Fall fly fishing has been decent on the Spokane River, the North Fork Coeur d’Alene and the St. Joe. Nymphs and streamers have been good most days. The best fishing on the Forth Fork Coeur d’Alene is down in the mid and lower stretches. Fish the slower runs and pools.
Antilon Lake, located in the hills above Wapato Lake, is loaded with brown trout and they are active this month. They seem to prefer leeches, with brown and green ones the most popular.
The Bitterroot is still good for fly-fishing as springs keep the water a little warmer than other rivers. Good late fall fishing also persists at times on the Clark Fork and the Missouri.
Trout and kokanee
A few Eastern Washington lakes were stocked in October and promise great fishing for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving – Hatch and Williams in Stevens County, Fourth of July in Lincoln/Adams counties and Hog Canyon in Spokane County. Hatch, Williams and Hog Canyon were each stocked in October with some larger fish running about a half pound each.
In addition, there are carryovers from last year.
Trollers targeting the upper 20 feet of water are finding good trout fishing in numerous locations on Lake Roosevelt. Limits are common for the hatchery keepers, and quite a few of the larger native rainbows (which must be released) are also biting. Kokanee have been scarce, but a few have been reported caught between Keller and Spring Canyon. Last week, the perch-colored Kekeda flies were hot. This week, pink flies and lures are also doing well. Hawk Creek reports have been consistently good.
A friend tried bank fishing at Fort Spokane on Lake Roosevelt recently and was pleasantly surprised to find a good bite from 15- to 17-inch rainbow.
He was using orange Power Bait and said most of those fishing from shore were doing well.
Jig deep now on humps and points for Priest Lake macks. Glow-in-the dark hoochies are accounting for a lot of fish. Lake Pend Oreille rainbow are on top, and the upcoming Thanksgiving Derby looks promising.
Waitts Lake remains a good bet for trollers. As always, a Muddler Minnow and worm, with or without a dodger, has proven effective in the top 20 feet.
Rainbow are the most common, but some large browns have come in lately.
Salmon and steelhead
Boggan’s Oasis on the Grande Ronde River is open seven days a week and still providing shuttle service and advice for steelhead anglers. Recent rains have flows slightly up, putting fish on the move, so fishing should improve on both the Grande Ronde and the Imnaha.
Coho season on the Grande Ronde River remains open until Nov. 30 from the Oregon-Washington border upstream to the Wildcat Bridge, approximately 7 miles upstream of the town of Troy, Oregon. The bag limit for adult coho salmon is two adults and five jacks daily.
Deep diving plugs trolled near the bottom are taking some nice Long Lake walleye. The stretch of water from the Little Spokane confluence north has yielded some big fish, but the current is strong and the bottom is irregular. It comes up quickly and can cause serious motor damage if not monitored constantly.
The walleye bite was good this week on Potholes Reservoir. Fish are being taken on the humps on the face of the dunes, the rocks around Goose Island, the mouth of Crab Creek and up in Lind Coulee. The smallmouth bass fishing has been fair to good. A 4-inch wacky rigged Senko has been good, but jerkbaits and swimbaits will pick up bigger fish along the face of the dam. There are also some good largemouth hanging out on the face of the dam.
The north end of Lake Coeur d’Alene still has pike looking for a tussle. Cast Husky Jerks along dying weed lines from now until 40-degree water temperatures slow the bite.
At that point, dead herring under a bobber will probably catch more fish. Don’t overlook the chain lakes for smaller pike, particularly Killarney.
Perch are being found in large schools at Curlew Lake. As anticipated by WDFW, the size of fish taken has diminished a little since the perch fishery was “discovered” several years ago.
Still, Curlew Lake perch are still some of the largest around, usually stretching about 9 inches.
The smaller size is a result of overabundance rather than fishing pressure, though, and area resorts and trout fishermen would like to see more anglers filling their coolers.
Another good perch fishery is Long Lake near Spokane. On some days, anglers who find the right school of fish will boat perch larger on average than those at Curlew. For lots of action but not much size, Silver Lake perch will keep you busy baiting hooks.
Squid are coming into some of the docks on Puget Sound. Reports of limit catches (10 pounds) were reported recently off the long Edmonds Pier. The bite starts right after dark.
The Eastern Washington whitetail deer season continues through Nov. 19 for bucks only. Late archery and muzzleloader hunts begin in November for whitetail and mule deer in some units. Check pages 22 and 23 in Washington’s Big Game Pamphlet for specifics.
The fall black bear general season ends after Monday, as does the elk general season except in Western Washington, where it ends Wednesday in units not already closed. (See page 48 in the Big Game Hunting Pamphlet.)
Duck hunting picked up some this week in the Moses Lake/Potholes Reservoir area. Hunters report a mixed bag of widgeon, pintail, teal and a few mallards.
The big push from the north has not yet materialized, but there are a lot of geese in the Tri-Cities and Moses Lake areas.
Upland bird hunters stayed mostly away during the recent rains, but those who ventured out said there are still birds to be had – if you didn’t look for them in heavy, wet grass. Concentrating on cattails, brushy thickets and pockets of sparse CRP put more birds in the air.
Contact Alan Liere at email@example.com
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.