July 23, 2010 in Outdoors

Hunting and fishing

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Tip of

the week

One of the most important pieces of gear for successful kokanee fishing is a long-handled net. Many fish are lost right at the boat, but a net that telescopes out 10 feet or better will cut losses significantly.

Braggin’ rights

Way to go, ladies! More women than men took up hunting last year. According to new net figures from the National Sporting Goods Association, the number of female hunters increased by 5.4 percent, netting 163,000 new participants. Growth areas for women included muzzleloading (up 134.6 percent), bowhunting (up 30.7 percent) and hunting with firearms (up 3.5 percent).

Heads up

The Muskies Inc.-sponsored Mayfield Lake Tiger Muskie Tournament will take place Saturday and Sunday at Mayfield Lake near Mossyrock in Lewis County. There is still time to register. For more information contact Muskies, Inc. Chapter #57 253-850-5889 or visit the website at www.nwtiger muskies.com.

• A public meeting will be held Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the WDFW office, 2315 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, to review the citizen advisory group’s first recommendations on lead sinker restrictions at 13 lakes to protect loons from lead poisoning.

• Catch-and-release anglers are already taking steelhead from the Clearwater, and catch-and-keep fishing begins Aug. 1 on the Clearwater River from the mouth to Memorial Bridge on Highway 12 at Lewiston. More than twice as many fish have already passed Lower Granite Dam as on the same date last year.

Fly fishing

The South Fork Snake River is fishing well. Golden stoneflies are coming off, and fly anglers are having luck in the riffles. Several incentive payments (including one fish worth $1,000) have been paid out to anglers catching tagged fish.

The Henrys Fork Snake River is also good. Anglers report good catch rates and several large fish. The Harriman Ranch is fishing particularly well in the early morning and late evening. Anglers are using PMDs and caddis.

Henrys Lake is producing for fly anglers, mainly near the Targhee area. Catch rates are excellent for brook trout, and hybrids in the 7-10 pound range are occasionally being reported.

The Lochsa and Selway rivers are fishing very well for cutthroat and rainbow trout. Early morning is best with attractors like Royal Wulffs. Bead Head nymphs are a good mid-day fly.

Trout, kokanee

I tried Loon Lake twice this week – once still-fishing at night and once trolling with friends, Dale Moffat and Mike Sweeney. The night-fishing trip was a bust – not even a bite before I quit at 12:30 a.m. I heard later that anglers who stayed out way past my bedtime found a late bite in the vicinity of Granite Point in 32 feet of water.

My daytime efforts at Loon were much more rewarding. Despite failing to connect on about three-quarters of strikes, the three of us managed 25 kokanee in about five hours – between 5:30 and 10:30 a.m. After that, we couldn’t buy a bite. Seven fish were 15 inches or better, and except for three 7-inch “shakers,” the rest were 9-12. We trolled south of the island, finding most of our fish at around 36 feet. Best trolling speed was between 1.2 and 1.4 mph.

A few anglers are catching a lot of big trout, still fishing Deer Lake on the side directly opposite the public access. Nights have been best, and a simple worm/egg sandwich is as good as anything.

The story this week on Lake Coeur d’Alene is the same as the last two – lots of small kokanee for trollers.

Chapman Lake kokanee are still biting but have gone deeper – suspending between 15-20 feet. Trollers are doing well.

Rufus Woods has been decent recently on the upper end for 3-6-pound triploids. Not many anglers are on the water except at the mouth of the Okanogan where sockeye fishermen are reeling them in.

Lake Pend Oreille is giving up a smorgasbord of fish species, including small macks and big rainbow. Anglers report inadvertently hooking kokanee, which seem to be recovering. Priest Lake macks are biting near the islands.

Salmon, steelhead

Early in the week, guide Rod Hammons said there were still no kings at Brewster to speak of. He suspected they were running up the Okanogan without stopping. In the last two days, however, fishing has picked up a little. Sockeye fishing has been generally good. Wells Dam is your best shot at the kings on the Chelan County side and sockeye on the Douglas County side. Sockeye are depth specific. To find them, you may need to experiment.

If you want the opportunity to catch a salmon in Idaho this season, don’t plan your fishing trip too far into the future. The Salmon River main stem is open from the posted boundary at the cable car crossing behind Buddy’s Restaurant in the city of Salmon upstream to the posted boundary at Ellis. Anglers have caught about 25 percent of the sport-fish quota, but in recent days catch is increasing.

Many chinook seasons in Idaho are still open. Besides the Ellis area of the Upper Salmon, these include the main stem Clearwater from the Orofino Bridge upstream to the South Fork Clearwater River; the South Fork Clearwater from its mouth to the confluence of the American and Red rivers, the Middle Fork Clearwater from the South Fork upstream to the confluence of the Lochsa and Selway rivers; the Lochsa River from its mouth to the Twin Bridges immediately upstream from the confluence of Crooked Fork and Colt Killed creeks; stretches of the Lower Salmon; Little Salmon; and the Snake River from the Dug Bar boat ramp upstream to Hells Canyon Dam.

Anglers will be able to fish for salmon seven days a week along the entire Washington coast beginning today. The new rules will increase recreational fishing opportunities in marine areas 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores), 3 (LaPush) and 4 (Neah Bay), where salmon fishing had been restricted to five days a week. Salmon fishing is already open seven days a week in Marine Area 1(Ilwaco). Overall, salmon fishing has been good on the coast this summer, but the number of anglers participating in the fishery has been lower than expected.

Spiny ray

Largemouth fishing at Twin Lakes in Lincoln County is still good, John Petrofski of Spokane said. He and a friend each landed a 5-pounder recently as well as many smaller fish. Senkos are hard to beat.

Banks Lake is still giving up some fat walleye as well as lots of smallmouth and a few large perch. The average Lake Roosevelt ’eye is smaller, but they are spread out all over the system.

The pike bite on the Pend Oreille River has slowed considerably, but the smallmouth fishing is excellent for anglers throwing plastics. Lake Coeur d’Alene pike seem to be easier to find lately between 8-15 feet, and the bass fishing has also been good. A friend found excellent northern pike fishing in the flat water of the St. Joe above Lake Chatcolet.

Hayden Lake anglers are taking an occasional pike, as well as bass and a few crappier. Hauser perch have been biting. Other big perch reports come from Bonnie Lake close to the island. Eloika perch are mostly around 8 inches, but they can be taken almost anywhere you can get your line through the weeds.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere @yahoo.com

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