Silver Bow Fly Shop has this to say about the winter fly fishing outlook: “The Spokane River remains one of the very few winter options. This time of year it will be a game of dredging, nymph or streamer fishing … For the nymph, opt for sandfly nymphs and attractive hot ball nymphs. The San Juans can be good too. Streamer fishing will be best with sink tips and slowly stripping your fly through deeper / slower pools and trails. Don’t expect things to be crazy, but on the hottest days a fish or two can be found.
Chet Allison. president of Spokane Fly Fishers, has this to say about winter fly fishing: “The weather might not be the best over the next month or so, but I’ve found Rocky Ford to be good for it. a short fishing and casting trip. The fish are moving slowly, the weeds are gone, and the pelicans are gone too. Small flies like scuds are productive. I have tried pink or red egg designs with some success. Try it on a day when the temperature is over 32 and not very windy. You might be surprised.
Trout and kokanee
After a slow fall, fishing for the large kokanee of Lake Roosevelt resumes. As the water level drops to make room for anticipated spring storage needs, food is pulled to the lower end of the lake and the kokanee follow them. The fishermen follow the kokanee and look for them closer to Keller, and finally to the Grand Coulee Dam. These fish focus on daphnia, a small crustacean that is found on or near the surface of the lake. To efficiently place your gear where these kokes feed, fish on the surface. Because these fish are so shallow, the side planes will effectively place the offerings away from the boat so that the fish are not frightened. Most of the fishermen go to Keller and go up the lake quite a distance. One of the places they start is in an area above Hansen Harbor known as Goat Farm.
Trollers for kokanee catch a lot of rainbow on the same platforms. These fish are distributed in good numbers throughout the tank. Good reports from the boat and shore arrived this week from Porcupine Bay, Jones Bay, Hawk Creek and Lincoln.
Most lakes in eastern Washington state and northern Idaho need at least another week of cold weather before they are safe for ice fishing.
In the Idaho Panhandle, several lakes come together. These include Round, Avondale, Cocolalla, Fernan, Chase, Mirror, Sheppard, Mirror, Gamble, Twin, and Dawson. Of these, Dawson and Round could be ready to go on the weekend.
In Washington, most of the small waters are at least covered with thin ice. Lake Bonaparte has 6 inches of ice. Eloika will likely be ready for ice fishing soon, as will Diamond, Sacheen, Hatch, Williams, Bonaparte, Thomas and Gillette if the cold persists. Perch fishermen are anxiously waiting for the ice in Curlew Lake to be sheltered from the state park, but it is only about 2 inches thick.
Other popular lakes for ice fishing in Washington will be Silver, Hog Canyon, Fourth of July, Bear, Waitts, Patterson, and Palmer.
Salmon and rainbow trout
Salmon fishing will open January 1 in the Seattle / Bremerton area (Marine Zone 10) and will be permitted on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays only with a retention limit of one salmon per angler. The minimum size of chinook is 22 inches. Other species of salmon will not have a minimum size.
“This winter chinook fishing in central Puget Sound has always been popular,” said Jake Rice, Puget Sound salmon fishery manager for the WDFW. “The goal of limiting fishing to Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays with a limit of one bag of fish is to minimize the likelihood of meeting or exceeding fishing meet limits before the scheduled March 31st close date. “
While walleye are a little easier to find on Roosevelt Lake because they have been there longer and fishermen have chosen some of their hiding places, the walleye of Spokane Lake have been elusive for many despite a population growing.
The toothy fish are spreading through the system, but the best success has been slightly upstream from Felton Slough.
Legal size white sturgeon fishing opens on New Years Day at Bonneville Pool (between Bonneville Dam and Dalles Dam), Dalles Pool and John Day Pool (between John Day and McNary Dam). While the Bonneville Pool and John Day Pool will be open daily, fisheries managers in Washington and Oregon have determined that opening the Slabs Pool only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays should help prevent fishing. to exceed its quota and ensure that conservation objectives are met. The Dalles pool will remain open for fishing with release on days not open to retention.
Ocean beaches will reopen for the razor clam from December 30 through January 5. Check your regulations as not all beaches are always open on the same day. The only clam with some daylight will be on December 30 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks where the minus-0.1 foot low tide will be at 3:49 p.m. The daily limit will drop back to 3 p.m. from that point on. day.
A few other mallards appear in the Moses Lake area, but if there has been a strong push from the north, they have ducks elsewhere in public waters. The bright spot was the huge flocks of snow and Canada geese.
The general fall season for turkeys ends in Washington after December 31.
The birds form huge groups, often working on the harvested grain fields. Bird hunters in eastern Washington state can still hunt pheasants, quail and gray partridges until January 17. However, the Chukars do not close until after January 31.
In Zone 1 of Idaho, wood grouse, quail, chukar, and gray partridge are open until January 31. The pheasants close on December 31. Turkeys close in some ERGs on December 31st and January 31st in others.
Also in northern Idaho, the snowshoe hare and red squirrels are open until March 31. Both can be hunted in Idaho with a shotgun or a small caliber rifle. Keep in mind that Idaho’s annual hunting licenses expire on December 31.
Contact Alan Liere at [email protected]