Nymphing has been best on the Spokane River, but streamers will also draw some strikes. Get your flies deep and keep them there, and if streamer fishing, keep them moving slowly. Silver Bow Fly Shop recommends stonefly nymphs, hot beaded nymphs (jigged or not), San Juans and Squirmies. Streamers can consist of Sparkle Minnows, Conehead Buggers, Sculpins and leech types.
Open water fishing
Lake Roosevelt trollers report good fishing for big trout (17-24 inches) all over the reservoir … on most days. There are times, though, when you can’t buy a bite. The action has been most consistent in depths from 15 to 35 feet.
Whether you’re using flies, Apexes, Old Goat Lures or hoochies, stick with oranges, pinks or chartreuse. Bank fishermen are also doing well with worms and marshmallows or orange Power Bait.
A friend caught several rainbow and a 21-inch kokanee while trolling near Spring Canyon this week with a K-fly near the surface. The next day, in the same spot, he didn’t get a hit.
Jigs and blade baits are taking keeper walleye in the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt. Early is best, especially if there is a good water flow coming out of Little Falls Dam. A few large female walleyes have been reported.
Fishing for rainbow and brown trout from a boat remains good at Rock Lake in Whitman County. Bank anglers at the access are catching mostly rainbows.
Rufus Woods was good for three friends this week. Their two-fish limits of triploid rainbow consisted of mostly 3-pound fish, but also included one 9-pounder.
Ice fishing, Washington
Ice is good at Sacheen Lake, but the perch are small. Gillette ice is also good, and a friend who fished there while I was watching football last weekend said there was a good trout bite for fish suspended at 25 feet. The perch, however, were not cooperating.
Fishing near the public access at Newman Lake has been fair for spiny ray. Waitts remains good for trout in front of the public access. Eloika has been decent for a variety of spiny ray near the access and north of the old Jerry’s Landing. There is usually a flurry of action early and again beginning around 4 p.m.
Ice fishermen are still catching trout from Fourth of July Lake. There have been some big rainbow taken, but a lot of them are this year’s plants and only about 9 or 10 inches. Often, these fish are released, but because they were caught using some kind of bait (including worms, marshmallows, Power Bait or even attractant scents) released fish must be counted against the typical daily limit of five. Judging from videos I have seen lately, some anglers do not know this.
Curlew Lake perch anglers are finding a decent bite mornings and again in the late afternoon. Thirty to 45 feet of water seems to be where most of the fish are schooled on the bottom. Suspended trout have also been caught. The water in front of the state park hasn’t yielded much.
Patterson Lake in the Okanogan is giving up fair numbers of rainbow trout to 16 inches. The perch bite hasn’t taken off yet. Palmer Lake ice was a little iffy earlier in the week, but there were anglers on it. You can catch almost anything from Palmer – from kokanee to burbot. Ice fishing on Chelan County’s Fish Lake is good for perch and rainbow trout.
Ice fisherman are taking a variety of fish – mostly perch, but also some walleye, trout and catfish from Lind Coulee. Some of the seep lakes around Potholes Reservoir have some good trout fishing.
Ice fishing, Idaho
Cocolalla ice is still a good 7 inches, and the perch bite, while slow, is still providing some action. Round Lake ice is also good. Anglers are catching trout, perch and a few crappie at about 25 feet. The bite is early.
Granite Lake ice is holding up well. Rainbow trout are suspended less than 10 feet below the ice and providing action on 11- to 13-inch fish.
Gamble Lake fishing is generally slow, but it has some big perch and bass. Blue Lake (by Priest River) also has some good-sized perch.
Mirror Lake kokanee are biting, but fishing is definitely not fast. Most of the fish are around 7 inches long.
WDFW has approved a six-day razor clam dig during evening low tides beginning Friday and running through Feb. 3. “We have had some really good digging opportunity to start the new year and are excited to be able to finish out January on some really good minus tides,” said Zach Forster, a WDFW coastal shellfish biologist.
Fishing for white sturgeon has been extended through the end of February on the stretch of Columbia River between The Dalles Dam and John Day Dam – commonly known as The Dalles Pool. The sturgeon fishery in the Bonneville Pool (between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam) will close beginning Sunday. Catch rates at Bonneville Pool had picked up recently, according to Laura Heironimus, sturgeon lead with the WDFW. As of Sunday, 471 legal-sized sturgeon had been retained from the 675-fish guideline, representing about 70% of the total. In The Dalles Pool, 60 legal-sized sturgeon had been retained from the 190-fish guideline. That fishery is expected to remain open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays through Feb. 28, or until the guideline is met.
Waterfowl hunting in Washington ends after Monday, but the white goose season (snows, blues and Ross’) commences every day Feb. 12 through March 2 in Area 4 and Feb. 12 through 22 in Area 1.
There are also openings on select dates in Area 2.
The season for snowshoe hares and cottontails runs through March 15 in Washington. In Idaho, red squirrels and both species of rabbits may be hunted through March 31.
Contact Alan Liere at email@example.com
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