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Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for July 25

UPDATED: Wed., July 24, 2019

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 Canyon section of the Yakima River has been productive on the dropper for fly fishermen tossing hopper/dropper rigs.

The North Fork Coeur d’Alene is skinny this time of the year, so you have to hunt for good water with some depth and flow. Like the St. Joe, there are a lot of tubers, so fish early or late and search for deep water pockets. Of the two, the Joe is a much better choice. Fish the riffles and deeper runs with a Chernobyl/dropper or hopper/dropper combination.

Silver Bow Fly Shop said the North Fork Clearwater and Kelly Creek are two of the better options. Run a dropper under a hopper or Chernobyl. Hatches are light, but there are still a lot of bugs hanging around.

Salmon and steelhead

Though spread out and hard to come by, some Baker Lake sockeye fishermen report taking their two-fish limit. Getting on the water right at dawn seems to be the ticket, and so is staying away from the main fleet of trollers. Troll pink or orange hoochies baited with coon shrimp at 25 to 50 feet.

The chinook salmon opener on the upper Columbia was well-attended, and several anglers brought home silvery fish weighing in the teens. The water just downstream from the mouth of the Chelan River was a good place (though crowded) for anglers trolling 25 to 30 feet of water with Brad’s cutplug herring stuffed with tuna. Catches were also good off the mouth of the Entiat River, in the Entiat itself and at Chelan Falls.

Trout and kokanee

Davis Lake still doesn’t get much angling pressure, but recent reports indicate there has been a fair kokanee and rainbow trout bite. Both species are measuring about 14 inches.

The Loon Lake kokanee bite is negatively affected by periods of low pressure, but it is predictably good when the weather settles. The night-fishing bite has moved out a few feet and the 10- to 13-inch fish are being caught in about 33 feet of water at all the usual spots, including in front of the Granite Point beach, the Palm Tree and in the bay just south of the island.

Upper Rufus Woods Reservoir has been excellent for triploid rainbow trout of 4-6 pounds.

Dave Grove of Captain Dave’s Guide Service said all of his Lake Roosevelt kokanee lately have been caught between 45-70 feet deep with corn or Berkley maggots on orange or pink lures. He notes that just because the kokes weren’t in a spot in the morning doesn’t mean they won’t show up there later in the day. Info: 509-939-6727.

Spiny ray

A friend said he and his wife caught a dozen 9 1/2- to 10-inch perch at Waitts Lake this week. White jigs worked best. It has been a long time since a decent Waitts Lake perch report was noted.

The Curlew Lake perch bite remains steady. A summer morning with a worm and bobber practically anywhere on the lake will generally give you all the 9- to 11-inch fish you care to fillet. Lake Spokane is also a good place to find perch. Fish the edges of the weed beds in 10-14 feet of water.

Potholes Reservoir in Grant County is 2 feet above last year’s level on the same date. This bodes well for the recent walleye, bass and crappie spawn. The lake is seeing a boom in fishing success, as the underwater habitat program is paying dividends. Crappie to 15 1/2 inches have been reported along with an improving walleye bite and continued success on bass.

The Pend Oreille River has been decent for smallmouth and an occasional crappie or northern pike.

Banks Lake walleyes have been hitting nightcrawlers on a Slow Death rig. Dropshot plastics are also doing well for walleye, and this jigging technique is preferred by many. If the walleye fishing is slow, switch to smallmouth bass. The west shore and in the boulders above Rosebush are good, but smallmouth can be found everywhere on Banks.

Liberty Lake has a good population of largemouth and smallmouth bass and a huge population of bluegills protecting their nests.

A friend who fished Lake Roosevelt said he was finding walleye by fishing middepth and deep-diving crankbaits up near the shoreline on the main lake. Another report indicated anglers are taking walleye in the Spokane Arm near Buoy 5.

Other species

The Lake Roosevelt sturgeon bite has been off one day and lights out the next with fish being caught (and not caught) all over the reservoir and in many depths. Successful reports come from anglers fishing 250 feet of water north of the Kettle Falls Bridge.

Channel cats are biting on the Snake River. Find a deep hole near shore in slack water and dunk a gob of nightcrawlers. Nights are most productive.


Idaho big game hunters who were successful in drawing controlled hunt tags for deer, elk, pronghorn and black bear have until midnight MDT Aug. 1 to buy their tags. Controlled hunt tags not purchased by then, excluding unlimited tags, will be forfeited and combined with controlled hunt tags no one applied for and made available in a second drawing. The application period of the second drawing runs from Aug. 5 through midnight MDT Aug. 15.

Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@

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