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

Alan Liere’s hunting and fishing report for June 13, 2024

By Alan Liere The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

Amber, Clear, Badger, Bailey, Medical and Coffee Pot lakes can all produce some decent fly fishing now. Throw a fast sinking fly line with a short-stripped retrieve.

The Spokane River has been fishing well since the opener says Silver Bow Fly Shop. Flows are good but can be tricky for wade anglers. Caddis hatches have been very good this year, starting in the morning and going throughout the day.

The North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene has seen prime fishing, though it can get crowded. A variety of hatches are coming off depending on the stretch, but the standout flies have been pale morning duns and drakes.

While not yet in “summer shape,” the St. Joe River has been fishing well. Yellow Sallies have been prevalent late morning. Pale morning duns, golden stones, drakes and caddis are all potentials depending where you are. As on the North Fork Coeur d’Alene, dry/droppers are great for prospecting.

With the bluegills on their beds and largemouth bass protecting fry, some of the fastest action available now is for these spiny ray species, which can be found in almost any lake, including those more well known as trout waters. Try the shallows at Loon, Deer, Liberty, Newman, Silver, Hayden, Hauser and many others.

Alpine trout lakes and access trails are opening up, and anglers who don’t mind hiking in with float tubes could find some good trout fishing.

Just east of White Pass on the north side of Highway 12, Dog Lake can be good for rainbow, and nearby Leech Lake produces small brook trout and some triploids.

Trout and kokanee

The Seep Lakes south of the Potholes Reservoir are fishing well for trout. Top lakes are Warden, Upper Hampton, and Upper Goose. Use Power Bait 18 inches off the bottom or cast Rooster Tails.

Loon Lake kokanee anglers are normally raving about the night fishing this time of year, but this year will probably be as poor as the last. While a number of huge kokanee were caught by trollers early in the season, catch rates since have been dismal.

Badger Lake is a great family fishing destination, whether you enjoy the lake from a boat or try your luck bank fishing from the WDFW access area. Other lakes in the area that offer decent bank or dock fishing for trout are Williams, Fishtrap and Clear. West Medical is slow, but the fish are large.

A friend trolling Rock Lake this week said he experienced “phenomenal fishing” all day long. Most of his fish were rainbow over 14 inches, but he also caught some brown trout over 20 inches.

Located 6.5 miles northwest of Newport across the Pend Oreille River, Marshall Lake is stocked annually with Westslope cutthroat trout. They don’t get particularly large (9-10 inches), but they are numerous and the scenery is spectacular. Marshall Lake Resort closed a number of years ago, but there is public access and a launch.

Sacheen Lake rainbow are running to 13 inches with slightly larger brown trout. Diamond Lake anglers have seen good rainbow action while still-fishing on the north end. Waitts Lake is a consistent trout producer for anglers trolling a worm-tipped Muddler Minnow and a flasher on two-three colors of leaded line down the middle of the lake.

Anglers at Lower Twin near Inchelium are finding a good bite for rainbow trout over 2 pounds on the south end of the lake.

Lake Chelan is noted for its healthy kokanee population, but anglers trolling in fairly shallow water along the shore are also catching cutthroat and rainbow trout. Casting spinners and spoons from shore can also be good.

Fishing for Priest Lake mackinaw has been good near Eight-Mile Island. Jigs are taking plenty of smaller fish, but some brutes have hammered an F-7 Flatfish and other deep-fished plugs and spoons.

Spiny ray

A recent report from Banks Lake indicated there was a good walleye bite around Goose Island. A bottom-bouncer found the 17- to 22-inch fish in water 25 feet deep and more. Anglers are also catching a lot of medium-sized perch and smallmouth bass.

Long Lake (Lake Spokane) seems to have unlimited numbers of smallmouth bass and they have been active everywhere. Target rocky banks with chartreuse jigs.

The smallmouth bass bite is on at Lake Roosevelt. Anglers throwing green and red-flecked tube baits scented with jelly-like “goo” are having the best luck.

Lake Roosevelt walleye are being taken recently near Buoys 3 and 5. Bottom walkers, Smile Blades and Slow Death hooks baited with nightcrawlers have been the best. Walleye fishing at The Dalles near Northport has not been as good as in year’s past. Anglers there speculate that with the high, fast water, the fish are moving quickly through on their way to Canada.

At Potholes Reservoir, most largemouth bass have finished spawning and the smallmouth will soon be done too. Fish back in the dunes for the largemouth and around the rock piles near Goose Island, along the face of the dam and up Lind Coulee for the smallies. Walleye are in the weeds back in the sand dunes and up Crab Creek. Crappie and bluegill are there too.

A friend and I had very slow (non-existent) trout action fishing from shore at Jones Bay last week. The only fish caught was a two-pound smallmouth that took my Power Bait. It was the first non-trout species I have ever caught on Power Bait, and though I was thinking of fried fillets when I pulled it in, it didn’t seem right to catch a smallmouth that way. It was lightly hooked, so I released it.

Other species

Shad numbers over Bonneville Dam continue to go up. Bank fishermen below the dam are throwing shad darts, large crappie-type jigs and silver spoons into fast water for consistent action.

There have been several reports this week of tiger muskie being caught at Silver and Newman lakes. Curlew Lake, which has the biggest muskies, has been quiet so far. Coeur d’Alene and Hayden lakes have recently produced some northern pike over 15 pounds.

Contact Alan Liere at