Reader photo: Dry Falls Lake, Wash, shown about 13,000 years after the Ice Age Floods.
Inland Northwest spring chinook anglers tend to wait for the most oil-rich of salmon to come to them. Indeed, action during short upriver seasons can be frantic when water conditions allow, but anglers determined to get their fair share of the run have been traveling to lower Columbia River for the earlier fisheries. Once again, fisheries managers from Washington and Oregon have allocated 75 percent of the total 2014 sportfishing harvest to fisheries below Bonneville, where there are more anglers.
No boat? That’s not a problem for anglers who want to compete in Inland Northwest bass fishing tournaments. The Spokane Bass Club features eight club tournaments a year, from March through November, in which participants draw their partner for the event. Boaters are paired with non-boaters.
The westslope cutthroat trout is like chicken soup for the fly fisher’s soul. Angling for this native of the mountain streams in Idaho and Montana has been passed down through generations. It’s a go-to species for anglers whether they’re on top of their game or down on their luck.
Trout and kokanee Anglers planning to fish the put-and-take lakes in Spokane County on opening day can expect good fishing, says regional fish biologist, Randy Osborne. Clear Lake, he says, will have “decent numbers” of rainbow trout 10-11 inches, triploids running about 16 inches and brood fish of about 19 inches. There will also be a good population of brown trout from 8-20 inches.
Why should a fisherman work when there are so many opportunities to angle for dollars? Among them: K&K Spring Derby, April 26-May 4 at Lake Pend Oreille, with a $15,000 payout including $2,500 for the top rainbow and $1,200 for the top mackinaw plus daily awards and a kokanee division thanks to the 13-year effort to revive the kokanee fishery from the brink of collapse. Derby is shortened to nine days this year.
Rainbow trout are the species of choice for raising at the region’s fish hatcheries and stocking in Eastern Washington lakes. They have the best combination of qualities, said Chris Donley, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife inland lakes manager.
Fly casting champion Tim Rajeff is coming to North Idaho this weekend and he’s just one part of the celebrity action during the two-day Sandpoint Fly Fishing Film Festival. The event features the eight films edited for the Fly Fishing Film Tour to be shown at the Panada Theater on Friday night followed by the four films in the International Fly Fishing Film Festival on Saturday night.
A few northeastern Washington lakes are known for pumping out some of the state’s top catch rates during the opening week of the lowland lake fishing season. Even more lakes will be in good conditions for Saturday’s opener. “The ice came off some of the lakes sooner this spring,” said Bill Baker, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist.
It’s no secret that Saturday is the opening day of Washington’s lowland lake trout fishing season. Some families have opening day perpetually marked on their calendar, as they have for generations. They know the table will be set.