This is a good time of the year to hit the Kootenai River. It is one of the best fisheries in August due to the fact it is dam-controlled. Silver Bow Fly Shop said the river fishes well with hoppers or Chernobyls and droppers, and caddis and PMX-style patterns work well late evening. PMDs often hatch as well during this time of the year.
Fly fishermen have started swinging the lower Clearwater River for steelhead as there are usually a few early fish in the system by now.
Hoot-owl restrictions are going in place on Montana rivers. For more info: fwp.mt.gov/news/current-closures-restrictions/waterbody-closures
Trout and kokanee
More anglers are cooling off by trying for Loon Lake kokanee at night, especially on weekends. Tuesday night was the best fishing for two friends and me this season as we all had limits of hefty 12- to almost 14-inch fish by 11:15. The bite began just before 9 p.m. and was consistent the entire time. The best depth was 34 feet, where the fish were hugging the bottom. We used white Glo Hooks, which glowed green when charged with a light and tipped them with maggots. My son, Matthew, and a friend also caught limits of fish Saturday night.
Horseshoe Lake is giving up 9- to 10-inch kokanee to trollers just to the right of the public launch. Still fishing at night for kokanee is also an option at Horseshoe.
Anglers trolling a fly and flasher at about 30 feet are finding good rainbow action near Split Rock on Lake Roosevelt.
Priest Lake mackinaw anglers are drop-shotting plastics for fish running 4-6 pounds with an occasional larger fish in the mix. Trollers are doing fairly well dragging Flatfish near Outlet Bay and around the islands.
Salmon and steelhead
Fall chinook harvest opens Thursday in the Snake River through Oct. 31. From the mouth (Burbank to Pasco railroad bridge at Snake River mile 1.25) to Lower Granite dam, it will be open seven days a week with a daily limit of two adult hatchery chinook. From the downstream edge of the large power lines crossing the Snake River, approximately 3 miles below Clarkston upstream to the Oregon state line, it will also be open seven days a week with a daily limit of three adult chinook, clipped or unclipped.
Chinook salmon retention in south-central Puget Sound (Marine Area 11) has been suspended beginning through Sept. 30 after the WDFW fishery managers determined it was nearing the chinook harvest quota. At this time, coho fishing will remain open daily through the summer.
Walleye anglers are finding some nice fish in the Porcupine Bay area of Lake Roosevelt by casting jigs with swimbaits into the weeds and ripping them through. Trolling spinners has also been effective at times along the weed beds. The walleyes are feeding heavily on crawdads.
Deer Lake bass fishermen are finding largemouth and smallmouth bass by throwing plastics around the docks. Loon Lake anglers are having similar success along the docks.
Liberty Lake anglers are finding decent-sized perch, bluegills and smallmouth bass near the public access. The best fishing is late in the day. Diamond and Sacheen lakes perch anglers are also having their best luck in the evening. Silver Lake largemouth fishermen are finding their fish early – nothing huge, but respectable. The perch there are still small, but some decent-sized bluegill are taken across from the public access in the stumps.
Walleye fishing remains consistent rather than fast at Potholes Reservoir on the face of the dunes. At MarDon Resort, Pete Fisher recommends fishing between 4 and 18 feet with a Slow Death rig and a 1- to 2-ounce bottom walker and crawler on weed lines. Size 5 Flicker Shads are working as well when trolled on the face of the dunes. Get on the water early – well prior to first light. Fish the face of the sand dunes and Lind Coulee for panfish. Some big crappie and bluegill have been caught.
Curlew Lake perch are a little deeper but still hanging out in and around weed lines. Start exploring in about 20 feet of water. Trout fishing has also been good.
On Coeur d’Alene and Hayden lakes, anglers throwing plastics around docks are finding smallmouth early in the morning and in deeper water over sand flats as the day progresses.
Newman Lake has given up a few tiger muskies lately by anglers throwing bucktails and surface plugs.
Pike fishing in the Idaho Chain Lakes has been good for small fish, and crappie and bluegill are also biting. Coeur d’Alene pike fishing has been fair to good for anglers using in-line spinners and spinnerbaits in chartreuse or white. Fish the weed lines in about 15 feet of water. Fernan Lake, near Coeur d’Alene, is still producing trout, but more anglers are going after the big channel cats.
Contact Alan Liere at email@example.com
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