower river. It’s still cold above Avery so you should look to nymphs in the lower section with the hope of a hatch of blue wings or midges sometime in the late afternoon.

The Clark Fork River got some needed water recently. A double- nymph rig fished lower in the water column will be the ticket until the bugs really start moving again.

Idaho’s Hayden Lake has some large rainbow. Fly fishermen are enticing them with Leeches and Buggers below an indicator.

Salmon, steelhead

The steelhead season closes April 30 on most regional waters, but goes until May 15 on the Little Salmon River.

Guide Toby Wyatt of Clarkston just returned from three spectacular days of chinook fishing on the Columbia near the mouth of the Willamette River. He said it will take these fish 21 days to swim from Bonneville Dam to the Clearwater and expects excellent May fishing.

The predicted return of 470,000 upriver spring chinook allows for expanded fishing opportunities and limits in the Snake River within Washington beginning Tuesday for one area and April 24 for three others. Chinook retention is limited to two adults and four jacks per day in all, but the area between the juvenile bypass return pipe and Little Goose Dam along the south shoreline of the facility. This includes the walkway area locally known as “The Wall.” The bag limit for this area is one jack and one adult, but an angler must cease fishing when the one adipose-clipped adult is retained. Visit the Emergency Fishing Rule Web site at: wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/ fishregs.htm for details.

Chinook anglers are starting to fish the Wind River, and effort is also increasing on Drano Lake where anglers have taken a few fish.

Trout, kokanee

Many Colville Tribal lakes and streams open Saturday and anglers have a lot of choices. Colvile Tribal fish biologist Ed Shallenberger said many of these waters should offer excellent fishing, but his first choice would be McGinness, which holds some large brook trout. He also noted that the Twins lakes have some nice brookies, as well as bass and triploid rainbow more than 6 pounds. Buley Lake, which is alkaline and has a distinctive odor, has been a pleasant surprise, producing Lahontan cutthroat running 2-5 pounds. A tribal license is required for all reservation waters.

Omak Lake, located on the Colville Reservation, has been open for some time. Guide Anton Jones recommended trolling a Silver Horde darting plug just under the surface at the south end for the big Lahontans. Single barbless hooks are required.

Roses, a non-tribal lake in the Omak area, received a fresh plant of trout recently and fishing has picked up. Many anglers are trolling dark Wooly Buggers or Muddlers.

Deer Lake in Stevens County is attracting more interest. Anglers slow-trolling spinner-type offerings in 8-10 feet of water are taking trout running 12-16 inches on the east side.

Amber Lake, which opened March 1, is fishing well. It shifts to a harvest fishery on April 24. Amber is under selective-gear rules and a two-fish- more-than-14-inches limit, but anglers must release all trout with a missing adipose fin.

Lake Roosevelt anglers are having good luck trolling dark Muddler flies in the Hawk Creek area along the rocks.

Jig and float fishing for triploid rainbows – much like the technique used for steelhead – has been effective near the lower pens on Rufus Woods Reservoir.

Kokanee fishing at Dworshak Reservoir is just starting and should be good through June. Most of the early action is between the dam and Dent Bridge.

Spiny ray

Eloika Lake crappie running 10-11 inches are being taken consistently at midlake by anglers tossing white jigs.

Snake and lower Salmon River smallmouth are just starting to bite. Long Lake bass fishermen are finding more smallmouth than largemouth, but the occasional whopper keeps them coming back.

Tiger musky at Newman Lake show up just often enough to make the cold weather bearable. Crappie and bass fishing are slow.

Potholes and Lind Coulee walleye went off the feed this week, but largemouth bass continue to hit in the sand dunes.

Other species

Whitefish are abundant and large in the lower Clearwater below Orofino. They can provide excellent spring fishing.

The Snake River in the Lewiston area is beginning to produce channel catfish averaging 4 pounds.

Channel cats are also becoming active in the Palouse River by Lyons Ferry.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere @yahoo.com.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email