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Sunday, August 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for Feb. 28

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 27, 2019, 6:06 p.m.

Alan Liere writes the weekly fishing and hunting report for The Spokesman-Review. (The Spokesman-Review / SR)
Alan Liere writes the weekly fishing and hunting report for The Spokesman-Review. (The Spokesman-Review / SR)

Fly fishing

Hare’s Ear patterns probably have been the No. 1 fly lately on the Spokane River. The fishing isn’t fast, but besides Rocky Ford, it’s about the only game in town. The best time to be on the water is late morning to early afternoon.

Ice fishing

I fished Eloika and Sacheen lakes this week. Access at Eloika is either at the public access at the end of the road across Highway 395 from Miller’s One Stop or at Jerry’s Landing, where there is a charge to park. The public access at Sacheen has been plowed and there is parking about 100 yards from the lake. Both lakes have deep snow with slush underneath. Perch fishing has been slow at Eloika, but the fish have been a respectable 8 inches and up and there are a lot of bass. The Sacheen Lake perch bite has been much slower than it was last week. Plenty of fish show on the locator, but they are sometimes reluctant to bite. The size has been 8-9 inches.

A friend who lives near Silver Lake said it doesn’t matter where or how you fish on the lake, you will catch as many small perch as you want. The biggest, he said, are 7 inches long.

Davis Lake anglers are picking up a few kokanee but report missing a lot of light bites. Two friends who fished there Tuesday found the kokes suspended at 30 feet over 78 feet of water. To their amazement, they caught three decent-sized ling cod when their offering was at the bottom.

Amber, Coffeepot, Downs, Deer, Liberty and Medical open Friday. All are covered with ice except Coffeepot, which has a little open water where the geese are sitting. A short distance from Coffeepot Lake is Upper and Lower Twin lakes. Both have safe ice and fishermen are catching some nice perch, bass and trout. Amber Lake is accessible, as is Fourth of July, but the road into Hog Canyon has a lot of deep snow and Downs was gated off on Tuesday.

Banks Lake is frozen clear across and ice anglers are catching big lake whitefish on the upper end. Stop by Coulee Playland for details.

There have been a lot of changes in the Sport Fish Fishing rules for 2019. Many lakes that formerly opened April 1 are open either March 1 (Friday), the fourth Saturday in April, or year-round

With the exception of a small section of Martha Lake in Grant County, all of the March 1 lakes in the Columbia Basin were 100 percent ice-covered as of Tuesday. Martha and Upper Caliche will likely be the best producing waters when things get going. Last year’s catchable plants should be 14-16 inches, and the trout planted as fingerlings are a healthy 12 inches.

Quincy and Burke lakes should also fish well, but Quincy will have the larger trout. Burke has a perch infiltration, but 3,000 catchable rainbow were planted last fall. Lenice and Nunnally should also fish well with trout in the 16- to 18-inch range. Anglers are allowed to keep one fish per day with a minimum length of 18 inches.

Lake Lenore is frozen but should produce some large Lahontan cutthroat when the ice leaves. Rumors of significant declines in the population are greatly exaggerated, District 5 Fish Biologist Mike Schmuck said. There are multiple year classes in the lake with some fish up to 8 pounds. Anglers should note that Lenore is a selective rules lake and not just for fly fishing. Single barbless hooks on lures and jigs should do well around the islands. Lake Lenore anglers may keep one fish per day from Friday to Nov. 30 with a minimum size of 18 inches.

Dry Falls Lake will be open from Friday through Nov. 30. It has brown and tiger trout in addition to rainbow. Last year, anglers reported good catches of large fish. Also opening, in addition to those already mentioned, are Cascade, Cliff, Merry, the North Potholes Reserve lakes, Stratford/Brooke Lake and the Winchester Wasteway.

Within the Quincy Wildlife Area, Dusty Lake should provide excellent fishing for rainbows, tigers and browns. The small lakes – Cliff, Crystal, Cup and the Spring lakes – usually produce good catches of 12- to 14-inch trout.

In Okanogan County, Campbell, Cougar, Davis and Rat are open year-round. They are also ice-covered. Columbia County lakes such as Rainbow, Deer and Watson will open Friday.

Spiny ray

Lake Roosevelt walleye have been deep – more than 140 feet down. A one-ounce jig is needed to find them, and if the wind is blowing you may have to go heavier.

Starting Friday, an experimental program launched by Idaho Fish and Game and Avista will offer a chance at cash rewards for anglers harvesting walleye in Lake Pend Oreille and connected waters. Fifty walleye in Lake Pend Oreille, the Clark Fork River and the Pend Oreille River have been injected in the snout with a tiny, invisible internal tag, but turning in heads from legally caught walleye offers anglers a chance at two types of cash rewards.

Anglers will receive $1,000 for a head that is turned in from a tagged walleye. Every walleye head turned in enters anglers in the monthly drawing for 10 cash prizes of $100 each. There is no bag limit on walleye in the Pend Oreille system. For rules and entry details, visit Fish and Game’s Lake Pend Oreille Angler Incentive Program website. Questions? Call the Panhandle Regional Office at (208) 769-1414.


The 2019 Idaho spring snow goose season is open in the Southwest and Magic Valley regions and a portion of the Southeast Region. In that portion of Southeast Idaho, the season runs through March 10. In the Southwest and Magic Valley regions, the season also runs through March 10.

Contact Alan Liere at

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