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Blast and cast all in a day

A spring cast-and-blast trip might spell the ultimate weekend for the all-around sportsman, combining wild turkey hunting with the best time of year to catch trout in the region’s lakes.

Many trout lakes in the region already are open, with April 27 being the opening day for virtually all the rest in Washington.

Here are some of the top areas to center an outing ideal for devoting a half a day to bagging a tom while relaxing the rest of the day at the business end of a fishing rod.

• Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge ( southeast of Colville offers camping and 40,000 acres open to walk-in turkey hunting adjacent to more public land where wild turkeys roam in the Colville National Forest.

Fishing waters in and adjacent to the refuge include Starvation Lake, always among the state’s top trout producers when it opens the fourth Saturday in April, and McDowell Lake, a non-motorized lake for fly fishing only.

• Wooten Wildlife Area ( about 14 miles south of Pomeroy and the Umatilla National Forest around it are prime turkey hunting areas with numerous campsites along the Tucannon River.

Fishing waters include the eight man-made lakes stocked with trout along the river that open each year on March 1.

• Dworshak Reservoir ( offers excellent wild turkey hunting opportunities for drive-in and boat-in hunters in the Clearwater National Forest.

Fishing for kokanee should be excellent this year, and the lake produced the 9-pound 11.5-ounce Idaho state record smallmouth bass in 2006.

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