Conditions on popular fly fishing rivers have not changed, and neither has the trout fishing. Fish the riffles, faster slots, shade, boulder runs and the head of runs. Run droppers under your hoppers/Chernobyls. Try Euro or nymph rigs through faster slots for bigger fish.
Trout and kokanee
Walleye anglers have been catching quite a few rainbow trout on spinners and bottom bouncers in the vicinity of Porcupine Bay on Lake Roosevelt. Other more traditional methods are working as well.
Fernan Lake near downtown Coeur d’Alene will be stocked with an additional 350 rainbow trout in September. Good fishing will be available from floating docks, along miles of shoreline or from boats. Campbells Pond in the Clearwater district will receive 1,000 rainbow. Good fishing can be had from the bank with several docks, including one handicap-accessible dock. Fenn Pond will also receive 1,000 rainbow. It has a boardwalk and fishing dock.
As of last Friday night, the kokanee at Loon Lake had not shown much indication that the spawn is imminent. That can change quickly, but even when the fish begin to lose their shine as they absorb their scales, the flesh should remain good well into September. A son and his friend fished the west side of the lake Friday night, catching 10 big kokanee and rescuing a stranded pontoon boat with a dead battery.
Salmon and steelhead
Salmon have been open on the Snake River since Aug. 18. There are a lot of fish passing the fish-counting window at Lower Granite Dam, but anglers should realize that broodstock is collected at a fish trap located on Lower Granite Dam’s fish ladder upstream (after) the fish-counting window. That means that not all fish you see counted at the window will make it past Lower Granite Dam. To get a close approximation of how many adult fish are making it past Lower Granite Dam, take the daily window count and subtract out 60% of the adult run. After Tuesday, subtract out 18% of the run.
The Columbia River’s Buoy 10 fishery is closed for chinook salmon retention. With catch and impact rates significantly higher than expected, the fishery has switched to hatchery coho only.
Chinook retention remains open on portions of the Columbia River upstream of the west end of Puget Island. Anglers are encouraged to review the 2022-23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for the regulations on the specific section of river they hope to fish, and check for potential emergency rule updates to this and other fisheries before heading out.
Salmon anglers at Westport (Marine Area 2) are allowed to retain all coho. This should increase the quality of the fishery and allow anglers to attain their daily coho limits faster, while also decreasing the impact of releasing more chinook and wild coho than anticipated. Neah Bay, La Push and Ilwaco (Marine Areas 4, 3 and 1) will remain open as a marked selective fishery for coho.
Anglers are still catching sockeye from the Brewster Pool, and chinook anglers are also doing fairly well.
At Fins and Feathers in Coeur d’Alene, the chinook report is dismal for the big lake – the worst in memory. The few large fish once available are out of the lake as they go upriver to spawn, and those that remain are mostly shakers. It is probably the lack of chinook that has allowed the kokanee population to boom, and though there are a lot of them, the majority are only 7-8 inches long.
Two sons fished out of Boyer Park on the Snake River this week, catching several 2-pound-plus smallmouth on small Rapalas, They noted many large crawdads in the river. Smallmouth fishing has been good at many spots on the Snake, including the stretch along State Route 128 between Wawawai Canyon and Clarkston where good fishing can be had from shore.
Smallmouth bass are also biting in 18-30 feet of water on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Fish points, docks and rocky shorelines.
The water temperatures on Potholes Reservoir are in the upper 70s, and those in the sand dunes are in the mid-80s. With the low water level, use caution when running the face of the sand dunes and the rocky area between Goose Island and the face of the dam. As the water drops, baitfish and bigger fish will migrate out of the sand dunes and post up on the face of the dunes. Troll a No. 5 Flicker Shad in 4-12 feet of water for a variety of species. Fish the face of the sand dunes and Lind Coulee for panfish. There have been some nice catches of 9- to 11-inch perch.
Washington hunters should pay special attention to the following items for the upcoming season:
Wildfire impacts: Some hunting opportunities may be affected by emergency land closures. Check out WDFW’s wildfire webpage
- before heading out.
- Black bear identification test: Hunters who wish to harvest a bear in certain GMUs must first pass the bear identification test (through the
- ) with a score of 80% or better.
- Youth pheasant hunting: On Sept. 17–18, Washington youth-only hunting days are open.
- Mourning doves open Thursday throughout Washington and Idaho. As usual, the cooler mornings have sent many local birds packing, but this should increase success elsewhere. The Snake River breaks are always a good bet. Though dove populations appear to be down locally, you’ll find birds if you drive south. The wine/fruit country around Yakima and Wenatchee have some of the larger concentrations.
- Idaho forest grouse season began Tuesday, but you’ll have to wait a couple of more weeks to hunt grouse in Washington. Grouse populations are similar to those of last season.
Contact Alan Liere at firstname.lastname@example.org
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