Alan Lear’s hunting and fishing report for January 18

Alan Lear’s hunting and fishing report for January 18

Fly fishing

With cold temperatures, Rocky Ford Creek will be the only option for any trout fishing this week. Fishing reports were mixed but not good even before the subzero weather arrived. However, the Rocky Ford never freezes over, so if you need a fly fishing solution, this and the Spokane River will be it.

Open water fishing

The Colville Tribe recently released 800 triploids at Seton Grove at Rufus Woods Reservoir and another 800 at the state park above Grand Coulee Dam. The weight of the fish ranges from 3 to 6 pounds. Most anglers catch two classes of fish at the lower end of the reservoir, either 12-inchers or others in the 2½ to 3½ pound range.

It is doubtful that you will see ice on Rock Lake because it is deep and open by strong winds. They are a good winter fishery, and rainbow trout are often caught well from shore on primitive releases.

Anglers are finding some walleye in Porcupine Bay and above by jigging dark jig heads with green plastics in 40 to 50 feet of water. Many of the fish are between 16 and 18 inches long.

Ice Fishing, Washington

Some Washington lakes at higher elevations, such as Sidley, near Oroville, and Bonaparte, near Tonasket, have safe ice for a few weeks. Bonaparte has a large variety of fish including kokanee, trout, brookie, and mackinaw. It’s a deep lake, but the best way to fish is in 30 feet of water or less.

Pend Oreille Chain, Gillette, Thomas and Coffin lakes have good ice and similar fishing. The predominant species is perch, but there are also crappie and trout. My friend Thomas and I tried it on Monday, but obviously we got there too late. Another angler said he arrived at dawn and had steady catches of 8-inch perch until 9:30 a.m. when the bite died down. The trip to Thomas from Spokane takes about the same time as the trip to Curlew Lake.

Getting to Thomas Lake usually isn’t too bad if it snows. There is a steep slope right at the water that is difficult to navigate when you return tired and cold. Gillette Lake is easier to access, especially if plowed, but Gillette, I’m told, doesn’t fish as well as Thomas. Coffin Lake has a steep hill that can tire you out on the ride back to the car.

Curlew ice anglers are pulling buckets of nice-sized perch from an area of ​​the state park where there is 6 inches of good ice. However, the depth of ice is not always this deep everywhere in the lake, as there are places that take much longer to freeze.

There was only one angler testing the ice when I stopped by Goofy Joe Lake on Monday. He hadn’t done much fishing and the ice looked to be about 3 inches thick. The small lake holds brown trout and jumbo perch as well as rainbow. Most hunters fish on the public access right. It is a shallow lake with the deepest water in the middle about 20 feet.

Silver Lake is full of small perch and is a good place to fix the problem. It’s a great place for kids. Exit to the right of the public entrance and start fishing in 29 feet of water. For taste, perch eyes are hard to beat.

The ice on White Lake is good and the fishing has been fair to good from public access and slightly to the right. These trout are usually on the bottom, but sometimes they are suspended 10 feet or more off the bottom. Jigging spoons and worms as well as Power Bait work for trout 13 to 16 inches long.

Diamond Lake is covered in ice, but it may not be thick enough for fishing by the weekend. The more snow we get, the longer it will take for it to become fishable.

The ice on Eloika Lake has been holding up well and ice anglers are taking some decent sized perch and largemouth bass. There is no minimum size, but the bass should be released between 12 and 17 inches. Only one over 17 inches can be kept, and there is a limit of five fish.

Banks Lake is frozen all the way. Most of the ice is 4 inches thick, but there was an area in the middle that was less than 3 inches thick on Tuesday. There is often good perch fishing at the Boat Basin in Coulee.

Ice Fishing, Idaho

Howser Lake had 7 inches of ice earlier in the week and anglers were taking good numbers of good-sized perch. Blue Lake has 9 inches of good ice with 4 inches of snow on top. Ice anglers were catching a few crappie, but they said that according to their electronics, there were too many fine fish surrounding the bait. Freeman and Upper Twin have good ice but so far, only small perch have been caught. Fernan and Avondale are also covered in ice. Fernan has the greatest variety of fish including large channel cats as well as spiny ray and rainbow trout.

The ice on Mirror Lake is good, and more and more anglers are catching kokanee. The ice of Lake Kokkulala is also good. Perch and trout bite fairly well in the morning, but the trout bite gets better as the day progresses.

the hunt

Waterfowl hunters have until the end of January in some areas of Idaho. The season concludes on January 28 in Washington. Otherwise, only chukars remain open in both states till January 31. Snow hare, cottontail and red squirrel hunting season remains open through March 31 in Idaho. In Washington, hares and rabbits are open until March 15.

Contact Alan Liere at

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