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

Alane Liere’s hunting and fishing report for July 11, 2024

By Alan Liere The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

Silver Bow Fly Shop said the Spokane River has been fishing well. Flows are below average but great for fishing. Caddis are still around. Hopper or Chernobyl/droppers will be good the rest of the summer. Everything below Sullivan Bridge and downtown will stay in the safe water temperatures for trout. Above that will be warm smallmouth bass water.

Terrestrials will start to become important on the North Fork Coeur d’Alene, so start packing ants, beetles and hoppers. Small Chernobyls, small goldens, sallies and caddis are all good fly choices. Inner tubers will be out in force from here on out, so fish the morning hours.

July is always prime time for the middle and upper stretches of the St. Joe River. Inner tubers will be out on the lower river, so mornings will be best. Look for the typical caddis, PMDs, yellow sallies and golden stones to be the big producers.

The Clark Fork has been on the drop and is fishing well. Caddis and PMDs are best, but stones and Chernobyls will also find fish.

Fly fishermen are having a lot of fun throwing baitfish and sculpin patterns for bass in waters such as Moses Lake, Banks and Lake Spokane. Wooly Buggers will work, but the Chartreuse Caboose and Boo Radley patterns are popular, as are many poppers.

Trout and kokanee

Diamond Lake trout are being caught by still-fishermen dunking bait along the shoreline to the left of the public access in about 35 feet of water.

More than 7,500 catchable-size (10- to 12-inch) rainbow trout will be stocked in the Idaho Panhandle Region in July. More than half of these have been stocked and about 3,700 will be stocked through the end of the month. Visit the Idaho Fishing Planner for details.

Jigging or drop-shotting has been good for Priest Lake mackinaw. Hoochies do well. On Lake Pend Oreille, drop-shotting is also effective for catching macks.

Anglers trolling for kokanee in Lake Chelan have been catching more cutthroat trout and mackinaw than kokanee.

In the Okanogan district, anglers are seeing some nice trout catches at both Conconulys as well as Alta, Pearrygin Spectacle and Wannacut. Fish early and late for best luck.

Davis Lake in Ferry County and Yocum Lake in Pend Oreille County have been good cutthroat trout fisheries this summer. Summit Lake in Stevens County has rainbow trout, and nearby Elbow Lake has brookies. Elbow is a small lake that can be fished successfully from shore.

Big Meadow Lake in Pend Oreille County is a good bet for rainbow trout. The many lakes in the Little Pend Oreille chain offer decent fishing for rainbow and tiger trout.

Salmon and steelhead

The ocean chinook quota is 41,000 fish and the coho quota is 79,800. So far, the catch rate is small and many fish are available. The last week of July and the first week of August have traditionally seen the best fishing at Ilwaco and Westport where anglers are averaging about one coho each.

Many salmon anglers started their season at Wanapum Dam, trolling on the edge of “bowl” by the boat launch. Chinook numbers are down, but sockeye numbers are high. Anglers trolling with dodgers and two-hook rigs, baited with a shrimp, are doing well. Even shore anglers casting bobbers from the rip rap are catching sockeye.

Fishing for sockeye has been fair below Rocky Reach Dam, and shore anglers are getting fish above the dam. The Entiat area has been pretty good, but Chelan Falls has been a disappointment. Fishing below Wells Dam has been good for sockeye in the big eddy. Quite a few boats have been fishing the Brewster Pool for sockeye. Although it is early, they’ve had decent success.

The Entiat River opened to fishing for chinook salmon a week early, beginning Tuesday. The upstream fishing boundary has been expanded and is open to fishing from the mouth (railroad bridge) to the Mad River Road Bridge crossing the Entiat River near Adenvoir. Anglers who are fishing in the main stem Columbia River off the mouth of the Entiat River are doing well this season.

Spiny ray

Bonnie, Eloika, Curlew and Long lakes are good for perch. Fish the weed lines in the morning and go deeper later on. Loon Lake perch are in 20 to 30 feet of water off the east side weeds. Deer Lake is overlooked as a perch destination, but the lake has a thriving population. Again, find weeds in about 20 feet of water.

Lake Pend Oreille walleye are providing steady action for anglers this summer, and anglers are reporting consistent catch rates. The fish are returning to foraging locations along Sunnyside and Kootenai Points, the south bank of the Sandpoint railroad bridge and in the Clark Fork River. They are widespread throughout the north end of Lake Pend Oreille and both the Clark Fork and Pend Oreille rivers. The Highway 95 Long Bridge and Railroad Bridge areas near Sandpoint continue to be walleye fishing hotspots. Find the edges of weed beds and you’ll find fish.

Rufus Woods and Banks Lake have been kicking out walleye. At Banks, fish the flats early and late and the weed lines between those times. The west shoreline and Crooks Bay have been good.

On Potholes Reservoir, Pete Fisher at MarDon Resort said the largemouth bass fishing has been excellent this week. He recommends throwing frogs early and late and always having a Senko rigged to follow up on missed fish. Fish back in the sand dunes. Walleye fishing has also been good. They are in the weeds back in the sand dunes and up Crab Creek in 6 to 15 feet of water. Troll the weed lines as closely as possible. Reports of bluegill, crappie and some big perch are coming in from the sand dunes as well as on the humps in front of the dunes.

The Pend Oreille River is a good bet for largemouth bass from Ione to Box Canyon Dam and smallmouth bass in the Metaline Falls area.

Other species

Many of the Snake River channel catfish have moved into deeper water, but you don’t need to go to the middle of the river. Just find 20 to 40 feet close to shore and drop cut bait or gobs of nightcrawlers. I have had good success, particularly at night by fishing the waters along the road between Wawawai and Steptoe canyons.

Contact Alan Liere at