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Wednesday, October 21, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for Oct. 3

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 2, 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

Terrestrial fishing will be over now that we’ve seen some cold weather. Look for fall hatches of mahoganies, October caddis, fall caddis, BWOs and midges from here on. The middle and lower stretches of the St. Joe will probably be best as the cutthroat start dropping down this time of the year.

Fishing continues to be good on the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River as the fish are up feeding on the surface. The water is low, so trout will be pooled up in the deepest slow water. Take the same patterns as you would on the Joe.

The Spokane River has been fishing well. Silver Bow Fly Shop recommends using a big Chernobyl with a dropper.

A few steelhead have been caught by fly in the Grande Ronde and Snake River. There aren’t a ton of fish in the river this time of the year, but it could heat up in a hurry.

Salmon and steelhead

Although the Hanford reach was scheduled to open for steelhead on Tuesday, it remains closed as the steelhead return is the fourth lowest on record since 1962 for the Upper Columbia River and Snake River. Adult returns of Ringold Springs hatchery-origin steelhead are tracking at less than 50 % of the 2018 return and are closed. Drano Lake has been closed to all fishing. For updates, Google national park service Lake Roosevelt launch repairs.

Chinook fishing has closed in some areas of the Snake River. From the mouth to Lower Granite Dam is closed, with the exception of the section of the Lyons Ferry Bubble Fishery from the red river marker (Marker 28) on the south shore of the Snake River upstream to the Highway 261 Bridge. Salmon must be clipped, but there is no daily limit for jacks. From the downstream edge of the large power lines crossing the Snake River near Clarkston upstream to the Couse Creek Boat Ramp will remain open through Oct. 13. Chinook retained must be fin-clipped with no daily limit for jacks. From the Couse Creek Boat Ramp to the Oregon State Line will stay open through Thursday with the same restrictions as the other sections.

From the mouth of the Snake River (Burbank to Pasco Railroad Bridge at Snake River mile 1.25) to the Couse Creek Boat Ramp is closed to fishing for and retention of steelhead. From the Couse Creek boat ramp upstream to the Idaho/Oregon state line, the daily limit is one hatchery steelhead. Anglers may not continue to fish for salmon or steelhead after either the steelhead or adult salmon daily limit has been retained.

Trout and kokanee

Waitts Lake remains a reliable destination for a mixed limit of browns and rainbow. Anglers trolling flies with an added piece of worm, with or without a dodger, are netting fish averaging 14 inches.

Kokanee reports from Lake Coeur d’Alene indicate the bite is still on at 50 feet, but the fish should be working their way up in the water column soon. The fish are still in good shape.

Several trout lakes in Eastern and Northeastern Washington have already closed, but there are others that remain open year-round. Lakes open through Oct. 31 that are still seeing a decent bite are Clear and Liberty in Spokane County; Deep, Cedar, Loon, Rocky and Starvation in Stevens County; Browns and Marshall in Pend Oreille County; Fish, Conconully Lake and Reservoir in Okanogan County and Wapato in Chelan County. Deep Lake in the Sun Lakes Dry Falls State Park complex remains a good destination for 10- to 12-inch kokanee.

Rufus Woods Reservoir is not fishing particularly fast, but the action has been steady for trollers, and the triploids are a beefy 18-20 inches. Fishing near the upper net pens has been the best option recently.

Big Lahontan cutthroat are biting at Omak Lake. The state record was taken there – a fish weighing over 18 pounds.

Spiny ray

With the launch closures on Lake Roosevelt, most anglers are seeking walleye out of Porcupine Bay, which remains open. Fishing is reported to be good for small fish in the main channel to Buoy 5. Rufus Woods is said to be fair for walleye out of Seaton Grove.

Potholes and Moses Lake in Grant County have been good for bass and fair for walleye. A few large perch are coming in at both waters, and Potholes has some nice crappie. Another Lake with big crappie and perch is Bonnie.

Getting in can be an adventure, however, because of the primitive launch (which isn’t really a launch).

Other species

The Washington pikeminnow reward program ended Sept. 1. The Cathlamet station reported the most angler participation (2,800) and the most fish (over 27,000). In second place was the Boyer Park station on the Snake River with 2,300 participants and almost 21,000 fish.

Several marine areas of Puget Sound reopened for recreational crab fishing on Tuesday. Waters reopening to sport crabbing include Marine Areas 4 (Neah Bay, east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (Sekiu), 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca), 7 (San Juan Islands), 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay), 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardiner), and 9 (Admiralty Inlet), except for waters south of a line from Olele Point to Foulweather Bluff.


The Idaho youth pheasant hunt runs Saturday through Oct. 11. Youth 17 years old and younger with an Idaho hunting license can participate so long as they’re accompanied by an Idaho licensed hunter age 18 years or older. Fish and Game will stock pheasants at seven WMAs for this short youth season. Hunters do not need a WMA upland game bird permit, but they are required to wear hunter orange above the waist. A hunter orange hat meets this requirement. The stocking schedule at Fish and Game’s Wildlife Management Areas for the Youth Pheasant Hunt can be viewed at youth-pheasant-hunt- runs-oct-5-11.

Idaho chukar hunters had excellent chukar shooting above Brownlee reservoir (a Snake River impoundment). For those who were willing to climb, there was some decent action in the Snake River’s Hells Canyon. Recent rains had allowed the birds to move off the river and hunters were finding them up high.

Idaho hunters can expect an average to below average waterfowl season. Duck opened in Area 1 on Tuesday, as did all geese. In Area 2, duck and geese open Saturday. Most Idaho any-weapon deer seasons begin Oct. 10, but check your regulations carefully as there are exceptions.

Washington chukars open Saturday along with quail and gray partridge. Chukars and gray partridge appear to be about the same as last year, but quail are up significantly. Washington pheasants open Oct. 19, and the general deer and duck seasons open Oct. 12. Fall turkey season runs through Dec. 31 in some units, but ends Oct. 11 in others. Check your regs.

The general elk season in Eastern Washington opens Oct. 26, but again, check the game regs for units, as some allow any bull and some spike bulls only. The elk muzzleloader season is Saturday through Oct. 11 in all Eastern Washington units.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@

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