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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for March 30

By Alan Liere For The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

Upper and Lower Twin lakes near Harrington will be a good place to kick off your spring fly fishing. Try Wooly Buggers, sizes 12-16 in black, brown or olive fished on a sinking or intermediate line, depending on the depth. Leaches, Bionic Worms and chironomid pupa imitations would be effective on long leaders under a strike indicator.

The lower North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River is at a good level, and warmer temperatures this week should improve bug activity.

The lower St. Joe generally lags a little behind the North Fork Coeur d’Alene by a couple of weeks, but fishing is picking up, Silver Bow Fly Shop said. This is also a nymph/streamer fishery. The lower Clark Fork River near St. Regis is also a good option. It is a nymphing game before things warm up midday.

Coffeepot, Amber, Medical and Liberty lakes are all good early season lakes to fish. Chironomids, blobs and balanced leeches are all on the menu.

Trout and kokanee

Several Idaho Panhandle lakes and ponds will receive rainbow trout plants in April. These are: Cocolalla, 6,600 trout; Fernan, 10,000 trout; Gene Day Pond, 1,000 trout; Jewel, 2,700 trout; Kelso, 2,500 trout; Post Falls Park Pond, 2,000 rainbow trout; and Spicer Pond, 1,000 trout.

Rock Lake, Rufus Woods Reservoir and Lake Roosevelt are all fishing well for trout. Rock has some big rainbow and bigger browns, Rufus has some huge triploid rainbow, and Lake Roosevelt trout are running 18 to 22 inches. All three lakes produce fish that make excellent table fare. If I were only allowed one lure for all three lakes, I’d choose a black marabou jig.

Salmon and steelhead

Idaho Fish and Game Commission has set the 2023 spring chinook salmon fishing seasons for the Clearwater, Salmon and Snake rivers to open on April 22. The preseason forecast is for 49,291 hatchery adults to return to Lower Granite Dam. Fishing will be open seven days per week on the main Clearwater, South Fork Clearwater and Middle Fork Clearwater rivers, Salmon and Little Salmon rivers, and in the Snake River. Fishing will be open four days per week (Thursday through Sundays) on the North Fork of the Clearwater River.

Spiny ray

Walleye fishing has been good on Potholes Reservoir. They are being caught on blade baits, swim baits and jigs in 28-40 feet of water. Drop shotting and Slow Death rigs with a bottom walker and a crawler are also picking up fish. Largemouth bass have moved into the sand dunes and are being caught on black jigs, swim jigs, chatter baits and lipless crankbaits.

Walleye fishing has also been good in the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt and some big smallmouth have also been taken. Walleye anglers are dragging bottom bouncers and spinners tipped with half a nightcrawler from Porcupine Bay up. Unfortunately, the launch at Porcupine Bay will most likely be out of the water soon as the lake level is projected to be at 1,243 above sea level by Monday. When this occurs, the next-closest launch will be at Seven Bays, a fairly long run.

Other species

“Domoic acid toxicity is below closure levels coast wide in Washington,” said Bryce Blumenthal, a WDFW coastal shellfish biologist. “We still have plenty of harvestable nice-sized razor clams on all beaches for some great digging during the first daylight low tides opportunities of spring.” Morning digs on low tides will be April 6, 8, 10, 12, 19, 21, 23 and 25 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks. On April 7, 9, 11, 20, 22 and 24, morning digs will be at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Copalis.

Fishing for Pacific halibut will open in some Puget Sound areas on April 6, while coastal Marine Areas open May 4. Anglers who want to fish for halibut must purchase a catch record card by visiting or calling (360) 902-2464.


The spring turkey youth season In Washington is Saturday through April 7 and the general season is April 15-May 31. “Washington turkeys continue to do well, providing hunters with good opportunity and high success rates,” said Sarah Garrison, WDFW small game specialist.

In Idaho, despite a heavy winter, Fish and Game biologists are optimistic about expectations for this year’s spring turkey hunt. Youth turkey season is April 8, and the general turkey season and many controlled hunts open April 15.

In the Panhandle, hunters will find the highest concentrations of turkeys in the lower elevation in Units 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Hunters may also want to look toward the lower Priest River and lower Coeur d’Alene River drainages.

Contact Alan Liere at