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Hunting and fishing

Fri., July 16, 2010

Fly fishing

The Clark Fork was running at 6,400 cfs at midweek and dropping. Fishing has been good for those braving the wind. The St. Joe was flowing at 255 cfs at Red Ives and 1,370 cfs at Calder Wednesday morning. Flows are dropping slowly. Fishing has been good, but there are still places where wade-fishing is tough. The Regis is gin clear and fishing well. Trout are eating dry flies in the afternoon and late evening. The upper Regis is best. It is still tough to wade the North Fork Clearwater, but Kelly Creek and the other tributaries are wadeable. Elk Hair Caddis are effective now on the North Fork Coeur d’Alene.

The Yakima River in the Ellensburg area and the lower canyon have been fishing very well. A size six or eight stonefly nymph in a black or brown has been productive, especially when combined with a small, beadhead dropper. Terrestrials are beginning to make an appearance and should increase in numbers over the coming weeks.

At Grimes Lake, fish for Lahontan Cutthroat with chironomids and pheasant tail nymphs from 20 to 30 feet down. There are lots of fish from 16-25 inches, with a chance at larger ones.

Trout, kokanee

Loon Lake trollers are consistently taking kokanee to 16 inches, but the bite has moved toward the south end of the lake. Night fishermen are finding a late bite. Reports indicate not much happens before 11 p.m., and then it shuts off around 1:30 a.m. Still-fishermen are taking a lot of tiger and rainbow trout running 17-20 inches.

The Chapman Lake kokanee bite has slowed some, but limits are still possible for trollers. No report from night fishermen.

Kokanee fishing remains hot on Coeur d’Alene Lake for smaller fish. The north end was productive again this week.

Good brown and rainbow fishing is available at Rock Lake in Whitman County. The browns are most prevalent but somewhat skinny. Try an Apex trolled at 3-4 colors with lots of leader.

A small single-barb hook baited with a piece of worm and a red egg will still take trout consistently at many of the lowland lakes. Get away from the water skiers and use a slip bobber to put your offering away from the boat. Williams, Badger, West Medical, Downs, Waitts and Diamond have been mentioned in recent reports. Marshall Lake cutthroat are still active on top in the evening.

Positive Lake Roosevelt trout reports are coming in again, but anglers are also catching a lot of kokanee at Keller, Swawilla Basin and Spring Canyon. Hunters has been good for trout. Pink or orange Apex lures are ho for either species. Trollers have been going as deep as seven colors.

Sprague Lake anglers have reported rainbows running 17-23 inches.

Lake Chelan mackinaw trollers and jiggers are catching numerous 2-5-pound fish downlake of the Yacht Club by the rock slide. Kokanee anglers, however have been frustrated. The fish caught are only 7-9 inches and they’re not particularly numerous at that.

Priest Lake macks 2-5 pounds are fairly easy. Jig at 80-100 feet or try a Flatfish at the same depths.

For those who don’t mind a little hike, Central Washington’s high mountain lakes provide good angling opportunities as the snow recedes. The region’s high lakes fish stocking information is available at fish/plants/regions/ reg3/r3_highlakes.htm

Salmon, steelhead

The summer steelhead run is making a strong early showing at Bonneville Dam. Look for them near the mouths of cooler tributaries as the water temperature in the Columbia continues to rise.

Last week Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) anglers averaged 1.34 salmon per rod. 91 percent of the fish caught were cohos.

Salmon anglers near Brewster on the Columbia River had some great fishing this week, catching both chinook and sockeye. Many anglers are running hootchies at 20-35 feet. Anglers trolling a double hook setup with red yarn are hammering sockeye at the mouth of the Okanogan. Bare red hooks or small Mack’s squid rigs, a big dodger and a 12-inch leader are also effective. Troll slowly.

Spiny ray

From his houseboat on Lake Roosevelt, Gordon Steinmetz reports the Lake Roosevelt walleye fishery is still good. Steinmetz says he has been fishing mostly from Neighborly to the Goat Farm, and said the fish went to 50 feet when the weather got real hot, but have come back up some since it turned cooler.

Jim Kujala of Spokane Valley had little trouble catching numerous largemouth at Eloika Lake recently. Although he released one keeper over 17 inches, his plan to bring home a couple for dinner didn’t pan out because he couldn’t find any under the 12-inch size limit.

Upper Twin Lake was good recently to Spokane Anglers John Petrofski and friends who caught and released 30-35 largemouth, all on green pumpkinseed Senkos and tubes. Included in the catch were a 6-pounder and a 4-pounder.

Banks Lake is still giving up lots of bass. A few perch and a fair number of walleye. Recent reports indicate Lindy rigs with ‘crawlers are effective if trolled just off the bottom. Try Barkers Flats or the Devils Punchbowl.

Tiger muskie continue to show occasionally at Newman Lake, and largemouth are hitting spinnerbaits in shallow water. Try the south end lily pads.

Big Downs Lake perch are showing up more frequently now, and anglers braving the trip up the creek to Bonnie Lake are also finding 10-13-inch perch. Largemouth at both lakes are hitting spinnerbaits.

Perch at Diamond Lake are running 9-10 inches. Usually, they can be found in 15-20 feet of water to the left of the public access, but sometimes they can’t be found at all. Diamond also has some big bass. I received a picture this week from Diamond Lake resident Duane Swartz, holding a fat 24-inch largemouth he caught off his dock. Other “trout lakes” giving up some nice largemouth are Sacheen, Fan and Clear.

Other species

This year’s recreational fishery for white sturgeon in the Columbia River estuary has been extended through Aug. 1. The daily bag limit is one sturgeon between 41 and 54 inches (fork length).


The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has adopted rules that would allow the use of electronic calls for bears, mountain lions and wolves, and traps and snares for taking wolves in areas and with bag limits and seasons to be specified by the commission. They also adopted depredation hunts on black bears and wolves, and a provision that would allow hunters to take wolves incidental to hunting over bear bait. The commission will set wolf seasons and limits during the August meeting. They set the forest grouse season at August 30 statewide.

Contact Alan Liere at


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