Fishing Report, Spokane River, August 20th 2021
Updated: Mar 22, 2022
The river levels are also still incredibly low, but you can take advantage of it right now by exploring stretches of the river on foot or wading. If you do wade, then felt boots, a wading staff, and good balance are critical.
I was out for fishing a favorite run earlier in the week, and while wading I was methodically hitting the most subtle seams of water that were mixed in-between the turbulent currents. As I went along euro-nymphing, I hooked into a decent trout that gave a spirited dash into some nearby pocket water. Once I caught up, I jumped along the bank and started to bring the trout over to the sandy beach I was on. A boulder that was a few feet from my boots started to move, and it turned out that is was a beaver that was relaxing on the sand. After nearly giving me a heart attack, it swam out into the water, inspected the trout I was reeling in, and dove down into the pool. Stuff like that keeps me on my toes with the Spokane!
The evenings have also been a good time to scout out some of the pools for rising trout. You might be able to locate a few sippers or splashy trout going after caddis, midges, and even some PMDs. Typically, the splasher the rise the smaller the trout (an exception: large trout will take grasshoppers with gusto). A plan you can follow is to arrive at a pool and just spend 15-20 minutes observing and watching both the head and tailout of the pool for risers. Have a variety of smaller dries for the midges (sizes 18-20), a few PMDs (sizes 14-16), and some caddis (sizes 14-18). Longer leaders (12-15ft) tapered down to 5-6x can also help fool some of the pickier eaters.
Besides the evenings, the mornings and mid-day fly fishing can be good. I continue to euro-nymph most of this time and use heavy flies to get down quickly in the pocket water and runs. Another trout that I hooked into with a heavy stonefly pattern held stalwart in the current and almost fooled me for a snag. Getting down to some of these trout necessitates the use of tightline nymphing with heavy nymphs. Much of the Spokane is less "matching the hatch" and more making sure the nymphs in your fly box are measured and precise with a range of weights.
You can also try fishing along the banks midday using larger dry patterns that mimic terrestrial insects like hoppers. The grasshoppers have been very active recently and offer a calorie-dense meal to trout. Look along the bank for trenches of deeper water, larger sunken boulders, and walking-pace current. Toss a hopper pattern and float through there, or use a hopper-dropper instead, both ways can be effective this time of year. For more on hopper-droppers and dry-dropper fly fishing check out:
Other than that. get out to enjoy the weather and the fly fishing. Feel free to send an email for any questions (or post a comment below). Hope to see you out on the river!
As always, if you are interested in booking a guided fly fishing trip with us Contact Us, or check out our Spokane River Guided Trips page for more information. We also offer Fly Fishing Instructional Lessons here in Spokane if you are interested in spending just a couple hours out on the water improving your fly fishing skills.