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Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for Aug. 9

Fly Fishing

Several alpine lakes in Chelan and Okanogan counties either have sustainable fish populations or are periodically stocked with trout. Visit WDFW’s high lakes page on Fish Washington. The high lakes around White Pass, Chinook Pass and Snoqualmie Pass are now accessible. WDFW stocks many small, hike-in lakes with rainbow or cutthroat trout fry, and some also have naturally reproducing eastern brook trout populations.

Salmon and steelhead

From the Highway 395 bridge upstream to Priest Rapids Dam, the fall fishery for chinook and coho opens Aug. 16. Anglers will be able to harvest both hatchery and wild fall chinook and coho. Until Aug. 16, emergency regulations are in effect for summer chinook and sockeye in these areas.

The lower and mid-Columbia River upstream to Highway 395 and the Snake River is open to fishing for hatchery steelhead. The return is expected to be much better than last year. Fishing will likely be very slow until water temperatures begin to cool in late September. The lower area of the Hanford Reach (Highway 395 to the old Hanford town site) will open Oct. 1.

Lake Pateros (Brewster) is still giving up sockeye and chinook, but fishing slowed down some this week. Baker Lake in Whatcom County has been off-and-on for sockeye.

Trout and kokanee

Waitts Lake remains one of the most consistently productive trout lakes in eastern Washington. Still fishing in 25-35 feet of water with white shoe peg corn provides excellent action on rainbows with a few large browns mixed in. For the browns, particularly, add a small worm and fish right off the bottom; the rainbow are usually suspended a little higher. The fishing even holds up in the heat of the day – just fish deeper water. A report from Badger Lake indicates there are a lot of 10-inch trout to be caught.

Anglers are doing well on both rainbows and largemouth bass at Sprague Lake and are catching good numbers of brown trout and rainbows at Whitman County’s Rock Lake.

Many waters in the northeast district that are stocked with cutthroat are good bets at this time of year, especially early and late in the day. Long Lake in Ferry County, as well as Browns and Yokum lakes in Pend Oreille County and Little Twin Lake in Stevens County are fishing well

Three Grant County lakes recently received extra plants of half-pound rainbow trout from the Trout Lodge hatchery to provide additional fishing opportunity. Billy Clapp Lake received 12,000, Soda Lake received 5,000, and Upper Goose Lake received 6,000 fish.

Loon Lake remains excellent for kokanee at night. Anglers are getting them in 32 feet of water. So far this summer, my friends and I have also landed three 4- to 5-pound rainbow while night fishing at Loon – all released. If you also get one and opt to release it, don’t remove it from the net until you can grasp the tail to keep it upright and allow it to recover. These are hard-fighting fish, expending a lot of energy in the warm water, and they won’t recover without some help.

Loon Lake is not the only hot spot for kokanee this summer. Deep and Pierre lakes in Stevens County and Chapman in Ferry County are usually good through August, especially in the night hours. All of these waters now have a daily catch limit of 10 kokanee with the change in statewide rules as of last month.

Kokanee are still fishing well in Patterson, Alta, and Spectacle lakes in the Okanogan, and WDFW Okanogan district fish biologist Ryan Fortier reports a larger size class of the fish this summer. Kokanee are plentiful at Kachess and Keechelus lakes off Hwy. 90, as well as Rimrock Reservoir near White Pass. In Idaho, Dworshak Reservoir, Lake Coeur d’Alene and Pend Oreille also have a good kokanee fishery.

Roses Lake in Chelan County continues to produce rainbow trout. Roses also has channel catfish and some good-sized bluegill.

Spiny ray

A relatively new species to Long Lake are walleye, which are now plentiful and growing to fairly large sizes; some up to 10 pounds. Best fishing is reported close to Nine Mile Dam.

Wapato Lake in Chelan County is producing big catches of perch 9 inches and better. There are large schools in 15-30 feet of water. Curlew Lake in Ferry County is also fishing well for good-sized perch.

Walleye really tie on the feed bag when the water heats up, so there should be some great fishing in the weeks ahead. Walleye fishing is going strong on the Columbia and Snake rivers. Some of the best catches have come from Lake Umatilla.

The Hanford Reach area of the Columbia is also good for walleye, as is the lower Snake River below Little Goose and Ice Harbor dams. Anglers are using crawler harnesses behind a bottom walker and blade baits. Jigs and deep diving plugs can be effective as well.

The Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt has been good for walleye in several locations, notably near Outhouse Flats, Neighborly, Wilamont Creek, Blue Creek and Buoy 1. Jigs are effective in 15-30 feet, but trolling spinners is also working.

Most fishermen headed to the Brewster Pool are looking for sockeye or Chinook salmon, but there is also some excellent smallmouth fishing available at the mouth of the Okanogan and into the Okanogan itself.

Other species

Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing continues on the Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam to Rock Island Dam. Sturgeon are still being caught in both the Priest and Wanapum pools, with the best fishing currently just immediately downstream of Rock Island Dam on the Wanapum pool.

Lake Roosevelt Charters (509) 722-3880 reports catching lots of sturgeon this week from Lake Roosevelt, many close to the slot as well as one keeper.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@yahoo.com


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