Streamers and double nymph rigs will find fish on the North Fork Coeur d’Alene, Silver Bow Fly Shop said. Some March browns, skwalas and nemouras are showing. St. Joe reports are similar. Both rivers are dropping, but fishable water is still somewhat limited.
Trout and kokanee
Nasty weather kept many lowland lake anglers at home on the April 17 opener, which should extend the good trout fishing. Initial reports from those who braved the elements indicated good results from Fishtrap, Clear, Badger and Williams. Waitts Lake trout were said to be smaller than usual, but this could possibly be because anglers were trolling too high. The larger fish are generally below the little ones.
The mackinaw bite has been consistently good on Deer Lake. A lot of 3- to 4-pound fish are being caught toward the narrows by anglers trolling Lucky Louie plugs up high in the water column, and there have been frequent reports of fish in the teens being netted.
A friend who braved some windy conditions this week on Loon Lake caught four kokanee between 9-10 inches. He said he was dragging two colors of leaded line, which would put the fish in the top 10 feet of water. Other anglers report catching a number of 12- to 14-inch rainbow, despite the fact Loon was not planted with catchables this year.
Lake Roosevelt hasn’t been particularly good for trout fishermen this week, either from shore or boat. An occasional large kokanee has been caught, but no specific part of the reservoir has been better than another.
On the fourth day (Tuesday) of the Lake Pend Oreille Spring Derby, Kevin Elmore moved into first place in the Adult Mackinaw Division with a 16.15-pound fish. In the Adult Rainbow Division, Pete Quigley was in first place with a rainbow weighing 25.30 pounds. A lot of big trout are showing this year with five over 18 pounds and three fishing days remaining until the derby ends at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Billy Clapp Lake in Grant County can be fickle, but trolling around the basalt island has been productive for trout. Flies with dodgers have been good. There is a good population of walleye and smallmouth bass in the lake. In some years, big kokanee are also caught. Warden Lake, also in Grant County, along with other seep lakes, put out quick limits of 12- to 14-inch rainbow this week. Two colors of leaded line and a 50-foot mono leader and a fly were standard.
Trout fishing on Potholes Reservoir continues to improve with several reports of big trout being caught on the face of the dunes and along Medicare Beach, in front of the Potholes State Park and from the mouth of Lind Coulee to Perch Point.
Corral and Blythe lakes in Grant County have continued to produce keeper-sized trout and a few holdovers. Fish from shore with Power Bait or troll with flies or small spoons and spinners.
Steelhead and salmon
Spring chinook salmon fishing on some of the Snake River will be open Tuesdays and Fridays only beginning Tuesday. The zone affected will be from the Texas Rapids boat launch to the fishing restriction boundary 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 and includes the walkway area locally known as “The Wall.”
Many Columbia River fisheries are expected to offer expanded opportunity this year compared to 2020, beginning with an opportunity to retain sockeye and hatchery chinook from the Astoria-Megler Bridge to Highway 395 in Pasco starting in mid-June. The lower river from Buoy 10 to the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco is planned for an Aug. 1 opening for chinook and coho. A strong coho forecast and increased chinook run size should provide for good fishing opportunities.
Moses Lake has filled to full pool, so the Potholes Reservoir should start to fill soon. Walleye fishing on Potholes has been fair and will improve once the gates are opened at Moses Lake. This will move the fish into Crab Creek. The largemouth bass fishing has been good back in the sand dunes.
Walleye fishing is still slow on Banks Lake, but some nice postspawn walleye have been taken lately in the Rosebush area. Bottom bouncers and Slow Death Hook rigs have done best. The Banks Lake Triple Fish Challenge last weekend saw some big smallmouth weighed in. Some anglers say they have come upon schools of big Banks Lake perch.
Anglers fishing around the island near Oldtown on the Pend Oreille River have had some excellent success on smallmouth bass as large as 4 pounds.
Crappie reports for Eloika and Long Lake are few and far between. Things should pick up in a week or so as the water warms. Largemouth anglers on Loon Lake are covering a lot of water for their fish, but when they find them, they are bunched up, and catching gets crazy.
Roses Lake in Chelan County is a good spot for perch and largemouth bass. There are also good numbers of catchable rainbow in the lake.
Channel cats are beginning to bite in the Palouse River near Lyons Ferry. Anglers are enticing them with cut bait in water ranging from 5-20 feet.
The application period for Idaho 2021 deer, elk, pronghorn, fall black bear and fall turkey controlled hunts begins Saturday and runs through June 5.
Applications for Washington special hunt permits for deer, elk, mountain goat, bighorn sheep and fall turkeys can be submitted until May 26. The big game hunting seasons and regulations pamphlet is available online.
After the wildfires in 2020, some Idaho hunters opted to take rain checks on their controlled hunt deer and elk tags in six hunts in Unit 54 south of Twin Falls, so there will be fewer tags available in those hunts for this year’s drawing. Hunters should be aware of the reductions when deciding which hunts to apply for because rain checks will account for up to 30% of the tags that would normally be available, and reductions will not be reflected in the 2021 Idaho Big Game Seasons and Rules booklet.
Turkey flocks have definitely broken up as the season progresses. The first week, I observed three toms and a dozen hens in my pasture. Then there were two toms and six hens, and a few days later one tom and three hens. Finally, there was a lone tom in full strut with no hens in sight. This is prime time for calling in a lonesome gobbler.
Contact Alan Liere at firstname.lastname@example.org
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