The Okanogan district’s quality trout fishing lakes have all been performing very well. Fly fishermen have been hooking several fish an hour at the Green lakes northwest of Omak (Little or Lower and Green or Upper), Rat Lake north of Brewster, and Aeneas Lake west of Tonasket.
Guide Bill Johnson from Silver Bow Fly Shop says green drake fishing was good this last week on the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River. Water levels have dropped the last couple of weeks and the river is prime for foot fishing. Dropping water and improved fishing conditions are reported also from the St. Joe and the Spokane.
Trout and kokanee
Long Lake, just west of Spokane, continues to produce good catches of rainbow trout running between 13 and 20 inches.
Randy Osborne, WDFW central district fish biologist, reports that many of the region’s trout lakes that opened in late April continue to produce good catches through June. Anglers at Spokane County’s Clear Lake have been catching decent numbers of rainbow and brown trout. Fish Lake in Spokane County continues to produce good numbers of Eastern brook trout and tiger trout. Badger and Williams lakes in Spokane County are fishing really well right now for rainbow and cutthroat trout. Sprague Lake trout were active this week. Trollers were taking limits, but said no really big ones were caught.
In Stevens County, the Little Pend Oreille chain of lakes – Gillette, Heritage, Sherry, and Thomas – and Mudgett, Starvation, and Waitts lakes are providing good fishing. Cedar Lake in the northern part of the county is perhaps the best trout water in Stevens County, regularly producing limits of fat rainbow. In Pend Oreille County, Diamond Lake is a good bet, as are higher elevation waters like Big Meadow, Skookum, and Yokum lakes. Ferry County’s Curlew Lake offers both boat and shore anglers abundant rainbow trout, plus tiger muskie and large yellow perch.
To the south, the Tucannon River impoundments on the W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area continue to be stocked with hatchery rainbow trout and are still providing lots of fish.
Banks Lake trout anglers are still having good luck trolling along steep banks of the reservoir, such as near Dry Falls Dam, the West Wall across from Coulee City, Million Dollar Mile, and Old Devils Lake. Grant County’s Deep Lake, north of the town of Soap Lake, can provide good kokanee fishing this month. On Potholes Reservoir, trollers are finding some nice trout at 40 feet near Medicare Beach while trolling Rip’n Minnows.
Anglers have been successful targeting kokanee at Patterson Lake in Okanogan County. The upper reservoir in Conconully (Conconully Lake) has continued to produce good harvests of rainbows and kokanee, but turbid runoff conditions have made the lower Conconully Reservoir more challenging. Catch-and-release rainbow trout fishing at Davis Lake in the Methow Valley has been good.
Washington rivers not previously open are now good to go. These include Asotin and Pataha creeks and the Touchet, Tucannon and the upper Walla Walla and lower Grand Ronde rivers in the southeast district. Also open is Harvey Creek in Pend Oreille County.
Steelhead and salmon
Anglers fishing two sections of the Snake River can now keep two adult spring chinook as part of their daily limit of six hatchery chinook. Areas affected are from the South Bound Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco upstream about seven miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam. This area is open Friday and Saturday each week. The other area affected is the Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (south side of the river upstream of the mouth of Tucannon River) to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam. This includes the walkway area locally known as “the Wall” in front of the juvenile collection facility. It will be open Sunday and Monday each week.
Yakima spring chinook are just beginning to arrive. Fishing should improve as more fish enter the river and as snowmelt begins to decline and water clarity improves.
In addition to nice-sized trout, Long Lake has also been producing decent catches of largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch and crappie. A lot of the perch are pushing 10 inches. Rock Lake in Whitman County also has, largemouth bass as well as bluegill and crappie, though most fishermen there target the rainbow and brown trout.
Downs Lake on the Lincoln/Spokane County line and Bonnie Lake on the Spokane/Whitman County line offer anglers good opportunity for crappie and perch. Closer to Spokane, Eloika and Liberty lakes have been good for crappie, perch and bass.
WDFW fish technician Aulin Smith reports walleye fishing has really picked up on Banks Lake, and most fish have been found within 25-foot water depths. Both smallmouth and largemouth bass are in the middle of spawning and catch rates have also been good.
Reel Time Fishing says walleye have kicked back on now that the fish have finished spawning and moved back to the main Columbia River. June is always the most consistent month on the Columbia.
Excellent walleye fishing is reported by two friends now fishing the Columbia near Northport, and two others who are finding lots of 15- to 16-inch fish in the big flat near Porcupine Bay Campground. Potholes Reservoir walleye have been elusive, but anglers are taking fish tight to cover in less than 15 feet of water. Moses Lake walleyes are hitting Slow Death rigs with a Smile Blade, also in relatively shallow water all over the lake.
The Lake Roosevelt sturgeon fishery opens June 15 from Grand Coulee Dam to China Bend Boat Ramp (including the Spokane River from Highway 25 Bridge upstream to 400 feet below Little Falls Dam, the Colville River upstream to Meyers Falls and the Kettle River upstream to Barstow Bridge). The daily catch limit is one sturgeon between 53 inches and 63 inches from the tip of the snout to the middle of the fork in the tail. The quota this year will be 1,000 fish.
The sturgeon fishing season is up and running for the third consecutive year in the Priest Rapids and Wanapum reservoirs. The daily limit is two sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches from snout to the fork in the tail.
Marine Areas 3-10 will be open for recreational halibut fishing today and Saturday only. The all-depth fishery, as well as the nearshore fishery in Marine Area 2 (Westport) is now closed.
Shad should reach McNary and Ice Harbor dams in Washington by mid-June in numbers that make for great fishing. In late May, bank anglers just below Bonneville Dam were catching up to 50 fish apiece per day. Shad are fairly easy to catch and there are no catch limits. Tips on where, when, and how to catch them—and how to prepare them—are available on WDFW’s website.
In recognition of current licensing system issues, Idaho Fish and Game has extended the big game application period to 11 p.m. Thursday.
Contact Alan Liere at email@example.com