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

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for June 17

By Alan Liere For The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

Silver Bow Fly Shop reports good fishing on the Spokane River and said the North Fork Coeur d’Alene and the St. Joe are in good fishing shape. Nymph (indicator or Euro) rigs will get it done consistently and streamer fishing is also a good option. Smallmouth on the Grande Ronde are susceptible to a heavy, slowly fished streamer along the bottom of any soft/deep pocket, eddy or pool.

Trout and kokanee

A friend and I fished Loon Lake at night last week, beginning at 9 p.m. and finally catching our 20th kokanee at 11:15 . Coming from 30 feet of water in front of the Granite Point bathhouse, the fish were warmer than my hands, which were so cold and stiff by 11 that my friend, who had brought gloves, had to put the maggots on my Glo-Hook. Sunday we fished the same spot on a much warmer night. Again, the good bite didn’t begin until 10:30 p.m.

Trollers are finding big schools of Loon Lake kokanee at 22 feet. A simple Wedding Ring tipped with maggots in back of a triple-ought dodger is as good as anything.

The lowland lakes south of Spokane still have plenty of fish. The best reports come from Fishtrap, but Badger and Williams are close behind.

Anglers fishing the south lake at Lower Twin near Inchelium are finding rainbow trout over 2 pounds. They say the bite is fast.

Idaho’s high mountain lakes are full of a variety of hungry, aggressive trout, and the hardest part of fishing these lakes is getting to them. Once there, the fishing tends to be simple and the fish aren’t real finicky. Fishing pressure tends to be light. To learn more, go to the Alpine Lakes webpage, which includes information about where to go, how to prepare for your trip and more.

Anglers in the Salmon and Challis areas of Idaho will see some giant trout in local fishing ponds, as Clear Springs Foods donated over 300 hatchery broodstock rainbow trout to Idaho Fish and Game. The trophy-sized trout, which average nearly 9 pounds, were stocked last week at Blue Mountain, Squaw Creek, Kids Creek and Hyde ponds. Each pond received about 75 fish. Hayden Pond will receive a stocking of these large rainbows in the coming weeks.

Kokanee fishing on Lake Coeur d’Alene is off to a great start with some of the fish already measuring 13-16 inches. The south end of the lake toward Powderhorn Bay and East Point has been best. As time goes on, these fish will be working their way north.

Pend Oreille Lake is seeing some big rainbow caught, either on the surface with the planner boards or setting the downriggers shallow. Flies and Apexes have been the lures of choice. Mackinaw are just starting to bite on a consistent basis. Drop-shot rigs are effective.

Steelhead and salmon

Sport anglers will have the opportunity to reel in salmon off the Washington coast starting Saturday in all four coastal marine areas, but coho retention begins a little later. In Marine Areas 1 and 2, coho retention begins June 27, and in Marine Areas 3 and 4, coho retention begins July 4. Anglers should check the area-specific rules for daily bag limits.

“The Columbia River coho forecasts are the highest we’ve seen in many years, which could lead to some great coho fishing,” said Wendy Beeghley, an ocean salmon manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “However, the ocean quotas were constrained by the low expected returns to coastal rivers.” The recreational coho catch quota this year is 70,000, up from 26,500 in 2020.

Idaho Fish and Game is closing salmon fishing on the Little Salmon River, effective at the end of fishing hours Friday, as chinook salmon harvest is approaching harvest objectives. Seasons will remain open on the Snake River and in the Clearwater River basin. The fishery in the Snake River will likely continue for several more weeks. The jack-only fishery in the Clearwater River basin will continue for at least another week. The South Fork Salmon River fishery opens on June 25.

Spiny ray

Long Lake walleye continue to cooperate for anglers who target them, and a good perch and smallmouth bite has materialized. Weed edges have been productive for all three species.

Lake Roosevelt is at full pool and the walleye have spawned. There is a lot of debris in the water and walleye anglers are catching as many trout up the Spokane Arm as keeper walleyes, which are short and skinny. Friends fishing The Dalles area have been disappointed at the size of the walleye they are catching, and say they are a getting a fraction of the numbers they caught two years ago. Better fishing has been above Northport.

Fishing for all species is good at Potholes Reservoir. The walleye bite has particularly picked up. Fish the weed lines in Crab Creek in 7-10 feet of water.

Idaho Fish and Game is still tracking acoustic-tagged walleye in Lake Pend Oreille. They are finding that walleye continue to concentrate in the western basin of the lake and near the Sandpoint Bridge.

Smallmouth bass in Lake Coeur d’Alene are starting to move in shallow. Throw crankbaits, tube jigs or Senko worms. You will find fish around rocky and sandy shorelines as well as around some of the shallower docks.

Other species

The Lake Roosevelt sturgeon fishery has attracted a lot of anglers. A few keeper-size fish have been taken in the vicinity of China Bend.

Fins and Feathers in Coeur d’Alene said northern pike fishing on the big lake has been excellent. Lots of fish are being caught either trolling or throwing lures. Husky Jerks have been effective, as has the Johnson Silver Minnow with a trailer thrown into weeds in 4-10 feet of water.

Puget Sound summer crab-fishing seasons will get underway by July 1 in many marine areas. Seasons are posted on WDFW’s crab-fishing website.

“We expect good crabbing this year in several areas of Puget Sound,” said Don Velasquez, WDFW crustacean biologist. “Still, some areas with continued low abundance will have a limited season or remain closed this year to promote population growth.”

Contact Alan Liere at

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