Nymphing has been best on the Spokane River, but streamers will also draw a few strikes. Put your flies deep and keep them there, and if you’re streamer fishing, feed them slowly. Silver Bow Fly Shop recommends Stonefly Nymphs, Hot Beaded Nymphs (jigged or not), San Juans and Squirmies. Streamers can consist of Sparkle Minnows, Conehead Buggers, Sculpins, and Leech types.
Open water fishing
Anglers at Lake Roosevelt report good fishing for large trout (17-24 inches) throughout the reservoir…almost every day. There are times, however, when you just can’t buy a bite. The action was most consistent in depths of 15 to 35 feet.
Whether you use flies, Apexes, Old Goat Lures, or hoochies, stick with oranges, pinks, or chartreuses. Anglers from the shore also do well with Worms and Marshmallows or Orange Power Bait.
A friend caught several rainbows and a 21-inch kokanee while hanging out near Spring Canyon this week with a near-surface K-fly. The next day, at the same place, he was not hit.
Jigs and blade baits take walleye in the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt. Early is best, especially if there is a good flow of water coming out of the Little Falls Dam. A few large walleye females have been reported.
Rainbow and brown trout fishing from a boat remains good at Rock Lake in Whitman County. Anglers at the access mainly catch rainbows.
Rufus Woods was good for three friends this week. Their limits of two triploid rainbowfish consisted mostly of 3-pound fish, but also included a 9-pound fish.
Ice Fishing, Washington
The ice is good at Sacheen Lake, but the poles are small. Gillette ice is also good, and a friend who was fishing there while I was watching football last weekend said it had a good trout bite for fish hanging 25 feet. The pole, however, was not cooperating.
Fishing near the public access to Newman Lake has been fair for thorny skate. Waitts remains good for trout in front of public access. Eloika was decent for a variety of thorny rays near the access and north of the old Jerry’s Landing. There’s usually a flurry of action early and starts again around 4pm.
Ice fishermen still catch trout from Fourth of July Lake. There have been some big rainbows taken, but many of them are this year’s plants and only about 9 or 10 inches. Often these fish are released, but because they were caught using some type of bait (including worms, marshmallows, Power Bait, or even scent attractants), the released fish must be counted towards the typical daily limit of five. Judging from the videos I’ve seen recently, some anglers don’t know.
Curlew Lake pole anglers find a decent bite in the morning and again in the late afternoon. Thirty to 45 feet of water seems to be where most bottom schooling fish are. Suspended trout have also been caught. The water in front of the national park didn’t give much.
Patterson Lake in the Okanogan drops a good number of rainbow trout at 16 inches. The perch bite hasn’t taken off yet. Palmer Lake ice was a bit choppy earlier in the week, but there were fishermen on it. You can catch almost anything from Palmer – from kokanee to monkfish. Ice fishing on Fish Lake in Chelan County is good for perch and rainbow trout.
Ice fishermen catch a variety of fish – mainly perch, but also walleye, trout and catfish from Lind Coulee. Some of the seepage lakes around Potholes Reservoir have good trout fishing.
Ice fishing, Idaho
Cocolalla’s ice is another 7 inches and the perch bite, although slow, still provides some action. Round lake ice cream is also good. Anglers catch trout, perch and a few crappie at around 25 feet. The bite is early.
Granite Lake ice holds up well. The Rainbow Trout hangs less than 10 feet below the ice and can act on 11-13 inch fish.
Fishing at Lake Gamble is generally slow, but there are big perch and bass. Blue Lake (near Priest River) also has good sized perches.
Mirror Lake kokanee are biting, but the fishing is definitely not fast. Most fish are about 7 inches long.
WDFW has approved a six-day razor clam dig during evening low tides beginning Friday and continuing through February 3. good negative tides,” said Zach Forster, WDFW Coastal Shellfish Biologist.
The white sturgeon fishery has been extended through the end of February on the stretch of the Columbia River between Dalles Dam and John Day Dam – commonly referred to as the Dalles Basin. Sturgeon fishing in the Bonneville basin (between the Bonneville dam and the Dalles dam) will close as of Sunday. Catch rates at Bonneville Pool had recently increased, according to Laura Heironimus, sturgeon manager with WDFW. As of Sunday, 471 legal-size sturgeon had been held back from the guideline of 675 fish, which is around 70% of the total. In The Dalles Pool, 60 legal-sized sturgeon had been held back from the guideline of 190 fish. This fishery is expected to remain open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays until February 28, or until the directive is met.
Waterfowl hunting in Washington ends after Monday, but snow goose season (snows, blues and Ross) begins daily from February 12 to March 2 in Zone 4 and from February 12 to 22 in Zone 1.
There are also openings on certain dates in zone 2.
Snowshoe hare and rabbit season runs through March 15 in Washington. In Idaho, red squirrels and both species of rabbits can be hunted until March 31.
Contact Alan Liere at [email protected]