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Hunting and fishing

Fly fishing

The Big Spokane is fishing well in the morning. Fish are focused in the faster water. Streamers and double nymph rigs do a nice job. Pat’s Rubber Legs and Red Copper Johns are popular.

The North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene is good early and late, but there is a lot of competition from the tubers in the afternoon from Prichard down. San Juans and Copper Johns work as well as anything. Lots of bugs are evident.

Lots of patterns are working well on the St. Joe. You can hardly go wrong. Wade fishing is prime. The Upper Clark Fork River has experienced an algae bloom which is a nuisance, as it sticks to flies, but fishing the riffles can be productive with dries.

Trout and kokanee

Loon Lake kokanee are putting on weight, with the average fish running 10-12 inches. For some reason, trollers take smaller fish than still-fishermen. Night fishing is excellent, but sometimes the bite doesn’t begin until after 10. A friend who trolled the lake on Tuesday said he graphed most schools at 30 feet, but when he quit shortly before noon, they had moved down 10 feet. He did best in front of Granite Point.

West Medical is one of the better lowland lakes for trout at this time. Still fish the left side out from the access for rainbow averaging 15-18 inches and quite a few larger fish to 23 inches. Medical Lake is also good, with selective gear anglers catching brown trout 3-6 pounds.

Idaho’s Lower Twin is providing good kokanee fishing for trollers pulling Wedding Rings tipped with maggots. Some of the fish are 16 inches long. At Hayden Lake, even larger kokes are available, but it takes some searching to find the schools. Double Whammies are enticing fish up to 17 inches.

Mack fishing continues to be productive for those fishing the islands and the shelf on the north end of Pend Oreille Lake. Keep Apex spoons and U20 Flatfish within 10 feet of the bottom. Try colors in blue, lavender and black and white for fish in the 5- to 20-pound range.

Curlew Lake rainbow are averaging 12-14 inches with much large trout available. Early evening is a good time to dunk Power Bait on a slip sinker with enough leader to get above the weeds.

Steelhead and salmon

Salmon anglers are taking a mixed bag of sockeye and chinook below Wanapum Dam. The sockeye fishing is excellent and the chinook fishing gets better each day. A Super Bait Plug Cut behind a Pro Troll flasher is enticing the big fish.

Anglers at Lincoln Rock State Park on the mid-Columbia are getting a few kings and some sockeye. Chinook fishing in the Chelan Falls area has been decent early and late.

Wells Dam chinook fishermen are trolling whole herring in heavy current for their chinook, and the mouth of the Okanogan is good with warm temperatures in the river. Sockeye retention begins Tuesday from Wells Dam to the Highway 173 Bridge in Brewster.

Starting Saturday, anglers fishing on the lower Columbia River may catch and keep up to two sockeye salmon from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upriver to Bonneville Dam.

Spiny ray

Long Lake bass anglers are finding largemouth and smallmouth near Tum Tum. Texas-rigged Senkos and Wacky Senkos work well, John Petrofski of Spokane reported. Long Lake has also been a good perch destination. Anchor just off the weed beds near Willow Bay at Tum Tum and drop a Swedish Pimple and worm into “holes” between the salad. The area across the lake on the edge of the yellow bloom is also good.

Banks Lake has been excellent for largemouth and smallmouth. For largemouth, fish the edge of weed beds near Steamboat Rock State Park. For smallmouth, drop-shotting small plastics will often result in nonstop action around Devils Lake.

Small mouth bass action has been excellent up and down the Snake River.

Most anglers fish along the rip-rap below the road or train tracks, but shallow, rocky water on the cliff sides also holds a lot of fish. Crawdad plugs work well and tube jigs are hard to beat.

Soda Lake in the Columbia Basin is a multispecies lake. The lake is high and easy to fish, but most walleye have been around 14 inches.


Hunters have until midnight Sunday to apply for an opportunity to hunt deer this fall on the 6,000-acre Charles and Mary Eder unit of the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area in northeastern Okanogan County. Submit an application for the “limited-entry” deer hunt on the WDFW website at /permits/scotchcreek/or by contacting the WDFW north-central region office at (509) 754-4624. Eighteen applicants will be chosen during a random drawing scheduled Aug. 15. Of the 18 access permits available this year, six will be reserved for bow hunters, six for muzzleloaders and six for hunters using modern firearms.

The deadline to enter the second Idaho Super Hunt drawing is Aug. 10. Entries for two elk, two deer, and two pronghorn hunts, along with one moose hunt, will be drawn, and a “Super Hunt Combo” will be drawn that will entitle the winner to hunt for one each elk, deer, pronghorn and moose.

Entries are available at license vendors, Fish and Game offices, or they can be ordered at href=””> /public/hunt/?getPage=22, and on the phone at 800-554-8685

Big-game managers from Washington, Idaho and Montana will discuss their experiences managing game animals in areas populated by wolves during a live webcast from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday on the WDFW website (

Viewers can provide questions via email at

Contact Alan Liere at

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