Fly fishing

Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for January 20

Fly fishing

With the weather in the Spokane area remaining relatively warm for the past two weeks, the Spokane River is still one of the few fly fishing destinations with a chance of success. Snowmelt and rain, however, can dirty the water below Latah Creek. Above that, sink your nymphs and steamers deep and hope to hit a trout on the nose.

Open water fishing

The most favorable fishing reports for the week come from Lake Roosevelt. Trollers catch fish on the fly and on high Apexes, and shoal anglers do well at Fort Spokane, Hansen Harbor, and Hunters casting Power Bait or Orange Nuggets. Most accounts are of fish ranging from 18 to 20 inches. A friend who fished from shore on Tuesday said he arrived in Fort Spokane at 8 a.m. but didn’t find a good bite until late morning. Another friend who spent several days trolling around the Lake Roosevelt bobbin lines near Spring Canyon caught several large kokanee this week. He uses K-Flies on a plane board. He also caught some rainbow trout.

Burbot and walleye also bite in spots on Lake Roosevelt, but the fish are more aggregated in specific spots than trout and harder to find. Most are fished from Porcupine Bay. Look for water 40 to 70 feet deep. Success has been reported by drop-shot plastics or on perch-colored blade baits.

Anglers still find a few rainbow trout in the Snake and Clearwater rivers. There are about six weeks left in the season, and the Idaho limit is two fish per day on the snake.

Ice Fishing, Washington

A friend who fished Silver Lake this week said you can catch all the small perch you want, but a 7 inch “keeper” per 10 fish landed made him less keen on coming back. Anything with a perched eyeball, he said, would bring a ready bite.

An angler at an unnamed lake near Spokane reported a good bite of perch, but said he found them where he had never considered fishing before – 2ft below the ice in 25ft d ‘water. I’ve experienced this a few times while fishing trout, but never perch.

Sacheen, Eloika, Jumpoff Joe and Diamond lakes have good ice, but there is melting snow which makes walking difficult. Pole anglers have their best success in Sacheen, but Diamond has been good at times for perch and 12-inch rainbow. For the first time this winter, I received a report from Lake Eloika anglers who said they were doing well with perch.

There was no one on the Sprague Lake ice when I went last Saturday. Whether it was a reflection of ice conditions or bad fishing, I don’t know. Hog Canyon and Fourth of July are also covered in ice and the trout fishing was fair. The same goes for the other two winter lakes to the north, Williams and Hatch.

Curlew Lake ice fishing has been slow for perch outside the state park. Elsewhere on the lake fishing has been better, but limited access has reduced fishing activity. The area about 500 feet south of the railroad trestle would be good, but the slush makes walking difficult.

Bead Lake anglers who fish for burbot say there are about 7 inches of ice near the launch, but the water is open beyond the power lines.

Gillette Lake in the Pend Oreille Range has good ice and a decent perch bite of 10 inch fish. Anglers at Lac Bonaparte catch a variety of fish through the ice. They find speckled and tiger trout in shallow water and rainbow trout and a few kokanee in deeper water.

Ice fishing, Idaho

A few hardy anglers report that night ice fishing on Lower and Upper Twin lakes has been decent for crappie, with the Lower Twin being the best. The bite of the perch is constant, but the fish are small.

Ice is good on Mirror Lake, but bite was slow for kokanee. Cocolalla Lake ice is good. Perch and trout fishing was best early on, but the perch bite dies off as the morning progresses. The trout bite, however, resumes. Anglers catch a few burbot through the ice of Lake Bonner.

Fernan Lake was slow for all species. Lake Avondale ice is unsafe at this time.


Hunters who wish to apply for Idaho’s 2022 Spring Black Bear Controlled Hunts can apply until February 15. Information on the Spring 2022 Controlled Black Bear Hunt can be found in the Idaho Big Game Seasons and Rules book. Controlled hunts are hunts with a limited number of tags assigned by lot and are often desirable due to location and timing. Success rates are generally higher than general season hunts.

Washington waterfowl seasons end after January 30.

In Goose Management Zone 4, Canada Geese and Geese are open daily from Monday until the end of the season. In zone 5 they stay open every day until late.

A late hunt for snow geese will take place from February 12 to March 2.

Contact Alan Liere at [email protected]