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

Alan Liere’s hunting and fishing report for Feb. 22, 2024

By Alan Liere The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

Besides Rocky Ford, fly fishermen can find some rainbow on Crab Creek. The Clark Fork in Montana is also a decent option and is a good bet for some large mountain whitefish.

No matter where you are fly fishing, you will still need to get down deep, either with nymphs or streamers. Silver Bow Fly Shop said stones, San Juan Worms and hot bead-types of nymphs are all on the menu.

Lakes popular with fly fishers that open March 1 in Grant County are Dusty, Lenice, Nunnally, Lenore and Dry Falls.

Ice fishing

In Idaho, ice on Kelso Lake still a solid 4 inches. Kelso, a multispecies lake in Bonner County, is best known for its perch and rainbow trout. The lake was stocked five times in 2023 with catchable triploid rainbow.

The cool nights are helping hold the ice on Sacheen, Diamond and Curlew lakes. Anglers are catching a mixed bag of trout and perch, mostly perch.

Trout and kokanee

Rock Lake, particularly the south side, is producing good trout fishing for rainbow and brown trout. Orange is a good color for plugs or flies. Jerk baits are also effective.

Trout fishing on Lake Roosevelt has been good with fish running 16 inches and larger. The Spring Canyon and Keller areas have been productive for trollers. Both the Federal Park at Keller and Spring Canyon can be good for those who opt to fish from shore. All launches are usable with the reservoir at about 1,287 feet above sea level.

Billy Clapp Lake has also been good for rainbow trout from shore by the boat launch. Anglers fishing there with Power Bait or shrimp and marshmallows have caught numerous 3- to 5-pound rainbow as well as smaller 15-inchers.

Lake Chelan anglers are launching out of the state park or Mill Bay and running up as far as Mitchell Creek to find kokanee running to 14 inches.

Corral Lake, just a short distance from Potholes Reservoir, is producing nice catches of trout from the bank by anglers casting Rooster Tails.

Salmon and steelhead

Winter chinook fishing in Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton Area) and Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island) opens four days per week – Wednesdays through Saturdays only – starting March 1. The daily limit is two salmon including no more than one chinook. Anglers must release chum and wild chinook, and the chinook minimum size is 22 inches. All other salmon species have no minimum size limit.

Spiny ray

Two friends throwing blade baits near the mouth of the Kettle River this week caught a 7.7-pound and 6.6-pound walleye in addition to a good number of fish ranging from 15 to 19 inches. Walleye anglers didn’t do so well with jigging raps in Porcupine Bay.

Potholes Reservoir is ice-free except for the sand dunes. All boat launches are free of ice and operational.

Anglers are jigging blade baits and producing nice catches of walleye and trout. Jig in 25-35 feet of water across the face of the sand dunes.

Other species

The following digs during afternoon and evening low tides (noon to midnight only) will proceed as scheduled after marine toxin results showed razor clams are safe to eat: More information about current levels at ocean beaches, can be found on the WDFW’s domoic acid webpage.

• Thursday, 5:33 p.m.; 0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

• Friday, 6:05 p.m.; 0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

• Saturday, 6:34 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

• Sunday, 7:02 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Long Beach, Mocrocks

The clam, oyster and mussel season at Penrose Point State Park in Pierce County was closed in 2023 due to construction in the day use area of the park. This beach will return to a March-April clam, oyster and mussel season beginning March 1, and run through April 30 except for the part of Mayo Cove within the commercially prohibited growing area that is closed year-round.

Burbot fishing in Lake Roosevelt is said to be good near Two Rivers. A lot of the catching takes place in water up to 180 feet deep using cut bait. Burbot fishing has also been good at the mouth of the Colville River or Hawk Creek and the water is not nearly so deep. Some anglers are anchoring near the net pens or up the Spokane Arm near Buoy 5. Early morning or night fishing is best.

Contact Alan Liere at