Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 82° Clear
Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for Aug. 17

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 16, 2017

Fly fishing

Most Spokane River rainbow taken recently have either been on the dropper below a hopper/Chernobyl or on the nymph rig. There doesn’t appear to be rhyme or reason to which nymph will work on a given day.

Silver Bow Fly Shop reports good fishing on the St. Joe. Wade fishing around Calder and Avery has been great with terrestrials (red), stones, Adams and some streamers.

The Clark Fork has seen fair fishing, but the bite has been inconsistent with long periods of nothing between hot bites. Small hoppers have worked best recently.

The Icicle River near Leavenworth is a wonderful little fishery with almost non-stop action from small trout. The Parachute Adams has been a consistent producer. The Entiat River, too, is loaded with small rainbow and some brookies.

Salmon and steelhead

Fall chinook fishing opens on Friday in the following areas: The Snake River from the Washington/Idaho border upstream to about a mile downstream of Hells Canyon Dam, and from Hells Canyon Dam downstream to Cliff Mountain Rapids. It will also open from the mouth at Snake River mile 1.25 to the Oregon state line (approximately seven miles upstream of the mouth of the Grande Ronde River). The Clearwater River opens from its mouth upstream to Memorial Bridge; the Salmon River, from its mouth upstream about three-fourths of a mile to Eye of the Needle Rapids. As of Aug. 14, no fall chinook had been counted at either Little Goose or Lower Granite dams.

Beginning Friday, the daily salmon limit on the Entiat River is two adult or jack chinook and may be comprised of adipose fin-clipped or unclipped. Selective gear rules and night closure is in effect.

There will not be a sockeye season this year on Lake Wenatchee. Considering the numbers over Bonneville, minimum escapement goals were barely met.

Reel Time Fishing reports good success at Buoy 10 for chinook salmon and says the 2017 run appears to be excellent. Info: (208) 790 2128. Charter boats out of Westport are still doing well on chinook and coho.

Trout and kokanee

The Loon Lake night bite continues to be good. Although the 11- to 12-inch fish can be caught sporadically beginning at about 8:30 p.m., a fast bite usually materializes around 10. Friends and I fished the west side this week in 31 feet of water and had little trouble putting limits in the boat by 10:30. The fish are still silvery with little evidence of the upcoming spawn.

Hayden Lake kokanee provided consistent action for some anglers last week, but the fish are starting to turn. Find a school and stay with it for fish running 11-14 inches. Most schools are between 30-50 feet.

Deep Lake in Grant County has provided pretty decent kokanee fishing recently, with most of the fish around 10 inches. The fish are being found at depths of 40 feet and more.

Local trout lakes have been surprisingly productive throughout the hot weather, and the recent cooling trend has made it even better, but you still need to fish deep. West Medical anglers are tossing Power Bait, while Clear, Williams, Badger and Sprague fishermen are mostly trolling. Excellent reports come from Clear, especially for those fishing right at dawn.

Spiny ray

At this time, Banks Lake walleye seem to prefer bottom walkers with a Slow Death Hook and a nightcrawler over jigs. The fish have been all over the place at depths over 15 feet with much of the action in the vicinity of Steamboat Rock. Some anglers have found success, however, down the lake in depths as shallow as eight feet by trolling Flicker Shads.

Walleye fishing on Potholes Reservoir is slow, but anglers casting frogs, Senkos and swimbaits back in the dunes are taking some nice largemouth. Moses Lake walleye, too, are not particularly aggressive now, but the smallmouth bass fishing is outstanding.

Bass fishing on Long Lake was slow last week, but Newman held up well for largemouth and Lake Coeur d’Alene smallmouth fishing was very good. Coeur d’Alene pike fishing remains good, but nothing particularly large has been reported recently.

Smallmouth fishing just about anywhere on the Snake River is excellent. Throw soft plastics or crawdad-colored crankbaits. The fish are mostly small, but they provide a lot of action.

Other species

Channel catfish from 2 1/2 to 6 pounds have been tearing up cut bait and gobs of nightcrawlers on Idaho’s Fernan Lake, and you don’t need to fish after dark to find success. The Snake River, too, around Central Ferry, Lyons Ferry, Penewawa and Almota has also been good for channel cats.


A masochistic friend has just completed his annual two-day scouting trip for chukars in Hells Canyon. He says the birds are at perhaps 70 percent of last year’s levels. Though he saw several large family groups, there were fewer of them than last year.

Contact Alan Liere at

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.