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Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for Sept. 6

Fly fishing

Silver Bow Fly Shop reports good cutthroat fishing on the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River with rising fish all day. Fishing the faster riffles with ant patterns brings a lot of takes. The St. Joe has been fishing best from Avery. Good water can be found from there to Spruce Tree.

Dry droppers consisting of Chernobyls or hoppers with beadhead attractor nymphs will be one of the best tactics on the Spokane River. Fishing has been good well into the evening. Streamer fishing is picking up.

Salmon and steelhead

Salmon fishing for coho is said to be good at Seiku. Anglers are catching a lot of wild fish before eventually taking their two-fish limits. Fall chinook are biting between Bonneville and The Dalles.

With the Columbia River closed to steelhead retention from Buoy 10 to the Oregon/Washington border, the WDFW is evaluating tributaries to determine if and where additional closures would occur. The A-run of steelhead is one of the lowest on record.

To protect weak runs, fishery managers reduced the daily catch limit for hatchery steelhead to one fish, which started Tuesday on the Snake River, as well as on the Grande Ronde, Touchet, Tucannon and Walla Walla rivers. The Snake River is open for fall hatchery chinook salmon and hatchery steelhead from the mouth (Burbank to Pasco railroad bridge) to the Oregon state line. Gear restrictions apply. Jack chinook may be retained whether clipped or not.

A friend fishing the Clearwater confluence with shrimp and bobber reported few anglers on the water. On Tuesday, he had on a big chinook but lost it after several minutes. Confluence anglers are allowed either one chinook or one steelhead, but the adipose fin must be clipped. Washington’s Snake River is open through Oct. 31 for the harvest of hatchery-marked (adipose-fin-clipped) fall chinook.

The portion of the Columbia from Wells Dam to the Highway 173 Bridge at Brewster is closed to chinook fishing, but it continues from Brewster to Chief Joseph Dam and from Rocky Reach to Wells Dam through Oct. 15.

The fall chinook fishery is underway on the Columbia River from the Highway 395 Bridge upstream to Priest Rapids Dam. Anglers may keep up to two adult chinook or coho and can harvest adipose clipped and unclipped salmon. The fishery typically gets off to a slow start but picks up quickly by mid-September. The preseason forecast this year is for 200,000 fish entering the Columbia, and at least 100,000 getting to the Hanford Reach.

The Yakima River opened for fall chinook and coho fishing Saturday. The daily limit is two adult fish that do not need to be adipose clipped. The Yakima River is closed to fishing for salmon at night. The Yakima River and the Columbia River from the Highway 395 Bridge upstream is closed to fishing for steelhead.

As of Wednesday, the best bets for chinook on tributaries in Washington include the Cowlitz, Kalama, Washougal and Klickitat rivers, along with Drano Lake. Chinook retention is limited to fish with a clipped adipose fin, except on the Klickitat River and Drano Lake, where anglers can catch up to three adult chinook – marked or unmarked – per day. In addition, up to two adult coho per day may be retained from the Klickitat River and three adult coho from Drano Lake.

Trout and kokanee

Fishing rules at West Medical Lake recently changed to allow anglers to remove as many fish (trout only) as they can before rehabilitation.

Fish Lake in Spokane County has brook trout, and the fishing improves until Sept. 30 closure.

Friends who fished Badger Lake this week found plenty of kokanee, but not the 12-inch fish I mentioned last week. One group caught nothing but 5- to 7-inchers, and another group caught three 11-inchers but mostly small fish. At Loon Lake, family members fished one night until 11, catching nothing but 6-inch kokanee. On what may be my last night-fishing kokanee trip of the year, two friends and I were skunked, catching nothing but small bluegills and smaller perch.

Captain Dave’s Guide Service reported doing well trolling for kokanee at Loon Lake, catching the larger fish in the bay around the island. The magic depth was 35 feet. A friend trolling “all over the lake at all depths” on Tuesday caught dozens of fish, but only one more than 8 inches.

A friend said the larger Deer Lake rainbow are hitting trolled Muddler Minnows in Cedar and Pine bays as well as The Narrows. He was pulling 100 feet of leaded line.

Lake Roosevelt trollers fishing out of Hunters report fair catches of trout, some as large as 22 inches.

Deep Lake (Grant County) trollers are netting good numbers of 9- to 11-inch kokanee. The best depth has been between 30 and 35 feet. The fishery remains open through September.

Spiny ray

Long Lake is great for perch, but you’ll have to sort through a lot of “dinks” to have enough for a fish fry. Try outside the weed edges in Willow Bay.

Walleye general bite aggressively in September and throughout much of the fall. Several of the state’s best walleye fisheries include the Hanford Reach, the Snake River below Ice Harbor Dam and the Columbia River below McNary Dam. Smallmouth bass share habitat with walleye but sometimes run as deep as 50 feet. They move into the shallows as waters cool and food sources become available. Fishing tends to improve through October until cold water sends them back to greater depths for the winter.

Anglers trolling Smile Blades and nightcrawlers near Porcupine Bay on Lake Roosevelt are catching lots of walleye, but only about one-third are the nice 16- to 20-inch “eaters.”

Banks Lake trollers are finding similar results on the same setup in about 30 feet of water.

Other species

WDFW Chelan/Douglas District Fish Biologist Travis Maitland reports sturgeon are still being caught in the Priest and Wanapum pools, with the best fishing just immediately downstream of Rock Island Dam on the Wanapum pool.

Hunting

Doves, forest grouse and rabbits are open in Idaho. The fall turkey season opens Sept. 15 and quail, grey partridge and chukar open Sept. 17. In Washington, doves, forest grouse, rabbits and turkey opened Saturday. The turkey season in Idaho and Washington runs through December.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@yahoo.com


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