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Saturday, February 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for Feb. 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

Fishing spots on the Spokane river are very limited and mostly in the brush, due to the rising water. Silver Bow Fly Shop says if you care to try it, look for areas where the river broadens and currents slow down, pockets and eddies along the banks that fish get pushed into during higher flows. Under present conditions, nymph rigs have been the most effective.

Blue Lake, one of the Tucannon lakes, has provided good fishing recently for a mix of holdover rainbow as well as more recent plants. One report said all the fish would take was a medium-sized olive nymph or an olive Wooly Bugger with marabou and flash tail.

Trout and kokanee

Lake Roosevelt trout fishing has improved since the water began dropping again. Anglers report a steady bite trolling small hoochies. The fish have been from the surface down as deep as 35 feet.

A friend fished with orange Power Bait from shore at Ft. Spokane on Monday, finally catching his fifth rainbow after six hours. He said there were a lot of light bites and he missed quite a few that just pecked once and were gone.

Long Lake was almost back to full pool on Tuesday and anglers fishing from shore were catching some beautiful rainbow despite the murky water. One angler with a limit of 17-to-20-inch trout was leaving the Tum Tum pullout when I arrived. He said he was using a marshmallow and worm “sandwich” and that the secret to his success was the small drop of anise he put on the marshmallow.

Trout fishing is improving at Rufus Woods Reservoir with anglers getting their two-fish limits. Some are as large as 10 pound, but most are 2 1/2 to 4 pounds. Bank fishing at the net pens and Brandts Landing has been good.

This week’s cold snap has firmed up some of the slop on Jump-Off-Joe and Sacheen lakes, where a few persistent perch fishermen are venturing out. Fishing, however, has been slow.

Salmon and steelhead

Guides are saying the predictions for a sockeye return to the Upper Columbia River this summer look good enough to plan for a fishery in the Brewster Pool, as well as Lake Wenatchee.

Hatchery broodstock collection has ended for the season on the Skykomish and Stillaguamish rivers in Western Washington, and the retention season on parts of those waters returns to permanent rules, as listed in the 2019-20 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Spiny ray

Walleye anglers have been doing well on decent-sized walleye by jigging between 35 and 50 feet in Porcupine Bay and near McCoys on Lake Roosevelt. A report from an angler slow-trolling a dark-colored jig and nightcrawler reported catching some decent ‘eyes on Casino Flats in 40 to 50 feet of water. There was also a report of two anglers taking two limits of 16-to-20-inch ’eyes from Lake Roosevelt, just upriver of the Colville River confluence. A friend who did well in Porcupine Bay recently by just dragging a nightcrawler said, “Go as slow as you possibly can, and then go slower.”

A few perch anglers are still testing their luck through the ice on the north and south ends of Curlew Lake, and there is a little fishing going on out from the State Park. Water is showing, though, on about half of Curlew, and the recent snow has covered some very thin ice.

Other species

State shellfish managers have approved the following digs on evening low tides for the following beaches, dates and low tides:

  • February 6, 4:40 p.m. -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • February 7, 5:26 p.m. -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • February 8, 6:09 p.m. -1.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • February 9, 6:51 p.m. -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • February 10, 7:32 p.m. -1.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • February 11, 8:13 p.m. -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • February 12, 8:55 p.m. -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

“Work to dodge the rain, and this should be a great dig,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “Razor clams do not like fresh water, so heavy rain can make them harder to find, but with a bit of patience and good timing it should still be possible to bag limits of clams given the healthy populations across the beaches.”


A bill just introduced in the Idaho State Legislature will provide for development of a swan season in Idaho, if approved. There are good populations of tundra swans wintering in southern Idaho’s Snake River Valley and in the Kootenai River Valley in Kootenai County.

Idaho’s spring-controlled turkey hunt application period runs through March 1. Results will be made available by March 20, and any leftover tags will go on sale as a first-come, first-served basis on April 1. Resident Idaho hunters pay a $6.25 application fee, and nonresident applications are $14.75. You can apply online, at any vendor, at Fish and Game offices or by phone at (800) 554-8685. You will need a 2020 hunting license to apply for a controlled hunt, and mail-in applications are no longer accepted.

Idaho’s Super Hunt and Super Hunt Combo tags allow hunters to pursue world-class big game in any open hunt in Idaho. Every year, 34 hunters win this special opportunity. To win a Super Hunt tag, hunters need to enter the Super Hunt Drawings. You don’t need a license to enter. The Super Hunt drawing for a single species is $6. For all four species (elk, deer, antelope and moose), it is $20. Enter as many times as you like. Entry deadline for the first drawing is May 31. It is Aug. 10 for the second drawing. You must abide by the restrictions and dates of the hunt. For example, if the hunt is muzzleloader only, you must hunt with a muzzleloader.

Contact Alan Liere at

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