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

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for Dec. 2

By Alan Liere For The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

Fly Fishing-related classes by the Spokane Fly Fishers will be starting again in early January. All classes need to be reserved and paid for on the SFF secure website. To sign up, just go to spokaneflyfishers.com, which is open to members and nonmembers. The Fly Fishing School usually starts in late February, though the official date is still to be determined. All classes have a maximum class size and high demand, so sign up early to assure your place.

Fly fishermen were doing well at Fourth of July Lake with a multitude of patterns on the Black Friday opener. Those with pontoon boats were having success just north of the first narrows. Some of the rainbow were over 20 inches.

Warm weather has kept area rivers relatively productive. Double nymph rigs or streamers continue to find fish.

Trout and kokanee

A big crowd fished Eastern Washington’s “winter only” lakes, finding no wind, no rain and no ice or snow. Fourth of July was particularly productive with the first narrows on the eastern shoreline producing nice catches of 10- to 16-inch rainbow for bank fishermen when the fishing got hot after sunrise. Anything – bait or artificial – was working. Williams and Hatch lakes had few opening day anglers. Both have a lot of small spiny ray.

Trollers hitting the Split Rock area out of the Fort Spokane launch with Kekeda Flies have been catching rainbow running 15 inches to over 20 inches. The fish are high in the water column and don’t show well on the fish finder. The mouth of Hunter Creek has also been good for trollers.

Salmon and steelhead

Idaho’s steelhead rules have been modified for spring 2022 seasons, but these will not be reflected in the 2022-2024 Fishing Seasons & Rules printed booklet, though the changes will be reflected online. The 2022-24 Seasons and Rules brochure will be available online (digitally) and in printed booklets at Fish and Game regional offices and license sales vendors near the end of January .

Spiny ray

At MarDon Resort on Potholes Reservoir, Pete Fisher said crappie and bluegill are being caught on the face of the sand dunes and around the mouth of Crab Creek. He suggests trolling a No. 5 Flicker Shad or use electronics to mark the fish and vertically jig. “The crappie are there,” he said. “You just need to find them.”

Long Lake walleye anglers are finding a hot walleye bite by throwing blade baits in the vicinity of Tum Tum. They are also catching a lot of smallmouth of 2 pounds or better.

Some huge smallmouth (up to a reported 8 pounds) are bending rods this fall at Dworshak Reservoir in Idaho. Normally, the best time for big smallmouth there is early spring.

Anglers who spend enough time on the Spokane Arm looking for fish sometimes find a school of walleye or burbot working over a school of bait fish. That’s when the fun begins. The China Bend area of Roosevelt is reported to have a good walleye bite in 80 or more feet of water.

Other species

Nighttime razor clam digging continues through Dec. 9 on several Washington beaches. Not all beaches are open for every dig, so diggers are encouraged to make sure their intended destination is open before heading out.

“The weather hasn’t always been cooperative the last couple of weeks, but there’s still plenty of opportunities to hit the beach and dig for some razor clams,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife . “Hopefully, December will bring some clearer winter days for people to get out and enjoy this amazing resource.”

Anglers fishing from shore at night at the mouth of the Kettle River downstream from the bridge, report fast limits of burbot from 60 feet of water.

Hunting

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has authorized the Director of Fish and Game to establish emergency hunts for increased sampling for chronic wasting disease in GNUs 14 and 15. The goal of the emergency hunts is to get a valid number of samples to determine how widespread the disease may be in the area. The hunts will be for Idaho residents only, and tags may be discounted. After sampling, Fish and Game will have a better idea of how widespread CWD is, and what percentage of the deer population is infected. Fish and Game will later announce the framework for emergency hunts, including dates, how hunters can get tags, and special rules that will apply to those hunts.

Idaho nonresident hunting, fishing and combination licenses for 2022 went on sale Wednesday. Nonresident deer and elk tags also went on sale on that day. Licenses and tags can be bought online at Gooutdooridaho.com or by phone at 1-800-554-8685, at a license vendor location, or Fish and Game regional offices during normal business hours. The number of available tags for each deer hunting unit and elk zone is available at idfg.idaho.gov/tag/quotas-nonresident.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will be offering a new trial opportunity for mountain lion hunting with hounds on Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area. Starting Thursday, hound hunters will have the opportunity to check out a key that allows them to access routes that are located behind locked gates. These routes are normally closed to protect wintering big game and other wildlife. During the mountain lion hound hunting season (Thursday to March 31), hound hunters can check out a key to one of five routes on Craig Mountain WMA (map posted below).

Maps can also be picked up the Lewiston Regional office. For more information on this program, contact the front desk at (208) 799-5010 or contact Andrew Mackey (WMA Manager) for more information.

There are more ducks in the Moses Lake area now – a good variety with a few more mallards. There have been huge numbers of snow geese show up recently.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@yahoo.com

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