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  • Ethan Crawford

Fishing Report, Eastern Washington Lakes, May 5th 2023

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

fishing report eastern washington lakes

This week, thunderstorms continuously rolled through Eastern Washington most evenings or nights. Along with the storms, the temperatures were also the highest of the year, reaching into the 80s. Water temps were high as well, in the mid to high 60s at the surface and then mid to low 60s fifteen feet down. Overall, summer is coming quickly. Marc and I hit the water this week and were able to land some trout. We headed southwest in search of some lakes, launching at 6:00am when the weather was still cool. We found and marked fish on the finder, but these fish were just doing their thing and not looking for lunch. By now, large chironomids had surfaced, and the water was warming up.

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This time of year, the lakes are starting to warm up, and the trout are starting to feel it. It is not yet too hot for the trout, but it is close to it. The trout will be hanging out more in the shallows during the morning where the insect life is abundant: the weedy shallows that are 5 to 15 feet deep. As the day progresses and the temperatures increase, the fish will move deeper. Around the afternoon, Marc and I marked fish at the drop-offs and weed lines. They were cruising in the deeper, cooler waters still feeding. Once the sun was far overhead, we targeted another fish: perch.

Perch are spiny ray fish and are quite commonly seen as a nuisance. Using squirmy wormy, booby flies, and various nymph patterns, you can target these golden tigers. These fish hang out on the bottom of lakes in large schools. They are very curious and love to eat anything that fits in their mouths. Marc was throwing a small bugger and worm pattern and was picking them up. You will need a heavy sinking line to get to these fish, but finding them is quite easy. Look for shallow 10-15 feet of water with weeds or lilies. These fish mainly feed on small fish and bugs as they are very predatory. One other thing about perch is they are extremely tasty. Filleting fish in the 8-14 inch range can be tedious, but after a dozen, you have yourself a meal. My favorite way to cook these fish is beer battered.

With temps rising, it is time to give the trout a break. Bass, carp, and perch are just a few other species to target. Find a small bluegill pond or hit the docks for some crappie. There are a lot of fish out there that need to be caught too!


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):

Spokane River Forum:

Upcoming public clean-up events on the Spokane River:

  • June 10 - U District/Mission Park

  • August 19 - Location TBD

  • September 16 - Stateline to Spokane Valley Locations

  • September 16 - City of Spokane Locations (Lands Council)

More info and registration for these clean-up events can be found on their website here.

Washington Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers:

Every month, the local Washington chapter of BHA meets at the restaurant Hunt in downtown Spokane (225 W Riverside Ave STE C, Spokane, WA 99201) and invites a biologist to provide a presentation and discussion on any number of wildlife, conservation, and/or habitat topics. It's a great time to meet other anglers/hunters, learn something about our local wildlife and how we can be more engaged with looking after angling opportunities within the state.

The next upcoming event is on May 31, 2023 at 6:00pm - 8pm, more info here.


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.

fly fishing guides spokane



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