The Spokane River is one of the top late-fall fisheries in the region. Blue-winged olive mayflies have been out midday and fish are keying on them.
Silver Bow Fly Shop said nymphing and streamer fishing remain the main tactics, although soft hackles are getting some attention.
The North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River is back on the drop. It will be a nymphing and streamer game. For best results, stick to the slower, deeper water in lower stretches of the drainage.
Amber Lake has rainbow and cutthroat trout to 20 inches and better, and is a good choice this time of year. Anglers are allowed to harvest one trout of at least 18 inches daily until Nov. 30. Nymphs and streamers have worked well recently. Most of the action has been at the north end of the lake.
The Grande Ronde, Snake and Clearwater rivers are dropping and back to being a viable fly-fishing option. Silver Bow said it will be a sink-tip game for swingers with leech or marabou types of flies, and that something flashy would be a good idea. A stonefly and egg combo is tough to beat this time of the year.
Dry Falls, Lenice, Nunnally and Lake Lenore will have some decent trout fishing until they close at the end of November. Some good fishing reports have come from Rocky Ford. Chironomids, midge pupa and scud rigs have been productive.
The Clark Fork near St. Regis has been good. Nymphing with perdigons and Spanish Bullets during the first half of the day before any hatches has been good.
Salmon and steelhead
Chinook salmon are caught on Lake Chelan year-round, but this is one of the better times to try for them. These are some of the best-tasting fish you’ll eat.
Trout and kokanee
Instead of heading to the malls for Black Friday shopping after Thanksgiving this year, gather your family and have some fun fishing.
The following lakes on the East Side have been stocked with fry plants in recent years and promise great fishing for Black Friday: Hatch in Stevens County; Fourth of July in Lincoln/Adams counties; and Hog Canyon in Spokane County. Visit WDFW’s lowland lakes page for more information on these and hundreds of other lakes throughout the state.
Lake Roosevelt anglers are not finding many kokanee, but the trout fishing is picking up. A report from the downstream side of Seven Bays reported limits of 17- to 20-inch fish taken on hoochies in the top 30 feet of water.
Another successful trip was reported by anglers trolling perch Kekeda flies on about three colors of leaded line, and anglers fishing from shore at Hawk Creek are catching fish on bait. Roosevelt trout generally move closer to the shoreline as winter progresses.
Diamond Lake doesn’t see many anglers in November, but it has a healthy population of rainbow trout. Try trolling and Apex or Old Goat lure tipped with a piece of worm. Waitts, Sprague and Curlew lakes are also good for early winter rainbow without the crowds.
Priest Lake mackinaw fishermen are jigging or drop-shotting deep off the humps and the points in bays. Pinto Point or Cavanaugh bays will have fish. Glow-in-the dark hoochies will get you fish, but big Berkley Minnows are also effective.
Walleye anglers fishing the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt have had some phenomenal days on fish running 16 inches and better as well as some decent-sized burbot. Blade baits have been the ticket. Rufus Woods has been good at times for walleye, and so has Banks.
Banks Lake smallmouth are gorging for winter. Fishing has been fast along the weed lines. Crawdad-colored imitations seem to be preferred.
The Idaho Chain Lakes, particularly Killarney, have been good for pike. They won’t be as large as those in Hayden, however, which also has pike action in November.
Potholes Reservoir has been on and off for walleye fishermen, but some dandy channel catfish are coming in, many over 9 pounds.
I finally got out pheasant hunting on my new knee, walking maybe 3 miles. I managed to miss a rooster my dog pointed 3 feet from the toes of my boots, but my friend Steve didn’t blow his lone opportunity. There weren’t a lot of birds where we hunted, but the dogs didn’t seem to mind, and I was grateful to be somewhat mobile again. I’ll try it again this week and try to keep my head down when that big rooster comes boiling out of the hemlock.
Few northern ducks have made an appearance in Washington or Idaho. There are lots of geese in the Tri-Cities and Moses Lake area.
The modern firearm late buck seasons ends at 4:40 p.m. Sunday. This season’s success rate was similar to last year, but still way down in most of Unit 124 due to the blue tongue outbreak two years ago. While waiting for a buck, my son and I have seen coyotes, a herd of elk and hundreds of turkeys.
A friend has had fair luck hunting grouse without a dog by walking logging roads in Pend Oreille County. He is hunting down low, so his birds have all been ruffed grouse.
If you shoot a turkey this week in Washington or Idaho, pluck it and let it hang for two or three days – guts in or guts out. Then soak it for 24 hours or more in a brine of salt water, sugar and bay leaves.
By Thanksgiving, it will be ready to cook. Rinse in cold water, dry, and bake it an hour or more less than you would a Butterball from the grocery store. The legs will still be stringy, but the breast meat will be excellent.
Contact Alan Liere at firstname.lastname@example.org