The North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River was out of service due to hot weather and rain. It’s down but probably won’t be an option this week. The St. Joe River has similar conditions, but can be somewhat fishable on weekends. The area’s lakes are good for fishing, but the fly-fishing-only Bayley Lake in the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best. Rainbows at 20 inches are quite common.
Trout and kokanee
Lake Wapato, 2 miles north of Manson, Washington, produces beautiful 16 to 18 inch kokanee for anglers slowly trolling about 20 feet along the south shore. Wapato also has good trout fishing.
Diamond Lake is a good bet for trout. Coarse fishing and trolling are both effective near public access in about 40 feet of water. Williams Lake always gives up decent catches of rainbow trout, and tiger trout and a few brookies are caught at Fish Lake
Fishing at other takeout lakes around Spokane is starting to improve. West Medical, Fishtrap, Badger, Waitts and Jumpoff Joe were decent for trout, and a few 10-inch Kokanee were reported caught by Loon Lake trollers. Deer Lake trollers caught some decent mackinaws.
Long Lake remains a constant source of good trout fishing. Trollers are doing well almost anywhere on the lake, but most of the effort is from Willow Bay through the Tum Tum area.
Salmon and rainbow trout
The Clearwater River is expected to see about 5,000 spring chinook harvest shares this year. The season is set at seven days a week with a limit of one fish and hopefully will last at least three weeks. Reel Time Fishing said it expects actionable numbers to start showing around Sunday.
The spring Columbia Gorge Chinook season has been good and will continue through May. Trolling with bait and flashers was the most effective.
The WDFW reduced the daily adult salmon limit in Drano Lake earlier this year to help ensure broodstock collection at the National Little White Salmon Hatchery would be completed in 2022. Adult spring chinook returns to the The hatchery has been good and the broodstock collection target was recently met, so that the fisheries can be reopened under permanent rules.
Two areas of the Yakima River will be open to hatchery spring chinook fishing. Zone A (open until June 15) extends from the Highway 240 bridge in Richland upstream from the State Road 241 bridge (Sunnyside-Mabton). Area B (open Tuesday through June 30) extends from the Interstate 82 bridge at Union Gap to the BNSF railroad bridge approximately 600 feet downstream of Roza Dam.
The Icicle River in Chelan County will be open for hatchery spring chinook retention from Monday until one hour after official sunset on June 30 with a daily limit of two chinook, adult or jack .
May and June are prime months for catching Hells Canyon sturgeon and smallmouth bass. Both fisheries started last week.
Smallmouth bass in Dworshak Reservoir are in their spawning period and huge fish have been caught.
Smallmouth bass are starting to bite all over Washington and Idaho. Lower Yakima was good as were Banks Lake, Moses Lake and the Snake and Grande Ronde rivers. Lake Roosevelt is getting better and there are more boating options as the lake rises rapidly. Popular launches that aren’t ready, however, are China Bend, Jones Bay, and Hawk Creek.
Walleye from Lake Pend Oreille were concentrated around the spawning grounds of the lake and adjacent rivers throughout April. The greatest concentration of acoustically tagged walleye was in the area of the Highway 95 long bridge/rail bridge near Sandpoint. This area and the south shore towards Contest Point may be good areas to try as the water is getting warmer and post-spawning fish seem to start feeding more aggressively.
The Fisherman’s Island and Sunnyside area at the north end of the lake was another walleye hotspot, as was the Clark Fork Delta and the lower Clark Fork River. These fish are still pre-spawning and will likely remain in the river until spawning is complete.
Walleye fishing resumes on Potholes Reservoir. As the fish complete their spawning, they move to bumps and sand dunes to scavenge and feed. Fish from the island upstream above M Road at Lind Coulee in 15-25 feet of water with a slow death rig and a nightcrawler on a bottom walker.
A friend reports excellent success for walleye on Long Lake and says he also catches large crappie. Most of its fishing activities take place around Willow Bay. Downs Lake has given up some large crappie and bass, and Newman, Sacheen, Fernan and Hayden lakes are also starting to warm up for crappie. The Lake Eloika crappie has been biting for almost a month and is approaching the shore.
Curlew Lake perch are emerging from spawn and can be found in shallower water than they were this winter. May and June are great times to catch buckets of tasty fish.
The annual Quincy Chamber of Commerce Pikeminnow Derby takes place Friday through Sunday at the Crescent Bar on the Columbia River, where two launches and hookups for camping and RVing provide easy access and convenient accommodations. Generous cash rewards and prizes will be provided by local sponsors.
Get derby rules and register for the event online by searching Quincy Pikeminnow Derby on Google.
Idaho’s application period for controlled deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear and turkey hunts in the fall of 2022 runs through June 5. Hunters can also apply for the first Super Hunt draw until May 31. hunt at any license vendor, fish and game office, or with a credit card online at license.gooutdoorsidaho.com or by calling 1-800-554-8685. There are additional charges for online and telephone orders.
Contact Alan Liere at [email protected]