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Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for June 13

UPDATED: Wed., June 12, 2019, 6:05 p.m.

Alan Liere writes the weekly fishing and hunting report for The Spokesman-Review. (The Spokesman-Review / SR)
Alan Liere writes the weekly fishing and hunting report for The Spokesman-Review. (The Spokesman-Review / SR)

Fly fishing

The Clark Fork River has been dropping quickly and should be ready to fish by this weekend. Caddis are out in big numbers.

The Spokane River is still high, but the fish are there along the banks in the brush. It’s tough fishing and you’ll probably lose some flies. But in a silly sort of way, it’s a lot of fun – kind of like pulling largemouth bass from a small pocket in a tangle of lily pads. This is not so much a casting game as a dunking game.

Salmon and steelhead

Steelhead fishing opens Sunday in the Columbia River downstream of the Highway 395 Bridge (Pasco/Kennewick) and in the Snake River, but fishing probably won’t pick up until temperatures cool in late August.

Trout and kokanee

Williams and Clear lakes remain good for trout fishermen. For some reason, Badger Lake is not drawing much attention, but kokanee anglers there say the fishing is good for fish over 12 inches.

Some large mackinaw have been caught recently at Deer Lake in Stevens County. The largest reported was 23 pounds. Cedar Bay is a good place to start.

Friends and I continue to catch quick limits of 9- to 12-inch Loon Lake kokanee at night in front of the Granite Point bath house. The bite usually begins around 9 p.m. and by 10, we are on the way home. Loon hasn’t been hit hard this season and I was feeling kind of guilty about the number of fish I have taken in three trips. When I sampled one of the 20 I took from my smoker this morning, however, I decided I need to get back there quickly.

Almost all Washington lakes with kokanee are experiencing exceptional fishing. For still fishing at night, it is tough to beat a size 14 white Glo-Hook from Mack’s Lures tipped with two maggots and enough weight to get down quickly. Jig this slowly off the bottom. Trollers report a lot of kokanee action also on hootchies and Wedding Ring-type lures during the day, but most boats net fewer than 60 percent of their hits.

Trout anglers have scored some beautiful limits on Lake Roosevelt. The area between Spring Canyon and the dam has been particularly productive. The Colville Tribe had two net pen releases earlier – 16- and 10-inch fish. In addition to these, rainbow released much earlier have grown to 18 inches and better.

Rock Lake rainbow have been cooperative this month with most fish going 12-14 inches, but an angler last week caught a beautiful brown trout of 10 pounds.

Quick kokanee limits but a lot of misses have been the rule lately on Lake Chelan out of Lakeside in 30-40 feet of water. Kokabow blades and orange spinners have been popular, tipped with shoepeg corn, either flavored or plain.

Lake Coeur d’Alene kokanee have been active biters on the south end between Powderhorn Bay and Harrison. It will probably be a few weeks before they populate the north end in good numbers.

Big rainbow trout are hitting flies on the surface on Lake Pend Oreille, but the Apex lure has also been good. Plugs or flashers and squid lures down deep are dredging up a lot of nice mackinaw.

It seems Waitts Lake is always good for rainbow. Anglers who troll beads, flies or spinners describe the fishing as “almost too easy.”

At Sprague Lake Resort, Monika Metz said the trout are averaging about 19 inches. Anglers from the docks and in boats are finding fish right out from the resort. Bass fishermen are also doing well. Info: 257-2864.

Spiny ray

The walleye fishing continues to be productive on the south end of Lake Roosevelt. Dave Grove of Captain Dave’s Guide Service said the bite is a little more productive with a good cloud cover, which may be difficult to find this week. Worm harnesses have been the most productive and color doesn’t seem to matter. Fish in 20-30 feet of water. Don’t be too quick to set the hook, as the walleye will usually hook themselves. Lake Roosevelt walleye trollers are also finding some nice rainbow on the same gear.

Anglers are finally launching again at Porcupine Bay, cutting the trip up the Spokane Arm toward Buoy 5 by many minutes. Bottom walkers and Slow Death hooks baited with a piece of nightcrawler behind a Smiley Blade are working well.

Banks Lake walleye anglers have been surprised to find fish in shallow water on Barker Flats. Many of these fish are right in the weeds. This shallow-water bite won’t last long before the fish move back to 20-foot depths around the south end of Steamboat Rock, the Poplars and the midlake hump. A lot of the walleyes taken recently run 19-22 inches.

It seems Curlew Lake perch fishing is always good, with most of the fish over 9 inches. Eloika is getting weedy, but the perch are cooperative. Find a “hole” in the weeds in 9-12 feet of water and dangle a worm. Eloika Lake perch have been surprisingly larger this year, but the best perch fishing has been at Long Lake, where one angler said he fished right in the middle of the lily pads in 6-8 feet of water for a couple of dozen perch that stretched a foot and better.

Fish Lake near Wenatchee is noted for its excellent rainbow fishing, but good largemouth bass fishing is a new opportunity there this spring.

The Pend Oreille River at Newport has been good for bass this spring, but an unexpected walleye bite is also drawing a lot of attention.

Pike fishing has been good on Lake Coeur d’Alene. The weeds are probably two weeks away from hitting the surface. In the meantime, successful anglers are targeting the fish by trolling Rapalas in 8-12 feet of water.

Other species

Shad are pouring over Columbia River dams on their annual spawning run with almost 4 million already over Bonneville. I’m going to sample this fishery for the first time next week with a friend from Richland.

Puget Sound recreational crab seasons kick off July 4 in most areas around Tacoma, but South Puget Sound and South Hood Canal are closed to promote Dungeness crab recovery. Summer seasons for the upcoming fishery are posted on WDFW’s crab-fishing website at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/crab. Dungeness crab populations in the southern reaches of Puget Sound and southern Hood Canal have experienced stress in recent years, but in the northern portions of Puget Sound crabbing should be good again this year. Crabbing is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the summer seasons.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@yahoo.com

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