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

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for June 2

By Alan Liere For The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

Silver Bow Fly Shops said there have been good reports from the Memorial Day weekend. Rivers are still up, but soft currents away from the main flows hold fish, and you don’t need a boat because most of the good water is near the shore.

The Spokane River is high, so use extreme caution. Caddis are out around 6 p.m. until dark and a few salmonflies are lingering around.

Friends and I made the 2,200-mile round trip from Spokane to Devils Lake in North Dakota last week, fishing six days for walleye, northern pike and white bass. We passed and crossed over many potential fly fishing waters on the trip, but all were high and muddy. For now, you’re better off fishing the local lakes.

Trout and kokanee

Rock Lake trout, mostly rainbow, have been running around 16 inches. The bite has been good for trollers.

Near Moses Lake, trout fishermen continue to do well in the Seep Lakes. The Hampton Lakes are producing quality and quantity rainbow trout and Warden Lake has been productive as well. The Pillar–Widgeon Chain is producing some 3- to 5-pound trout.

Trout fishing on the Potholes Reservoir has been good this week. Several reports of 3– to 5-pound fish have come in. Troll along Medicare Beach and in front of the state park.

By this time last year, friends and I were taking limits of 10-inch Loon Lake kokanee by still-fishing with Glo Hooks and maggots at night. This spring’s inclement weather has made the thought of sitting on the lake in the dark less than appealing, but daytime trollers are taking some kokanee that are much larger than they usually are this time of year. Whether that is an indication of good fortune or a smaller population of fish remains to be seen. When we get a couple of days of stable weather, I’ll be on the water even if I need a heavy coat.

Salmon and steelhead

The migration of Idaho-bound spring chinook salmon past Bonneville Dam is about complete. It has been the best run since 2015, and the third best when compared to the past 10 years.

On June 16, the Hanford Reach summer salmon fishery opens from Columbia Point to the I-182 Bridge at Richland for bank fishing with hand-casted lines from shore on the Richland side of the river. It is closed to angling from a vessel and to fishing from shore on the Pasco side. From the Interstate-182 Bridge at Richland upstream to Priest Rapids Dam, the chinook season will be open June 16 through June 30. Night closures are in effect for salmon.

Lower Columbia River salmon and steelhead seasons begin sometime between “immediately” and June 16, and some are already over. Check the “Fishing in Washington” rules pamphlet for details. The Region 5 contact is (360) 696-6211; Region 3 contact is (509) 575-2740.

Marine Area 11 opened for hatchery chinook fishing on Wednesday. This is more than two weeks earlier compared to 2021, and prior to that, it had been closed in June since 2018.

Spiny ray

Walleye fishing has been good up the Spokane Arm on Lake Roosevelt. Most fish are coming from 15 to 35 feet of water. The spawn is about over, but a few large egg-filled hens are still being caught.

Long Lake is still giving up eater-size walleye in the vicinity of Willow Bay. Smallmouth bass are also hitting up and down the reservoir, but the crappie bite has not really materialized. The shallow water weeds that usually hold fish are not yet showing.

Crappie anglers who did so well at Eloika Lake the past two years have been frustrated this year by the sporadic bite. The numerous crappie beds that are usually evident on the east side of the lake are not there this year. Whether this has to do with the cold spring or a downward cycle has not been determined. Largemouth bass fishing at Eloika, however, has been good, and it is also improving at Silver and Clear lakes.

Largemouth bass fishing has been good in Grant County’s Potholes Reservoir. Five-inch wacky-rigged Senkos and white spinnerbaits have been effective. The rock piles between Goose Island and the face of the dam have been producing decent smallmouth on Norisada blade baits, tubes, crankbaits and Senkos. Fish the sand dune weed lines for postspawn walleye. Look for spawning bluegill on shallow flats in the dunes. Look for the crappies close to and in the willows.

Smallmouth bass are hitting aggressively along the rocks on the Snake and Columbia rivers, and also on Lake Roosevelt and at Banks. Tube jigs have been a favorite for years on these waters, but a crawdad imitation plug is also a deadly fish-getter.

Other species

By the end of May, about 56,000 shad had passed over Bonneville Dam. There are millions more waiting in the wings, but impatient anglers are having some success tossing shad darts into strong currents.

Hunting

Controlled hunts are a chance at some of Idaho’s best buck and bull hunts, antlerless hunts, extra hunting opportunity or tags set aside for youth hunters.

The application period for fall 2022 deer, elk, pronghorn, fall black bear and fall turkey controlled hunts ends Sunday.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@yahoo.com

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