Fly fishermen at Fish Lake near Cheney say they are doing well along the pads straight across from the access. They are catching rainbow and brookies along with an occasional tiger trout.
Fly fishing on the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River has not been particularly fast, but fishing has been good recently on the St. Joe River. The Spokane River remains steady.
Salmon and steelhead
The WDFW closed Drano Lake and the Wind River to salmon and steelhead angling in mid-May to ensure hatchery broodstock goals were met. Based on updated expected returns to these hatcheries, it is likely that broodstock needs will be achieved at these facilities and the retention of salmon and steelhead in these waters, which opened Saturday, will remain open through Sunday. For more information, contact the Region 5 office at (360) 696-6211.
Area 10 salmon anglers are taking advantage of a strong coho run and say they are boating two-fish limits, sometimes in less than an hour. With the limited salmon opportunities elsewhere this year, the water gets crowded with boats targeting the 2- to 3-pound fish.
Trout and kokanee
In Idaho, Dworshak Reservoir is a good destination for kokanee. So is Lake Coeur d’Alene, where the fish are dispersing throughout the lake. You shouldn’t have to troll deeper than 25 feet.
Kokanee anglers are taking a few large fish from the south end of Lake Roosevelt but say the fish are scattered all over the water column. Rainbow in excess of 3 pounds are also reported.
A friend who fished Hayden Lake in Idaho this week said the kokanee bite was slow, but he still landed nine fish, all around 14 inches in length.
Loon Lake kokanee were biting well this week, but a friend who trolled there on one of the windy days said he probably lost 30 fish before he caught his limit. The next night was excellent, and the fish that hit the Glo-Hook and maggot usually stayed on.
In Pend Oreille County, Horseshoe Lake is a good place for trout action. The fish aren’t particularly large, but there seem to be many, and they will readily take Power Bait. Kokanee are also present. The few anglers who target them say the fishing can be good for 9- to 10-inch fish.
Omak Lake is producing cutthroat to 20 inches and larger. Most are caught by trollers dragging lures such as the Vibrax.
Marshall Lake cutthroat are suspending at 30-35 feet and anglers trolling flies or small spinner-type lures along the shorelines are catching limits. Marshall isn’t usually considered a bass destination, but Senkos and Texas-rigged plastic worms in the weeds have taken some nice largemouth.
Priest Lake macks averaging about 3 pounds are abundant. Drop-shotting as well as trolling with small plugs are taking fish. The slide across from Cavanaugh has been mentioned as a good spot.
Smallmouth bass fishing has been good on Dworshak Reservoir in Idaho, but the best fishing for big ones is past, as they have gone deep and are more difficult to locate. There are a lot of a lot of smaller fish available.
When the walleye fishing is slow on Banks Lake (which it has been), many anglers are switching over to smallmouth bass, which have been willing to bite. A new bass spinner from Wicked Lures has become popular on the lake and has accounted for many double-digit days, but a crawdad pattern Shad Rap is also effective, and a lot of fun to fish.
Good walleye reports have come from Rufus Woods Reservoir with some nice-sized fish. After somewhat slow walleye fishing in the Spokane Arm last week, anglers are doing much better in the Buoy 5 area. Crawdads are molting, so orange jigs and crankbaits have been effective. The big rainbow seem to like these also.
Perch fishing on Deer and Loon lakes can be good if you find the right hole in the weeds. An old-timer from Loon told me once to look for what he called “perch grass” on the bottom – an area that resembles a lawn that hasn’t been mowed for a couple of weeks. The fish are a respectable 8-10 inches.
The Spokane River between Barker Road and the Flora trailhead and near the Harvard Bridge has seen some good smallmouth fishing. These aren’t large fish, but a 2-pounder will hit occasionally. Smallmouth can be caught nearly anywhere the water covers rocky areas.
Liberty Lake has produced some nice largemouth along the weeds for anglers who target them with drop-shots or Senkos. Bluegill beds are conspicuous and ready-biters are abundant.
The weed lines on Lake Coeur d’Alene have been slow to develop this year, so pike are a little tougher to target. A recent report indicated the fish will hit if you can find them. The best success has come on spinner baits in 8-15 feet of water.
Sturgeon fishing is still not fast on Lake Roosevelt, but there are fish coming in from the Kettle Falls area and some are keepers.
I had a new experience last week when I fished for the first time for shad on the Columbia River. A friend in Richland said there was no need to run all the way to Bonneville, so we did our fishing in the lower end of the Hanford Reach, minutes from his house. His method was completely different from anything I had read about shad fishing, but it was effective. We trolled deep-diving Tadpolly lures with no hooks, followed by 3 feet of monofilament and small silver spoon. This got us down about 12 feet, so we targeted water no deeper than 17 feet. In a couple of hours, I landed over 20 shad, releasing all but two large females, which I kept to smoke and sample the roe. Shad counts over Bonneville are slowing down a little, but it looks like the count at the end of this week could be well in excess of 7,000,000.
Contact Alan Liere at spokesmanliere@ yahoo.com
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