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Friday, February 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for June 14


Dropping water levels and good caddis activity are making for some successful outings on the Spokane River. Silver Bow Fly Shop said late-evening caddis activity is good, with brown-olive tones the best. Peacock-style stones with a caddis pupa under a bobber are also productive.

The North Fork Coeur d’Alene River was also good this week. Green drakes have been the best hatches lately. Pmds, golden stones, yellow sallies and caddis are also on the menu. The river is low, so wade fishing is a lot easier.

St. Joe reports aren’t quite as stellar, but fishing is nevertheless pretty good. Dries or dry/dropper rigs will find trout. Smaller tributary streams in Idaho and Montana have been fishing well. Goldens, drakes, caddis and pmd patterns are all working.

Trout and kokanee

Loon Lake isn’t seeing much nighttime activity by kokanee fishermen, probably because of unsettled weather and cool nights. A friend who fished in front of Granite Point for a couple of hours Sunday night caught only three from 29 feet of water. Trollers have done a little better during the day.

Coeur d’Alene kokanee are running a solid 10 inches and can be found in a lot of spots in 20-25 feet of water north and south, with the south end being most consistent.

Good trout reports come from Badger, Clear and Waitts lakes. Clear has produced a lot of browns lately.

Steelhead and salmon

The chinook salmon season on the Upper Salmon River, South Fork of the Salmon River and Lochsa River will open June 23 and run seven days a week. Anglers may retain chinook salmon with an intact adipose fin from the Lochsa River.

Idaho Fish and Game stocks land-locked chinook in lakes and reservoirs, and biologists are asking anglers to help them learn more about these fish in Anderson Ranch, Lucky Peak and Deadwood reservoirs in southwest Idaho and Spirit Lake in North Idaho.

Biologists are installing signs and drop boxes at those locations and want anglers who catch a chinook to leave a small fin clip sample from the fish for research.

“We’re currently stocking two types of chinook in reservoirs, sterile and fertile,” research biologist Phil Branigan said, “and we’re trying to learn which ones are more likely to get caught by anglers.”

Spiny ray

Anglers fishing near Willow Bay Resort on Long Lake report good catches of 9- to 12-inch perch by throwing small jigs tipped with a piece of worm. Catches will often also include smallmouth bass and trout. It’s easy to catch a lot of smallmouth on tube jigs from Long Lake anywhere between the launch at Nine to Tum Tum. A few will run up to 3 pounds, but most are smaller.

Diamond Lake has been good for largemouth bass. Fish the docks with soft baits such as a Senko. Sacheen Lake also has some decent-sized largemouth.

Liberty Lake anglers have been getting into some large schools of decent-sized perch, which is not to say they’re all keepers. It’s a good destination for kids, though, and size does not seem to matter to them.

Silver Lake largemouth are hitting on both sides of the lake. Topwaters and deep-running plastics are taking largemouth to 4 pounds. Either side of the lake is good.

A friend who fished Horseshoe Lake this week said there wasn’t much action until 7 p.m., but then the bite turned on and he caught six fish more than 3 pounds, all on a 4-inch wacky-rigged worm.

Walleye anglers launching at China Bend on Lake Roosevelt and running up to the area known as “The Dalles” are experiencing excellent walleye fishing, mostly on jigs and nightcrawlers in shallow water.

Walleye anglers also had fair success this week up the Spokane Arm, but the fishing appears to have slowed down some. The best success has come in 10-15 feet of water by dragging bottom walkers and spinners, jigging or drop-shotting. Jigs and spinners generally require a piece of nightcrawler, but Berkley soft baits do well on their own for drop-shotters. Smallmouth bass are still biting, and some anglers report catching numerous small trout – evidently recent releases from the net pens.

Potholes Reservoir hasn’t been particularly productive for bass or walleye recently, but the bugs are out in unimaginable numbers and making fishing miserable unless the wind is blowing, which also makes fishing miserable. Pick your poison.

Coffeepot Lake is giving up a lot of largemouth bass. Plastics have been most productive.

Good walleye fishing is ongoing on the Columbia River between The Dalles and McNary dams. The fish are being taken with bottom walkers, spinners and nightcrawlers in 30-40 feet of water.

Smallmouth bass action has been good on most stretches of the Snake River. Soft plastics in dark colors seem to be the ticket right now, but for bigger fish try throwing crankbaits in a crawdad imitation pattern.

Reel Time Fishing out of Clarkston reports excellent smallmouth fishing on the Grande Ronde River. The fish are said to be larger than usual with a lot of action and beautiful scenery. Info: 208-790-2128.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been good all week on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Jeff Smith at Fins and Feathers said. With the cool water, they are still in tight to the shore. Northern pike, he said, “have been weird this year – tougher than last year.” He suggests checking out the shallows first with a Silver Minnow spoon, and if nothing develops, moving to deeper water.

Other species

“Crabbing should be good again this year in several areas of Puget Sound,” said Bob Sizemore, shellfish policy leader for WDFW.

Marine areas 4 (Neah Bay – East of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line) and 5 (Sekiu) open for sport crabbing Saturday. Many other areas of the sound will open for recreational crab fishing June 30, although two areas around the San Juan Islands open later in the summer to protect molting crab. Summer seasons for the upcoming fishery are posted on WDFW’s crab-fishing website at crab/.

More than 61,000 shad passed Bonneville Dam on Monday, for a yearly total of 1,393,543. About 28,500 were counted Monday at McNary Dam. Successful anglers say they lose a lot of jigs in the rocks. Because shad darts are expensive, many are finding success with cheap crappie jigs in white and red.

Channel cats are bending poles at Liberty Lake. Most are a good eating size – 2 to 3 pounds.

Contact Alan Liere at

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