By Alan LiereFor The Spokesman-Review

Fly fishing

The North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River is perfect for fly fishing . Golden stones, drakes, PMDs and Yellow Sallies are important from here on out.

Add a dropper to your golden stone pattern to improve takes. Midmorning through the evening has been good.

Spokane River flows are well below average, so there are plenty of opportunities to find fishable water.

Silver Bow Fly Shop guides said caddis hatches have been solid.

Usual tactics of dry/dropper, double nymph rigs, and Euro rigs have been consistent. Spokane River guided trips are offered by Silver Bow, (509) 924-9998.

St. Joe River levels have dropped nicely since Memorial Day weekend.

A golden stone will get it done, as will salmon flies, drakes, PMDs and Sallies.

Add droppers to your stones for better results. Streamer fishing is also a good choice while the water drops.

Flows are below average, so everything is ahead of schedule a couple of weeks.

The Clark Fork and Kootenai rivers are dropping but still too big for fly fishing. Smaller streams have reopened in Montana.

Trout and kokanee

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials said trout fishing should be good in the coming weeks at Cedar, Rocky, Big Meadow and Pierre lakes in Stevens and Pend Oreille counties.

Anglers are catching trout from the lakes in the W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area – Blue, Deer, Spring, Watson and Rainbow lakes.

Curl Lake, also in the wildlife area, is also open. Lake Chelan has been producing limits of kokanee up to 16 inches.

There’s no minimum size limit on Lake Chelan kokanee and the daily catch limit is 10 fish, which is not included in the five-trout daily limit.

Antilon Lakes, open year-round northwest of Chelan, typically produce some nice brown trout, but Upper Antilon experienced a winter kill and will not fish well this year.

Nearly 30 Idaho Panhandle lakes have been recently stocked with catchable rainbow trout or are about to be.

Fernan just received 800 fish and Lower Twin got 2,840. Another dozen lakes will be stocked by Friday.

Coeur d’Alene kokanee are “biting like crazy” all over the lake, with the best fishing on the south end.The kokanee are small this year, running mostly 8-9 inches.

Salmon and steelhead

The recreational fishery for spring chinook salmon and steelhead is closed on the Lower Columbia River.

The current upriver spring chinook salmon run size is 143,000 as compared to the preseason forecast of 198,600.

Fishing will remain open for hatchery spring chinook salmon in the Wind River and Drano Lake.

The Snake River spring chinook salmon fishery remains closed.

The mainstem Columbia River summer salmon and steelhead fishery is scheduled to start on June 16.

For anglers looking to target spring- and summer-run chinook, the Upper Skagit, Icicle, Yakima, Lewis, Sol Duc, Willapa and a few other rivers are open.

An upper portion of the Skykomish River remains open for hatchery steelhead, but much of the Snohomish watershed is closed.

On the coast, Marine Areas 3 and 4 (Neah Bay and La Push) open June 17 and Marine Areas 1 and 2 (Ilwaco and Westport-Ocean Shores) open June 24 for salmon fishing.

Spiny ray

Curlew Lake perch have moved into the shallows with the warming temperatures.

Fishing a jig tipped with a chunk of worm under a slip-bobber 12 to 18 inches off the bottom in 6 to 10 feet of water can be a great way to catch your limit.

Trout fishing has also been good.

Sprague Lake, on the Lincoln-Adams county line, has lots of good-sized largemouth bass, as does Eloika Lake in north Spokane County and Liberty Lake south of Spokane Valley.

Sprague has even larger rainbow trout and Liberty also has crappie, perch and brown trout.

Large Flicker Shads and Bandits are taking walleye from the Million Dollar Mile section of Banks Lake from just below Rosebush all the way down the point.

Most of the fish have been 15 to 20 inches.

Walleye fishing has been fair on Potholes Reservoir, but bass fishing has been excellent. A lot of 2- to 4-pound largemouth were reported.

Smallmouth bass and northern pike have turned on in Coeur d’Alene Lake.

Weed beds are just emerging. Although jerkbaits have been effective, spinnerbaits are becoming increasingly effective.

Other species

Anglers have extra days to reel in halibut this season.

The additional halibut fishing dates include: Ilwaco (Marine Area 1), LaPush (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4) on Friday, Sunday and June 16, 18, 23, 25 and 30. Fishing is open for the Washington North Coast subarea on Tuesday and for the Columbia River subarea on June 20.

Westport (Marine Area 2) is scheduled to be open June 15, 18, 22 and 25 and Puget Sound (Marine Area 5-10) through June 30.

Lingcod fishing remains open through June 15 in Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Halibut fishing has switched to seven days per week through June 30 in Marine Area 5-10.

The Columbia River shad run has topped 2.5 million fish and more are coming.

Some of the best fishing occurs along the shoreline in the Lower Columbia River just below Bonneville Dam and can be reached by heading east on Highway 14 about 2 miles past the town of North Bonneville and taking the right-hand turn by the transmission towers.

The access road allows anglers about 3 miles of prime shoreline in either direction.

Shad are bony. They can be filleted, but most anglers prefer to pickle, smoke or cook them in pressure cookers. Shad roe, however, is considered a delicacy.


Washington spring wild turkey season ended May 31, so it’s time for hunters to submit their spring turkey reports, even if you plan to hunt turkeys again this fall.

Reports are required before Jan. 31, whether or not hunters were successful in harvesting a bird.

Contact Alan Liere at