February 15, 2013 in Outdoors

Hunting and fishing

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Tip of the week

As the majority of trout fishing at Rocky Ford near Ephrata is “sight fishing,” an effective technique is to fish a small scud on an indicator. Let the scud sink into the rocks and twitch it when a fish approaches. Fishing for trout – some nearly 3 feet long – is good on Rocky Ford right now.

Overheard

• Production runs of all types of guns are increasing weekly, but manufacturers can’t keep up. Every caliber of ammunition is now allocated and it is projected there will be a nationwide shortage of all calibers over the next nine months. All plants are producing as much ammo as possible with one billion rounds produced weekly. Most is military, followed by law enforcement; civilians are third in line. All Remington, Winchester, CCI and Federal primers are being used for ammunition first. There are no extras for reloading purposes, and it could be 6-9 months before things get caught up.

• Stocked with fishing tackle, Idaho Fish and Game’s “Take Me Fishing” trailers are traveling the state to promote fishing opportunities. The Panhandle Region trailer will be ready to go for a “Take Me Ice Fishing” event on Feb. 23, at Hauser Lake from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Fishing equipment and bait can be checked out free during this event on a first-come, first-served basis, but bring your own gear if you can so there is no waiting. There is no age limit, and participants will not need a license to fish during the hours of the event if they sign in at the fish trailer.

• Spokane Fly Fishers annual fly fishing school begins March 7 and continues for seven Thursday evenings, with three casting classes and two on-the-water safety classes on Saturdays. Learn about equipment, how to tie knots, how to assemble your line and attach flies, where and how to fish in still or moving waters. Also addressed are entomology and pontoon safety. The nonmember fee is $125 and includes a 15-month membership in the club. Info: Mike Berube at 999-8235.

Fly fishing

After a three-year hiatus, the Fly Fishing Show returns to Seattle Saturday and Sunday at the Lynwood Convention Center. The show is fly fishing only and features a number of expert anglers who will be providing seminars, demonstrations, and personal advice. A number of great fly-fishing opportunities for the upcoming season will be showcased. Info: Troutwater Ellensburg (509) 962-3474.

Salmon/steelhead

Anglers fishing for Clearwater River steelhead had good luck last week fishing with guide Toby Wyatt of Reel Time Fishing. Neil Jacobs reported his group hooked nine and got seven to the boat – five keepers. Biggest was 14 pounds.

At Boggan’s Oasis on the Grande Ronde, Bill Vail says steelhead fishing has been very good with anglers averaging a fish every 3-4 hours. The fish are larger than last year. All methods are working equally well and the river is in excellent shape. The 7th annual Boggan’s Steelhead Derby has begun and runs through March 23. The $35 entry fee includes a T-shirt. Weekly big-fish winner receives $50 with a $500 payout for largest fish of the derby. Biggest steelhead so far weighed in at just over 9 pounds.

On the Salmon River tributaries, the best fishing has been from the Little Salmon to Vinegar Creek with one fish landed for every 15 hours of angler effort.

Steelhead fishing on the Wenatchee River is now open from the mouth to 400 feet below the Tumwater Dam and anglers are doing pretty well in excellent water conditions. This is a selective fishery which has not been available to anglers for several years. The Icicle River is also is open, from the mouth to 500 feet below the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.

Chinook fishing on Lake Coeur d’Alene has been good recently. Herring or Mini Squid are accounting for most of the fish, which are suspended at depths of 40-75 feet over deeper water. Several 9-12-pound salmon have been taken recently, along with many smaller ones.

Trout/kokanee

Lake Roosevelt anglers have had some slow trout fishing recently, probably due to the rising water. The reservoir was to be dropped this week, so the fishing may improve. The fish trout that are being caught are coming from the top 10 feet, and many of them have been the larger 20-24-inchers. Swawilla Basin to the Spokane River has been popular with anglers using a red or orange Apex behind a dodger.

Rock Lake remains fair-to-good for anglers fortunate enough to miss the wind. Most fish are caught trolling, but debris in the water has been a problem. Although Rock has a good population of rainbow, most fish landed are brown trout running to 16 inches. The water appears to have come up a couple feet.

Columbia Basin bank fishermen report catching trout from small patches of open water from Coral, Teal, Canal and Upper Goose lakes, says Mike Meseberg at MarDon Resort.

Spiny ray

Eloika and Silver lakes still have good ice, and at times, the fishing can be red-hot. After a few days of fickleness, Silver Lake perch began biting again at midweek in 45 feet of water. An excellent lure has been a small white Rat Fink baited with maggots or a perch eye.

Walleye anglers are finding fish in 40 feet of water at Porcupine Bay in the Spokane arm of Lake Roosevelt. Most fish are running 15-22 inches. Jigging is best.

John Norisada fished the main lake recently and said the fish are starting to school in water 45-65 feet deep. He caught ’eyes on blade baits and jigs.

Fish Lake near Chelan is a good destination for a mixed bag of perch and trout. There is 5 inches of good ice under a slightly slushy cap. The best bite is before noon.

Upper and Lower Twin in Kootenai County have seen nonstop perch action this week in about 17 feet of water. The bite was best on small jigs and Swedish Pimples tipped with maggots, but you need to keep your offering moving. The ice is solid and slippery. Cleats are recommended.

The launch at Coulee Playland on Banks Lake is ice-free, but there is too much unsafe ice on the north end for safe fishing. Most of the main lake is ice-free once you reach the Million Dollar Mile. The south end still has good ice, particularly the Coulee City Boat Basin where perch fishermen are taking a few.

Coeur d’Alene pike anglers are beginning to take fish on bait and bobbers in open water along the shores. The Chain Lakes have iffy ice as the river is flowing pretty strong through them. Smaller lakes like Fernan still have ice, but one spiny-ray angler described Fernan as “goofy.” Use caution as there are thin spots.

Other species

Lake Roosevelt burbot are largely neglected, but the tasty freshwater ling cod are still biting well near Buoy five in the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt. Most are a skinny 2-3 pounds, but a 6-pounder is not out of the question and will provide enough tasty fillets for a couple meals. Standard walleye jigs baited with nightcrawler work as well as anything.

Hunting

While most hunting seasons are now closed, the spring “light goose” season is poised to open Saturday in Idaho. The hunt stretches across portions of southern and eastern Idaho and runs through March 10 in Areas 2 and 3. The bag limit is 10 per day and 20 in possession.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@yahoo. com


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