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Wednesday, July 1, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for June 25

UPDATED: Wed., June 24, 2020

By Alan Liere For The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

Coffeepot Lake supports fewer trout in the upper teens this year, probably because the mixture of trout and spiny ray keep pressure on food sources. Go deep with sinking fly lines using leech and/or soft hackle patterns to prospect for the larger fish.

Trout and kokanee

Loon Lake kokanee are running mostly 9-11 inches , though trollers say they are sometimes hooking fish as small as 4 inches.

Friends and I fished Loon on Monday night just north of Granite Point, but it was a short trip as the fish were on the bite from the time we anchored at 7:45 p.m. until we quit with limits at 9 p.m. We were in 32 feet of water, slow jigging Glo Hooks and maggots.

Long Lake rainbow have been easy to catch all spring. Most recently, anglers trolling Wedding Rings tipped with worm or maggot have limited on fish running 12-20 inches.

The Rock Lake launch is in better shape than usual and trollers are taking advantage of a decent bite from rainbow up to 17 inches. Expect to catch some of the smaller plants, too.

Productive Spokane-area trout lakes still include Fishtrap, Amber, Badger, Clear, Fish, Medical, Williams and Rock. In Idaho, catchable-size trout are generally cooperative at Lake Fernan.

Cocolalla Lake, near Westmond just off Highway 95 between Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint, offers a variety of fishing opportunity. There are Westslope cutthroat and rainbow of all sizes as well as brown and brook trout. Troll spoons, spinners and flies throughout the lake. Fly fishing can also be productive around the inlets and outlet of the lake.

In Idaho’s backcountry, anglers can find solitude and great trout fishing every summer. Take your pick of sparkling mountain lakes or cool, clear streams. For maps, directions and a video go to https://idfg.idaho.gov/press/summer-primetime-explore-idahos-backcountry-fishing-opportunities.

Steelhead and salmon

Salmon and steelhead angling has returned to permanent rules for the Wind River and Drano Lake, as described in the 2019-20 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Fishing for chinook salmon in the Upper Salmon River will be open three days per week – Friday, Saturday and Sunday beginning Friday, June 26.

Beginning Monday, July 1, steelhead fishing will be closed from the mouth of the Snake River (Burbank to Pasco railroad bridge) to the Idaho/Oregon state line until further notice. Similar to the last couple of years, steelhead returns are predicted to be low in 2020. Previous closures have been focused on B-index steelhead, but there is also an extremely low forecast for A-index steelhead, both wild and hatchery origin.

Salmon regulations for the various marine areas are diverse and sometimes confusing. Through Sunday, June 28, the chinook limit in all open areas is one. Monday, June 29 through Sept. 30 the salmon limit is two, but only one can be a chinook and all wild coho must be released. Exceptions are LaPush and Neah Bay, where both salmon retained may be a chinook. To further muddle the situation, Neah Bay (located on the Makah Reservation), remains closed to the public. Anglers fishing this area will need to find access elsewhere, but must follow all rules and regulations for the marine area where they’re fishing.

Spiny ray

The window for catching the really big Dworshak Reservoir smallmouth is past, but anglers are still taking a lot of the smaller fish from both Dworshak and the Snake River. Two-pounders are not uncommon, and on the Grande Ronde, they are often larger.

Closer to Spokane, Long Lake is a great smallmouth destination. You’ll catch a lot of 10- to 11-inch fish, but there are enough 5-pounders there to make every cast exciting.

Lake Roosevelt walleye have been biting above Buoy 5 in the main river channel, and size has been a decent 16-21 inches. Trolled crankbaits have been effective recently.

Fish Lake in Chelan County has a steady largemouth bite. Most of the fish are coming from shallow water.

Potholes largemouth are numerous in the Crab Creek arm, but anglers report a bad algae bloom.

Reel Time Fishing out of Clarkston says many large sturgeon are being caught in the Snake, and when that fishing slows down there are always smallmouth bass and channel cats. Their smallmouth floats on the Grande Ronde River provides constant action. Info: (208) 790-2128.

Largemouth lakes like Silver, Newman and Eloika got off to a slow start but are heating up. Spinnerbaits have been particularly effective. A son who fished some small ponds in Yakima County last weekend said he couldn’t buy a bite until he went to spinner and buzz baits, which the bass then attacked with abandon.

A variety of warm water fish as well as trout offer up fishing opportunities at Cocolalla Lake in Idaho. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and yellow perch are some of the most popular. Channel catfish are also stocked here to add to this diverse fishing experience. Catfish anglers will find the best fishing in the warm summer months. Bait fished on the bottom of the lake at night is a great technique to catch channel catfish.

Largemouth bass fishing on Hayden Lake is good for anglers throwing spinnerbaits. Smallmouth and pike fishing have also been good, and small pike are prevalent in the Chain Lakes. Anderson Lake, the first of the 10 Coeur d’Alene River chain lakes, is a popular destination for spiny ray. The state record largemouth bass, which weighed almost 11 pounds, was caught there. Access is on the south side of East Blue Lake Road, just off the east side of State Highway 97 before you cross the Coeur d’Alene River Bridge

Other species

The Boyer Park station on the Snake River led all other check stations in last week’s northern pikeminnow activity report with 1,931 fish turned in. The weekly total for all stations was 7,672 fish.

Carp are in the shallows of Long Lake spawning. Bow hunters are finding lots of targets.

Hunting

Nonresident Idaho elk tags sold out on June 17, and Fish and Game projections based on current sales rates show nonresident 2020 deer tags (including white-tailed deer tags) could sell out by Aug. 1. Actual sell-out date could be sooner if sales increase, which occurred with nonresident elk tags. Elk tags sold out roughly two weeks earlier than projected.

Contact Alan Liere @spokesmanliere@yahoo.com

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