June 10, 2011 in Outdoors

Hunting and fishing

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Tip of the week

A friend in Priest River said he plunges the rod tip into the water if that’s what it takes to keep kokanee from thrashing on top before being swung into the boat. He and I agree that trying to net kokanee increases your chance of losing them.

Braggin’ rights

With 69 teams participating, Deer Park anglers Dennis Morgan and Randy Parks worked hard for a second-place finish in last weekend’s Moses Lake Walleye Classic. The duo weighed in 24.94 pounds of fish, bested only by the 32.4 pounds recorded by winners Dave Harrell and Charles Row.

Overheard

Bass anglers at Twin Lake (part of the Coffeepot chain) say the lake has become weedy and fishing is slow.

Heads up

• Saturday is Free Fishing Day in Idaho. Anglers of all ages, residents and nonresidents alike, can fish anywhere in Idaho without a license.

• The Idaho Department of Fish and Game, in cooperation with the Panhandle Bass Club, has planned youth fishing clinics at Rose Lake for June 18. The main boat launch there will have limited availability before 5 p.m. on that date. Fish and Game suggests anglers use the Medimont launch to reach other nearby lakes such as Cave and Medicine. Participation is limited, as club members will be providing boats and individual instruction for young anglers. Only a few spaces remain. Register: Panhandle Region Office, (208) 769-1414.

• Summer chinook season opens on the Columbia River upriver to Priest Rapids Dam on Thursday. On June 18, selective fisheries for hatchery chinook begin off the Washington coast from Ilwaco north to the Sekiu River.

Fly fishing

Amber Lake trout are lying close to the bottom in 25 feet of water. Try throwing a Wooly Leech on a sinking line. Amber rainbow are running mostly 16-20 inches.

Fly fishermen at Lake Lenore report good numbers of big fish on buggers and intermediate sinking lines.

Yakima River clarity is good, but the flow is huge. Successful anglers are wade fishing, casting to the “soft spots” nearly underfoot.

Trout and kokanee

Badger is still a good bet for 14- to 16-inch cutthroat. Williams has been kind to anglers trolling Flatfish. West Medical has been erratic, but a trolled Needlefish is sometimes deadly.

  Lead core line, a Jack Lloyd Mini Troll and a small Needlefish or Triple Teaser are pretty much a sure thing at Waitts Lake. Brown trout seem to be the most numerous, averaging about 11 inches.

Diamond Lake is full of browns and rainbows, some of decent size. A friend and I fished there this week and had no trouble picking up limits of trout just to the left of the public launch. The problem was, we were looking for perch.

Loon Lake kokanee are spreading out. Anglers are finding schools all over the lake. The fish are still holding at 25-30 feet in water 45-70 feet deep.

Brown trout catches have outnumbered rainbow trout at Rock Lake. The fish are close to shore. A Fire Tiger Husky Jerk has been producing a lot of hits, and trollers seem to be catching the larger (up to 6 pounds) fish. Bait fishermen at the launch have done well at times.

Sprague Lake rainbow to 25 inches are hitting trolled flies and cranks, but worm and bobber anglers are also taking their share. There have been some complaints that the fish taste muddy.

The Rufus Woods net pens have been excellent for big triploids this past week. Many fish more than 5 pounds have been reported, with some as large as 15.

Lake Pend Oreille has been fishing well this month. Apexes, Lyman plugs and Rapalas trolled at or near the surface have been producing rainbows, and mackinaw are coming from the surface down to 100 feet.

Trolling the Bar early for lake trout at depths of 115-145 feet has been productive on Lake Chelan. Kokanee fishing has spread out throughout the lower basin of the lake.

Lake Coeur d’Alene kokanee have fired up. The fish are shallow. Most are around 9 inches long. If fishing the lower third of the lake with a tribal license, the limit is 25. Otherwise, it’s 15.

Salmon

IDFG has increased the chinook limit on the Clearwater River to two adults per day. The increased bag limits are effective immediately on the Clearwater River main stem, the North Fork, South Fork and Middle Fork Clearwater rivers, and the Lochsa River. The next few weeks are expected to provide excellent fishing. A limited jacks-only season has also been set on a section of the upper Salmon River.

The Yakima Reservation Boundary Reach is open to hatchery spring chinook fishing through June 30. This section is identified as the Yakima River from the Highway 223 Bridge at Granger upstream to the Burlington Northern railroad bridge downstream of Sunnyside (Parker) Diversion Dam.

Catch rates for chinook salmon are increasing as flows stabilize on the lower Columbia. Bank anglers continue to catch the majority of the fish. Only one sockeye was sampled last week by WDFW, but catches should start to pick up.

Spiny ray

Walleye anglers on Lake Roosevelt are catching fish all over the reservoir by pulling spinners or dragging jigs, but the fish are running small. Seven Bays and the Spokane Arm have been particularly good. Some larger fish have been taken north of Kettle Falls. The Little Falls area of the Spokane River has also been producing some decent walleye fishing.

Lake Roosevelt’s water level was at 1,239 at midweek and should be at least 1,241 by the weekend. This would make the launches useable at Hunters, Keller, Kettle Falls, Seven Bays and Spring Canyon.

Pend Oreille River pike fishing can go from nothing to lights out overnight. A lot of fish in the 26-inch range are coming in. Bass fishing has been good on the river anywhere there are trees in the water.

This is the time for tiger musky at Silver and Newman lakes. Mepps Muskie Killers or big cranks and spoons will eventually trigger a strike.

Bass fishermen are taking largemouth rather consistently at Liberty Lake, and some nice crappie have been reported. Long Lake bass are in the weed lines and near structures. Bonnie Lake largemouth fishing is also heating up.

Potholes Reservoir walleye anglers are catching fish in the Crab Creek area and along weed lines in most channels. Moses Lake is good, but the walleye are slightly smaller. Anglers at both lakes said the bite was noticeably better when the wind was blowing.

The small Idaho lakes are fishing well for spiny ray. Crappie are abundant. Try Twin, Rose, Gamble or Hayden lakes. Hayden has a 10-inch size limit and a bag limit of six.

Coeur d’Alene Lake pike are concentrated in flooded grass on the north end, mostly in Cougar, Mica and Kidd Island bays. Weedless spoons have been good, and you can dress them up with a plastic trailer. Smallmouth are scattered. Use crank baits or tube jigs. There is a bag limit of six, but no size limit. Coeur d’Alene is 4-5 feet above summer pool and the St. Joe has flooded the south end with cold river water. Finding warmer water is the key to good fishing.

Other species

Bow fishermen are finding plenty of carp targets this spring in the Snake River and Moses Lake. Visibility is better on Rock Lake, where large schools of small carp have been seen at the outlet.

Hunting

The second controlled hunt application period for 12 leftover Idaho moose hunt permits runs from Wednesday through June 25 – one bull in Hunt 3044, Unit 12-3; three bulls in Hunt 3053, Unit 16A; four bulls in Hunt 3045, Unit 17; and four bulls in Hunt 3056, Unit 20. There are no leftover sheep or goat permits. The application period for leftover tags for deer, elk, antelope and fall black bear hunts will be Aug. 5-15.

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