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

Alan Liere’s hunting and fishing report for Nov. 2

By Alan Liere The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

Cold temperatures last weekend didn’t keep their guide crew from good fishing on the Spokane River, Silver Bow Fly Shop said. Nymphing has been the mainstay as usual. Streamers fished a little slower and deeper are good all fall.

The St. Joe River is showing some ice, but with rain in the forecast, there may be a short window of opportunity for fishing before winter sets in.

Swinging on the Grande Ronde at the mouth was good over the weekend for steelhead. Whether you fish the Grande Ronde, Snake or Clearwater swinging with sink-tips and leeches, marabou or intruder patterns will be the way to go. Nymphing will be the best tactic in slower currents. A big stone nymph with an attractor nymph, egg or bead below is the best.

Most Montana Rivers are nearing the tail end of fall fishing, but some good reports have come from the Bitterroot, Blackfoot and Rock Creek. Put your streamer deep for some of the big prespawn brown trout.

Salmon and steelhead

Icicle River coho are finally showing up. The fish are dark in appearance, but their flesh is still dark red. The expected rain for the next few days should move more coho into the upper Icicle.

Trout and Kokanee

Mackinaw fishing on Lake Chelan has been good for mostly 2- to 5-pound fish off Mack Bar – straight out from the Mill Bay launch. A U-20 Flatfish in glow patterns has been good just off the bottom.

Lake Roosevelt trollers are catching 15-to 20-inch rainbow in the top 10 feet of water from Swawilla Basin to the San Poil Arm. Most fish are holding over deep water, so bank fishing is not productive . According to a friend, a good bite is developing for trollers at Keller for trout more than a foot long. He said fast limits came in the morning.

Trout fishing has been decent on Banks Lake, and the smallmouth bass are still hitting. A friend took one weighing more than 5 pounds last week. Another destination for trout and smallmouth bass is Moses Lake.

Spiny ray

Jigs and blade baits are taking walleye on main bay points and flats on Lake Roosevelt in and around Porcupine Bay. Some good catches of burbot are also being reported.

Some anglers are finding big schools of hefty perch on Moses Lake, but you have to look for them as they are not concentrated around the I-90 Bridge as they sometimes are in the spring. Look for weeds and fish the pockets.

Curlew Lake perch are biting in 25 feet of water. The water around the island just out from the state park is a good place to start. Most of these perch are 9 inches and better. Diamond, Sacheen and Long lakes are also kicking out good perch catches. Long Lake, especially, has yielded catches of perch more than a foot in length.

You can still catch northern pike on Lake Coeur d’Alene by throwing spoons near the live weed edges. The smallmouth are scattered and deep, but the largemouth are schooling up.

Other species

Channel catfish are being caught on the face of the sand dunes and around Goose Island on Potholes Reservoir. Some 20-pound fish are being taken.

The whitefish season opened Wednesday on the Kettle River in Ferry and Stevens counties. Catch limit is 15. The white sturgeon fishery in Lake Roosevelt runs through Nov. 30.

Sturgeon must be between 53 and 63 inches to be kept. One can be harvested per day, with an annual limit of two fish.

The fall clam season on Washington beaches has been a success with lots of big clams. Tentative dates and open beaches for early November are as follows:

•Nov. 12, 5:53 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Mocrocks

•Nov. 13, 6:30 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

•Nov. 14, 7:09 p.m.; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

•Nov. 15, 7:51 p.m.; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

Squid (known on the dinner menu as calamari) journey from the Strait of Juan de Fuca late each fall and make their way down Puget Sound. By winter, good numbers can be found at various fishing piers and docks from Edmonds all the way down to Tacoma and South Sound.

Access is easy, the sport is a friendly communal event (no boat necessary) and the results of a night’s fishing can provide some good eating. Details for getting started in this fun, different winter fishing experience can be found on WDFW’s website.


The late white-tail modern firearm deer season for Washington hunters begins Nov. 11 and runs through Nov. 19 in select units.

Elk seasons are more diverse and should be viewed on pages 48-50 in the Washington Big Game Hunting Regulations pamphlet.

Contact Alan Liere at