Fishing Report, Eastern Washington Lakes, April 8th 2022
Updated: Apr 28
With a cold front now descending onto us this weekend, I was out on the lake yesterday enjoying as much sun and warmth as I possible could. Even though I moan the cold weather moving in, I can't really complain all that much because spring has already given us some very nice days.
The ospreys have returned to the lakes and it is always a pleasant competition of keeping a catch tally between me and them...they usually dunk the ball on me though. But, I appreciate their presence because it adds just another small verification of where trout may be stationing in the lake, anything helps to build a better picture of what the fish are doing. I also spotted more buffleheads out on the lake which are my favorite waterfowl, but they are so skittish that I can never get close enough to them to get a decent photo.
Speaking of skittish, the water clarity on many of the lakes in the area has greatly improved which made the trout wary in shallow waters. With improved water clarity, focusing on shadowed spots or fishing later in the evening can be productive when you want to target the shallows. As water clarity improves, I also tend to lengthen my leaders in order to lessen the number of trout I spook.
Water temperatures were also in the mid to upper-40s. With these temps, trolling was an advantageous method to hook into a few trout. Trolling with a full sinking line and either a leech or baitfish pattern(s) along drop-offs and transitional zones from shallow to deep was a good tactic to focus on. However, rather than highlighting what has worked this previous week we should look at what may work during this weekend and into early next week due to changing conditions.
This cold front moving in today will put the trout into a sluggish mood as the area chills down. Highs for the weekend and into next week are hovering around the mid-40s. Fly fishing is always tough as a large cold front settles in, but once conditions stabilize (after a day or two) the trout will get accustomed to the new conditions and the feeding can start to pick back up a little.
For anyone looking to fish this weekend, look to fish deeper water around drop-offs and points. Very slow retrieves (hand twist) or hanging flies under an indicator is a decent starting point. Chironomids, leeches, and bloodworms are all flies to try out. You can also use a full sinking line to hang a blood worm and chironomid about a foot off the bottom in deeper water.
With colder temps, having a game plan before you head out is even more important. Review lake contour maps on where you plan on fishing and look for those deeper transitional areas around shallows and coves. Having multiple spots in mind, and at various depths, will at least give you a basic strategy for the day.
If you are going out onto the water this weekend consider bringing a bag and filling it up with litter on your way out. Every lake and watershed needs its stewards.
As for conservation, there are a few action items and events that you may interested in:
The Snake River recovery effort, lead by Senator Murray and Governor Inslee, now has a survey that you can fill out to share your thoughts and comments about the Snake River dam removal project. You can access that survey here.
The Spokane River Keepers also have a letter to Spokane's City Council asking them to approve a powerful water conservation and drought response plan for 2022. This is an important measure to help sustain flows on the Spokane River. Check it out, read it, and consider signing the letter here.
Lastly, be sure to check out a can't-miss event hosted by Trout Unlimited. TU, and TU's President and CEO Chris Wood, will be talking about plans to save Snake River steelhead and salmon...big deal stuff! It is a free event and will be held right here in Spokane at Gonzaga on April 26th. More info (including registering for the event) can be found here or on TU Spokane Fall's Facebook Page.
If you are interested in learning more from our guides while getting some on-the-water experience, check out our guided fly fishing trips on Eastern Washington's lakes and our Instructional Lessons. Contact us to set up a trip or instructional lesson for this spring.