Alan Liere’s fishing-hunting report for February 10

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Fly fishing

With global warming, the coming weekend might be a good time to break out the fly rod again. Nymph and streamer fishing will be the best. Silver Bow Fly Shop said Stone Fly Nymphs, Hot Pearl Nymphs (jigged or not), San Juans and Squirmies will all be on the menu. Streamers can consist of Sparkle Minnows, Conehead Buggers, Sculpins, and Leech types.

Open water fishing

Lake Roosevelt trollers do well on 15-22 inch rainbow most days and 14-20 inch walleye on some days. Trout anglers use flies, Apexes, Old Goat Lures and Rippin’ Minnows, usually in shades of green or orange. Walleye anglers have had better success on flats in the Spokane Arm with jigs and blade baits. While trout bite throughout the day, the walleye’s bite is usually complete by 11 a.m.

Ice Fishing, Washington

Anglers in Washington and Idaho wonder if recent warm weather will negatively affect ice conditions, but with the current amount of ice and cold nights, that shouldn’t be a problem for a few weeks unless that we have a lot of rain.

Even then, though it can get sloppy, it takes a while to compromise the 8-12 inches that most lakes have.

It was an interesting Monday for me as an ice fisherman.

First I fished Bear Lake with some friends who caught a few perch and trout and a 23 inch channel cat. I had a bite, which I missed.

When I was ready to go, a friend of mine who had a water camera convinced me to give Sacheen a try.

We did, but again I only had a bite to eat as he caught 10 good sized perches and released another dozen small ones. He said that without the camera, he probably would have been skunky too.

Initially, the fish were not on the bottom, but rather suspended 32 feet in 45 feet of water. They weren’t hammering the bait, barely sniffing it out before delicately picking up the maggot without even shaking the end of the rod. It was noted on this trip that perches raised to 32 feet did not have inflated swim bladders in their throats. The week before, fish hooked at 45ft did so and could not be successfully released.

A friend of mine who fished Bear with me on Monday without success traveled to Silver Lake where the little perch bite was frantic.

Obviously the moon was in the wrong phase, because where it usually catches more than it wants to clean, on Monday it only catches two. But don’t get too discouraged; winter fishing can change drastically from day to day.

Anglers on Lake Eloika weren’t catching a lot of perch this week from the south end near the public access. They were getting a lot of bass, including at least one over 4 lbs.

Thomas Lake in the Little Pend Oreille Range is said to be the best place in northeast Washington to catch perch. They aren’t huge, but most are 8-9 inches tall.

The breakwater near the Coulee City Marina has attracted concentrations of ice fishermen looking for perch just off the island. The fishing was good.

Towards the other end of the lake, the Coulee Playland Marina parking lot fills up in the late afternoon with anglers preparing to night fish through the ice for lake whitefish.

The ice is in good condition on Fish Lake near Lake Wenatchee. Lots of perch are caught.

Davis and Bead Lakes in Pend Oreille County and Palmer Lake in Okanogan County yielded a nice size burbot to ice anglers going deep with bait. Lake Roosevelt can also be good burbot fishing, but the fish are smaller. The best bite for all these lakes is at night. All of these lakes also have kokanee and trout. Davis and Bead also have big mackinaws.

Perch have mostly left the Curlew Lake National Park area and moved north, where ice fishermen are making huge catches of good-sized perch in 35 to 40 feet of water.

Ice fishing, Idaho

Gamble Lake has been slow for perch anglers this week. Cocolalla was put out one day for perch and dead the next. Same as Fernando.

Spirit Lake kokanee fishermen are catching a few through the ice, but they haven’t done as well as last year.

Anglers at Mirror Lake primarily take small trout and kokanee, but also a few stocked 12-14 inch rainbows.

There is said to be quite a bit of water above the ice at Rose Lake, although the ice there is still a substantial 9 inches.

Other species

Smelt returns are always a wildcard, but there was some good news in late November when an early run up the Cowlitz River. Signs look positive in 2022. Run size will continue to be assessed to determine if it can support a sustainable recreational dip net fishery. Any potential smelt fishing will be announced via an emergency rule and shared via a press release and the WDFW website.

WDFW shell managers have confirmed that the next round of knife excavations can go ahead as planned from Monday to February 18. Excavations will only take place on weekdays at low tide in the evening. Not all beaches will be open.

Hunt

Until March 12, the WDFW invites the public to submit written comments on a proposed spring black bear special permit rule change. The Fish and Wildlife Commission accepted a petition last month to initiate the development of rules for a special black bear permit season in the spring of 2022. The proposed rule would establish special black bear hunting permits in spring for a shortened 2022 season, starting May 1 and ending June 15. .

The amendment also proposes changes to harvesting and inspection procedures and makes it illegal to kill a cub or a female with cubs.

Contact Alan Liere at [email protected]

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