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Tuesday, October 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for June 6

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

Upper Wheeler Reservoir, a fly fishing-only water in the Wenatchee area, has been fishing well. Anglers are catching fat rainbow as well as nice triploid eastern brook.

The St. Joe River is running fast, but there is fishable water along the banks. Below Marble Creek and lower, the water is better. Try some nymphing in the morning hours but do some prospecting later with a dry/dropper rig. The North Fork Coeur d’Alene River is fishing well everywhere.

The Spokane River levels are high but fishable. Silver Bow Fly Shop said there is no need to wade out far, as most fish can be found within a reasonable cast from the bank. Morning and evening are good.

Trout and kokanee

Two friends and I appeared to be the only anglers on Loon Lake Sunday night, but the kokanee fishing was as fast as I’ve seen it. Anchoring in 29 feet of water in front of the Granite Point bath house at 9 p.m., we were on our way home by 10 with limits. The first 10 fish were 9 inches long, but they seemed to get progressively larger and we ended the night with several fish that stretched to 12 inches. The 90,000 kokanee fry WDFW dumped in the lake on Monday will ensure good kokanee fishing in the future.

Anglers seem to be more interested in walleye than trout on Lake Roosevelt, but the fat 16-inch rainbow are still biting for those who try. The north shoreline east of the mouth of the Sanpoil has been good.

Kokanee fishing on Lake Chelan has been excellent. Fast limits of 10- to 11-inchers have been common.

Many of the Eastern Washington trout lakes that opened in April continue to produce good catches. West Medical has rainbow and brown trout. Fishtrap has rainbows. Williams fishes well for rainbow and cutthroat trout, and Badger offers rainbow and cutthroat trout, as well as kokanee. If you fish Badger, go deeper to keep away from the cutthroat fingerlings.

In Stevens County, Cedar Lake is perhaps the best trout water in the county, regularly producing limits of fat rainbow trout for boat anglers. In Pend Oreille County, Diamond Lake is a good bet, as are higher-elevation waters like Big Meadow, Skookum and Yokum lakes. Ferry County’s Curlew Lake, with several resorts, RV/tent camping and a boat launch at a state park, offers boat and shore anglers abundant rainbow trout, plus tiger muskie and large perch.

The Tucannon River impoundments on the W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area continue to be stocked with hatchery rainbow trout and are providing lots of catches.

Most high-elevation or alpine trout lakes will be accessible soon as deep winter snow melts. Lost Lake and Summit Lake in the Okanogan National Forest northeast of Tonasket, and Beaver and Tiffany lakes are among the first to be fished each year. The Sawtooth lakes (Sunrise and Martin) are usually accessible by the middle or end of the month.

Spiny ray

Crappie reports still trickle in from Eloika, Downs, Bonnie, Long, Hayden and Newman lakes. Of these, Newman is the most intriguing with crappie up to 16 inches as well as tiger muskie reported. Long Lake is also producing lots of smallmouth and a few pike in addition to the crappie.

The Snake and Grande Ronde rivers have some excellent smallmouth fishing. Unlike Lake Roosevelt, where there is a 10-fish limit and size restrictions, the Grande Ronde and Snake have neither size nor possession limits.

The Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt has been good for walleye in 20-35 feet of water for anglers bouncing jigs. Friends fishing The Dalles area of Roosevelt upriver from China Bend say fishing has been outstanding on some days, fair on others. Walleye have been cooperative near Keller Ferry for anglers trolling bottom walkers and Slow Death hooks and Smiley blades and beads baited with nightcrawlers. Dave Grove of Captain Dave’s Guide Service said you can improve your walleye hookup ratio when bottom walking with a crawler harness by just reeling instead of trying to set the hook.

Walleye fishing on Rufus Woods remains steady. Jigs near current seams and back eddies are where to look. There has also been a good walleye bite in the John Day Pool. The lower-flow days have been most productive.

The lakes near Manson – including Dry, Roses and Wapato – have been heating up for largemouth bass and panfish and should continue to be productive throughout June. Alta Lake in Okanogan County is said to be excellent for largemouth.

Spokane angler Mark Mills said the pike fishing took off this week at Lake Coeur d’Alene. Although many of the 29 fish he landed were small, he said he finally found his first fish of the year over 30 inches. He said fishing a slower presentation with a bright-colored, one-piece glide/jerk bait delivered most of the fish.

Lake Coeur d’Alene smallmouth fishing has also picked up. Cougar Bay has been good.

Other species

A white sturgeon fishery on Lake Roosevelt opens June 15 for the third year in a row. Anglers will be able to fish for them from Grand Coulee Dam to the China Bend Boat Ramp (including the Spokane River from the Highway 25 Bridge upstream to 400 feet below Little Falls Dam; Colville River upstream to Meyers Falls; and the Kettle River upstream to Barstow Bridge).

Lake Wallula (McNary Reservoir) and the Snake River from the mouth up to the downstream end of Goose Island (below Ice Harbor Dam) remain open to the retention of sturgeon through July 31. Shad should reach McNary and Ice Harbor dams by mid-June in numbers that make for great fishing.

Bow fishermen are scoring on big carp just out of the Nine Mile Resort.


Don’t forget to report your spring turkey hunting activity. Reports are required, whether or not you were successful in harvesting a bird. Reports can be filed at (877) 945-3492 or on the Licensing System webpage.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@

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