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Alan Liere’s Fishing-Hunting Report for Aug. 10

Fly fishing

Although the Spokane River stays pretty cold all summer, the best fishing has been evenings into the night. Fish the riffles.

Silver Bow Fly Shop says small terrestrials like ants and beetles are top choices for the North Fork Coeur d’Alene. Hoppers and low profile Chernobyls are also a good idea with a beadhead dropper.

The St. Joe River above Avery has been good. Terrestrials are important right now as well as attractors. Hatches are sparse if any. Droppers under your hopper should be small, flashy beadheads.

The Caddis hatch on the Yakima River is dwindling, but there are still some around, particularly at dusk. The last 45 minutes of light have produced good dry fly action in back eddys and around rock piles.

Salmon and steelhead

Buoy 10 had an excellent opener, but fishing has slowed some since. It is certain to improve, however. Be sure to work the tides.

Coho anglers out of Sekiu report catching lots of good-sized fish but very few that are unclipped. Brads Cut Plug Super Baits with tuna have been very effective. Although the pink salmon run is down this year and there is no bonus limit, anglers at Sekiu are also making some good catches of 6- to 8-pound fish by trolling with a variety of lures including Brad’s Super Baits and hootchies.

Idaho Fish and Game Commission has adopted a fall chinook salmon fishing season to open Aug. 18 on parts of the Snake, Clearwater and Salmon rivers. The 2017 fall chinook forecast is 27,190 hatchery and naturally-produced fall chinook returning to the Snake River basin. This includes the Snake River from its mouth upstream to Memorial Bridge and the Salmon River, from its mouth upstream about three-fourths of a mile to Eye of the Needle Rapids.

The Wenatchee River opened to fishing for summer-run salmon on Aug. 1, and anglers familiar with the river are finding success by hitting the deep holes. So far, a sockeye fishery has not been approved for Lake Wenatchee.

Trout and kokanee

Williams Lake in Spokane County continues to offer decent trout fishing for 13-inch rainbow, particularly for trollers who go out in the evening.

Waitts Lake appears to be loaded with 10- to 11-inch rainbows. Friends recently did very well by trolling a green Carey Special tipped with worm or maggot. A 2-ounce weight on mono put them in the fish.

There are at least three age classes of kokanee in Bonaparte Lake, and a five-fish limit has the potential to represent all three. Fish 13-18 inches are hitting trolled offerings at about 25 feet.

Hayden Lake kokanee range in size also, but trollers who stay with it and release the smaller fish can keep enough 14-inchers to fill the smoker. Coeur d’Alene kokes are smaller at 9-10 inches, but the fish are plentiful and easy to catch, suspended over deep water.

There is a lot of kokanee water Yakima and Kittitas Counties. Rimrock Reservoir is providing good fishing by trolling at 20-25 feet deep with Wedding Rings and dodgers. The limit at Rimrock is 16 kokanee plus five trout, meaning anglers can take home 21 fish per day. The kokanee can tend toward the small side at 9-10 inches but the rainbows run 12-16 inches. Kokanee are also plentiful at Kachess and Keechelus lakes off Highway 90, and fishing is good for both kokanee and cutthroat at the recently stocked Bumping Lake off Highway 410.

Loon Lake gets most of the kokanee attention in Stevens County, but Pierre Lake, four miles northeast of Orient in Colville National Forest, is also producing nice kokanee and cutthroat trout. After a slow kokanee night last week, Loon Lake was good to two friends and me this week and we limited in under two hours on the west side of the lake. We fished in 30 feet of water and were sure to keep our Glo Hook and maggot offerings just a few inches off bottom.

Twin Lakes in Idaho doesn’t have the numbers of kokanee that Loon does, but trollers are picking up kokes to 14 inches and rainbow to 16 inches. Troll three colors in the middle of the south lake.

Both Upper and Lower Conconully are producing beautiful, fat kokanee to 15 inches. Troll 25-35 feet down.

Spiny ray

The usual Slow Death rigs have not been doing the job lately at Banks Lake for anglers trolling the flats. Successful anglers, however, say they are catching a lot of 16-inch and larger walleye and lots of smallmouth by trolling Flicker Shad crankbaits along the rock slides and cliffs of the northwest shore. The water on the south end near Coulee City has been productive, but the walleyes seem smaller.

Coeur d’Alene northern pike have been hitting spinnerbaits most of the summer. Fish outside the weed beds in 8-12 feet of water. Spoons and Rapalas are effective at times, too, with the Johnson Silver Minnow a top choice. Smallmouth bass fishing is also good, but the majority of fish caught are on the small side.

Largemouth bass fishing has been very good at Silver, Newman and Hayden lakes. Eloika is loaded with bass, too, and if you can find some water not clogged with weeds, the fishing can be phenomenal. Dusk into dark will be the best.


Over 3,300 deer, elk, pronghorn and black bear controlled hunt tags will be available for Idaho hunters in the second controlled hunt drawing. Hunters can apply for these tags through Tuesday. Results will be available around Aug. 23. Hunters can apply at Fish and Game license vendors, by telephone at (800) 554-8685, or online at Fish and Game’s website. The application fee is $6.25 for residents and $14.75 for nonresidents for each species.

Contact Alan Liere at