Hunting and Fishingby Alan Liere
Spokesman-Review, September 21, 2011
The main road to the St. Joe River from St. Regis is open, but there will be delays because of paving. Fly fishing has been good. Must-have bugs are Rubber Leg Stimis, Hoppers, Black Deaths, Tricos, Mahoganies, PMDs, Baetis and October Caddis.
Fly fishermen are doing well on Clearwater steelhead from Orofino down to the confluence. An orange and yellow pattern called "Fall Favorite" and a green and brown pattern called "Green Lamp-lighter" have been productive.
Steelhead and salmon
Clarkston guide Rick Hedding said the salmon/steelhead fishery on the Snake and at the confluence of the two has changed drastically. The Clearwater is dropping and the Snake is up, and the bite has been off since late last week. Hedding said he has caught 51 chinook from the confluence this fall, but only five were keepers. He predicts the good steelhead fishing is two weeks away, as everything this year is running late. Friends fishing near Wawawai on the Snake River this week say their fish finder was black with fish and chinook were rolling all around them, but nothing was biting.
Even though chinook numbers at Hanford Reach on the Columbia River are lower than predicted, anglers are doing well. Two adults and four jacks per day are allowed. The use of barbed hooks is permitted, as is retention of wild fish. Effort is spreading out throughout the Hanford Reach and the Tri-Cities.
Angler effort for salmon continues to rise on the lower Yakima River. This week there were an estimated 381 angler trips, and WDFW staff sampled 53 anglers with three adult chinook and two jacks.
Fall chinook catches are good in the Columbia near Bonneville Dam and fair to poor at Buoy 10 and between Warrior Rock and Troutdale. Anglers are catching a few coho near the mouths of some tributaries. Coho catches are fair to good at Buoy 10.
Last week at Ilwaco, anglers averaged 0.7 salmon per rod, the best catch rate of the season. Overall, 76 percent of the catch was coho. Chinook and coho guidelines are close to being met.
The steelhead count over Bonneville is slightly less than the 10-year average for this date, but the Snake River dam counts are at or near 200 percent of the 10-year average. No one seems to know if the Snake River fish are coming early or if the Snake is receiving a higher percentage of fish than normal.
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