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Hunting and fishing

Fly fishing

Although local rivers are seeing a lot of recreational tubers, fly fishing has been good. Hoppers are hot and a longer leader can make a difference. The St. Joe is less busy above Avery. Start looking for fish in the riffles between runs. Cutthroat like the sun more than rainbow, so early morning and evening aren’t the only times to be fishing.

Idaho lakes offer a variety of alternate species, from bass and pike in the Chain Lakes to those species plus crappie and trout on Hayden, Hauser and Cocolalla.

Trout and kokanee

Coeur d’Alene kokanee fishing was off a little last week, but the trend is not expected to continue as Coeur d’Alene should improve daily into the fall. On the south end, try Powder Horn Bay. On the north end, troll at 35-40 feet down around Arrow Point. Most fish are 10 inches.

Loon Lake kokanee are not as predictable now as they were a few weeks ago, but there are plenty of 10- to 12-inch fish available, particularly to night anglers. Three friends and I had a pretty typical week at Loon, getting nearly skunked on Sunday night and boating 38 in the same amount of time two nights later. Try alternate spots in the same 30-32 feet of water if your honey hole isn’t producing. Included in our Tuesday night bag were two rainbow trout more than 17 inches.

Fishing continues to improve for trout and kokanee at Lake Roosevelt. Rainbow and kokanee are being taken from Swawilla Basin all the way up to the Spokane River by anglers using a Seps Dodger and fly or Apex lure combination.

Reports from Dworshak Reservoir in Idaho indicate excellent kokanee fishing above Grandad, about 1½ hours from the dam.

Waitts Lake is still a good destination for trout, both rainbow and browns. Troll flies tipped with worm near the bottom. Further north, Curlew Lake is staying a little cooler and trout fishing has been good.

Salmon and steelhead

Last weekend’s Coeur d’Alene Lake chinook derby was “extremely tough,” according to Jeff Smith at Fins and Feathers in Coeur d’Alene, but the winning fish of 26.26 pounds, caught by Mary Finley of Coeur d’Alene, was the largest since 1995. Mike Duffy took second place with a chinook just more than 20 pounds.

Summer steelhead angling is fair to excellent in the lower Columbia River. Boat anglers off the mouths of Drano Lake and the White Salmon River are catching fish.

The Buoy 10 chinook salmon season runs through Sept. 3 at the mouth of the Columbia River and fishing is gaining momentum. Anglers fishing at Buoy 10 may also retain marked, hatchery-reared coho salmon or steelhead as part of their two-fish daily catch limit.

Numbers of steelhead over Bonneville Dam are beginning to grow, but the Snake River is too warm for them right now, and few have been counted over Lower Granite.

Spiny ray

A total of 152 pike were harvested during the second PikePalooza last weekend on the Pend Oreille River. Anglers targeting weed edges in the main river channel caught the larger fish.

Bass anglers are finding their fish in a number of local lakes. Sacheen has been good, as have Loon, Deer and Twin Lakes near Inchelium. The list of eastern Washington bass lakes is almost endless – Curlew, Newman, Liberty, Long, Downs, Diamond Bonnie, Silver and Eloika, to name just a few. Topwaters are in.

Walleye fishing on Roosevelt is holding up. Good reports came in this week from Hunters and Kettle Falls. Trolling bottom bouncers and spinners tripped with nightcrawlers is effective, but drop-shotting a Yamamoto Double Tail Grub on a light jig head will take smallmouth as well.

The Banks Lake walleye bite is strong at depths of 15-40 feet on the south end and 10-20 feet farther north. Smallmouth are being taken all over the lake in depths as shallow as 3-4 feet and as deep as 25 feet. Use topwater baits such as a Zara Spook or a swimbait in the morning then switch up to Carolina rigged soft plastics as the sun gets high. Walleye are still being taken at Rufus Woods by anglers bouncing jigs in current seams and back eddies.

Waitts Lake perch to 10 inches are biting aggressively in 20 feet of water. Look for weed beds along the shore across the lake from Winona Beach Resort.

Topwater largemouth bass fishing is on in the Potholes sand dunes and 50-fish smallmouth days are possible along the face of the dam.


Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has approved migratory waterfowl hunting seasons for this year similar to last year’s. That includes a statewide duck season that will be open for 107 days, starting Oct. 13-17 and continuing Oct. 20-Jan. 27. A special youth hunting weekend is scheduled for Sept. 22-23.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@yahoo .com