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  • Marc Fryt

Fishing Report, Eastern Washington Lakes, April 11th 2024

Updated: Apr 12

***Update- I just got a call this morning (Friday April 12th) from an official with Medical Lake. They are going to move the boulders on the north end when they can get the crews back over there. And they hope to get the south end boat launch open for this weekend (that still depends on how far state crews get on grinding down the remaining tree stumps).

  Well, today’s fishing did not go as expected, at all. (Don’t worry, we’ll get to some fishing info for the upcoming weekend in a minute).

fly fishing spokane

  I had a few hours to do some stillwater fly fishing today so I headed over to Medical Lake with the windows rolled down taking in the pleasant sunny weather. The boat launch on the south end of the lake was still closed (due to tree removal because of the wildfire last year), so I made my way up to the north end to get the raft in the water. Once I got to the north end I knew the day had just been soured considerably.

  A few construction workers with a backhoe were placing large boulders around the shoreline and the boat launch area was blocked off. Yes, you could say I was upset. The workers were just doing their job and I talked with them for a few minutes before driving over to Medical Lake City Hall. I had a discussion with the person working the front room of city hall (again she also had nothing to do with the policy to place the boulders). She wrote down my complaint and gave me additional resources to voice my concerns.

fly fishing spokane

  My intent with all this is not to stir the pot trying to make something out of nothing. I understand why the city placed those boulders there. The parking area gets out of control and people speed through it which becomes a safety issue. However, there is no reason to completely block off shoreline access for those launching watercraft like drift boats, rafts, canoes, and kayaks. Even if you might not need to back a vehicle up to the water’s edge it is a challenge, physically, for other anglers that I’ve seen to carry their watercraft. If the southern boat launch was open (which who knows when that will happen) this wouldn't be an issue.

  You might be thinking that this is overkill. But consider this: The gradual whittling away of public access will concentrate anglers towards other lakes. So yes, if you’ve ever said that certain lakes are getting crowded, this is absolutely part of the problem, and you should also be concerned. 

  This also hurts local restaurants and cafes in Medical Lake, because it’s nice to grab a coffee and something to eat before or after fishing. Now that public access is further restricted, some anglers will have to opt to fish other areas.

  If you would like to also voice your concerns, whether you agree with me or not, then send an email over to the Medical Lake City Administrator Sonny Weathers at like I did.

Ok, back to the fun stuff...

  After I got done with all this, I only had about two hours to fish before I had to be back home. So I pivoted and just went over to Silver Lake to see if the bass, perch, crappie, and sunfish were waking up. But water temps were cold, too cold for those species to really be doing much of anything; the surface was at 50F and it was 49F down around 15 feet. The sonar was quiet with little to no fish activity on the screen. The one big positive though (and for those of you fishing this weekend) was that the chironomids were starting to hatch.

  Chironomids start getting more active when water temperatures begin to creep into the low 50s. The adults on the water’s surface that I saw hatching were small- to mid-size, 14s to 16s. As water temperatures continue to warm, we’ll see more and larger chironomids hatching. The weather is supposed to be sunny and warm this weekend, into the low 70s. That should help to get the bugs a bit more active.

fly fishing spokane

  So, if I was fishing this weekend I would have a few chironomid larva and pupa patterns in my fly box. Fly fishing with chironomid patterns is not the most effective way to search a lake for trout. If you don’t notice any chironomids on the surface (and if you don’t have a sonar to see what's going on below), then employ other flies to search the water in different areas, different depths, and with different retrieval speeds. Blobs, booby flies, and small slim bodied streamers are great to try. You can also use a team of wet flies paired with a hand-twist retrieve if you think the chironomid pupa might be emerging up through the water column. 

  I also started hearing some ospreys, so once they’re back in town the trout will begin to spend less time in shallow water, especially later in the day, and if the wind is calm…nobody likes getting their eyes plucked out by a bird of prey.


  Beyond fishing this weekend, there is a great volunteer opportunity coming up with the Spokane Riverkeeper. They are launching a new citizen river monitoring effort:

  “The goal of the program are to act as the eyes, ears, and noses in the River basin to quickly spot pollution events and help ensure the proper agencies respond to pollution threats promptly.”


  This is a fantastic way to not only learn more about our local Spokane River and the habitat/ecosystem, but to also give back to the fishery and help to protect and rejuvenate it for present and future anglers and for those that also love the river and its wildlife.

  For those that would like to be a part of this effort, there are three dates to attend a River Watch Training Workshop:

April 30th, 4:30 to 5:30pm at the Community Building, more information and sign up here.

May 9th, 4:00 to 5:00pm at Shadle Park Library, more information and sign up here.

May 15th, 4:00 to 5:00pm online, more information and sign up here.

  Note: All dates will have the same presentation and information, so no need to attend more than once.


Upcoming Community and Conservation Events

There's a few fun upcoming events this spring to get you active and ready for the fishing season:

  There is also casting practice on Saturday April 13th over at the south end of Audubon Park  starting at 11:00am. No experience or equipment necessary, and it's completely free! It's a great opportunity to learn how to fly cast or to practice/learn new skills like the double haul. I am planning on being at the casting practice to help out and to answer any questions about fly fishing the Spokane River and nearby lakes. Email if you need equipment or if you have any questions about the event.

  On Sunday April 14th, Spokane Women on the Fly (SWOTF) and Spokane Falls Trout Unlimited (SFTU) will have another fly tying event. It will be from 2:00 - 4:00pm over at Lumberbeard Brewing (25 E 3rd Ave, Spokane, WA 99202). No experience is necessary and fly tying tools and materials will be provided, but be sure to sign up here. Cost is just $8. The fly pattern Lindy Orozco will be teaching is the Brushy Creek Streamer which is an effective fly for our area with bass, panfish and trout (especially our local lakes!), and it's also a great for sea-run cutthroat trout for when you head over to the Puget Sound.

  The Spokane Riverkeeper is having their largest river clean up of the year on April 20th in Highbridge and People's Park from 10:00am to 2:00pm. They'll provide gloves and bags, and can use your help to remove trash from along the river. It's a great way to be a angler-steward and give back to the river. For more information and to sign-up, click here.

spokane fly fishing guides
At the end of the day I also helped a turtle cross the road!



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