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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for Aug. 5

By Alan Liere For The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

The Spokane Fly Fishers’ annual picnic is scheduled for Aug. 21 at 2 p.m. at Coeur d’Alene Park in Browne’s Addition, near the freeway and the Spokane River. A head count is needed by Tuesday, even if one was submitted previously. RSVP to: or call 290-0734 or 838-4314.

Silver Bow Fly Shop said dry/dropper rigs are a great way to fish the Spokane River during lower water. Terrestrial season is everywhere around the West, so mix some hoppers into your fly box.

The many small tributaries in the Okanogan region have dropped into easy wading levels for pleasant fly fishing for rainbow, cutthroat, brown trout and brook trout. Leave your waders at home and put on an old pair of tennis shoes and float your flies through the cool water. The fish are generally not large, but they are numerous and aggressive. The Icicle has mostly rainbows; the Entiat offers good numbers of cutthroat and brookies as well as rainbows; and the Methow, has some big cutthroat. The Yakima River is good, too, as is the Naches. North of Spokane is the Kettle River with rainbows and browns.

Steelhead and salmon

Based on current sockeye passage analysis, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife projects 29,000 total sockeye are destined for Lake Wenatchee. This provides an estimated 6,000 sockeye to be available for harvest, which is open. This fishery will be monitored closely and may close on short notice depending on angler participation and harvest rates. At this time, there is a daily limit of two sockeye. Selective gear rules are in effect (up to three single-point barbless hooks per line, no bait or scent allowed, knotless nets required).

Two sons and I fished Marine Areas 4, 5 and 6 with a friend out of Seiku three days this week, bringing home a lot of vacuum-packed bottom fish, two coho and lots of pink salmon. We found freelancing in the salt water was as much a matter of interpreting fishing regulations and identifying what we had as in catching fish. In Area 4, for example, wild or hatchery chinook could be retained, as well as hatchery coho, but the chinook had to be at least 24 inches and the coho at least 16 … or was it 18? We never did catch a legal one … I think. Anyway, we released them all. In Marine Area 6, only hatchery coho or chinook could be retained, but with just two exceptions, most we caught were wild, and those that weren’t were too small to keep. We caught a lot of “shakers” of both species. Pink salmon were abundant and beautiful without the hatchery/wild or length factors, and we kept limits on two days. They were easier to identify than the other species because of the prominent oval spots on both lobes of the tail. It was the first time I had seen pinks before they had begun their spawning transition.

The Buoy 10 fishery opened Sunday. Through Tuesday, only hatchery chinook and hatchery coho may be retained. Starting Wednesday, anglers may retain wild or hatchery chinook and hatchery coho. Chinook retention closes Sept. 7. Check out the creel-sampling results from Buoy 10 on to see where other anglers are catching fish. That website also includes catch data from previous years, which can be useful in deciding where to start fishing.

Chinook retention in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) has been suspended as of Wednesday . Effective Thursday, Marine Area 2 will be open seven days a week for salmon fishing through Sept. 15 with a daily limit of two, no more than one of which may be a chinook. Release wild coho.

Trout and kokanee

Local lakes are not getting much attention from anglers during the hot, smoky weather. Best bets for trout and/or kokanee are Loon, Horseshoe and Badger.

Fishtrap, Williams and Clear have decent trout fishing before 10 a.m. I passed Sprague Lake twice this week and noted only one boat each time. In the Okanogan, kokanee are still fishing well in Patterson, Alta and Spectacle lakes.

Spiny ray

Fishing at Potholes Reservoir and Moses Lake has been good for bass, but the walleye bite is off. Crappie, perch and bluegill fishing has been good at Potholes around the mouth of crab creek. Eloika Lake bass are still loving their spinnerbaits. The same for Long Lake largemouth.

Roses Lake in Chelan County continues to produce rainbow trout, channel catfish and some nice bluegill.

In Okanogan County, try Leader Lake for bluegill and crappie, Whitestone Lake for channel catfish and black crappie, and Palmer Lake for bass.

Other species

The Lake Roosevelt sturgeon fishery is still open from Grand Coulee Dam upstream to the China Bend boat ramp and catching seems to be picking up. The daily limit is one sturgeon, with an annual limit of two. It is legal to retain sturgeon between 50 inches and 63 inches fork length. Fork length is measured from the tip of the snout to middle of the fork in the tail.

Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing continues on portions of the Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam to Rock Island Dam.

WDFW Chelan/Douglas district fish biologist Travis Maitland reports sturgeon are still being caught in the Priest and Wanapum pools, with the best fishing just immediately downstream of Rock Island Dam on the Wanapum pool.


After suspending in-person classes in spring 2020 due to COVID and moving to online, Idaho Fish and Game recently began gradually reopening in-person courses. They are back in full swing.

The cost for enrolling in instructor-led courses is just $9.75. To see a list of instructor-led courses scheduled go to

Contact Alan Liere at