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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for August 2

Fly fishing

Silver Bow Fly Shop reports better fishing this weekend on the St. Joe River by anglers fishing the early mornings. The upper half above Avery is fishing well with terrestrials – hoppers, ants and beetles. Small attractors, Chernobyls, caddis and yellow sallies are picking up fish. It’s always a good idea to run a dropper.

Good fishing is reported on the Big Spokane early and late, with early the most consistent. For dry flies, use hoppers, beetles or Chernobyls. Nymphing is always good.

Trout and kokanee

The pullout at Tum Tum on Long Lake, 10 miles northwest of Suncrest off Highway 291, is usually packed with swimmers by noon, but fishing for trout from shore can be good early and late. Bait is commonly used for this type of fishing.

I have never seen better nighttime kokanee fishing than I did last week. Two friends and I anchored in 30 feet of water on the east side for limits every time we went out. White Mack’s Glo Hooks that glow green tipped with a couple of maggots did the damage. Use enough weight to get quickly through the bluegills that are always attracted to the light, and use a slow jigging motion that should begin at water level and take all of 5 seconds to rise 3 feet. Then drop the rod tip quickly and start over. A steady light source makes a difference. It attracts plankton, which attract kokanee. My personal experience is that if you haven’t caught a kokanee by 10 p.m., you need to move in or out a few feet.

Anglers trolling Apex or Old Goat lures downstream from the Fort Spokane launch say it is not difficult to catch planter rainbows of around a foot in length at about 20 feet as long as you put in early to avoid the midday heat. It was noted that the planters have lice. They don’t affect the flavor or consistency of the meat, but definitely affect the appearance of the fish.

The lowland put-and-take lakes are seeing a lot more jet skiers than fishermen, but a few decent reports have come in, notably from West Medical, Badger and Fishtrap. Find the deepest water you can and dunk bait. If successful, clean the fish and get them on ice or you’ll have nothing but cat food when you get home.

Steelhead and salmon

Upper Columbia Guide Service reports good sockeye fishing on the Brewster Pool and good chinook fishing at Chelan Falls. For the chinook, they are running Pro Troll flashers with 42 inches of leader to 3.5 spinners or Super Baits. The fish were 15 to 22 feet down. There are excellent numbers of hatchery chinook in the Chelan Falls area. The fish, sockeye and chinook, are still in excellent shape.

Another area that is open for chinook fishing is the mouth of the Entiat River. A large return is expected to this tributary.

Baker Lake in Whatcom County is also holding up for some bright sockeye salmon that are larger than those at Brewster. Best fishing is early.

Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island) has reopened to boat angling for salmon seven days a week. Salmon fishing there remains open daily from fishing piers and shorelines.

Fall chinook fishing on the Snake, Clearwater and Salmon rivers will open Aug. 18. Idaho Fish and Game fisheries managers expect just more than 18,000 adult fish to return to Idaho, which compares with almost 25,000 last year. Most of the fishing opportunity will occur on the Snake River, but short sections of the Clearwater and Salmon will have some fishing.

Spiny ray

Friends fishing wacky worms on the Pend Oreille River near Newport had good luck on smallmouth bass up to 4 1/2 pounds. They noted the river seems to be dropping again and there was not much ramp left at Pioneer Park.

Lower Goose Lake in Grant County near Moses Lake has been good this week for smallmouth bass. Lower Goose also has walleye, which are not nearly as cooperative.

Lake Coeur d’Alene pike don’t seem to mind the hot weather. Anglers are casting spinner baits, mostly on the deep side of the weed lines. Usually, a morning of casting will also net a largemouth or two.

A friend who recently returned from a fishing trip to Cascade Reservoir in Idaho reminded me that Cascade is not just a winter perch destination, In addition to a mess of fat 12- to 13-inch perch, she caught a 24-inch rainbow and several nice smallmouth bass.

Other species

Lake Roosevelt Charters reports catching a couple of keeper sturgeon around Rickey point and north of the Daisy boat launch. They were fishing at 120 feet with Sturgeon Candy Herring. Info: 509-722-3880


Idaho hunters who successfully drew controlled hunts in Idaho this year have until Monday at 11:59 p.m. to pick up their tags for elk, deer, antelope, fall turkey and fall bear. The deadline has been extended from Wednesday.

Effective immediately, Idaho Fish and Game has banned the import into Idaho of the carcass or any part of a wild deer, elk, or moose from another state, Canada or other country with any documented case of chronic wasting disease.

Idaho Fish and Game commissioners have agreed to set November as a deadline to decide the fate of the coveted Sawtooth Elk Zone tags. The tags have been available on a limited, first-come, first-served basis for many years, selling out in minutes and leaving many hunters empty-handed and disappointed. Commissioners are considering continuing the status quo, converting the Sawtooth Zone to controlled hunts, or a combination of the two

Contact Alan Liere at