Rocky Ford Creek was recently stocked with over 600 rainbow trout averaging 3.2 pounds and could be a good bet this month. Many of the Potholes Seep Lakes are also open year-round. Virgin, Windmill, Janet and the Sage Lakes are producing rainbows of 13-18 inches for fly fishermen.
The Spokane River has probably been the best fishery around, even in the colder weather. The warmer temps this week could up the ante. The North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene could produce some fish, but would definitely be a subsurface game with small beadheads and patterns. Working streamers through the deeper pools would also be a good idea.
Steelhead fishing on the Grande Ronde has been tough. Nymphing with a hot bead, stone/egg combo is preferred for bottom bouncers.
Salmon and steelhead
Salmon fishing continues in southeast Washington’s Snake River, from the mouth of the river (Burbank to Pasco railroad bridge at Snake River mile 1.25) to Lower Granite Dam. There is a daily limit of three hatchery adult chinook and no limit on chinook jacks (clipped or unclipped). One hatchery steelhead can be harvested daily in the same stretch of the Snake River.
Several sections of the Columbia River remain open for salmon. The southwest Washington area, from The Dalles Dam upstream to the U.S. Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco, is open for salmon through Dec. 31. Most of the fall chinook have passed through, but there may be a few coho in good condition still migrating through this section of the Columbia River. As of Sunday, one adult hatchery steelhead may be retained from the mouth (Buoy 10 line) to the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco through Dec. 31. Refer to the Lower Columbia River salmon fishery update (fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=2602).
The Icicle River continues to yield catches of coho. The fishery is slated to remain open through November.
Trout and kokanee
Several regional year-round lakes typically continue to have good trout fishing in November, including Lake Spokane and Sprague Lake. Lake Roosevelt, Blue, Spring, Rainbow and Deer lakes on the Wooten Wildlife Area are open through the end of November and are also known for good fall trout fishing. Waitts Lake is open year-round with rainbow and brown trout dominating the catch bag.
Fishermen targeting Rock Lake browns haven’t done well, but the fishing for rainbows is said to be spectacular. Troll at 30 feet around 2.5 mph. Potholes Reservoir trout are hitting trolled No. 7 Flicker Shads 100 feet out of the back of the boat. Chrome Clowns, Slick Blue Alewife and Flashy Perch have also been producing trout in the 2- to 5-pound range. The best fishing can still be had in front of the state park.
Anglers can reel in hefty broodstock rainbow trout from a half-dozen small lakes and ponds in and around Yakima and Ellensburg. Stocking dates have not been set, but WDFW usually starts planting these 3- to 10-pound fish in mid- to late November.
Eloika Lake is just one of several lakes offering year-round fishing for perch. Other good perch fisheries are Waitts, Jump-Off Joe, Silver, Long, Sacheen, Diamond, Newman and Curlew lakes. Of these, Curlew has the largest fish.
Night fishing at Rufus Woods has been better at night than during the day. It has been particularly good if there is some current. Walleye fishing should improve this month on Moses Lake. As water temps drop, walleye can be found at depths of 15-20 feet on the main lake, but large concentrations can be found in the Alder Street fill in about 6 feet of water, as this water is a few degrees warmer than the main lake. Large perch up to 13 inches are showing on Moses Lake. Sprague Lake continues to be productive for largemouth bass, as well as large rainbow and Lahontan cutthroat trout.
The water temperature on the Potholes Reservoir is in the upper 40s to low 50s. Slow down your presentation for most fish. Largemouth and walleye fishing continues to be fair. Bass are in 2-25 feet of water, and the walleye are usually in the 10- to 25-foot depth. For smallmouth bass, fish the rock piles around Goose Island, or the face of the dam and sand dunes.
The late general deer season runs Saturday through Nov. 19 in Eastern Washington’s Game Management Units 105, 108, 111, 113, 117, 121 and 124. Modern firearm elk hunting runs through Sunday. Late archery and muzzleloader elk seasons begin later this month in select units throughout the region. The best elk opportunities in the region tend to be in the southeast district of the Blue Mountains. The best northeast elk hunting opportunities are in the Pend Oreille subherd area, which includes GMUs 113, 117 and 111.
Late fall wild turkey hunting in Washington runs through the end of the year throughout GMUs 101-154 and 162-186.
Most upland bird hunters will agree that there are more birds this year than last, but there is a lot more cover and walking can be difficult. Gray partridge and chukars have been seen in large groups along the Snake River breaks. Most of the birds have been at the middle levels.
Duck hunting has been good this week on Potholes Reservoir with mixed bags of mallard, teal, widgeon and pintails. Some of the best hunting is probably still ahead when northern migrants drop in to boost locally produced duck and goose numbers. Geese have been trickling in, but there has been no sign of the northern mallards.
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