Silver Bow Fly Shop said the Spokane River is one of the best fisheries in the late fall and into winter. Nymphing and streamer fishing have been most productive. Ultimately, the subsurface game is king .
The fishing on the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene and St. Joe is still going strong and should remain so for a while longer. Expect to be nymphing and streamer fishing especially in the morning hours. Dredging will be a must. Smaller flies will be more important for any surface feeders in the midday hours.
Nymphing and swinging wet flies are good choices for steelhead on the Grande Ronde. Stonefly nymphs are favorites year-round. The water is up and fishing has been fair to good.
On the Yakima, fishing typically heats up with small nymph and sculpin imitations as rainbows and cutthroat feed up before winter. Fishing has been good on the Yakima.
The Clark Fork could switch on with bad weather in the forecast. October caddis, mahoganies and BWOs have all been seen sporadically, and cloud cover will make dry fly fishing more consistent. Otherwise, streamer fishing on stormy days is a great option for getting chases from big fish.
Trout and kokanee
A Double Whammy with a nightcrawler has been effective for Lake Roosevelt trout from Hunters to Two Rivers. These fish range in two distinct size categories; 13-16 inches and 18-22 inches. A Muddler Minnow trolled 15-30 feet below the surface has also been good if tipped with a piece of nightcrawler.
The triploids planted at Rufus Woods Reservoir earlier this spring have put on weight and anglers can expect to catch 4- to 6-pound trout, with some being larger.
A friend who trolls for trout on Long Lake said the fish are running 13-24 inches. Troll outside the weed line with four colors of leaded line and a Wedding Ring tipped with worm. He also said the flesh of these fish is every bit as red as those in Lake Roosevelt.
Trout fishing on Moses Lake has been phenomenal all summer with fish running to 7 pounds. Though slowing down, some nice fish are being taken on Flicker Shads along Medicare Beach.
Salmon and steelhead
Clearwater B-Run steelhead are still hitting anglers’ jigs. Fish in the high teens are landed fairly regularly.
Most of the fall chinook salmon have passed through, but a few coho in good condition can still be found migrating through the Columbia River. The coho salmon are a late run and most are expected to arrive through December.
The lower section of the Hanford Reach (I-182 Bridge upstream to old Hanford townsite powerline) is scheduled to remain open through Dec. 31 to provide anglers the opportunity to target the late returning coho salmon to Ringold Springs Hatchery. The lower reach is open for Ringold Springs hatchery origin steelhead from the I-182 Bridge to old Hanford powerline crossing. The steelhead fishery will likely close early this fall due to low numbers as few fish have been counted at the hatchery to date.
Marine Area 11, except Commencement Bay, is open through Dec. 31 for chinook salmon, on Sundays through Wednesdays only. Daily limit is two. Up to one chinook salmon, minimum 22 inches, may be retained. Coho and wild chinook salmon must be released.
Fishing for coho and other salmon should remain strong on coastal, Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay rivers through November.
Bass and walleye fishing is still good on Potholes Reservoir. Pink smile blades with pink and purple beads and a Slow Death presentation with nightcrawlers were effective earlier in the week. Also try the face of the dunes and a few humps.
Walleye fishing has been generally slow at Lake Roosevelt.
Perch are biting at Fish Lake in Chelan County. The size does not rival those of Long Lake perch but are a respectable 8-9 inches.
The first movement of waterfowl spread out across Eastern and central Washington and North Idaho usually takes place after one night of a hard freeze, which could come at any time. The second and larger movement triggers the movement of the ‘northerns.’ It usually takes place in mid-November.
Columbia Basin waterfowlers report no new birds and complain the weather has been too nice for the local birds to cooperate. If you observe sick or dead birds while waterfowl hunting, report them using the survey link on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website. With the fall migration of wild birds underway, Washington is preparing for a potential uptick in highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) cases.
Modern firearm elk hunting runs through Saturday. All elk season dates can be found on the summary of elk hunting season’s web page. The best elk opportunities in the region tend to be in the southeast district of the Blue Mountains.
The best northeast elk hunting opportunities are in the Pend Oreille subherd area, which includes GMUs 113, 117, 121 and 111.
In recent years, Idaho Fish and Game has doubled the traditional number of pheasant stocking sites across the Gem State. They will stock over 30,000 pheasants across the 24 permitted areas, including 14 WMAs.
IDFG began selling returned nonresident, general-season big game tags Thursday, purchased on a first-come, first-served basis, at Fish and Game offices during normal business hours, at license vendors, online at GoOutdoorsIdaho.com, or by calling (800) 554-8685. A list of available tags is listed on the Nonresident License and Tag web page.
Contact Alan Liere at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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