The North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene is still worth fishing, Silver Bow Fly Shop said, but the inner tubers are out in force. Terrestrials (small hoppers/ants/beetles) are picking up fish. Focus on riffle water and heads of pools where the riffles dump in. Pretty much the same on the St. Joe. There are lots of tubers from Avery downstream.
Spokane River temperatures remain cool. Chernobyls with droppers are a great way to prospect as the level gets lower. Focus on the riffles.
Trout and kokanee
I finally had a good night of kokanee fishing at Loon Lake on Tuesday. Two friends and I fished the west side in 34 feet of water for 26 fat 12-inchers in 2½ hours.
There are 84 high mountain lakes in the Idaho’s Panhandle.
Some have naturally reproducing populations of brook trout, while many others are stocked with westslope cutthroat trout and rainbow trout. A few lakes even get stocked with arctic grayling and golden trout. Idaho Fish and Game has identified Debt, Copper, Crater, Porcupine and Queen as lakes that are not recommended for fishing due to poor fish survival, but that still leaves a lot of water to be explored. Contact your local Idaho Fish and Game office for more information.
Lake Pend Oreille trout are a couple of months away from spawning, but there are already concentrations of them at some of the main lake points and shorelines near spawning sites. Evans Landing, Grouse Point, Windy Point and the break along the Clark Fork Delta to Sheepherder Point all had good numbers of acoustic tagged lake trout over the past two weeks.
For trout in Okanogan County, try Pearrygin Lake, Conconully Lake, Conconully Reservoir and Alta Lake. In Grant County, head to Park, Blue and Deep lakes. In Adams County, try Warden Lake. In Douglas County, head to Jameson Lake. In Chelan County, Wapato Lake is a decent trout producer. The Seep Lakes south of Potholes Reservoir in Grant County are fishing well for rainbow trout.
Smaller Washington lakes with more secluded settings include Round Lake and Long Lake east of Tonasket; Beaver Lake and Lake Beth in northeast Okanogan County; and Wannacut Lake west of Oroville. Kokanee can be found in Patterson, Alta, Conconully, Bonaparte and Spectacle lakes.
Lakes for rainbow trout in the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge are the Pillar-Widgeon Chain (Pillar, Snipe, Cattail, Shoveler, Hourglass, Sago and Widgeon). These walk-in lakes are consistent producers of quality trout and are popular destinations for fly anglers looking for a quiet day in a beautiful setting.
Salmon and steelhead
Tuesday marks the opening of the fall salmon sport fishery in the Hanford Reach area of the Columbia River. From the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco/Kennewick upstream to boundary markers 650 feet below the fish ladder at Priest Rapids Dam, the daily limit will be six salmon but no more than two adults. Anglers can harvest both hatchery and wild fall chinook and coho.
Friends who have been fishing Long Lake between Willow Bay and Tum Tum say they have had some excellent days, sometimes catching numerous 18- to 21-inch walleye as well as some large perch and an occasional large crappie. They were most enthusiastic about the bass fishing, however, telling me they have been catching many 2- to 4-pound smallmouth and a few big largemouth. All the fish taken recently, including the perch and crappie, have hit 4-inch Shad Raps.
Smallmouth bass are biting throughout the Snake River system. The fish are deeper than a month ago, but some anglers are having a lot of success deep-trolling walleye bottom-bouncers with a crawdad-imitating crankbait around the cliffs.
August is probably the best time to find a mess of walleye on Pend Oreille. Many Lake Pend Oreille walleye have moved up the Clark Fork River and can be found from the Clark Fork Delta upstream to the Avista Boat Launch along Highway 200. A jet boat is recommended when fishing the upper portion of the Clark Fork River, as flow below Cabinet Gorge Dam can fluctuate rapidly in a matter of minutes, creating navigational hazards. The number of acoustic tagged fish detected in Kootenai Bay, Oden Bay and off of Sunnyside has decreased slightly since early June, but a high proportion of fish are still in those areas along the north shoreline. The number of tagged walleye near the bridges has remained steady, too, but many of these fish are new to the area or have been active along other parts of the lake’s north shore over the past two weeks.
Night fishermen were taking some huge (14-plus pounds) channel catfish from Potholes Reservoir this week in 2-10 feet of water.
Coastal lingcod fishing remains open daily through Oct. 15. The western Strait from the Sekiu River mouth west to the Bonilla-Tatoosh border is open through Oct. 15 for lingcod and open year-round for certain rockfish species and cabezon.
Jetties at Westport, Ocean Shores and Cape Disappointment near Ilwaco offer opportunities to fish that require minimal gear.
Ilwaco (Marine Area 1) and Westport-Ocean Shores (Marine Area 2) areas will open to all-depth halibut fishing on Aug. 19, Aug. 25, Aug. 28, Sept. 3-4 and Sept. 23.
The halibut season at Neah Bay and La Push (Marine Areas 3 and 4) will open on Thursday, five days per week, Thursday through Monday.
Starting on Sept. 6, Neah Bay and La Push will be open seven days per week. Puget Sound (Marine Areas 5 to 10) will reopen daily from Thursday through Sept. 30 or when the quota is taken.
Contact Alan Liere at firstname.lastname@example.org
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