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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for August 22

Fly fishing

The Spokane River is still good. Swing streamers and double nymph rigs, or try a small dry fly with a soft hackle trailer. Caddis pupas, stones and other small attractors can be good when the trout aren’t hitting dry flies.

The St. Joe has been best above Avery, but the whole system has been fishing pretty well. Big hoppers are getting good results, but smaller dries like PMDs, caddis and mahoganies have also done well. Terrestrials on the Coeur d’Alene are best late, but small dries with a dropper do well in the morning.

Hoppers with a mayfly or caddis trailer have been working on the Clark Fork where fishing has been good. Kelly Creek and the Lochsa are in great shape for August. Anglers are taking a lot of cutthroat there on dry flies.

Salmon and steelhead

Salmon fishing on the Columbia River out of Astoria, Oregon, has been good for chinook and coho, but chinook retention closed Tuesday. Until Sept. 10, anglers may keep coho only, but this bite is expected to continue.

Upper Columbia Guide Service (509) 630-5433 reports a good early chinook bite near Drano Lake on the Columbia River. The river is warm and the fish are moving fast, but the bite should improve with cooler weather on the way.

Trout and kokanee

Kokanee trollers are taking some nice fish at about 75 feet between Haystack and Lincoln on Lake Roosevelt. All the fish caught have been wild.

The kokanee bite has been fair to good from northeast district waters including Bead, Sullivan and Davis lakes in Pend Oreille County and Pierre and Deep lakes in Stevens County.

Conconully Reservoir is down, but smaller boats or kayaks can still launch and kokanee fishing has been good in front of the dam. The fish are anywhere from 20 feet to the bottom in 35 feet of water.

Kokanee fishing on Dworshak Reservoir near Granddad has been excellent with a lot of fish up to 16 inches. On Lake Coeur d’Alene, the kokes are consistently reported to be 13 to 15 inches. Most of the fish have been taken at the south end, but they should be moving soon toward the north end of the lake. Hayden Lake has also seen some decent fishing for 13-inch kokanee, most of which are beginning to show some red.

My friend Dennis, who showed me this summer how to catch shad in the Columbia River, drove over from Richland recently to participate in what I assured him would be an excellent night of kokanee fishing with my son Matt and me. Anchoring in our usual spot just outside the buoys in front of the Granite Point swim area, Matt limited, I caught seven and Dennis, who has written several successful books about fishing, was skunked. Before I dropped Matt off at the dock at midnight, he had also caught a beautiful 20-inch tiger trout. Dennis and I went back out and fished to 1 a.m. before calling it quits. In his defense, this was his first time still-fishing for kokanee, and he joined two other first-timers in my boat to be skunked this summer when everyone else was hauling them in.

A long-time Loon Lake kokanee angler said he was out this week but the bite didn’t begin until after 1 a.m., when it then became so fast he didn’t have time to eat his sandwich.

While it is not impossible to take a limit of trout from area lakes like Badger, Williams and Fish Trap, you’ll have to go deeper than normal to find the colder water. West Medical is warm and fishing is poor. Waitts, Diamond and Sacheen have been better. Friends who trolled muddler minnows and flashers behind three colors of leaded line and a 20-foot leader did exceptionally well at Waitts by squishing a small wad of Power Bait into the feathers. Still fishermen there have also done exceptionally well. In addition to trout, Sacheen has provided some decent-sized crappie near the public access.

Spiny ray

Good smallmouth fishing is reported at the mouth of the Yakima River where it meets the Columbia, as fish are holding in and around structure at the mouth and just downstream. Just about any plastic or crankbait will catch fish with crawdad colors doing particularly well. Five-pound fish are not uncommon.

Other good spots for smallmouth are in and along any weed bed in Lake Roosevelt, where you will find plenty of 2-to-3-pound fish.

Pike fishing on Lake Coeur d’Alene has not been particularly hot, but there are fish to be had for the persistent angler. Target weed beds in 10 feet of water.

A walleye report from the Hunters area said there was a fast bite on 14-to-15-inch fish at 50 feet on jigged Curlytails.

Good perch fishing is reported at Long Lake by anglers setting up as close to the weed bed edges as possible. The fish are mostly 8 to 10 inches long.

Other species

Sturgeon anglers are finding fish, including a few slot fish and some oversized in the vicinity of the Kettle Falls Bridge. Get on the flats. Pickled herring has worked best. Take plenty of anchor rope as the best fishing has been in water close to 150 feet in depth.

Channel cats are right on the bottom in deep holes in the Snake River. You can catch them anytime, but the fishing heats up at night. The Snake also has some good-sized bullheads which are suckers for a gob of nightcrawlers at night when they move into the shallows to feed. You don’t need a boat for these, as bank fishing can be productive at any one of the campgrounds between Wawawai and Clarkston.


WDFW hunter education classes are available now, but about one-third are already full. Hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972, must show proof of completion of hunter education before buying their first Washington hunting license. Beat the fall rush and sign up today. To learn about hunter education requirements or find a course, new hunters should visit the WDFW hunter education webpage at requirements/education/ basic. Those who are unable to complete a hunter education course before the fall hunting seasons may qualify for a hunter education deferral. For more information on the deferral, visit requirements/education/ deferral-program.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@

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