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

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for July 7

July 6, 2022 Updated Wed., July 6, 2022 at 5:29 p.m.

By Alan Liere For The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

July is starting off great for the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River, but it will be busy. Hatches have been plentiful with drakes, goldens, yellow sallies and PMDs making up the mix. It is fishing well top to bottom.

The St. Joe River is fishing well, Silver Bow Fly Shop said. Wade levels keep improving, hatches are good and the fish are looking up. Goldens, drakes, yellow sallies, PMDs and caddis are all on the menu.

The Spokane River is somewhat fishable again. Big dries with droppers, nymph rigs, Euro rigs – all are working. Water levels are dropping and more wade fishing opportunities will keep opening up.

Trout and kokanee

With the weather expected to settle again into a summer pattern this week, kokanee fishing should pick up at Loon Lake and the chunky Deer Lake rainbow should become active again. Trout at Waitts and Diamond lakes can be excellent for trollers dragging small flashers and flies.

The Seep Lakes south of Potholes Reservoir are fishing well for rainbow trout. Lake Chelan offers a nice mix of kokanee, lake trout and chinook salmon. Shore anglers at Lake Chelan can also do well catching cutthroat trout and smallmouth bass in the Manson and Chelan areas.

Several lowland lakes in the Okanogan area have been producing trout. 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.

Salmon and steelhead

With sockeye salmon returning to the Columbia River in numbers well above the preseason forecast, fishery managers have opened the season from the Astoria-Megler Bridge on the lower river to the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco. Daily limits increase from there to Chief Joseph Dam near Bridgeport on the upper river. The 2022 forecast for sockeye returning to the Columbia River has been upgraded to 426,000, more than double the preseason forecast. Sockeye fishing is also open on the Okanogan and Similkameen rivers in Okanogan County. For more information on the rules for the specific section of river where you plan to fish, visit WDFW’s emergency rules page. See the 2022-23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for permanent regulations for each section of river.

The most popular and productive places to catch summer chinook are the tailrace of Wanapum Dam, around the mouth of the Entiat and Chelan rivers, the tailrace of the Wells Dam, and Brewster Pool up to the city of Bridgeport. Other salmon fishing locations are around Wells Dam, but use caution because the dam spews out water creating turbulent sections and can rise and drop quickly. Most anglers fish from the west side near the outlet and intake for a hatchery chinook, and the eastern shoreline tends to be where the sockeye hang out. Bank anglers fish the Chelan County side. The peak timing of the chinook and sockeye runs coincides with the Brewster King Salmon Derby on Aug. 5-7.

Ilwaco, Westport and LaPush are open daily through Sept. 30 for chinook and hatchery coho. Neah Bay is closed for salmon fishing to preserve the remaining chinook quota so a reopening is possible later in the fishing season when more coho are present.

Central Puget Sound (Marine Area 10) is open daily for coho only through Wednesday and for hatchery chinook and coho beginning July 14. Fishing improved after a slow start in mid-June with a good number of resident coho in the 2- to 4-pound range caught off Jefferson Head, Kingston, Presidents Point, West Point south of Shilshole Bay and the east side of Bainbridge Island.

The Icicle River hatchery spring chinook retention season has been extended to one hour after official sunset on July 17.

Baker Lake opens for sockeye fishing on Saturday through Aug. 31 with the peak of the return occurring by mid-July.

Spiny ray

There are still plenty of $1,000 reward-tagged walleye swimming in the waters of the Lake Pend Oreille system and they are on the move and becoming more active along the northern shoreline of the lake. There are still plenty of walleye around the Highway 95 long bridge and the railroad bridge area near Sandpoint. The number of fish in Kootenai Bay, Oden Bay and Kootenai Point has increased substantially.

A Long Lake angler reported excellent fishing last week for walleye and jumbo perch by trolling a green smile blade with chartreuse beads in about 20 feet of water. Long Lake also has some good trout fishing that will improve as the water clears up.

Friends did well fishing for walleye in the China Bend area of Lake Roosevelt last week. Although white sturgeon are open in most of Lake Roosevelt, they are not open from China Bend upstream to the Canadian border.

Moses Lake and Potholes Reservoir have been good for walleye and smallmouth and largemouth bass. Several hike-in lakes just west of Potholes Reservoir are a decent choice for anglers in search of largemouth bass that don’t get a lot of pressure. Scooteney Reservoir, southeast of Othello, is producing a mix of perch and bass.

Other species

Fishing Spokane County’s Newman Lake for tiger muskie is heating up. Silver Lake in southwest Spokane County also has tiger muskie, and both lakes have crappie, bluegill and perch.

Shad anglers can expect fishing to remain decent even though the peak of the run has peaked. So far, more than 4.5 million shad have passed the Bonneville fish ladder compared to the 10-year average of 3.7-million shad. Look for shad along the rip-rap shoreline below Bonneville Dam, and from Washougal to Kalama. Shad prefer a swift current. Many are caught less than 15 to 30 feet from shore. Cast shad darts; red and white colored flies with a small hook; colored beads in red, bright orange or metallic silver or gold; small crappie-like jigs; or small wobbler type spoons or spinners.

Hunting

Capped Idaho elk zone tags go on sale Monday and Wednesday for Sawtooth Zone tags. To prevent disruption of public service and ensure fair and orderly sales of capped elk zone tags, Idaho Fish and Game will not allow camping at its Boise Headquarters Office, or Nampa and McCall Regional offices.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@yahoo.com

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