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Sunday, February 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s weekly fish and game report for April 21

Fly fishing

The Quincy Lakes are often overlooked by fly fishermen – including Dusty, which has recently provided excellent fishing for anglers throwing tiny dries.

The lower half of the St. Joe drainage is providing some decent fishing, but the lower half of the North Fork Coeur d’Alene has been even better this week.

Chironomids are the best bet now at Amber Lake. Fish them deep on full sink lines, says Silver Bow Fly Shop.

The Clark Fork has dropped to about 10,000 cfs and the river temperature is in the low 50s. Many varieties of insects are now prevalent and there’s still no need to be on the water early.

Trout and kokanee

At Captain Dave’s Guide Service, Dave Grove says he is marking Roosevelt kokanee at 25-35 feet but catching them no deeper than 10 feet below the surface. He’s had excellent action recently at Spring Canyon.

A friend who fished Rock Lake on Wednesday said the water was very “milky” and fishing was slow.

Rufus Woods has been good for 2- to 4-pound triploids at the first set of net pens out of the Seaton Grove launch. Trollers there are also taking a few large walleye.

Thousands of Washington anglers will be heading to their favorite lakes on this Saturday’s opener, hoping to take home limits of trout. WDFW has been busy stocking these lakes since early March, and there are now dozens that will provide good fishing.

Four different classes of fish have been planted. These are: catchables (11-12 inches); put grow and take (pgt), which are only 7-8 inches and should be harvested later when they have put on some weight; brood stock, which will weigh up to 6 pounds; and jumbo triploids, which will weigh about 2 pounds each.

Lakes in Spokane County that are expected to provide the best trout fishing include:

Fish Lake – Got 1,000 brook trout brood stock last fall and has brook trout carryovers running 17-18 inches. There are also brown trout running about 14 inches and some big rainbow. Last fall, Fish received 12,500 brook trout fry and 10,000 tiger trout fry.

Clear Lake – Has brown, tiger and rainbow trout. It received 10,000 catchables, 200 brood and 780 jumbo triploids. Last year it received 20,000 ptg rainbow. Some big browns come out of Clear every year.

West Medical – Has received 10,000 catchables, 150 broodstock and 780 jumbo triploids. It also was planted with 16,000 pgt rainbow, 95,000 ptg browns and 6,000 tiger trout fry.

Fishtrap Lake – Was just planted with 11,500 catchable rainbow, 100 broodstock, 600 jumbo triploids and 5,000 ptg rainbow.

Badger Lake and Williams Lakes – Were rehabilitated last fall and planted this spring with 20,000 catchable rainbow each. Badger got 300 broodstock, while Williams received 150-plus 900 jumbo triploids.

Fishing at Amber Lake is catch-and-release until Saturday and then shifts to a retention season with a daily limit of two trout measuring at least 14 inches. Rainbow trout with clipped adipose fins caught at Amber must be released even after April 23.

Many trout lakes in Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties are also good bets on the Saturday opener, said Bill Baker, WDFW northeast district fish biologist. They include Waitts, Cedar, Rocky, Mudgett, and Starvation lakes in Stevens County; Ellen Lake in Ferry County; and Diamond and Sacheen lakes in Pend Oreille County.

Diamond has been planted with almost 900 rainbow weighing close to 2 pounds.

In Stevens County, Deer Lake was recently planted with 700 rainbow of 2 pounds or more. This could account for the fact the mackinaw are not particularly willing to hit artificials, though a couple fish over 15 pounds have been taken this spring in shallow water.

Jump-Off Joe Lake received 4,000 catchables, Gillette got 2,200 and Thomas received 7,800. Loon Lake was sweetened with 1,100 rainbow of nearly 2 pounds. A few big macks are usually caught at Loon on the opener. Waitts Lake reopens and is expected to provide good fishing for both browns and rainbow. Waitts received 250 trout of about 2 pounds each and had a good carryover population from last year.

In Okanogan County, best bets will be Pearrygin Lake near Winthrop, Conconully Lake and Reservoir, Alta Lake, just west of Pateros and Wannacut Lake near Oroville.

In Chelan County, opening day lakes to try include Wapato and the Wenatchee Heights lakes – Clear, Black and Beehive. These lakes have been stocked with mostly rainbow trout and should provide fast fishing for 12-inch range trout.

In Douglas County, Jameson Lake is still a popular fishery and there should be some good sized carryovers available.

Salmon and steelhead

Steelhead anglers are still finding good fishing on the South Fork Clearwater and stretches of the Salmon River.

Spring Chinook fishing begins on the Lower Yakima River on April 29 from the Highway 240 Bridge in Richland to Grant Avenue Bridge in Prosser. There will be a one-fish daily limit.

The spring Chinook salmon fishing season will open on Saturday on parts of the mainstem Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater, Lochsa, Snake, Lower Salmon and Little Salmon rivers, at least for a short time. It is unknown for now how many salmon will be available for harvest. So far, fewer than 20 fish a day are being counted at Lower Granite Dam.

Spiny ray

Lake Roosevelt is dropping fast. Although the walleye fishing has been very good out of Porcupine Bay, the boat ramp will be out of the water as of today. Three friends who fished Porcupine Bay last week caught 17 walleye, five of them in a range of 24-31 inches. Plastics thrown toward rocky shorelines are taking some nice smallmouth almost anywhere on the reservoir. Launches still useable after Thursday are: Seven Bays, Spring Canyon, Hunters and Kettle Falls.

Moses Lake continues to improve with some good walleye reports coming from the north end. Anglers trolling bottom walkers and spinners in less than 10 feet of water are also catching crappie and catfish.

Bass are biting at Eloika, and anglers who move around are finding schools of crappie over the 9-inch minimum. Curleytails, grubs and tubes have all been effective. Use a bobber and retrieve slowly just above the weeds.

Banks Lake walleye are hitting trolled Slow Death rigs and nightcrawlers.

Other species

The WDFW has approved more razor clam digs now through April 28. Long Beach will be open each day on morning tides and digs at Mocrocks will be allowed on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. Copalis will be open on Monday and Tuesday.

Sturgeon anglers are making some catches below John Day Dam. Most of the fish caught so far have either been too big or too small.

Contact Alan Liere via email at

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