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Thursday, October 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for August 1

UPDATED: Wed., July 31, 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

Cutthroat fishing on the St. Joe River was good again this week. Riffle water and deeper faster slots will have some of the larger fish. Mornings and evenings have been best.

Fishing riffle water is also good on the Spokane, but Silver Bow Fly Shop said some of the deeper midriver slots can also be good even though currents are slower. Bobber nymphing or Euro nymphing is steady.

The Clark Fork flows have continued to drop and the fishing has been good. Nocturnal stones, hoppers and PMDs have been the bugs of choice, but the spruce moths are starting to show.

Salmon and steelhead

A chinook salmon fishing season will open Thursday in the Columbia River from the Highway 173 Bridge at Brewster upstream to the Highway 17 Bridge near Bridgeport.

Salmon fisheries reopened Wednesday for many southwest Washington waters, including the Cowlitz River, Lake Scanewa, the Cispus River and portions of the Kalama and Klickitat rivers. Daily salmon limits were modified by emergency rule in these areas to manage spring chinook returns and to help assure hatchery broodstock goals were achieved. The emergency rules adopted earlier in 2019 for these waters are no longer needed. Daily harvest limits for salmon are restored as published in the 2019-20 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Salmon fishing in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) closed after Sunday for fisheries managers to evaluate whether sufficient quota remained to extend the summer season for hatchery chinook retention.

It was determined that sufficient quota is available to reopen Marine Area 9 to Saturday.

Trout and kokanee

Night fishing for kokanee has been spectacular all week at Loon Lake. Veteran anglers who are on the water around 9 p.m. are usually on the way home with limits by 11, but sometimes the bite begins later and continues well past midnight.

Some Loon Lake kokes are over 13 inches long. Though there have been a smattering of 7-inchers caught, most are between 10 and 12 inches.

Davis Lake trollers are taking home some good-sized kokanee and rainbow trout. The bite is not as consistent as Loon, but the fish are a little larger. Deep Lake in Grant County remains good for kokanee.

Anglers have recorded some nice catches of Sprague Lake rainbow recently off the dock at Four Seasons Resort. These fish range in size from 15 to 20 inches. Worms and miniature marshmallows are doing the damage.

Trout fishing in the put-and-take lakes south of Spokane has tapered off with the hot weather, but Badger is still a good bet for kokanee and cutthroat. Williams can be good if you get on the water early enough.

Two slam-dunks for summer trout fishing have been Rock and Waitts lakes. Both have rainbows and browns with a preponderance of rainbow being caught at both. Waitts Lake trout seem to prefer trolled flies tipped with worm, although night fishermen have reported good luck by still-fishing with bait. Rock Lake trout anglers do best casting or trolling Rapalas or silver spoons such as the Needlefish.

Lake Roosevelt kokanee are beautiful and big. The best fishing has been from Keller to Swawilla with less action near Spring Canyon. Trout have been caught on the troll at several depths. A recent report by a walleye fisherman indicated they are hitting bottom-bouncing gear as deep as 60 feet.

Trout fishing in higher-elevation lakes on U.S. Forest Service property should be remain good through August. In Ferry County, these are Davis, Ellen, Empire and Ferry lakes. In Stevens County, try Black, Little Twin and Summit lakes, and in Pend Oreille County, give Frater, Halfmoon, Mystic, North and South Skookum, Petit and Yokum a try.

Trollers are catching Coeur d’Alene Lake kokanee up to 15 inches with most running 12-14 inches. The Powderhorn Bay area has been good.

Spiny ray

Walleye fishermen haven’t had much luck at Banks Lake, but they say there are so many small perch it is nearly impossible to keep a worm on.

The main lake on Roosevelt has seen some great walleye fishing for anglers targeting 4 feet of water next to the shorelines where wind and boat traffic have roiled the water. The Spokane Arm past Porcupine Bay and all the way to beyond Buoy 5 has also been good for eating- sized walleyes in about 35 feet of water.

Bass fishing was slow at Silver Lake this week, but anglers were finding some hand-sized bluegill in the deeper water around the stickups. Other good bluegill lakes are Newman, Loon, Liberty, Deer and Sacheen.

Downs and Bonnie lakes probably have the largest perch in the area, but the perch bite has been better on Deer, Curlew and Waitts. Fish Lake south of Spokane has lots of perch, but they are small. In Idaho, Fernan and Hauser are usually good bets.

The Pend Oreille River near Newport has good numbers of smallmouth bass as well as small perch and a few crappie. For the bass, dark-colored Senkos fished wacky style have been effective, as have tubes and plugs that mimic crawdads.

Other species

Lake Spokane has a big population of nice-sized bullheads. These tasty fish feed most actively at night. If you can find a place where there is some light shining on the water, you will do particularly well. Put a gob of worms on the bottom, sit back and enjoy the night.


Eighteen lucky hunters will have an opportunity to hunt for deer this fall on the 6,000-acre Charles and Mary Eder unit of the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area in northeastern Okanogan County. Hunters can submit an application for the “limited-entry” deer hunt on the WDFW website at or by contacting the WDFW north-central region office at (509) 754-4624 or headquarters at (360) 902-2515.

The area is within Game Management Unit 204 with General Deer Seasons set for Sept. 1-27 for bow hunters, Sept. 28 to Oct. 6 for muzzleloaders and Oct. 12-22 for hunters using modern firearms. The deadline to apply is midnight Aug. 14.

Aug. 10 is the last day to apply for Idaho’s Super Hunt drawing of 2019. Tags for two elk, two deer, two pronghorn hunts and one moose hunt will be drawn, as well as a “Super Hunt Comb” that will entitle the winner to hunt for all four species.

Super Hunt entries are $6 each and Super Hunt Combo entries are $20. No hunting license is required for residents or nonresidents to enter a Super Hunt, and there is no limit on the number of times a person can apply. Hunters may enter the drawings by phone at (800) 554-8685.

The Washington general black bear hunting season begins Thursday. In Idaho, the season doesn’t begin until Aug. 30.

Contact Alan Liere at

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