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Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for September 26

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 25, 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

On the lower Coeur d’Alene River, some October caddis are showing, as are mahogany dun spinners and the fall spotted sedge caddis. Fish seemed keyed in on the caddis pupa and some of the spinners on the surface. Ants will be good. The Spokane River is fishing well. The streamer bite has been solid. Chubbies with tungsten jig caddis pupa droppers work well.

The St. Joe River has not been consistent, but a few nice fish have been caught recently. Fall hatches are just starting, so include some October caddis, mahoganies, BWOs and Purple Haze Midges. Silver Bow Fly Shop suggests you pack them all because every day is different, and don’t forget the ant patterns.

Steelheaders are waiting for some positive word from the Grande Ronde or Snake River, but nothing so far.

Salmon and steelhead

Idaho Fish and Game recently opened a coho salmon fishing season until Oct. 13, or until further notice on the Clearwater River. From its mouth upstream to Memorial Bridge, the season will run seven days per week, and from Memorial Bridge upstream to the confluence of the Middle Fork Clearwater and South Fork Clearwater rivers, it will be Thursday through Sunday. The North Fork of the Clearwater is also open those same four days per week with special restrictions. The daily bag limit is two coho salmon, six in possession, and there is no season limit for 2019. Coho salmon with or without an adipose fin can be harvested.

Friends fishing the Clearwater confluence with bobbers and shrimp have been taking their daily limit of one chinook more often than not, most recently 12- and 25-pounders. They have an Idaho license and are allowed to keep unclipped fish.

The reduced limit of one adult coho or chinook in the Hanford Reach is intended to keep the season open longer due to the reduced run. The season continues through Oct. 31 from the Highway 395 Bridge (Pasco/Kennewick) to the Old Hanford townsite powerline crossing and through Oct. 15 from the Old Hanford townsite powerline crossing to Priest Rapids Dam.

Guides are saying the Columbia Gorge chinook fishing is as good as they have seen it. They are trolling 360 flashers and super baits or spinners for quick limits. Info: Munden’s Rising Son Adventures 492-8852.

Trout and kokanee

Long Lake triploids have been the big story this week. Trollers are taking limits of fat fish running up to 20 inches all the way to the dam.

Rock Lake has also been good to trollers this week, as has Waitts Lake. Both waters are producing rainbow as well as browns, with the ones at Rock running 16-18 inches.

Anglers have until Monday to take advantage of the good trout bite at Williams and Badger.

Coeur d’Alene kokanee are still biting. Reports this week of 14- to 16-inch fish come from Arrow Point and Rockford, but the fish are in all areas of the lake.

An angler who fished Starvation Lake east of Colville recently said he trolled monofilament and a couple of split shot sinkers attached to an F4 Flatfish for lots of hungry 17-inch rainbow. Starvation normally closes at the end of October, but has been designated a year-round lake and should provide excellent ice fishing this winter.

Spiny ray

If you’re not in the right spot on the Snake River, you’ll swear the fall bite for smallmouth has ended. The fish seem to be holding in pods – find one and you’ll usually find a half dozen. These fish are gorging on crawdads, so “match the hatch” with like-colored plastics and plugs.

The Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt has been decent for walleye. Fish the main channel from Porcupine Bay to Buoy 5. Banks Lake has also been pretty good for walleyes anywhere from 15 to 60 feet down.

Walleye fishing has been slow at Potholes, but the fish caught are of good size and a lot of perch, bass, bluegill and catfish are being taken incidentally on walleye gear.

Largemouth bass fishing is better than it was in the spring as the big boys feel the change in weather and are gorging on whatever presents its self. A friend said the bass at Silver Lake are hitting “some ridiculously large plugs.” Newman, Downs, Liberty, Jump-Off Joe, Hayden, Houser and the Twin Lakes in Idaho and Washington should also be good.

Other species

Razor clam diggers can return to Long Beach for a three-day opening beginning Friday. The upcoming dig is for the following days and morning low tides:

  • Friday, 5:52 a.m. -0.9.
  • Saturday, 6:36 a.m. -0.8.
  • Sunday, 7:19 am -0.6.

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager said, “We know people have been looking forward to digging razor clams, and based on our surveys, we expect some great digging on Long Beach.”


As noted in Braggin’ rights, Washington hunters were finding a lot of uncolored birds on the early pheasant hunt for those over 65. The extremely thick cover made for some tough walking, too, which probably bodes well for better than average bird numbers when the general season begins in October.

General season fall turkey hunts are ongoing in most of the Idaho Panhandle with most staying open through December. Those who enjoy fall turkey hunts say they are having little trouble finding birds. Similar reports come from Washington hunters.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@

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