Fly fishermen are catching lots of 10-11-inch rainbow as well as some 16-inch brookies on the west side of Spokane County’s Fish Lake. A Bead Head Damsel Nymph on a floating line works well for both species. The water boatman pattern is also effective.
Fishtrap Lake is another close trout destination. Reports indicate there are plenty of feisty 14-inchers available as well as the occasional 18-incher.
On May 18, Upper Wheeler Reservoir, approximately 11 miles southwest of Wenatchee, will open as a fly-fishing-only water, catch-and-release, through Sept. 14. It was previously closed to public access.
Salmon and steelhead
A few chinook have been taken from the Clearwater River in Idaho, but many crossed the dam this week and fishing should improve. The quota is low and only 22 miles of the river are actually open for the Friday through Monday fishery. Contact Andy Alldredge at Camp Cabin and Home in Lewiston for clarifications. (208) 750-1075.
Plunkers tossing sand shrimp are doing fairly well on chinook in Drano Lake on the Columbia Side.
Trout and kokanee
A friend fished Loon Lake twice this week, catching his limit both times on the west side, trolling a Wedding Ring and maggots with a 000 flasher. He says the fish were hanging between 30-35 feet and that although he did land one 13-incher, the majority were 10 inches and under.
Waitts Lake trollers seem to be having no trouble taking browns and rainbows using flies and flashers, Wedding Rings or Rip ’n Minnows. Most fish are 9-12 inches, but big carryovers, particularly browns, are not unusual.
Sprague Lake is heating up again. Anglers are catching several different sizes using a variety of methods, but still-fishermen seem to be doing best. Bill Blosser and Earl Ogden of Spokane threw worms and marshmallows last weekend between Four Seasons Resort and the island and had to quit early because their first four fish were over 20 inches with the largest going 24 inches. A pink Apex has been effective for trollers between Four Seasons and Sprague Lake Resort.
Trollers dragging Apex Lures tipped with nightcrawler are catching Clear Lake rainbow in short order. The northeast cliff area has been good at a depth of around 30 feet. Most of the fish are 11-14 inches.
West Medical rainbow fishing remains very good. Fish range from 13-22 inches with most around 17. Trolled Wedding Rings are working, but a perch-colored Rapala is also an excellent choice.
Hayden Lake in Idaho is the hot spot for kokanee now. There aren’t a lot of them, but they are running 13-20 inches. The kokanee bite on Coeur d’Alene is just getting started on the south end.
Many lakes in Okanogan County produced good catches for anglers this week and there are still lots of fish available. Conconully Reservoir and Conconully Lake both gave up trout as well as kokanee. Pearrygin Lake was also good for rainbow and triploids.
Blue Lake anglers reported excellent fishing for rainbow averaging 14 inches as well as a few larger browns. Best fishing has been on the south end near Blue Lake Resort. Wedding Rings are hard to beat, but the aggressive browns seem to prefer crankbaits. Nearby Park Lake is also providing good fishing for 13-inch rainbow and some much larger brown trout. Jameson Lake in Douglas County has been booting out limits of 9-11-inch rainbow.
Lake Roosevelt trout fishing seems to have picked up with several positive reports coming recently from downstream of Seven Bays and also Spring Canyon. Kokanee are hitting, too.
Long lake anglers are catching quite a few pike. Swim baits on the outside of emerging pads will entice fish.
Eloika Lake crappie are warming up a little, but the water was still a little cold last weekend for a really strong bite. Eloika has a 9-inch minimum on crappie, and despite the occasional 13-incher, the majority of fish caught so far have been under the minimum. Bass fishermen are finding largemouth in the deeper water. Texas-rigged plastics have done best so far.
Silver Lake tiger muskies are becoming active and should become more so as the temperature approaches 60 degrees. A couple fish over 3 feet long have already been reported.
Banks Lake smallmouth are hitting just about anything, though plastics are the most popular. The Spokane Arm of Roosevelt is approaching 60 degrees and smallmouth are hitting tubes cast to rocky areas along the shore. There are a lot of 12-15-inch fish available.
Walleye anglers dunking dark-colored jigs did well at times upriver from Porcupine Bay on Lake Roosevelt’s Spokane Arm last week. The water near Buoy 5 has been very productive, but the stronger current necessitates heavier jigs. Fish were found at around 20 feet on the edges of the main channel.
The Coeur d’Alene Chain Lakes are producing small pike for anglers throwing Husky Jerks into 4-8 feet of water. Water levels on Coeur d’Alene Lake are low. As soon as it starts coming up, pike anglers will be smiling.
Potholes Reservoir walleye fishermen are bringing in some excellent catches of big walleye in addition to bass and perch. At Mar Don Resort, Mike Meseberg says there are more perch under the dock than can be counted, and crappie and bluegill are also there in good numbers.
Heading into the second weekend of the 2013 Pikeminnow Sport-Reward Program, reports indicate a potential banner year for northern pikeminnow fishing and payouts for participating anglers. The Dalles has been the red-hot spot. Anglers who catch the fish earn rewards ranging from $4 to $8 per pikeminnow that measure at least 9 inches. Special tagged fish are worth $500.
Turkeys appear to be well into their nesting period, which should make the toms lonely and reckless. That said, there seems to be less gobbling now than a week ago, and more than a few hunters have said they can’t find a sign of birds in places where they were thick in early spring.
WILDFIRES -- Clearwater-Nez Perce National Forest officials closed more than 3.5 million acres to public access this afternoon as numerous fires totaling 80,000 acres on Friday spread significantly today in ...