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Tuesday, September 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for Aug. 13

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 12, 2020

By Alan Liere For The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

The Spokane River is a good option now. The trout are actively feeding on nymphs and streamers 80% of the time, but Allen Petersen at Swede’s Fly Shop on Garland said many of his customers are doing well using Chernobyl patterns fished on the lower river between downtown and Seven Mile. Target the deeper pools, focusing on the head and tail outs. If you want to use a dropper, go with a small Copper John, Bead Head Caddis Emerger or Prince Nymph tied to your main dry fly.

Petersen said Rocky Ford Creek north of Moses Lake has been finicky for some and stellar for others. He suggests parking in the main lot and crossing the foot bridge, making your way downstream to the “S” curves in the creek. Use a sink-tip fly line with small olive or gray scuds, caddis emergers or mini-leeches, preferably black in color with a small hot orange bead head.

The Coeur d’Alene River at Cataldo below the Snake Pit and farther downstream can be good using Humpy dry flies. You will sometimes attract larger cutthroats with streamer patterns fished on a sink-tip fly line with short tippet, using a short stripping retrieve through the deeper water.

Trout and kokanee

Just when I think I’ve become an expert Loon Lake kokanee fisherman, I am reminded differently. With three anglers fishing side by side in the same boat with the same gear, you would think the catching would be evenly distributed. Last Friday, I watched two friends limit quickly on 10-inch fish while I couldn’t buy a bite and ended up with four. Monday night, the roles were reversed and I had a limit by 9:30 while the same two friends struggled for almost two hours longer. Same boat, same size and color of Glo-Hook, same box of maggots, same technique. Go figure.

Coeur d’Alene kokanee fishing has not been particularly fast, but anglers trolling 60-80 feet down are pulling in some huge fish – up to 19 inches long. Pend Oreille kokanee fishing has been faster, but the fish are running 9-10 inches.

Salmon and steelhead

The Brewster Pool salmon fishing is holding up with sockeye limits as well as chinook. On Sunday, the sockeye limit will be increased to six per day.

Spiny ray

Deer Lake bass fishermen are finding good numbers of largemouth around weeds and docks. Dark-colored plastics are working well.

Friends who fished Silver Lake this week said they caught a smorgasbord of spiny ray – bluegill, crappie and perch in addition to some good-sized largemouth and a 5-pound tiger muskie.

The best perch and trout fishing at lakes like Liberty, Diamond, Waitts and Deer has begun in the late evening.

Lake Roosevelt walleye are cozied up to weed beds in 15-25 feet of water. Fishing has also been consistently good on the flats.

Potholes Reservoir walleye are transitioning out of the dunes to the face of the dunes and the mouth of Crab Creek where you will also find crappie and bluegill. If you are trolling with nightcrawlers, bring a lot as the perch and bullheads are gobbling them up. Largemouth bass are in the weeds and along points that drop off quickly. The rock piles around Goose Island have been good for smallmouth.

Other species

Idaho Fish and Game often stocks channel catfish during the summer months, when waters are too warm for trout. Catfish THursadyt are an often-overlooked game fish in Idaho. There are abundant populations in the Snake River and many of Idaho’s lakes, reservoirs and ponds.

The portion of Lake Roosevelt between China Bend and the Canadian border is managed as a spawning sanctuary for white sturgeon and there is a surplus of hatchery-origin fish available for harvest. Sturgeon spawning is completed by Sept. 1, so a one-month harvest fishery will be opened in this area at that time. The previously opened section of Lake Roosevelt from Grand Coulee Dam to China Bend boat launch will remain open as well.

A lot of northern pike are being caught in Lake Coeur d’Alene. Successful anglers are throwing Daredevil spoons and spinner baits along the weed lines. Topwater, weedless frogs are a lot of fun, and can also be good at times.


Beginning Idaho hunters who have not taken a hunter education or a bowhunter education course are reminded that instructor-led courses are not being offered due to COVID concerns. An online course will allow students to receive their certification, purchase their license and hunt this fall. Both courses, for anyone older than 9, can be taken on almost any device – tablet, smartphone or desktop – and are self-paced. The online hunter education course costs $24.50. For more information and to sign up for this course, visit The online bowhunter education course costs $30, and is for those looking to purchase an archery-only permit in Idaho or if they are a first-time bowhunter. Students receive certification without attending a field day. For more information and to sign up for this course, visit

Application period is Aug. 25 beginning at 9 a.m. PDT for the first-come, first-served sale of the second Idaho controlled hunt drawing for deer, elk, pronghorn and bear.

The incorrect date is given three times in the 2020 Big Game Seasons and Rules Booklet: under the “Key Dates” section on Page 7, “Key Application Dates” section on Page 108, and in the “Youth Only Hunts” section on Page 111.

Idaho Fish and Game has launched a new website,, to help new hunters learn an important Idaho tradition that will introduce them to all phases of hunting, from securing licenses and tags, to where to go, to cooking the wild game they harvest.

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