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Tuesday, September 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 76° Clear
Sports >  Outdoors

Hunting and fishing

Fly fishing

The Coeur d’Alene River is fishing very well with PMDs and caddis bringing the action. The St. Joe is coming down still, and floating is now an option. The Clark Fork is not ready yet.

Medical Lake has been good for big trout this week. The Wooly Bugger is popular there. The lake was recently planted with 1,250 triploids.

Hayden Lake pike and bass are an option for fly fishermen. Some large fish of both species have been taken recently.

Trout and kokanee

Spokane resident Charlie Palmer fished Fishtrap recently, trolling a fly tipped with worm for a trout limit in four hours. He said he probably would have been done sooner but there was an algae buildup and the hook was constantly being fouled with green “gunk.”

Williams Lake limits aren’t coming as fast as they were two weeks ago, but there seem to be lots of fish for trollers dragging Needlefish and similar spoons. Four hundred large triploids have been planted for the upcoming Father’s Day weekend.

West Medical Lake anglers are still taking limits of 14-16-inch rainbow trolling Flatfish or Double Whammies.

Waitts Lake trollers are consistently taking fast limits of rainbow and browns by dragging “just about anything” down the middle at depths of 10-25 feet. A lot of new 9-10-inch browns have shown recently. Diamond Lake trout limits are also the rule – a mixture of browns and rainbows. Diamond was just planted with 600 large triploid rainbow. Liberty Lake anglers trolling Wedding Rings are catching 14-inch rainbow and browns.

Potholes Reservoir’s huge rainbow trout have reappeared at the mouth of Frenchman’s Wasteway and Medicare Beach. Anglers have been catching these jumbo rainbows trolling No. 3 Needlefish and Rapala Shad Rap’s.

There have been a few nice mackinaw taken from Deer Lake recently by anglers jigging deep water and by trollers who impart a horizontal jigging action to their lines as they move about the lake.

Another spot for macks is Priest Lake where trolling deep with Flatfish, Lucky Louies and large spoons are putting some big fish in the boat. Priest Lake kokanee anglers are also finding action, particularly in the morning.

IDFG stocked 100,000 kokanee fry into Hayden Lake for the first time in 2011 and another 100,000 in 2012. Now, anglers are consistently catching 14-16-inch Hayden Lake kokanee.

Coeur d’Alene kokes are spread throughout the lake. Most of the fish are 9-11 inches. Recent reports indicate the fish are at about 20 feet early, moving down to 25-30 feet later in the morning.

Loon Lake anglers report fast kokanee fishing but say half the fish caught recently are only about 7 inches long. The other half are 10-11 inches.

Lake Roosevelt kokanee and trout are being found by anglers pulling small pink Apexes at about 25 feet. Spring Canyon and Whitestone have been productive.

Steelhead and salmon

Effective today, the Little Salmon River is open to fishing for chinook salmon from a posted boundary about 50 yards upstream of the Little Salmon River mouth to the U.S. Highway 95 bridge near Smokey Boulder Road. The season will be open only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until further notice.

Three sections of the Snake River will reopen to fishing for hatchery spring chinook salmon, beginning with a stretch near Clarkston today. This section will be open Friday and Saturday each week. A section below Ice Harbor Dam will be open Monday of each week beginning June 17, and a section near Little Goose Dam that will be open Tuesday of each week beginning June 18.

The Upper Klickitat River opened this week to chinook fishing upstream to boundary markers below the salmon hatchery. Bank anglers are catching some spring chinook from the Fisher Hill Bridge downstream.

Effective Sunday, up to two hatchery adult chinook may be retained from the Megler-Astoria Bridge to Priest Rapids Dam. Sockeye (which count towards the adult daily limit) may be retained upstream to the Highway 395 bridge at Pasco. Below Bonneville Dam, hatchery adult chinook and sockeye may be retained through June 30.

Spiny ray

Long Lake near Tum Tum has been good for smallmouth. Anglers drop-shotting in 20 feet of water have taken fish over 4 pounds.

Walleye fishing may be picking up in Lake Roosevelt, but so far there has been no consistency. A few good catches were made recently near Buoy 5 on the Spokane Arm, and there have been some good days around Kettle Falls – nothing big, but nice eating size. Bottom bouncing worms and spinners in 50 feet of water seem to be best.

Banks Lake walleye fishing has been poor for most so far, though a few anglers seem to have no trouble taking limits. There have been several reports of large perch being caught at Banks.

Dock fishing at MarDon Resort on Potholes Reservoir remains excellent for yellow perch, some as large as 12 inches, though you’ll probably have to sort through a lot of smaller fish to find one that size. Smallmouth bass fishing off the face of O’Sullivan Dam has been good for anglers throwing top water lures. Smallmouth are also active in the Lind Coulee Arm. Plugs in a crawdad color or pattern and half-ounce spinner baits in chartreuse or white have worked well off the rocky points. Largemouth bass anglers report surface water temperatures in the sand dune area over 70 degrees.

Coeur d’Alene Lake pike fishermen are having good luck, particularly in the evening. The recently completed pike tournament weighed in a 40-plus-pound catch of four, the largest weighing 24 pounds.

Both Newman Lake in Washington and Hauser Lake in Idaho are giving up good numbers of largemouth bass to anglers throwing plastics. Fan Lake, near Eloika, is often overlooked by bass anglers, but it has also been decent.

Walleye and smallmouth angling is excellent in The Dalles and John Day pools.

Contact Alan Liere at
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