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Monday, October 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for May 21

UPDATED: Wed., May 20, 2020

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)

Trout and kokanee

The Loon Lake kokanee bite has begun, and trollers are making good catches of 9- to 11-inch fish by trolling Wedding Rings and maggots with three to four colors of lead-core in about 50 feet of water. Most of the fish have been the smaller 9-inchers.

Amber and Medical lakes are fishing well. Liberty Lake anglers had a great spring before the virus shutdown, particularly for brown trout. Clear Lake has some nice brown trout and good numbers of rainbow. West Medical trout fishing has been fair.

Region 1 fish biologist Randy Osborne said Fishtrap should be decent this year for rainbow trout. Predatory birds have been a problem, but he hopes some recent restocking will compensate for loss. Fish Lake has decent numbers of brook trout, but small perch often beat them to the hook. Osborne emphasizes the need for harvest of trout and kokanee at Badger Lake. If anything, it has too many fish and they need to be thinned out. Williams Lake should fish well for catchable rainbow despite being recontaminated with sunfish. Klink’s Resort has added some big fish to the mix with trout up to 8 pounds. The Washington Department of Fish and Widllife access at Williams will be closed for part of the summer to get a facelift.

Long Lake fishing has been good for rainbows up to 22 inches. Catching has been best recently near the dam. Some 155,000 triploid rainbows have been stocked again this year. Sprague Lake has also fished well this spring. There have been a lot of fat rainbows over 20 inches.

Trout fishermen are taking some huge fish on Potholes Reservoir by throwing assorted lures into 25 feet of water near Medicare Beach. Some of these fish weigh as much as 6 pounds.

Lake Chelan kokanee have moved down into the lower basin past Rocky Point. Go down 70-80 feet for limits of 11- to 13-inch fish.

The best reports from the Okanogan area are coming from the Conconully lakes. Every year the two lakes provide excellent trout fishing in the spring, though the kokanee fishing has been slow. Trout are running mostly 15-18 inches.

Spectacle Lake has produced some nice catches of bigger rainbow than average, and decent kokanee trolling for fish averaging 12 inches. The perch and bass fishing is also good. Leader Lake has been providing good fishing for trout and a variety of spiny ray.

Steelhead and salmon

Salmon fishing has been closed on the Clearwater, Middle Fork of the Clearwater, North Fork of the Clearwater and South Fork of the Clearwater rivers because the Clearwater River is below an already dismal forecast. Idaho Fish and Game has also ended fishing on portions of the Salmon River and the Little Salmon River, and fishing days per week were reduced after Sunday on sections of Salmon and Little Salmon rivers that remain open. The Lower Salmon River from the Rice Creek Bridge to Time Zone Bridge and the Little Salmon River from the Big Salmon Road Bridge to Smokey Boulder Road will only be open to fishing for chinook Saturdays and Sundays.

The Snake River Section B has been closed to salmon fishing at Clarkston. The Little Goose section, including the area known as “The Wall,” remains open Tuesdays and Fridays until further notice. “The Wall” was described as “a zoo” by a Spokane angler who fished there last weekend. Evidently, the big catches following the opener created a lot of buzz. Fishermen were having to wait in line for a spot when someone filled the one-fish limit and left.

When the Snake River opens for steelhead fishing Saturday, salmon fishing remains open only on Tuesdays and Fridays. On these days, anglers may not continue to fish for salmon or steelhead once the adult salmon daily limit has been retained.

Spiny ray

The end of May and of all of June provide hot fishing for Grande Ronde smallmouth bass. There are great numbers and some big fish.

The Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt has ranged from slow to lights-out the past two weeks for walleye fishermen. A friend who fished there recently said he caught all his fish by drop-shotting. Smallmouth bass fishing on Roosevelt is better this week than last, and quite a few fish over 3 pounds have been caught. Crawdad-colored tube jigs are productive.

Rufus Woods Reservoir has also been good for walleye at times. Reports indicate a lot of the fish are between 17-25 inches, all caught in 30 feet of water and less. Rufus Woods walleye are generally a lot stockier than those from Roosevelt.

Pike and walleye have been on a tear recently at Long Lake. An 11-pound walleye was recently caught, and several other large fish were reported. Good pike fishing will probably be short-lived, as game department nets will be in the water again by the weekend.

Crescent Bar on the Columbia River is producing a lot of smallmouth to 3 pounds. Anglers say most of the fish caught are over 2 pounds, and you don’t have to be on the water early to cash in.

Jameson Lake rainbow are running mostly 10-12 inches, but there are some bruisers to 3 pounds. There is lots of casting room available from an expansive shoreline.

Coffeepot Lake is a good perch destination, but bait is not allowed. Successful anglers say small curlytail plastics with a one-sixteenth-ounce head is almost as good as a worm. Coffeepot also has some big crappie, and the largemouth fishing improves daily.

Other species

The Snake River is beginning to kick out giant sturgeon, and the fishery usually stays good thorough the summer. Reel Time Fishing said the past two weeks have been hot with multiple 9-footers and many others in the 7- to 9-foot range. Info: (208) 790-2128.

The Lake Roosevelt white sturgeon fishery will open seven days a week beginning June 15 from Grand Coulee Dam to China Bend Boat Ramp, including the Spokane River from the Highway 25 Bridge upstream to 400 feet below Little Falls Dam, the Colville River upstream to Meyers Falls Dam, and the Kettle River upstream to Barstow Bridge.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says the expected dates of this year’s delayed Puget Sound halibut fishing season in Areas 5 through 10 will run through June 30 on alternating days. Anglers are encouraged to participate in these dates only if they can do so locally as part of a day trip, while also practicing physical distancing. In all marine areas open to halibut fishing, there is a one-fish daily catch limit and no minimum size restriction.

Contact Alan Liere

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