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

Alan Liere’s hunting and fishing report for Oct. 19

By Alan Liere The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

The St. Joe, the Spokane and the North Fork of the Clearwater and Kelly Creek are still fishing well. Nice weather will keep them plugging along. Pack some October caddis, mahogany duns, blue-winged olives and midges. Nymphs and streamers will be good in morning hours. Afternoons should be good for dry/dropper fishing and small dries for risers. The Kootenai River is also a good option.

Orvis fishing guides say fish are up eating mahoganies and blue wings on the Clark Fork River, adding that the Sparkle Minnow should be your first fly. Flash has been good, but go prepared with a few dulled-down, natural patterns like natural or grizzly dungeons or buggers/thin mints.

This is peak season for steelhead on the Grande Ronde, Snake and Clearwater rivers, Silver Bow Fly Shop said. Swing or bobber tactics are working. Conditions are prime and looking good for next week.

Trout and kokanee

Rock Lake was glassy smooth when I stopped by the public access Monday. Two anglers who had just pulled their boat out of the water had six 16-inch rainbow in their cooler. They said they tried both ends of the lake, but all their fish came on worm-tipped Wedding Rings within 500 yards of the access.

I spoke with Dave Browning of Kekeda Flies this week about what I perceived as a lack of fishing pressure and thus a lack of reports this fall on Lake Roosevelt rainbow fishing. Browning assured me there were still plenty of trout in Lake Roosevelt, but said that more wild fish were being caught than he can remember from years past. He and a friend had great fishing two weeks ago on the flats across from Lincoln, trolling orange or green Kekada flies, but the majority, he said, were wild. All were shallow.

This is the best time for big Pend Oreille Kamloops. A lot of 12- to 15-pounders and a few 20-pounders have been showing lately as the fish begin moving up to the surface. Planer boards and flies are taking some good-sized fish right on top, and Apex lures will find them at about 30 feet.

Coeur d’Alene kokanee are getting a little dark, but the flesh is reported to still be OK. Some of the better fishing has been in the Wolf Lodge area in 40 to 50 feet of water.

Lake Chelan kokanee anglers are taking limits in the lower basin, and a lot of them are 14 inches long.

Omak Lake on the Colville Indian Reservation Lake has abundant Lahontan cutthroat that are typically 16 inches at the small end but get much larger, with a state record just over 18 pounds. It is not unusual to get 15 to 20 fish in a few hours of fishing in the fall.

Lake Bonaparte in Okanogan County has given up some huge tiger trout, and they are moving into shallower water. Small jerk baits, trolled flies and small spinners will bring strikes.

Spiny ray

Walleye fishing in the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt remains good for anglers jigging Shad Raps in the deeper holes. The fish are eating crawdad or perch-colored lures. Experts advise you rip them up and let them fall on a slack line.

Walleye and bass have been active on Potholes Reservoir this week. The walleye are in 10 to 30 feet of water on the humps in front of the sand dunes. Largemouth bass in the 2- to 4-pound range are fairly common. You’ll find them in 2 to 20 feet of water in the sand dunes as well as on the face of the sand dunes.

Largemouth bass are feeding actively in many lakes in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Newman, Silver, Liberty, Long, Sprague, Hauser, Hayden and Coeur d’Alene are but a few.

Some of the larger northern pike of the year are hitting spoons, cranks and spinnerbaits along the weed lines in Coeur d’Alene Lake. The Chain lakes have been good for smaller pike.


Washington’s general pheasant season begins Saturday. Young, uncolored birds encountered during the senior hunt in September have gained some color and are easier to identify. There seem to be more birds this year than last.

Quail and chukars are also in higher abundance than last year all along the Snake River breaks. Chukars will wear you out quickly, but you don’t need the stamina of a mountain goat to hunt quail which are usually closer to the river. If you are taking a dog with you, keep them out of the Snake River between Wawawai and Central Ferry, as the water is covered with a potentially fatal blue-green algae bloom.

Quail are also in good supply in the less steep Palouse country fringes and brush lines, and in sagebrush cover in Lincoln and Adams counties, particularly around water. Good numbers of quail are also being found around Moses Lake.

After the opening day barrage, duck hunting has slowed. In some places, duck hunting and fishing are in conflict. There is nothing quite so disappointing and annoying to a waterfowler than to get up early, drive many miles, launch a boat, set out a big spread of decoys and then have a late-arriving angler decide he needs to fish in the same small bay.

Washington’s early modern rifle white-tail season runs through Tuesday or Oct. 27, depending on the unit. The late season commences Nov. 11. There is no late hunt for mule deer, and the modern rifle season for them ends after Thursday.

A few friends have taken deer this week, but there have not been the usual reports from WDFW check stations.

Contact Alan Liere at