Washington’s “selective fishery” lakes opened March 1 or April 1, offering anglers early shots at trout that have a chance to grow large because of restrictive regulations.
Bait is not allowed and single barbless hooks are required at selective fishery lakes and daily limits are reduced.
Amber Lake south of Cheney, a darling of area fly fishers, has been producing excellent catches of chunky trout this season.
Medical Lake is another selective fishery that produces large rainbows. Greenish colored chironomids can be the ticket at this lake on the right days.
In the Columbia Basin, the April 1 fishing season opener at selective fisheries such as Dry Falls was cold and windy.
Fly fishers who persisted for three to five hours caught and released an average of five fish, said Chad Jackson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife District biologist. Trout size ranged from 10-20 inches.
Yearling trout showed signs of last year’s shorter growing season, Jackson said.
“Yearlings should easily be 12-14 inches by the opener instead of 10-12 inches,” he said. “Smaller yearling trout size has been observed in other lakes in the Basin this year. Over the next couple months these trout should grow to a nicer size.”
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