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Monday, August 10, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for July 2

UPDATED: Wed., July 1, 2020

Fly fishing

At Swede’s Fly Shop on Garland Avenue, Allen Petersen said he’s hearing reports from Browns Lake northeast of Cusick about 14- to 18-inch rainbow and cutthroat fished on fast sinking fly lines using Electric Buggers and Olive Willys near the east end of the lake. Bayley Lake, northeast of Addy, has slightly smaller rainbow with the larger fish close to the bottom. Petersen recommends using small amphipod patterns.

Medical Lake is getting a lot of attention from anglers using fast sinking lines with dragon fly nymphs and damsel nymphs, retrieved deep with short, small erratic darting motions. Some of the rainbows are 18-20 inches.

Aeneas Lake, about 4 miles southwest of Tonasket, has large rainbow and brown trout. It is a chironomid fly fisher’s dream lake with a multitude of varying hatches occurring throughout the day.

The Lady McConnell dry fly and Raccoon Emerger are best for morning and evening hatches. Follow the shoreline with fast sinking lines about 30 feet out from shore using leeches, shrimp, Hare’s Ear and Electric Bugger patterns. When all else fails, throw on the Olive Willy.

The North Fork Coeur d’Alene River is dropping, but fishing has remained good. Mornings and evenings have been best lately, Silver Bow Fly Shop said. PMDs, caddis, small goldens and yellow sallies will all get some interest. Run a flashy little dropper under your small golden Chernobyl pattern. The St. Joe River has also been fishing well. Goldens, PMDs and drakes are accounting for the most fish. Late morning through early afternoon will be best and again in the evening if the temperatures remain warm.

Trout and kokanee

Several weeks ago, reports of 15-inch kokanee were enticing a lot of trollers to Lake Coeur d’Alene. Reports this week say even larger fish are being caught – up to 17 inches.

Although Lake Pend Oreille doesn’t have the huge kokanee found in Lake Coeur d’Alene, there are a lot of them, and a veteran angler of the big lake said the rainbow fishing there is the best it has been in 30 years.

Trollers on Lake Roosevelt are taking kokanee between 3-5 pounds from the Spring Canyon and Keller areas.

Friends and I had spectacular Loon Lake “night” fishing for kokanee last week before the Sunday night storm, but we were back at the dock with limits of mostly 10-inch fish before it got dark.

All our fish have come from 30-plus feet of water.

Spectacle Lake, 7 miles northwest of Tonasket on the Loomis-Oroville Road, is producing rainbow trout of 10-12 inches and a consistent bite on kokanee, mostly running a bit larger and some up to 15 inches. The best success has been by trolling the middle of the lake between 20-30 feet down.

Idaho Fish and Game has continued stocking fish during the pandemic. In the Panhandle region, Day Rock Pond, Dismal Lake and Lower Glidden Lake recently received trout plants. In the Clearwater region, trout plants were recently made in Campbells Pond, Elk Creek Reservoir and Five Mile Pond.

Salmon and steelhead

There will be no open fishery on the South Fork of the Salmon River this year because hatchery returns are not projected to meet broodstock needs.

Spiny ray

Lake Roosevelt walleye anglers say the bite has been steady if not fast. Some are using bottom bouncers and Wedding Rings with a Smile Blade and nightcrawler in the Spokane Arm above buoy 5. Friends jigging for walleye in about 13 feet of water near Keller were also rewarded with some nice fish this week. They caught several dozen running 16-22 inches. Again, a piece of nightcrawler was added to the hook.

Long Lake smallmouth are being caught around docks and emerging weed beds near Tum Tum. A lot of the fish run 2-3 pounds. The crappie bite has been sporadic, but some huge fish have been caught. One report from a walleye fisherman at Long said he caught over 30 walleye in three hours on a silver/blue Hologram crankbait by following the weed edges in 15 feet of water.

Curlew Lake has been a hot spot for big catches of perch. A simple worm and sinker rig in 12-20 feet of water usually produces dozens of the 9- and 10-inch fish. There is no limit on perch at Curlew.

The Curlew trout bite has also been excellent. Most of these fish have copepods attached.

Other, less-used perch fisheries in the Spokane area are Deer, Diamond, Waitts and Jump-Off Joe lakes. All of these have perch, usually running 8-10 inches. Find a weed line and anchor nearby. In Idaho, Cocolalla, Fernan and Twin Lakes have been good for panfish.

Friends and I attempted to catch some smallmouth bass from the Snake River near Asotin on Tuesday, but the Snake was running high and muddy and we didn’t catch any fish until we tucked into the mouth of the Grande Ronde. Even there, the water was murky.

Other species

Charlie and Nancy Palmer recently returned from a one-day shad fishing trip to McNary Dam on the Columbia River hoping to catch some of the big females that carry the roe they enjoy eating. Fishing from shore with Charlie’s homemade shad darts, they enjoyed good action and brought home four of the big egg-laden females, though Charlie said fishing was tough as the shoreline supported a lot of bushes, and wave action against the shore left them pretty wet. Approximately 6 million shad have been counted at Bonneville so far, and three dams down well over a million have been counted at McNary.


Resident Idaho hunters wanting to purchase a general season elk tag in a capped zone will need to keep two dates in mind in July.

On July 10, all resident capped elk zone tags, except for the Sawtooth Zone, go on sale at 9 a.m. .

On July 13, resident Sawtooth Zone A and B elk tags go on sale, with half of the tags sold at Fish and Game offices and license vendors-only starting at 9 a.m.

The remaining half of the resident Sawtooth tags will go on sale online only at noon.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@yahoo.

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