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

Alan Liere’s hunting and fishing report for Nov. 23

By Alan Liere The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

The Spokane River remains a good option. Double nymph rigs and streamers will be most effective. Silver Bow Fly Shop said Blue Winged Olive mayflies have been out at midday and fish have been keyed on them. Double nymph rigs and streamers will also find fish down deep on the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River. Midday will be best.

Salmon and steelhead

Silver Bow Fly Shop said good reports came from the Grande Ronde last week. Water temperature is 38 degrees up around Boggan’s Oasis. The Snake and Clearwater rivers are also good options.

Trout and Kokanee

The winter lakes, Fourth of July and Hog Canyon, should provide good fishing for anglers skipping the Black Friday shopping madness and hitting the water instead. District 2 Fish Biologist Randy Osborne prefished both lakes last week and said the average size of Fourth of July rainbow was 17½ inches, ranging from 9½ inches to 22 inches. Osborne noted that the water was low and it would be all but impossible to launch a boat. Hog Canyon trout, Osborne said, were not as numerous as those at Fourth of July, but the boat launch was usable and the fish averaged 13 inches in length.

Up north, Williams Lake was rehabilitated this fall and will not be getting any fish until spring. Hatch should provide good trout fishing.

A friend tells me that Power Bait and marshmallows have been taking a lot of trout from shore at the Hunters launch on Lake Roosevelt. He said the best spot, which is at the west end by the net pens, can get crowded. Lake Roosevelt trout have been generally moving closer to shore, and shoreline anglers are also finding fish near the swimming area at Spring Canyon Park on Lake Roosevelt near Grand Coulee Dam, and at Brandt’s Landing, 6 miles up lake from the dam on Rufus Woods Reservoir.

The pull-outs at Tum Tum and other spots on Lake Spokane are attracting trout anglers throwing bait. There are smaller trout, but an average-size rainbow from Lake Spokane is 15 inches, and fish up to 18 inches are not unusual.

Finding a good kokanee bite on Lake Chelan is a matter of moving around until you find the right spot. If you aren’t having any luck above the Yacht Club or at the Blue Roofs, move across the lake and try Rocky Point. Moving can also mean the difference between 9-inch kokanee and those stretching 14 inches.

Spiny ray

Walleye fishing is fair to good on Potholes Reservoir. The fish are in 15-35 feet of water. Pete Fisher at MarDon Resort said now is the time to start jigging blade baits, Jigging Raps, Shadow Raps and plastics. Slow Death rigs are also producing.

Porcupine Bay is still the place to catch a bunch of Lake Roosevelt walleye. Spinners and nightcrawlers are accounting for a lot of the fish, but blade baits and jigs are also working. Quite a few burbot have being taken by walleye anglers.

Walleye fishing has been good on Banks Lake recently and fair on Rufus Woods Reservoir. The bigger fish on Banks have been taken deep at midlake with spinners and nightcrawlers.

Other species

Channel catfish are being caught on the face of the sand dunes and around Goose Island on Potholes Reservoir. Cut bait, Catfish Magic and chicken liver have worked best. Most fish are in the 8– to 12-pound range with several 20– to 30-pound fish coming in.


Huge flocks of Canada and snow geese having been using Pothole Reservoir and the surrounding fields. The snows are predictably difficult to decoy, but the Canadas have been a lot more cooperative. So far, there has been no big influx of northern mallards.

In North Idaho, the general pheasant season continues through the end of December. For questions regarding pheasant stocking in the Clearwater Region, contact Regional Wildlife Habitat Biologist, Samantha Spaulding at (208) 750-4225 or email

They aren’t as numerous as those in Idaho above Brownlee Reservoir, but there are pockets of chukars along the Snake River Breaks. A son found both chukars and quail on a recent trip to Wawawai Canyon. The quail were down low in the blackberries. Though he saw a huge flock of chukars crossing the road along the river, the chukars he shot were closer to the top. Happy hiking!

Has anyone seen a gray partridge this year? The last one I saw was two years before the fire in the Swanson Lake wildlife area. A recent drive through that huge piece of real estate (20,900 acres) found its recovery from the fire is slow and many of the lakes are dry.

Contact Alan Liere at