The St. Joe River can be good early and late, but afternoons are slow. Hopper/dropper fishing is most effective.
The Clark Fork River is flowing clear. Fish early and late with hopper imitations. For any luck at all during the afternoons, put a nymph down deep. There have been thick caddis hatches in the evenings. Tricos have started to show up, but primarily on the lower end by Superior.
Salmon and steelhead
The Buoy 10 fishery is open in what should be an outstanding year for catching coho. This year’s return is expected to be 162% of the average.
A friend who fished the Brewster Pool for chinook on Tuesday had six hits and brought four fish to the boat with one 16-pound keeper. Good reports also come from other anglers. Most are trolling Brad’s Super Baits behind a Pro-troll flasher.
Trout and kokanee
John Kallas and Brad Christenson of Valley White Elephant launched at Seven Bays on Lake Roosevelt this week and trolled toward Sterling Point with the intention of fishing for kokanee. Before they got there, they had limited on 13- to 20-inch rainbow and figured it was time to quit. Kallas said they trolled pink hootchies and maggots slowly 40-70 feet down over various depths for “the best day I’ve ever had at Roosevelt.”
The dock at Four Seasons Resort on Sprague Lake was good again this week for angler Marshall Smith, who reported catching rainbow of 20 to 23 inches and weighing more than 4 pounds each. He used worms and marshmallows.
Captain Dave Grove (939-6727) said Lake Roosevelt kokanee are still prevalent, but some days fishing is harder than others as the fish are scattered and often don’t show on the fish finder. He notes that the fish have been shallower (40 to 60 feet) and pink has been the hot color. Grove’s boat has taken many limits of kokes in the 15- to 20-inch range.
If you’re trolling at Badger Lake and catching a bunch of small rainbow trout, you’re most likely fishing too shallow. The larger kokanee and cutthroat are generally below the small fish – somewhere between 25 and 35 feet down. The rainbow were put in as fingerlings and should be 10-11 inches by next spring.
Loon Lake kokanee are beginning to show slight changes in body confirmation in preparation for the fall spawn, but they are still silvery with pink to red flesh – excellent on the grill. I have fished the same water all summer, just out from the buoys in front of the Granite Point bathhouse, the only variation has been moving from 29 feet in June to 32 feet recently. As always, a couple of maggots on a small white Mack’s Glo-Hook that glows green when charged with light has been my go-to setup.
Anglers trolling No. 7 crankbaits or Flickershad are catching rainbow trout of 3 pounds and better near the State Park and Medicare Beach on Potholes Reservoir in Grant County.
Kokanee fishing on Dworshak Reservoir in Idaho has been good this summer. Adult fish are typically a foot long with some as large as 13 inches. Anglers are going 50 feet and deeper for best results. Most of the adult fish are above Grandad with huge concentrations at Benton Creek. Densities drop off significantly below Weitas Creek. If you plan on going, don’t wait too long, as Dworshak Reservoir kokes spawn early and are already beginning to show a little color.
When the kokanee are biting at Loon Lake, most anglers pay no attention to the bluegill which eventually swarm to the light. In fact, it is usually challenging to get your kokanee offering through the swarm of bluegill without hooking one. On a slow kokanee night, especially with a boatload of kids, the bluegill provide a delightful diversion. When you can see the fish, it is easier to target the larger ones, many of which are hand-sized and big enough to fillet.
Friends had good luck below Porcupine Bay on the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt recently, dragging bottom walkers and spinners in 20-25 feet of water. They said they stayed close to the weed beds when possible, but were finding their 14- to 20-inch walleyes in other areas, as long as they maintained the correct depth.
Potholes Reservoir is seeing some great largemouth fishing in weed beds in the dunes, and the fish are starting to come out to the humps.
Walleye fishing is tough, as they are still back in the weeds because the water is 3 feet higher than at the same time last year. Some big crappie and bluegill are being taken north of Crab Creek. Bluegill up to 1 1/2 pounds have been reported.
Walleye are active the lower Snake River below Little Goose Dam and Ice Harbor dam.
Most anglers are using crawler harnesses behind a bottom walker and blade baits. On the Columbia River, anglers say they are getting a lot fewer walleye below McNary Dam than in years past.
Smallmouth bass are numerous and active on Dworshak Reservoir as long as you fish the points early in the morning. There is a six-fish limit and no slot limit on Dworshak smallmouth and catches can easily average over 14 inches per fish.
Lake Roosevelt Charters reports some excellent sturgeon fishing near Kettle Falls and at Bradbury Beach, including several slot fish and several oversized fish. Clients were using pickled herring in 140-160 feet of water. Info: 464-9657.
Channel cats weighing 8-12 pounds are being taken fairly regularly in Potholes Reservoir from Lind Coulee and up into Winchester and Frenchman Hills wasteways. Nighttime is best and a little current is ideal.
Idaho hunters who were unsuccessful in the first drawing for big game controlled hunts still have a chance at over 2,540 tags available in the second controlled hunt drawing. A list of tags by hunt number is available on Fish and Game’s website at idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/controlled/ 2019-second-drawing. The application period closes midnight Aug. 15. Hunters can apply at Fish and Game license vendors, at (800) 554-8685, or online at Fish and Game’s website. The application fee is $6.25 for residents and $14.75 for nonresidents for each species.
Contact Alan Liere at firstname.lastname@example.org
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