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Thursday, September 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 65° Clear

Hunting + fishing

Fly fishing

Amber Lake trout are holding deep, though there is a lot of evening activity on the surface. Try a gray Serendipity in front of the launch.

Many lakes in Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties remain open through October and could provide nice catches this fall. Ellen Lake, north of Inchelium, could be productive because it was rehabilitated last year. Gillette Lake, northeast of Colville, has both rainbow and tiger trout. Browns Lake, northeast of Cusick, is usually best for fall cutthroat.

Trout and kokanee

Triploid trout that would push 15 pounds can be seen swimming in Rufus Woods around the second set of net pens upriver from the Chief Joseph launch. Fishing for smaller 4- to 8-pound fish has been good with a variety of offerings including black marabou jigs, flies and bait.

Amber Lake cutthroat are hitting a variety of offerings. The fish see to be suspended at 15-20 feet. The northeast end of the lake has been best.

Steelhead and salmon

Salmon fishing at Bridgeport and Wells Dam has been good and several fish more than 30 pounds have been landed. Steelhead in the same area are only 4-5 pounds, but there appears to be lots of them. The Columbia River opened to hatchery steelhead harvest Tuesday from Rock Island Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam, including the Wenatchee, Entiat, Methow and Okanogan rivers.

The Snake River downstream from the Salmon River is giving up a steelhead every 12 angler hours. On the Clearwater from the Memorial Bridge to the Orofino Bridge, two hours per fish is the average.

The number of anglers fishing for salmon in the Yakima River remains slow and steady but catch remains extremely low.

Spiny ray

Some really big largemouth have been landed at area lakes recently. Twin Lake, near Coffeepot, has booted out several 5- and 6-pounders, and even Sprague Lake has yielded a few. In Idaho, Hayden, Hauser and Coeur d’Alene largemouth are becoming aggressive again.

Tiger muskies are showing better at Silver Lake these days, though it’s not what would be considered hot fishing. Small crankbaits seem to be the most effective.

Pend Oreille bass and pike are still on the bite, but the pike can be finicky.

Waitts and Jump-Off Joe have been excellent for decent-sized perch.

Crappie fishing was reported to be pretty good last weekend at the MarDon Resort dock tournament. Many keepers were caught and the winning fish was just more than a pound. A 5-pound bass and 7-pound walleye were also winners.

Other species

The first razor-clam dig of the fall season will begin Oct. 16 if marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat. Evening digs are tentatively planned at Twin Harbors (Oct. 16-19); Long Beach and Copalis (Oct. 16-18); and Mocrocks and Kalaloch Beach (Oct. 17-18). Digging at all beaches will be restricted to the hours between noon and midnight.

Anglers can fish for sturgeon in the mainstem Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines to Bonneville Dam.


Statewide results show 1,209 Idaho hunters bagged 875 sage grouse, overall a little better than last year when 1,245 bagged 845 grouse.

Wolf hunting opened Thursday in the Idaho Panhandle and other remaining portions of the state. Fifteen gray wolves had been harvested by hunters in Idaho since the season opened in portions of the state on Sept. 1. The statewide quota is 220 wolves.

Idaho hunting seasons are coming up fast, and deer and elk in the Salmon Region should be in good condition as hunters head out this fall. Regular deer tag, general, any-weapon season opens Oct. 10 in most units. General B tag, any-weapon elk season for most zones opens Oct. 15.

Washington partridge and quail hunters can take to the field Saturday. Pat Fowler, WDFW southeast district wildlife biologist, said quail brood numbers are looking good. The best areas to hunt are along the major river drainages – Walla Walla, Touchet and Tucannon rivers, plus Asotin Creek. Chukar and gray partridge broods appear to be good-sized.

Washington black-powder hunters are having their time in the field. The statewide black-powder deer season is open through Sunday. Elk are open Saturday through Oct. 9.

Pheasant hunting opens Saturday on the Colville Indian Reservation.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere

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