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

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for September 5

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

Purple-colored dries have been the ticket lately on the Clark Fork River. Some hatches of PMDs and Hecubas are getting fish up.

Fly fishing has been decent on the St. Joe River with ants, hoppers and gypsy kings. Silver Bow Fly Shop said some nice fish have been coming out of all stretches. Purple has been the color of choice lately.

The North Fork Coeur d’Alene River has been surprisingly good. Find some depth and float ants, beetles, small hoppers and small attractors.

Small caddis pupa-style nymphs are working well along with jig nymph patterns like the Duracell on the Spokane River. Dry fly fishing has been slower but can be good in small pockets with a dropper nymph.

Trout and kokanee

Badger Lake is full of rainbow and cutthroat trout and has good numbers of kokanee running up to 13 inches. Fish Lake in Spokane provides a unique opportunity to catch eastern brook trout. There are also good numbers of tiger trout.

Kokanee fishing on Lake Coeur d’Alene has been excellent and will probably get better in weeks to come. The fish are running mostly 14 inches, but kokanees to 16 inches have been reported from the Arrow Point area. Orange and pink hoochies and Wedding Ring-type rigs with corn are working between 40-50 feet of water.

Kokanee anglers on Lake Roosevelt are still hauling in some nice fish. Recent reports from the Daisy area indicate the water around the Chalk Grade Wall has been good for rainbow and kokanee. The Gifford area has also been productive.

Boats on Rufus Woods Reservoir are running to the upper-net pens for triploid rainbow. By late May, the Colville Tribe had released nearly 30,000 triploids in Rufus Woods. The latest release had fish averaging 2.75 pound and anglers can expect to catch fish weighing from 3-6 pounds near the net pens. The limit is two.

Billy Clapp Lake is still kicking out some sizable rainbow and kokanee.

Steelhead and salmon

New fall chinook seasons are open on the Clearwater River from Memorial Bridge in Lewiston upstream to the confluence of the Middle Fork Clearwater and South Fork Clearwater rivers, as well as the mouth of the North Fork Clearwater River upstream to Dworshak Dam. These new areas are open Thursday through Sunday. Fishing downstream of Memorial Bridge remains open seven days a week.

A friend who fished the Clearwater confluence Tuesday morning called to say he had caught three unclipped steelhead and had four other takedowns using shrimp under a bobber. He also caught an 18-inch smallmouth.

Chinook salmon fishing remains open this month in the Upper Columbia River from Rocky Reach to Chief Joseph dams, as well as the Chelan and Entiat rivers.

The Entiat fishery is scheduled to close on Sept. 30, while the Upper Columbia and Chelan fisheries are scheduled to stay open into October. Chinook fishing is open on the Columbia from Wanapum Dam to Rock Island Dam. Up to two adults may be kept. Fishing on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River is expected to be decent as this year’s run looks like it will come in over forecast. Anglers there can keep clipped or unclipped chinook and coho.

Spiny ray

Spokane County’s Silver and Newman continue to provide good fishing for panfish and bass. Banks Lake and the Snake River are sure things for smallmouth bass. You may not catch anything too big, but you will be busy reeling them in. Small lizard or grub plastics cast to the shore will do the trick.

A friend who fished across from Pioneer Park on the Pend Oreille River this week said there is a good smallmouth bite for smaller fish. He was using a drop shot with a 3 1/2-inch white Gulp Minnow. The water is too low for launching at the Pioneer Park and Old Town launches.

Fan Lake doesn’t see many anglers during the summer, but the same friend has caught a couple of big crappie and sunfish there recently as well as “some anemic perch.”

Walleye anglers on the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt are trolling up a lot of fish from Buoy 5 downriver. Smiley blades/slow death hooks and standard two hook spinners with nightcrawlers at 35-40 feet have been good. The fish are plentiful but not particularly large.

Some big crappie, bass and bluegill are biting off the face of the Potholes dunes, and walleye are starting to come farther into the main lake as the water drops. Moses Lake can also be good for these species as can Roses Lake in Chelan County and Leader, Patterson and Palmer Lake in Okanogan County.

Other species

As of Sunday, the stretch of Lake Roosevelt from the China Bend Boat Ramp upstream to the Canadian border has been open for sturgeon. Anglers participating in this new fishery say the bite has been fair to good.


The fall general hunting season for turkey opened Sunday along with doves, grouse and rabbits. The warm weather at the end of August has kept the doves around, and shooting is said to be better than usual, especially in areas to the south. The Columbia Basin has the best opportunities for mourning dove hunting, which runs through October, but the Okanogan area also looks good. More exotic Eurasian collared doves are found throughout Washington and Idaho and they are open year-round with no limit.

The northeast district of Washington has high concentrations of Merriam’s turkeys and fall hunters should have excellent success. Merriam’s are also common in the central district, and Rio Grande turkeys are plentiful in the southeast district. Other small game that opened Sunday were raccoon, fox and bobcat.

An early Canada goose season runs Saturday and Sunday in Washington’s Areas 4 and 5. The limit is five Canadas with 10 in possession. West-side dates begin Saturday.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@

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