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Monday, December 9, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 31° Partly Cloudy
Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for Nov. 22

Fly fishing

Fly fishing at Rocky Ford is good, but nothing particularly large has shown. The usual scuds and midges are bringing action.

Silver Bow Fly Shop said Grande Ronde steelhead have been partial to sink-tips with patterns like egg sucking loop leeches, Bjorn’s tug bug, Wombats and Intruders working best for the swing crowd, and Hot Bead stones with an egg (or bead) dropper being best for the nymphers. Focus on the slower water. Overall, fishing has been fair.

Whitefish should be moving into area rivers. The Clark Fork and North Fork Coeur d’Alene should both be a good bet.

Salmon and steelhead

The Clearwater River steelhead fishery has been strong for a month, with the largest average size of B-runs in many years. Both trolling and drifting are effective.

Steelhead fishermen casting jigs with coon shrimp from the bank at Wawawai Landing are taking some large fish. The best bite has come before noon.

Trout and kokanee

Roosevelt anglers all over the reservoir report the fish are hitting their offerings but not staying hooked. A few kokanee were landed this week, and anglers are hoping the light bites are coming from the silvery land-locked sockeye that have been scarce all year. The rainbow bite has been good in the Hawk Creek bay, and bank fishermen are beginning to catch trout on the bottom casting Power Bait near Seven Bays.

The Lake Pend Oreille Trout Derby third-day results show Julie Williams ahead of the rainbow division with a trout of 20.78 pounds. Brad Sturgis is leading the mackinaw division with a fish of 17.74 pounds.

Spiny ray

Long Lake anglers might consider spending time fishing for the walleye that have taken hold. Walleye up to 10 pounds were sampled earlier this year. Friends casting an assortment of swim and jerk baits said they had a good day near Long Lake Dam this week, catching northern pike and smallmouth bass.

Walleye fishermen in the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt are having fair success on a few keepers and a lot of “dinks” in about 50 feet of water. Most are jigging with plastics.

Perch fishermen have experienced sporadic action in the Blue Heron Park Bay on Moses Lake. The fish are of various sizes with a few of the jumbos showing.

Other species

Burbot are present in good numbers in the Spokane Arm of Roosevelt, and many are the larger females of around 5 pounds. Soft plastics in orange are working best.

Razor clam diggers can return to various ocean beaches for a four-day opening on evening tides beginning today.

The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates, and evening low tides:

  • Thursday, 5:55 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Friday, 6:36 p.m.; -1.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Saturday, 7:20 p.m.; -1.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • Sunday, 8:05 p.m.; -1.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Another dig is scheduled for Dec. 6-9, pending results of future toxin tests. More information on planned digs can be found on WDFW’s razor clam webpage at shellfish/razorclams/.


A relative told me the duck hunting was phenomenal on the Columbia River last weekend, with his party of four limiting on mallards both days. That is the only positive duck hunting report I have received, but on the way home from a pheasant hunt in Whitman County on Monday, every little pond along I-90 was loaded with geese and ducks. Some water is partially frozen.

Canada geese are feeding conspicuously in harvested grain fields in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Hunters who do their scouting are enjoying some good shoots.

Washington pheasant hunters continue to see a lot of birds in Whitman, Lincoln, Adams, Grant and Garfield counties. There are no easy birds left, so prepare to burn some shoe leather. With the amount of cover available this year, a good dog is invaluable. I had time for a short hunt in Whitman County on Monday and I saw a dozen pheasants and three big flocks of gray partridge. I bagged two roosters and two partridge, my best day so far. But without my Brittany spaniel, there probably would have been no birds in my game vest.

The late buck season is over for modern rifle hunters, but archers and muzzleloaders are afield for late seasons, most of which run well into December.

Idaho Fish and Game Commission on Nov. 14 voted to continue a general hunt with capped tags for the Sawtooth Elk Zone in 2019, which typically sells out in minutes because of its popularity with hunters. Commissioners may adjust the number of tags available in the zone when it sets its seasons and rules in March. Those tags will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis on the same dates and times as in 2018.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@

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