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

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for June 28

Fly fishing

Silver Bow Fly Shop says the upper half of the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River is fishing fairly well and that golden stones, drakes, pmd’s, caddis, and yellow sallies will find fish. The classic deep pools are getting pounded, so look for your fish elsewhere. The St. Joe is also fishing pretty well and golden stones are particularly effective. The cottonwoods are dropping their “cotton” on the lower end which can negatively affect the bite. Streamer fishing is most effectively during this time.

A stonefly nymph with a caddis pupa or swinging soft hackles has been very productive on the Spokane River. Some excellent dry fly fishing occurs the last few moments of daylight.


and kokanee

Waitts Lake is a fairly reliable destination for a limit of 11- to 15-inch rainbow. Anglers trolling flies over deep water are doing well in the top 30 feet. Very few browns have shown recently.

Because I couldn’t get out myself, I gave a friend heading to Lake Roosevelt a new 2.8-inch perch-colored Old Goat Lure to try for trout. He reported exceptional results on the smaller plants, but also caught a dandy carryover down deep at 45 feet as well as two nice walleye.

Fishtrap Lake has been fishing well, says a friend who targets the lake almost exclusively. Badger Lake has been good at times, but no one has reported catching a kokanee. Clear Lake has probably been the most consistent for trout. Rainbow make up the bulk of the catch, but the lake has some nice browns, too.

Loon Lake kokanee are biting for trollers as well as nighttime still-fishermen. Troll a Wedding Ring or pink hootchie either alone or with a flasher in the top 20 feet during the day and change over to a green Glo-Hook and maggot for the night still-fishing action. Maggots and white shoepeg corn work equally well on the tip of the hook, but the maggots stay on much better, allowing you to miss several strikes and know you still have bait.

Loon Lake isn’t the only place where anglers fish at night for kokanee. Bonaparte Lake in Okanogan County can be good just out from the Boy Scout ranch and in front of the host campsite. Successful anglers are still-fishing with a Glo-Hook and a small worm in 30 feet of water. The best spots are out from Boy Scout ranch and in front of the host campsite. Horseshoe Lake in Ferry County is also good for kokanee at times, though they are generally smaller than those at Loon. Anglers there also use Glo-Hooks, generally tipped with white corn.

Bonaparte Lake in Okanogan County has some big kokanee and brook trout as well as hefty rainbows and even a few tiger trout. Fishing has been best recently at the south end.

In Idaho, Lake Pend Oreille kokanee can be difficult to locate, but anglers who search for them report catching some rainbow up to 10 pounds in the process.


and salmon

Spring chinook daily counts at Prosser and Roza have declined substantially, signaling the end of the 2018 spring chinook return to the Yakima River. Salmon fishing will remain open only through Friday. This means all areas of the Yakima River will be closed to fishing for spring chinook.

The Little Salmon River will reopen to salmon fishing today to Sunday. By the end of fishing hours on Sunday, the sport fishery harvest for the North Fork Clearwater and Lochsa rivers will have been met and salmon on those rivers will close.

Spiny ray

The walleye fishing in the John Day Pool of the Columbia River remains great, says Jake Munden of Munden’s Rising Son Adventures – (509) 492-8852 – who says his boat has been catching 20-40 walleye a day. Most of our action has been coming on worm harnesses.

Walleye fishing on the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt has slowed a little, but the smallmouth are still willing biters and great fighters. Successful walleye anglers are now mostly dragging spinners and nightcrawlers with a bottom bouncer. Make sure your bottom bouncers are at least 1 ½ ounces or you’ll be letting out way too much line.

The northern pike fishery on Lake Coeur d’Alene is coming alive and should continue to improve as the weeds near the surface, which makes finding the hidey-holes easier. It’s still hard to beat a spinnerbait. There have been some pike weighing in the high teens and low 20s taken recently.

Try the Spokane River between Barker Road and the Flora trailhead and near the Harvard Bridge for good smallmouth action. Most of these are on the small side but every now and then a good one (over 2 pounds) is taken. Tube jigs in crawdad colors are hot.

Smallmouth bass fishing remains pretty good on Dworshak Reservoir in Idaho. The end of spawning activity has sent the larger fish deeper, but the 12- to 14-inchers are still fairly shallow. Smallmouth activity is also reported on Priest Lake, and Lake Spokane also has a good smallmouth bite. Banks Lake, Moses Lake and Potholes Reservoir are noted smallmouth destinations, as are the Snake River and Lake Roosevelt.

Other species

Shad fishing action on the Columbia is nonstop. The bite is expected to last at least another week or two.

Sturgeon fishing on Lake Roosevelt near Kettle Falls is still not producing many keeper-sized fish. To be retained, the sturgeon must stretch between 53 and 63 inches. Last year’s slot was between 38 and 63 inches. A lot of fish are being caught, but very few within the current 10-inch slot have been boated.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@