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Hunting and fishing

Fly fishing

The first fishing reports from the St. Joe came in this week. The river is still high, but nymphs are taking a few small trout between Avery and Calder.

Trout and kokanee

Badger Lake remains excellent for rainbow and cutthroat. Anglers trolling Apex Lures, Needlefish and Flatfish are netting trout, particularly in the morning.

Fish Lake is still producing various-sized tiger trout and a few large brookies. Several anglers fishing from shore recently report a good catfish bite on bait.

Some night fishing reports are finally coming in from Loon Lake where anglers dunking Glo Hooks and maggots or white corn are catching 11- to 14-inch kokanee in about 38 feet of water. Trollers are finding fish schooled all over the lake. A friend and I fished Loon Tuesday morning, boating 17 kokes before we went into the Shore Acres bay to cast jigs for bluegill in the shallows.

Lake Coeur d’Alene kokanee fishing is hot near Harrison. Anglers trolling slowly at 15-25 feet are taking limits.

Waitts Lake trout fishing has been excellent, with a good bite in early morning and evening. Both browns and rainbows are being caught.

West Medical anglers with boats have been drifting Power Bait with success on 2- to 3-pound rainbow. These fish rival Sprague Lake trout in fighting ability.

Fishtrap Lake rainbow averaging more than 1 pound are cooperating for anglers dunking bait or trolling in the narrowest part of the lake. Williams Lake limits of 11- to 13-inch trout are still likely from a boat, either still fishing or trolling.

Anglers are still finding concentrations of large triploids on Rufus Woods, and they don’t have to run all the way to the net pens to do so. The released fish have gone both directions, showing up near the Seaton Grove launch and also off both shores and along the can line at Chief Joseph Dam. Bait casters fishing from shore are doing well at the Corps of Engineers Park near the launch.

A friend launched at Seven Bays on Lake Roosevelt this week and trolled the surface, just like he does in winter. He and his wife caught six rainbow weighing in at just more than 14 pounds. They long-lined mono and Rip’n Minnows in perch color 250 feet behind the boat and dragged a pair of Frisky Jenny “Lenny Specials” tipped with a piece of crawler on leaded line outfits 150 feet back. Both setups were productive.

Twin Lake on the Colville Reservation is a good bass destination, but this year it has been excellent for large triploid trout. Several 8-pounders were caught recently.

Pearrygin, Wannacut, Wapato, Spectacle, and Conconully lakes and Conconully Reservoir in the Okanogan are all producing good catches of rainbow trout in the 10- to 12-inch range, with carryover fish up to 15 inches.


The chinook season in the Columbia near Brewster opens today, but no one expects much action until the water goes down and some of the considerable debris goes away. Only 58 adults and 28 jacks passed over Wells Dam on Tuesday.

The Icicle River is good for salmon and should stay that way for a while as there are new fish arriving daily.

These spring chinook average 8-10 pounds, but they get much bigger.

To ensure opportunities for upstream anglers in communities including Orofino, Kamiah, Kooskia and Grangeville to fish for adult salmon, anglers on the Clearwater River downstream of the Orofino Bridge and on the North Fork Clearwater River are allowed to catch and keep only jack salmon less than 24 inches long. No adult Chinook may be kept.

High, turbid flows in May and June and a late return of spring chinook to the Yakima River have extended the run timing past Roza Dam. A significant number of hatchery salmon are expected to be available for harvest below Roza Dam well into July. As a result, the chinook season has been extended from the Interstate 82 Bridge at Union Gap (river mile 107.1) to the BNRR Bridge approximately 500 feet downstream of Roza Dam (river mile 127.8). Fishing has been good for springers that stretch of the Yakima River,” said Eric Anderson, a WDFW fish biologist in Yakima. “We expect to have hatchery fish available for harvest well into July,” he said.

Spiny ray

The Potholes Reservoir walleye fishery seems to alternate good days in Crab Creek with good days in the dunes, but never good days in both at the same time. Some large fish are being taken.

Lake Roosevelt water levels are still low, but walleye anglers are finding plenty of smallish fish in the Spokane Arm and most of the other traditional walleye spots like Hawk Creek. Average depth is 25 feet, but some are much deeper. The smallmouth bite is also on at Roosevelt, and it is not unusual to catch 30 a day between Porcupine Bay and Fort Spokane.

Banks Lake is an ideal destination for both species of bass as well as walleye, a few crappie and a few perch. The best recent reports come form the Coulee City area, but the consensus is that walleye fishing is slow. Smallmouth are looking for crawfish-colored tubes. Largemouth will hit topwaters.

Spinnerbaits and cranks are fooling good numbers of Long Lake bass, good-sized smallmouth and largemouth.

A few anglers are finding decent-sized perch again at Waitts Lake. The schools are in 15-19 feet of water on the outside of the weed lines. Rat finky jigs are working well. Anglers are also catching decent perch at Silver Lake across from the launch.

If anything, the high water has improved Pend Oreille River pike fishing. Most anglers report multifish days. From Idaho, excellent pike reports come from the Chain Lakes, particularly Killarney. Anglers throwing soft plastics into 2 feet of water are taking fish to 10 pounds. The boat launch at Killarney is closed for repairs, so anglers must launch in the town of Rose Lake and run down to the lake.

The Snake River between Wawawai and Nisqually John is giving up some smallmouth bass in shallow water despite the murky water. A chartreuse Rat L Trap will get their attention. Farther upstream toward Clarkston, fishing is not as good because the water is moving faster.

Other species

Bow anglers are finding plenty of carp to arrow at the north end of Moses Lake. The fish are spawning and the water is roiled, but opportunities abound.

Contact Alan Liere at

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