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.
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.
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.
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.
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.