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

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for Oct. 20

Oct. 19, 2022 Updated Wed., Oct. 19, 2022 at 7:54 p.m.

By Alan Liere For The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

Fishing reports remain good on area rivers. Mahoganies, October caddis, BWOs, fall caddis and terrestrials are still producing. Morning hours will be nymphing or streamer fishing. Slower, deeper pools become more important as the rivers cools off.

Trout and kokanee

Idaho Fish and Game is inviting anglers to participate in an Angler Science Program in which they work together to gather information that will help IDFG manage the trophy rainbow trout fishery on Lake Pend Oreille, mainly by completing logbooks and reporting tagged fish. Anglers who opt to participate will record information while fishing for rainbow trout on Lake Pend Oreille during two time periods that coincide with local fishing derbies. These are Nov. 2-6, during the Lake Pend Oreille Anglers’ Club’s Fall Derby, and Nov. 19-27, during the club’s Thanksgiving Derby. There will be a free raffle associated with each time period for participants who submit their logbooks by Dec. 10. Logbooks will be included with the purchase of all derby tickets. For those not participating in a derby, free logbooks can be picked up at the Panhandle Regional office at 2885 W. Kathleen Ave. in Coeur d’Alene. Contact the Panhandle Regional office at (208) 769-1414 for questions to learn more about the Angler Science Program on Lake Pend Oreille.

Rainbow fishing on Lake Roosevelt is improving as the water cools. Trollers are finding fish in the top 20 feet of water, and bank anglers are floating Power Bait off the bottom with a slip sinker in the bays. Most of the fish are around 15 inches long.

Many local lakes will see end-of-the-month closures, but there are still a lot of fishing options. Some of these are Amber (catch and release only), Diamond, Sacheen, Waitts, Silver, Eloika, Newman, Bonnie and Bead.

Salmon and steelhead

Steelheading on area rivers has perked up this past week with more consistent catch rates. Fish size has been good in the Grande Ronde system. On the Clearwater, B-run fish are pouring in. Anglers during the harvest season, which ended Friday, took home some brutes. The Clearwater is in its catch and release season. River traffic has diminished, but the fish are still coming. The harvest season reopens Nov. 10.

Spiny ray

At MarDon Resort on Potholes Reservoir, Pete Fisher said it’s a great time to fish the reservoir for a variety of species. He said the fish are feeding up – getting ready for winter. For walleye, fish 6 to 20 feet of water on the face of the dunes, but expect to catch perch and bluegill, too. Although the water is up, the walleyes are still on the same structure as they were last month. Everyone seems to be catching walleye, mostly in the 14- to 16-inch range. Fisher also said this is the time to get out the blade baits and start jigging.

Other species

Channel Cat fishing has been pretty good on Potholes Reservoir with the best fishing at night in 5-15 feet of water. Fish the face of the dunes where the main flows come in from the sand dunes, around Frenchman’s Wasteway and in Lind Coulee.


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife collected just over 50 samples from deer at eight check stations in Region 1 following Saturday’s general deer opener. At least three of these were destined for the taxidermist and were not biopsied. From all the check stations, over 200 hunters were checked. Volume varied based on location of the check station. The Republic, Deer Park, Walla Walla and Clarkston areas probably had the most hunters visit the check station, and a handful of individuals stopped with their roadkill-salvaged deer and elk for sampling. Also checked were a harvested bighorn sheep and a moose.

Idaho hunters should expect good elk hunting this fall. Numbers remain strong in the Panhandle with Units 1, 4, 5 and 6 being among the 10 top elk units in the state by harvest. Calf survival has remained good (above 80%) the past two winters and hunters should see plenty of spike elk and other elk available for harvest. In the Clearwater region, elk densities continue to remain relatively low in the Lolo, Selway and Hells Canyon zones. Populations appear to be relatively stable in the Palouse zone, and harvest numbers have remained consistent in recent years. Elk City surveys showed an increase in elk herds.

Waterfowl season are in progress in all of Idaho, as Area 1 opened Wednesday. For some parts of the state, including most of the Southwest Region, seasons for white-fronted geese and light geese (including Blue, Ross’ and Snow Geese) start later than duck and Canada goose seasons, allowing for late-season hunting opportunities. In Washington, duck hunters were generally foiled by windless, blue bird weather, but some good goose hunting was reported from guides in the Columbia Basin. The season closes for two days after Saturday, then reopens from Wednesday until Jan. 29.

Waterfowl hunters – particularly dog owners and falconers – should be aware of the potential risks associated with another suspected surge of high pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in waterfowl populations. Hunters should remain vigilant when handling birds and use proper personal protective equipment when cleaning them. This strain of influenza can also be contracted by turkey, quail, pheasants and grouse.

The Washington State general pheasant season begins Saturday. Hunters hope birds that were unidentifiable as cock or hen a month ago will have more color. There seems to be a better population of pheasants in the Palouse than last year. Many hens lost their broods during the wet spring, but when these birds renested, there was excellent cover and lots of insects.

Contact Alan Liere at

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