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  • Ethan Crawford

Fishing Report, Eastern Washington Lakes, April 23rd 2023

(Note: This fishing report is for lakes that are within a 45 minute drive of Spokane)

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A big weekend for many fishers this weekend. The 22nd marks the opening of many lakes in Eastern Washington. Personally, I was out hitting the lakes Friday and Saturday. The weather has been iffy but this weekend has begun to stabilize. The water temps have been at the fifties on top and the low forties at twenty feet. On Friday, my friend Ben and I hit a lake due south-west of Spokane, which proved productive. As we fished, fish jumped all around us sporadically. But, we were able to nail them with chironomids under an indicator. Off the bat Ben hooked into a nice fish and played it perfectly. Landing the fish, we throat pumped it and found more silver chironomids. The birds were singing the whole time but were drowned out by the wailing of the wind. Still a solid day.

Today Marc and I, in separate boats, hit the same lake and which fished productively all day. During the morning hours, my client was able to convince seven fish to bite on opening day. All good, feisty fish in the 12-14 inch range with one in the 16 inches. They were cruising the underwater drop offs and weed lines eating chironomids. The fish we did catch were looking for a big lunch ticket and ended up hitting balanced leeches. Many people were out today fishing, so good to see so many people in the sport!

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Chironomid Pupa Very Near Emerging (Notice the Wings Visible)

Now let's talk chironomid patterns. Since the weather is going to be warming later on the week these bugs will become more active, so having a nice selection of chironomid patterns in your fly box will be more important. I personally tie my chironomids on Daiichi 1273, they are 1x strong and 3x long hooks. Any 3x long curved hooks will work, just make sure they don't bend. As for me I always make sure to pinch the barb, more for my sake than the fish. For colors, I find the best success with a light grey dun body, red ribbing and a white bead head. These colors mimic the larvae. Other body colors that work are black, rusty brown, and red. Chironomids are usually fished one of two ways. Either dead sticked or under an indicator. Both are useful, but personally I like to fish them under an indicator because then I can switch my rigs to balanced leeches more easily.

Overall, we are looking into a great season of lake fishing. With weather stabilizing and fish becoming more active make sure to give us a call and book today.

Conservation and Community Events-

Spokane River Forum Conference, April 26-27:

The Spokane River Forum is having their two day conference April 26-27, which is a great event to learn more information about conservation efforts on the Spokane. Some of the topics will include:

  • Water Quality: Stormwater, PCBs, PFAs, Non-Point Source Pollution

  • Water Quantity: Infrastructure Development, Planning, Conservation

  • Habitat: Riparian Restoration, Aerial Imagery Monitoring

  • Fisheries: Preparing Our Waters for Salmon, Redband Recovery, Invasive Species, Recreation

  • Stewardship: Cleanup, Restoration, Digital Media Messaging, Spokane River Water Trail

The conference will be a fantastic way for you to learn more about the river, become engaged in conservation/stewardship events, and connect with others on protecting and restoring the river and its fishery. More info and registration here:

Trout Unlimited/Spokane Women on the Fly:

Trout Unlimited/Spokane Women on the Fly also have a lot of upcoming events (everyone is welcome to attend these events):


For more information on our guided fly fishing trips and instructional fly fishing lessons here in Spokane, check out Our Services (including Spokane River fly fishing trips, and Eastern Washington lake fishing trips). Feel free to Contact Us to book a trip or to inquire more information.

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