Fishing Report, Eastern Washington Lakes, April 28th 2023
(Note: This fishing report is for lakes that are within a 45 minute drive of Spokane)
It was a taste of summertime out on the lake today. Warm, sunny, little wind, and some sweat to go with it all. It also brought flashbacks of the last two summers and those torturous heat domes (and that also made me even more thankfully that we installed a new AC into our house this week).
The bugs have finally started to really respond, and the trout are taking note of these changes. The warming weather going into this weekend and into next week will definitely spur on the insect activity and things will get even more exciting out on our local lakes. In short, it should be a good weekend to head out and get some fly fishing in.
Water temps were in the low 50s at the start of the day, then slowly crept up to the mid to upper 50s by the afternoon. This warming will only continue, and the rest of the water below the surface will follow suit. As water temps maintain that sweet spot of 55-65F, the trout will become ever more hungry due to an increase in their metabolism.
Throat pump samples also finally started to reveal some more interesting stuff. We still had the typical zooplankton (like daphnia), but we started to some much larger chironomid pupae (sizes 10-14) and damselfly nymphs (10s and 12s). By late morning and into the early afternoon, chironomid shucks were on the surface and the adults (sizes 12-14) were adrift drying off their wings.
With the bright sun and calm wind, the trout were a bit finicky in the shallows, and rightly so due to all the ospreys and eagles out soaring around now. Drop-offs and weedy areas were more productive and since we were getting a mixed bag of throat pump samples, a lot of different flies were working (blobs, leeches, chironomid pupae, etc.). So having a mix of fly patterns that mimic chironomids, leeches/baitfish, and damselfly nymphs should help you to key in on what the trout want (and more importantly we were casting two fly rigs most of the time).
If you do have a sonar and notice that fish are congregating a foot off of the lake bottom, that's a fantastic indicator that they are feeding on chironomid larva that are staging a foot off the lake bottom. So, consider tying on a size 10-14 blood worm and hanging that one foot just off the bottom.
*Side Note: Take a moment to look at those larger adult chironomids while you are on the lake. Those fuzzy things attached to the adult chironomid's head are plumose antennae, and only the males have those and use them to locate females in-flight. Neature!
The weather for the weekend looks to be mainly sunny, warm, and with little wind. Best fishing times are most likely going to be morning or evening hours. But, if you can only fish the middle of the day then look for any shaded areas, and especially target those drop-offs and any deeper water immediately adjacent to weedy shoals.
Beyond fly fishing, turkey and morel mushroom hunting are both in full swing. This spring has been kind to me and I was able to tag my second tom for the season. I always put too much pressure on myself to tag some turkeys in the spring and I think getting that first tom really helps to calm me down, and then I can really take my time and be fully absorbed with hunting for the second bird. I also have to give massive credit to Dan Wittenberg who I bought a long box call from this year. Dan is a local and lives over on the South Hill and hand makes the most impressive turkey long box calls you have ever laid eyes on. If you're a turkey hunter (or just someone who like to communicate with turkeys if that's your thing), I highly recommend giving his website a look DansCalls.com because the call I bought from him helped to bring in both my toms this year, so big thanks to Dan!
Morels are also popping up in places so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for those. Think about giving yourself some time before or after you're done on the water to walking around the woods and scanning for these delicious little morsels. If you have never hunted for morels or are looking for more info/tips, check out this great video that goes into located morels here in the PNW.
Conservation and Community Events
Spokane Riverkeeper 9th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival:
The Spokane Riverkeeper is hosting their 9th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Please join everyone again LIVE at the the Garland Theater on Thursday, May 25th from 7-9 for an array of environmental films that will leave you inspired. This event is a benefit for the Spokane Riverkeeper and all proceeds support the work we are doing to protect your River. Doors open at 5:30 PM. Films start at 7:00 PM.
Advance Ticket Price: $15
At the Door Ticket Price: $20
More info and ticket purchases available 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):
Casting Practice at Audubon Park (3405 N Milton Street, Spokane, WA), 2:00-4:00pm. More info here: https://spokanefallstu.org/event/ffi-bronze-casting-challenge-hosted-by-swotf-2-2/
Hackle and Hops Fly Tying over at Whistle Punk Brewery on May 21st, 2:00-4:00pm. More info and registration here.
More events listed here: https://spokanefallstu.org/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.