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

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for April 21

April 20, 2022 Updated Wed., April 20, 2022 at 8 p.m.

By Alan Liere For The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

McDowell and Bailey lakes open to fly fishing Saturday and are expected to fish well this year.

The St. Joe River has fished well recently. Silver Bow Fly Shop said there has been some good March brown fishing in the afternoon following streamer fishing in the morning. You can go as high as Packsaddle above Avery. The upper stretches of most rivers won’t be worth fishing until sometime in May.

Trout and kokanee

The Washington lowland lakes fishing opener is Saturday. Top prospects in District 1 are Cedar, Starvation and Rocky, but Waitts Lake, which is open all year, should also fish well, as should Jumpoff Joe. Sherry, Mudgett and Rigby lakes received sizable plants. In District 2, West Medical, Clear and Fishtrap will probably be good, but Badger may be better with plenty of carryovers and some good-sized kokanee.

Chelan Lake kokanee are deep and beginning to move to the lower basin. A good place to start is out from the red roofs area. The fish aren’t in big schools yet, but they are bigger this year. The best depth seems to be between 70 and 80 feet, and mornings have seen the most success.

Spiny ray

Walleye anglers have had good luck recently at Rufus Woods and the Spokane arm of Lake Roosevelt. Jigging and bottom-bouncing have been equally productive. On Roosevelt, some big walleye and smallmouth have been included as part of the catch.

There were lots of walleye, smallmouth bass and some big rainbow turned in at the recent Banks Lake Triple Fish Challenge. Banks Lake fishing for all species has improved considerably in the past two weeks.

Moses Lake is a great place to start bass fishing. There are miles of shoreline and lots of docks to cast to on Moses Lake. Fish should be in prespawn mode and not yet on their beds. They will be staging soon, though, and catching will ramp up considerably.

Braving the elements on Eloika Lake, a friend had a good day of crappie fishing with his two children on Monday, catching 40-some fish in two hours. He said most of the fish were over the 9-inch legal size limit. Crappie are also beginning to show in shallow water in other lowland lakes like Sacheen, Newman, Fernan, Hayden and Hauser.

Salmon and steelhead

Spring chinook salmon will be open on the Snake River as described:

Location A: Open Tuesdays and Fridays only, beginning May 3 until further notice. Location B: Open Wednesdays and Thursdays only, beginning May 4 until further notice. Location A is below Little Goose Dam from the Texas Rapids boat launch to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam. This zone includes both shores and the rock and concrete area between the juvenile bypass return pipe and Little Goose Dam along the south shoreline of the facility including the walkway area locally known as “the Wall” in front of the juvenile collection facility. Location B is below Ice Harbor Dam from the southbound Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco upstream about 7 miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam.

Hunting

Although turkey hunting has been puzzling for me this spring, several friends have done well. I’m hearing few gobbles, and birds that normally visit my pasture north of Spokane have not appeared. I’m blaming the unsettled weather, and with over five weeks left in the season, I’m optimistic things will turn around.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission approved the 2022-23 migratory game bird seasons during its April 14 conference call. Notable changes include duck seasons closing on Jan. 31 for a majority of the state, Canada goose bag limits increasing from four to five geese and sandhill crane tags increasing in all but one area

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Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@yahoo.com

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