The Fly Fishing Show at the Lynnwood (Washington) Convention Center is Feb 16-17. This is the perfect show for those who enjoy fly fishing. There are new products to see, seminars by some of the sport’s big names and more than $40,000 in door prizes. Details are at theflyfishingshow.com.
The Curlew Lake perch bite appears to have moved from the state park area to the vicinity of Tiffany’s Resort on the north end. Anglers there report icing over a hundred fish a day. The fishing is so good, many are renting a cabin at the resort so they have access. The magic depth has been 45 feet and the fish have been right on the bottom. Info: 775-3152.
Eloika Lake has good ice except at the public access, which is a little thin. The perch fishing picked up last weekend. Anglers are hitting the ice at Jerry’s Landing.
Few ice anglers have tried Diamond Lake this winter. The few reports received indicate more trout than perch are being caught. Jump-Off-Joe is also in good shape for ice fishing. A report this week indicates the perch are still elusive and the trout action slow. The browns that have been iced have all been more than 16 inches and up to 22.
Ice fishing is strong on Patterson Lake near Winthrop, Leader Lake near Omak, Bonaparte Lake near Tonasket, and Sidley and Molson lakes near Oroville, according to WDFW Fisheries Biologist Ryan Fortier. Patterson has fair kokanee and rainbow trout winter fishing. Leader also has rainbow trout, crappie and bluegill. Bonaparte has brook and tiger trout and kokanee.
Avondale Lake is safely fishable. Although the fishing for spiny ray hasn’t been great, it has been excellent for rainbow trout. Some of these are quite large. The morning bite is best.
Mirror Lake in Idaho has good ice and the brook trout are biting. Rose Lake has open water and skim ice. Hauser has good ice and people are fishing.
Upper and Lower Twin have good ice and perch fishing has been fair. Lower Twin Lake anglers say they are seeing plenty of kokanee on their graphs, but the fish don’t appear hungry. Fernan Lake has thin ice at the pullouts, but people are fishing on the west end, where the big spheres are on the power lines. Cocolalla Lake has at least 7 inches of ice and the perch fishing has been fair to good.
Spirit Lake has enough ice for safe fishing, but the kokanee bite has been slow. This may be due to the fact a lot of small chinook are biting. These are fun to catch but not big enough to keep. You can access Spirit from at the Maiden Rock access off Nautical Loop Road.
Kelso Lake has a solid 8 inches of ice and a good bite for 12- to 14-inch rainbow. Look for 12 feet of water.
Trout and kokanee
Lake Roosevelt trout are scattered, most likely because the lake has been going up and down and the zooplankton are scattered. The most consistent positive reports come from the Spring Canyon vicinity. The biters are in the top 25 feet. Omak Lake anglers are throwing spoons for some nice Lahontan cutthroat trout. Kokanee fishing on Lake Chelan has been fair, as has lake trout and westslope cutthroat fishing.
Rainbow trout fishing is good at Potholes Reservoir. Fish along Perch Point, just up from the mouth of the Lind Coulee Arm, with a slip bobber, 3 to 4 feet of leader and Power Bait.
Several year-round trout lakes in Grant County, nearly all located south of Potholes, were free of ice early in the week and the trout should be congregating in the shallower water.
Steelhead and salmon
State fishery managers expect nearly 100,000 upriver adult spring chinook to return to the Columbia River this year. The chinook fishery is open below the Interstate 5 Bridge, but it usually doesn’t heat up until late March.
Fishing for salmon and steelhead is again open on the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 at the mouth of the river upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge near Pasco.
The Snake River is also open. As the month progresses, anglers’ chances will likely improve on tributaries such as the Walla Walla, Touchet, Tucannon and the lower Grand Ronde rivers. Drifting bobbers with shrimp and pink or orange yarn is usually good in the tributaries.
Burbot fishing on the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt is dropping off, but the walleye fishing on the lower end near Porcupine Bay has been steady for the smaller fish. The bigger ones are hanging out in the main lake.
Lake Spokane has been producing decent catches of perch and walleye in addition to rainbow trout up to 17 inches.
Anglers are catching perch from Moses Lake near the I-90 Bridge, according to WDFW Fisheries Biologist Mike Shmuck, who added you can catch prespawn walleye on Moses Lake by trolling just north of the I-90 Bridge. The walleye bite should also be picking up in the Lind Coulee. Big fish have been landed from the dock at MarDon Resort and by boaters. Blade baits are popular.
The McNary Pool (also known as Lake Wallula) is open for retention of one legal-size sturgeon a day. The fishery extends from McNary Dam upstream to Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River and upstream to Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River.
Anglers on the Kootenai River and Bonner Lake in Idaho are finding burbot, the Panhandle’s newest fishery. Some anglers have taken fish 20-30 inches long. Most burbot angling on the river is at night, when the fish are most active. Shrimp and cut bait are fishing well. If you’d rather fish in the daylight, Bonner Lake (near Moyie Springs) is good. The ice is solid and fishing is expected to get better as the burbot prepare to spawn in mid-February.
Dosewallips State Park beach is closed to clamming until further notice. This beach will provide a short, late-summer clam season projected to open from Aug. 15 through Sept. 7. The oyster season on this beach remains open year-round.
Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@ yahoo.com
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