Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for October 28
Now that the rivers are more stable and the big trout are out, fly fishing should improve on the Spokane and other waters. Streamer and nymph fishing will be productive, as will dry flies at noon. Smoother, slower currents should be the best.
Late October is a popular time of year on the Yakima for fly fishermen. It can get crowded, but flows are low and fish usually feed on the surface. The Yakima is open year round for catch and release fishing upstream of the Roza Dam near the Yakima / Kittitas County line.
In Montana, deep-fished streamers on Bitterroot, Blackfoot, and Rock Creek take beautiful browns before spawning.
Trout and kokanee
Anglers hitting Rock Lake along the cliffs on the east side and near the exit catch big browns by casting Rapalas or Krocodiles. As browns move to spawn, shore trolling should become more and more effective.
Trout fishing on Roosevelt Lake is more regular than fast. The action was within the first 20 feet. Orange is the best color, whether in a fly, cap, or plastic. The Spokane Arm launches an assortment of fish – trout, walleye, smallmouth and monkfish. Blade baits have worked recently for some big walleye.
At Fins and Feathers in Coeur d’Alene, Jeff Smith said the great rainbow is atop both ends of Pend Oreille Lake and now is the time to go. Anglers dragging planers and a fly or an Apex are going to catch a “really big rainbow over the next three weeks,” Smith said. The biggest recent catch was 28 pounds, but there have also been a lot of 15 to 22 pounds caught. To book travel with Smith, call 208-667-9304.
Lake trout fishing on Lake Chelan was good. The fish, averaging around 3 pounds, come mostly from Mack Bar, straight out of the Mill Bay boat launch.
Fish hit U-20 Flatfish from the bottom. At Priest Lake, anglers jigging Berkeley Power Grubs for mackinaw in 80-100 water.
Salmon and rainbow trout
Coho fishing has not improved significantly as expected on the Icicle River after the heavy rains, but a few are caught and the fishery is expected to improve as fresh fish move up from the Wenatchee River.
The Coeur d’Alene Lake salmon guides expect a tough chinook fishery this winter. The fish are deep, and although a 10-pound comes in every now and then, most are much smaller.
The water level on the Columbia at Northport is low and the walleye fishing has been good. Walleye anglers are lucky on Long Lake, between the Long Lake Dam and Little Falls. Walleye fishing is also resuming at Potholes Reservoir and Roosevelt Lake.
The I-90 bridge over Moses Lake was a good place for big crappies. There are also good sized perch and smallmouth bass.
Most of the seagrass beds of Lac Coeur d’Alene are beginning to sag.
For best northern pike success, look for weeds standing in 12 feet of water and cast jerk baits and swim baits.
Biologists at deer control stations say they aren’t seeing many white-tailed deer this year due to huge deaths from blue tongue. The disease, they say, is non-discriminatory, killing males, does and fawns. In the areas around Colfax, mortality has been particularly high. While there are pockets of habitat that have not been affected throughout Washington and Idaho, this is the worst blue tongue outbreak many have seen.
The severity of the disease could affect deer populations and hunting seasons for several years. Mule deer appear to be somewhat immune to blue tongue, although biologists say it can mess up their hormones, causing them to hold onto their velvet until winter and lose their desire to breed. The general mule deer season ended on Tuesday. For the white tail, Friday is the last day for ERGs that are not yet closed. The end of season deer hunts in ERGs 105, 108, 111, 113, 117d, 121 and 124 take place from November 6 to 19.
General modern firearms elk season opens Saturday in most units in eastern Washington. Check the details in your Big Game Hunting Regulations brochure on page 48.
Duck hunting has not been particularly good in the Columbia Basin and is unlikely to improve until the water to the north freezes and food sources are covered in snow. Canada geese, on the other hand, provide good growth in the area of the royal slopes around Moses Lake. At the MarDon Resort on Potholes Reservoir, Jeff Fisher said there were teals, pintails, mallards and a few mallards available to waterfowl hunters, but the big northern bird push has not started.
In the Coeur d’Alene region, the Chain Lakes produce a decent duck hunt, but the consensus among hunters is that duck populations are declining.
The whistling ducks, generally quite numerous, are becoming more rare this year. The numbers of geese are good, however.
Opening day pheasant hunters said they saw fewer birds this year than last year, but most of the birds were of good color. My party of three had several opportunities to put pheasant roosters in the draws around St. John’s. How did we do it? No comment.
Contact Alan Liere at [email protected]