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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for May 28

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

Silver Bow Fly Shop said hatches on the North Fork Coeur d’Alene are expanding into drakes and goldens. On the St. Joe, go prepared with a mix of goldens, salmonflies, PMDs and drakes. The Spokane River is back open for fishing in all sections. While still quite high, fish can be found where they’re out of the main flow. Big, flashy streamers will probably be the most effective

At Swede’s Fly Shop on Garland, Allen Peterson said for the North Fork Coeur d’Alene and St. Joe drainages he would recommend using patterns that have high contrast and good movement like black bugger patterns that have additional flash added to attract the cutthroats. Red is always good, and blue flash in the patterns is also excellent. Both work best on a sink tip fly line fished in the deeper sections of the streams with minimal tippet, about 18 inches, to avoid uncontrolled drift.

Good reports from fly fishers are coming from Medical and Coffeepot lakes. Coffeepot has been best with olive buggers and damsel/dragonfly patterns. Medical trout are still hitting balanced leeches and chironomids.

The Tucannon lakes are still a good bet for lots of small trout as well as an occasional fish to 18 inches. The Prince Nymph on a fast retrieve has been deadly of late.

Trout and kokanee

The WDFW 2020 trout derby officially opened last Thursday at more than 100 stocked lakes. Over 100 participating businesses are offering more than 1,000 prizes valued at over $40,000. Winning derby trout will have a yellow tag attached to the fin. Keep the tag, as you will need it to claim your prize. Prize claims will open on the WDFW webpage on Monday. A list of participating lakes is available here.

Chelan Lake kokanee averaging 12 inches have been suspended at 30 feet around Wapato Point recently. Loon Lake kokanee are much smaller, with 9 inches being an average. Trollers are taking good numbers in the top 20 feet of water. The Loon Lake night fishery usually doesn’t kick off until the wild roses begin to bloom in June.

Grant County’s Park Lake rainbow to 17 inches are hungry and limits are being landed. The same should be true of nearby Blue Lake.

Steelhead and salmon

Recreational fishing for spring chinook salmon on the Columbia River has ended for this year as continued low returns raised concerns about meeting conservation objectives. Spring chinook salmon fishing is also closed on the Snake River below Little Goose Dam. This includes the rock and concrete area between the juvenile bypass return pipe and Little Goose Dam along the south shoreline of the facility (includes the walkway area locally known as “The Wall” in front of the juvenile collection facility. This closes all spring chinook fishing in the Snake River, as the Clarkston Area fishery closed on May 15.

Spiny ray

Walleye fishing has been good on Lake Roosevelt near Gifford Ferry and in the Spokane Arm. Most fish are in less than 20 feet of water. In the Spokane Arm, fish the channel edges from Buoy 5 down. Fish are coming in all sizes, but anglers have been keeping limits of walleyes running 17-21 inches. Grubs, swimbaits and plugs in crawdad colors are taking most of the fish.

A friend who fished Long Lake down from the BLM launch last weekend said he had “the best fishing day of my life.” Included in his catch of dozens of walleye was an 11-pounder, as well as some nice smallmouth bass.

Banks Lake walleye fishing was good last week for anglers pulling spinners in Devil’s Punchbowl and on Barker Flats. Most fish have been in about 14 feet of water.

The I-82 ponds in Yakima County hold a variety of fish, including crappie and small trout. It’s a good place to take the kids if you don’t have a boat.

Other species

Marine areas 1-3, including Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, opened for bottom fish, shellfish, mussels, clams, oysters, and other species on Tuesday, as described in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet. Crabbing on the Columbia River also resumed under normal regulations. Halibut and razor clam harvest will remain closed in these areas due to continued concerns about the spread of coronavirus in local communities.

The 2020 Pikeminnow Rewards Program began May 11 instead of May 1 this year. For the week ending Sunday, 1,068 fish were turned in. The Cathlamet station on the Columbia recorded the most fish at 654. On the Snake, Boyer Park had the most at 117.

Contact Alan Liere

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