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

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for July 4

UPDATED: Wed., July 3, 2019

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

Silver Bow Fly Shop reports great fishing on the St. Joe River. A golden stone like a Chubby or a Norm Wood Chubby with a beadhead dropper has been excellent.

The North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River is also fishing well with dry flies. Be sure to include some Green Drakes, PMDs, Yellow Sallies and caddis. There is good fishing, as usual, on the Spokane River. Caddis hatches are still going strong.

A recent report from the upper Yakima in Cle Elum indicated good cutthroat action on the slower edges. The fish were taking small patterns just under the surface.

The Clark Fork is fishing well. PMDs, Green Drakes and golden stones are getting fish on the surface. The snow is finally gone from Hoodoo Pass and roads are in good shape down to Kelly Creek. Fishing is also good and water levels are perfect for wade fishing.

Salmon and steelhead

The ocean salmon fishery is underway. In marine areas 1 (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport), anglers can retain two salmon, only one of which can be a chinook. In all marine areas, anglers must release wild coho. Anglers fishing in marine areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) will have a two-salmon daily limit. Also open now are areas 5 (Sekiu), 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait), 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island), and south of Ayock Point in area 12 (Hood Canal). Anglers can continue fishing for salmon in Marine Area 13 (South Sound), and Marine Area 10 is still kicking out plenty of coho. Throughout the summer, anglers can check for fishery updates on WDFW’s ocean sport quota webpage.

Several rivers on the West Side of Washington are now open for salmon fishing including the Bogachiel, Calawah, Dickey and Quinault rivers. These rivers join the Quilayute and Sol Duc rivers in the Quillayute River system, which remain open. Hatchery chinook are returning to the Sol Duc hatchery, and hatchery summer coho will start showing up in July as well. A section of the Nisqually River is also open for salmon fishing except on Sundays.

Trout and kokanee

Potholes Reservoir rainbow up to 26 inches are hitting Flicker Shad and other trolled offerings in the vicinity of Medicare Beach and the State Park.

On Lake Roosevelt, rainbow trout are hitting a variety of offerings including Apexes and flies. Dave Grove of Captain Dave’s Guide Service says he has had the best luck recently tipping his offerings with corn rather than nightcrawlers. Anglers who are targeting the big Roosevelt kokanee early are finding suspended fish over deep water in the vicinity of Jones Bay. A few of these have weighed over 4 pounds.

Badger Lake in southwest Spokane County is on fire with easy catches of rainbow and westslope cutthroat trout, plus kokanee. Williams Lake, just southwest of Badger Lake, has been producing some really nice rainbow trout, as well as decent catches of cutthroat and tiger trout. Fishtrap Lake has nice rainbows and West Medical Lake is back in action this year after last fall’s rehabilitation. It is producing decent catches of rainbow and brown trout.

The Tucannon River impoundments on the Wooten Wildlife Area in Columbia County are open and giving up lots of rainbows.

Deep Lake in Grant County, Washington doesn’t get much pressure, but it is loaded with 10- to 12-inch kokanee, and the fish have been hitting trolled offerings at a furious pace.

In Idaho, Hayden Lake kokanee are averaging close to 14 inches and the bite has been on for trollers. There are even much larger kokes in Hayden. Coeur d’Alene Lake kokanee are smaller, but there are a lot of willing biters.

Spiny ray

Some big largemouth bass are being taken at Silver Lake. An unconfirmed report said an angler there last week caught an 11-pounder. Loon Lake has been on fire for bass – both largemouth and smallmouth. Plastic frogs, Senkos and other plastics are doing the damage.

And speaking of bass: The WDFW has declared July 8-14 as Bass Week in Washington. There will be cash awards for biggest bass and best bass photos as well as tips about bass fishing, and an opportunity to have bass fishing questions answered at noon, July 10 on social media accounts by fish biologists Danny Garrett and Marc Peterson.

Local bass-fishing enthusiast Nick Reynolds of Spokane says he hit Lake Coeur d’Alene last week and in two hours put together a five-fish smallmouth catch (all released) of 26 pounds, 5 ounces (with photos to prove it). He says to look for any pronounced ledges or steep drops in 8-15 feet of water.

Walleye and bass are biting throughout the Columbia River, but the best fishing for these species in the Tri-Cities area is in Lake Umatilla between Crow Butte and McNary Dam. For bass fishing, WDFW biologists also recommend the following:

  • Hanford Reach/Columbia River in Benton/Franklin counties
  • Lake Wallula in Benton/Franklin/Walla Walla counties
  • Powerline Lake and Scooteney Reservoir in Franklin County
  • I-82 Ponds #1 and #5 in Yakima County
  • Lake Herbert G. West, Snake River in Franklin/Walla Walla counties

Anglers fishing Lake Spokane (Long Lake) are doing well on both species of bass. Recent surveys confirm that walleye are fairly abundant and growing to large sizes in that water. Little Evergreen Lake near Quincy, Washington, also has excellent bass fishing—both largemouth and smallmouth.

Other species

The annual quotas for sturgeon harvest have been met for the Columbia River downstream of McNary Dam but Lake Wallula (McNary Reservoir) and the Snake River from the mouth up to the downstream end of Goose Island (below Ice Harbor Dam) will remain open to the retention of sturgeon through July 31.

Several Puget Sound marine areas open for crabbing today, including marine areas 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait), 8-1 (Deception Pass), 8-2 (Port Susan/Everett), 9 (Admiralty Inlet), and 10 (Seattle/Bremerton). Marine Area 7 South (San Juan Islands/Bellingham) opens July 11 while Marine Area 7 North (Gulf of Georgia) opens Aug. 15. Recreational crabbing is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays in all areas of Puget Sound through Labor Day, Sept. 2.


Results of Idaho’s elk, deer, pronghorn, fall turkey and black bear controlled-hunt draw have been posted through Fish and Game’s licensing system. Successful applicants must purchase their controlled-hunt tags by August. 1. All unclaimed tags, along with controlled-hunt tags no one applied for, will be available in a second drawing, with the application period running from August 5 through August 15.

To simplify bear-hunting regulations in Washington and make rules consistent statewide, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has recommended two changes. The first recommended change standardizes the statewide season start date to August. 1. The second change standardizes a two-bear bag limit statewide. The previous rule allowed for harvest of two bears during the season, but only one could be from the east side of the state.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@

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