Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for November 3
Silver Bow Fly Shop claims the Spokane River is one of the best fisheries in late fall and winter. Nymph and streamer fishing was the most productive. Ultimately, underground gaming is king now.
Fishing on the North Fork of Coeur d’Alene and St. Joe is still strong and should remain so for some time. Expect nymph and streamer fishing, especially in the morning. Dredging will be essential. Smaller flies will be more important to surface feeders during midday hours.
Nymphing and swinging wet flies are good choices for rainbow trout on the Grande Ronde. Stonefly nymphs are year-round favorites. The water is high and the fishing has been fair to good.
On the Yakima, the peach usually warms up with small nymph and sculpin mimics as the rainbows and cutthroat feed before winter. The fishing was very good on the Yakima.
The Clark Fork could light up with bad weather in the forecast. October Caddis, Mahoganies and BWOs were all seen sporadically, and cloud cover will make dry fly fishing more consistent. Otherwise, streamer fishing on stormy days is a great option for chasing big fish.
Trout and kokanee
A Double Whammy with a nightcrawler has been effective for Lake Roosevelt trout from Hunters to Two Rivers. These fish fall into two distinct size categories; 13-16 inches and 18-22 inches. A Muddler Minnow dragged 15-30 feet below the surface was also good if angled with a piece of nightcrawler.
The triploids planted at Rufus Woods Reservoir earlier this spring have gained weight and anglers can now expect to catch 4 to 6 pound trout, with some even larger.
A friend who trolles for trout on Long Lake says the fish run between 13 and 24 inches. Troll outside the weed line with four lead line colors and a worm-tipped wedding ring. He also says that the flesh of these fish is just as red as that of Lake Roosevelt.
Trout fishing on Moses Lake has been phenomenal all summer with fish weighing up to 7 lbs. Although slowing down now, some nice fish are caught on Flicker Shads along Medicare Beach.
Salmon and rainbow trout
Clearwater B-Run Rainbow Trout always hit anglers jigs. The top teen fish are landed fairly regularly.
Most of the fall chinook have passed, but a few healthy coho can still be found migrating through the Columbia River. Coho salmon are a late run and most are expected to arrive by December.
The lower section of Hanford Reach (I-182 bridge upstream of the power line from the old town of Hanford) is scheduled to remain open until Dec. 31 to provide anglers with the opportunity to target the late return of coho salmon to the Ringold Springs hatchery. The lower section is open for rainbow trout native to Ringold Springs Hatchery, from the I-182 bridge to the old Hanford power line crossing. The rainbow trout fishery will likely close in early fall due to low fish numbers as few fish have been counted at the hatchery to date.
Marine Area 11, excluding Commencement Bay, is open until December 31 for Chinook Salmon, Sunday through Wednesday only. Daily limit 2. Up to one Chinook salmon, at least 22 inches, may be kept. Coho salmon and wild chinook salmon must be released.
Fishing for coho and other salmon is expected to remain strong on the coastal rivers, Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay through November.
Bass and walleye fishing is always good on Potholes Reservoir. Pink smile blades with pink and purple pearls and a slow death presentation with night owls were effective earlier in the week. Also try the dune face and some bumps. Walleye fishing was generally slow at Lake Roosevelt.
Perch now bites at Fish Lake in Chelan County. The size does not rival that of the Lac Long perch, but it is a respectable 8 to 9 inches.
The first movement of waterfowl spread across eastern and central Washington and northern Idaho usually comes after a hard overnight freeze, which could happen anytime now. The second movement, the most important, triggers the movement of the “norths”. It usually takes place in mid-November.
Columbia Basin waterfowlers report no new birds and complain that the weather has been too good for local birds to cooperate. If you observe sick or dead birds while waterfowl hunting, report them using the investigation link on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website. With the fall migration of wild birds underway, Washington is preparing for a potential increase in cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
The modern elk gun hunt runs through Saturday. All elk season dates can be found on the elk season summary web page. The best elk opportunities in the area tend to be found in the southeast Blue Mountains district. The best elk hunting opportunities in the northeast are in the Pend Oreille sub-herd area, which includes GMUs 113, 117, 121, and 111.
In recent years, Idaho Fish and Game has doubled the traditional number of pheasant stocking sites in the Gem State. They will store over 30,000 pheasants in the 24 permitted areas, including 14 WMAs.
IDFG began selling general season non-resident big game tags on November 3, purchased on a first-come, first-served basis, at Fish and Game offices during regular business hours, from license vendors , online at GoOutdoorsIdaho.com, or by calling (800) 554-8685. A list of available labels is listed on the Non-Resident License and Label webpage.
Contact Alan Liere at [email protected]