Hunting and Fishing 9/2by Alan Liere
Spokesman Review, September 2, 2011
Steelhead and salmon
The best chinook fishing of the year at Brewster is now at the mouth of the Okanogan, and pressure has diminished significantly. Most fish are in the teens. Super Baits and Brad's Cut Plug Lure are popular. Water temperature at the mouth is 74 degrees. If it gets below 71 degrees the fish will head quickly up the river.
Fall Chinook seasons opened Thursday in the Snake River from the Washington-Idaho border upstream to Hells Canyon Dam, and in the Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to the Memorial Bridge. There are salmon in the river, but it may be a little early yet for good fishing.
Catch-and-keep steelhead fishing opened Thursday on the Snake River from the mouth to Idaho and also on the Salmon and Little Salmon. Steelheading should be good on the Snake.
The area of cold water at the confluence of the Clearwater is larger than usual, and the steelhead are spread out more. From the Memorial Bridge to the mouth of the Clearwater, anglers have been catching steelhead at the rate of one every four hours. More than half of these have been wild. Upstream of the Memorial Bridge, steelhead fishing in the Clearwater is limited to catch-and-release until Oct. 15.
At Darver Tackle in Starbuck, Wash., Verna Foley said the numbers are good for steelhead and chinook and she expected a good opener. "The Wall" at Little Goose Dam is a popular spot for both species. Anglers must be off the dam by 5 p.m. each day.
On Lake Coeur d'Alene, small chinook are active in 50-70 feet of water. The larger fish have entered the tributaries.
The coho fishery at Buoy 10 has been good and is getting better, said regional fish biologist Chris Donley, who spent several days there recently. He predicts another two weeks of good fishing.
Including fish released, boat anglers at Drano Lake averaged over a steelhead per rod last week. They were also catching some fall chinook and coho, as are bank anglers on the White Salmon River.
On the Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam, chinook catches are increasing while steelhead are tapering off. Overall fishing was slow the first part of last week and had improved some by the weekend.
The Skagit River has been red hot for pinks. Lots of people report hooking 20-30 fish per outing. A few silvers have also been showing up in the Skagit. Early September usually marks the beginning of the silver run.
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