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Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for Dec. 6

UPDATED: Wed., Dec. 5, 2018, 6:34 p.m.

Fly fishing

The Mini Leech Fly has accounted for some large trout from Rocky Ford.

As always, the Spokane River is a great late-fall option. The euro rig has dominated the day, but according to Silver Bow Fly Shop, streamer fishing with JJ Sparkle minnows works well, especially later in the day.

Some fly fishing is still to be had on the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River, but the window is short. Streamer fishing has been best.

Fly fishermen have been swinging up some nice B-run steelhead on the Snake River. Reverse marabou types of flies will be best in the slower currents and runs. The Grande Ronde is worth bobbering in the slower/deeper pools.

The larger Coeur d’Alene northern pike have been absent from the usual spots, but smaller fish (16-23 inches) are feeding aggressively. It’s possible for a fly fisherman to enjoy good action on fish in about 6 feet of water.

Salmon and steelhead

Steelhead fishing has been surprisingly decent on the Snake River, but the most consistent success comes by trolling lighted lures after dark.

Trout and kokanee

Lake Roosevelt trout fishing ranged from fair to excellent this week for trollers out of Fort Spokane, but even when fair, it’s decent for anglers dragging their choice of flies or lures sweetened with a bit of nightcrawler. The fish are hitting in the top 20 feet of water.

The Hawk Creek Area and the water downstream near The Goat Farm has been excellent for Lake Roosevelt rainbow, although a lot of unclipped fish are being taken. Most of the legal keepers are between 16 and 18 inches, taken relatively close to shore.

Hatch Lake anglers have done well on 10- to 15-inch rainbow, but a heavy weed growth close to shore makes it difficult for bank fishermen to bring in their catches without dredging up several pounds of weeds. A car top boat would certainly simplify the fishing. Williams Lake trout are smaller than those in Hatch and not as abundant, but anglers in boats and from shore are finding a good bite for short periods of time.

Rainbow trout fishing is open year-round at Lake Spokane (Long Lake.) These fish have attained sizes up to 18 inches. Popular shore fishing spots include Washington Department of Natural Resources-managed properties and turnouts downstream of Tum Tum, where anglers need a Discover Pass.

Anglers have done well at Pacific Lake in Lincoln County near Odessa. They are getting their limits in short order, with most fish ranging 13-15 inches. A boat can still be launched at the Bureau of Land Management access site.

Two Tucannon River impoundments on the Wooten Wildlife Area, Blue and Spring lakes, remain open and have provided catches of trout.

Roses Lake in Chelan County received nearly 20,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout that should provide a consistent winter trout fishery. Fish Lake, also in Chelan County, is popular for rainbow trout and perch. Neither of these year-round-open waters had ice by the end of November, but both will provide good ice fishing when safe ice forms.

Rat Lake near Brewster and Upper and Lower Green lakes near Omak opened this year to year-round fishing with a maximum daily harvest of two trout more than 14 inches. These fisheries provide good angling throughout the winter months, either on open water or when iced over.

Spiny ray

Hot spots for the big winter walleye in the Tri-Cities area are from the Snake River downstream to Badger Island and from McNary Dam downstream to Boardman. Some of the best spots are within one-half mile of the boat launches.

Pike fishing for small fish has been good on Lake Coeur d’Alene. The toothy northerns have gobbled up soft plastic frogs, spoons and glide baits.

Perch have been biting at the I-90 Bridge over Moses Lake by the Blue Heron State Park. Limits of 25 have been reported by anglers fishing just off the bottom. These are not all the “jumbos” for which Moses Lake is noted, but a good average would be 9 inches with some going up to a foot in length.

Lake Roosevelt Charters fished north and south of the Hunters boat launch recently, filling a large cooler with walleye. It said other locations weren’t nearly as productive. Info: (206) 471-8036 or (509) 464-9657.

Other species

Lake Roosevelt burbot are feeding heavily on crawdads, and a 1-ounce green and orange jig with a nightcrawler is taking a lot of fish between Hunters and Gifford. Concentrate on areas with a rocky bottom in at least 80 feet of water.

Several waters are open through February for winter whitefish. These include The Yakima River between Sunnyside Dam and 3,500 feet below Roza Dam; Roza Dam to Easton Dam; the lower Cle Elum River; and the lower Naches River below the confluence with the Tieton River.

Saturday marked the opening of the whitefish season on a part of the Little Spokane River. The daily catch limit is 15 fish of any size. Whitefish angling has been underway on the Kettle River in Ferry/Stevens counties since Nov. 1. Banks Lake is a great choice for anglers in search of big lake whitefish. There’s no size limit and up to 15 can also be taken there daily. In Idaho, the Clearwater and North Fork Coeur d’Alene hold a lot of whitefish.

Razor clam diggers can return to various ocean beaches for a four-day opening, beginning today. No digging will be allowed on any beach before noon. The dig is approved on the following beaches, dates, and evening low tides:

Thursday, 6:01 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis

Friday, 6:40 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Saturday, 7:16 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis

Sunday, 7:53 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

WDFW has tentatively scheduled another dig for Dec. 20-23, pending results of future toxin tests.

Fishing for squid is a unique experience in urban fishing each winter. This has been a fairly slow season, but at times a school of aggressive squid moves into the lighted public dock areas near Edmonds, Tacoma, Elliot Bay and the surrounding Seattle shorelines. I’ve fished for squid and will attest to the fact it can become addictive. You can find everything you need to know about getting started by Googling “Squid fishing in Puget Sound.”

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@ yahoo.com


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