The application period ends Friday for over 2,250 unclaimed Idaho controlled hunt permits on the second go-round. These are for deer, elk, pronghorn and bear. A list of available tags by hunt number is available on the unclaimed and leftover tag page on Idaho’s Fish and Game’s website. Hunters can apply at Fish and Game license vendors, by telephone at 800-554-8685, online, or by mail. (All mailed entries must be postmarked no later than Aug. 17). The application fee is $6.25 for residents and $14.75 for nonresidents for each species.
Fly fishing throughout the west is very much the same on all rivers and streams. Mornings are best, evenings second best; forget about the afternoons. A dropper under a foam pattern will work anywhere, but hit the fast slots with nymph for a change of pace.
The Lower Clark Fork has provided some good terrestrial fishing, along with a thick caddis hatch in the evening. The upper and middle Bitterroot has been fishing very well with the cooler temperatures. Streamer fishing at daybreak has provided the best opportunity for big trout. Olive and white combinations have been best. Hoppers and spruce moths are the go-to bugs on the Blackfoot.
Salmon and steelhead
The following areas will open to fishing for fall chinook on Saturday: The Snake River from the Washington/Idaho border upstream to Hells Canyon Dam, the Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to Memorial Bridge and the Salmon River from its mouth upstream approximately three-fourths of a mile to Eye of the Needle Rapids.
The Snake River will also open for harvest of fall chinook on Saturday from the mouth (Burbank to Pasco railroad bridge at river mile 1.25) to the Oregon State line (approximately seven miles upstream of the mouth of the Grande Ronde River). Only hatchery chinook and steelhead may be retained.
Sockeye fishing on the Brewster Pool has slowed considerably. A friend who fished there this week, however, caught his limit of chinook in a half day of trolling. He said other anglers did well, too.
Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) and Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay) are now closed to salmon fishing because the quota has been reached. Sufficient quota remains for both chinook and coho in marine areas 2 (Westport) and 3 (La Push) to remain open. It’s go time for Astoria / Buoy chinook, reports Kyle Jones at Kyle Jones Sportsfishing. Fishing has been good. Info: (208) 861-0654.
Fishing for chinook salmon on Lake Chelan has been very good lately, perhaps the best in 25 years, for anglers trolling plug-cut herring behind size 0 dodgers. The lower basin has been productive for fish up to 8 pounds.
Drano Lake has had periods of hot chinook fishing followed by hours and even days of nothing. Pro Troll flashers with 3.5 spinners and mini cutplug Superbaits in pink and orange have done well recently. When the chinook bite slows down, it is often productive to anchor up and fish a bobber and shrimp for steelhead. A lot of wild fish are showing. Info: Upper Columbia Guide Service (509) 470-9255.
Trout and kokanee
Badger Lake has been one of the best Washington lowland lake around this summer. Trollers continue to make good rainbow trout catches by trolling Wedding Rings. Williams Lake anglers are trolling small Rapalas from dusk on and having good success.
There has been a fair bite from large Sprague Lake trout near the island, but the lake is covered with a thick green “gunk” that makes trolling almost impossible. Anglers say it takes a lot of work to remove the slimy stuff from motor and boat trailer.
Loon lake has been generally good for nighttime kokanee fishing, though two friends and I had our worst outing yet on Tuesday night. Not only did it get cold, we only landed 11 fish in three hours. Usually, Glo-Hooks and maggots in 31-32 feet of water will get you into fish after 8:30 p.m. Recently-mentioned hot spots are in front of Granite Point and in front of the site of the old Robin’s Cabins just to the north of Granite Point.
Coeur d’Alene Lake kokanee fishing has been good all day long for anglers trolling Wedding Rings and other standard kokanee gear 30-50 feet down. The fish are mostly 10-11 inches.
Some really large rainbow have been pulled from Bonaparte Lake this summer, many of them from the Bonaparte Lake Resort dock. Most recently, a tiger trout weighing over 4 pounds was netted there, and some of the kokanee are stretching to 18 inches.
Kokanee fishing at Spectacle Lake in the Okanogan has been good in the morning with the fish running 11-13 inches.
Deep Lake in Grant County is also fishing well for kokanee, but you need to be on the water early as the bite generally ends before 9:00 a.m. The fish run 10-11 inches.
Dworshak Reservoir kokanee are moving up in the reservoir and are currently congregated in the vicinity of Grandad Campground. In another week or so, they will be entering the tributaries where they will spawn, so now is the time to go. There are fewer kokanee available now in the two-year-old class than in the last couple years, but those fish are running a hefty 12-16 inches. The one-year-old fish are only 7-8 inches.
Chelan Lake kokanee are just starting to change for the fall spawn and the bite is fair. Anglers are catching three size classes ranging from 10 to 15 inches.
Alta Lake in Okanogan County is an excellent largemouth destination. Spinnerbaits are good, as are Senkos.
Walleye fishing has been slow at Banks Lake and good on Lake Roosevelt. Potholes and Moses Lake walleye seem to have disappeared, though bass fishing remains good.
Coeur d’Alene anglers throwing spinnerbaits near and into the weeds are catching fair numbers of northern pike and largemouth bass.
Contact Alan Liere at firstname.lastname@example.org
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