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  • Marc Fryt

Fishing Report, Spokane River, August 5th 2022

Updated: Aug 6, 2022

fly fishing guides spokane river

During an early morning fishing session this week, I scouted along the banks for some decent water to cast my flies at. Throughout the week, the river levels continued to taper down which altered some of the pocket water and runs I have been focusing on. I hiked along in the woods until I noticed an osprey hovering and working over a section of river.

The osprey made repeated dives towards the water only to abort and pull up before plunging through the surface. I watched for a while before the osprey eventually banked its wings and glided further upstream. With no other spots in-mind I decided to hike down and try my luck at that piece of water.

In the middle of the river the current was heavy and turbulent, but on the gentle inside bend where I was a slab of rock buffered the water. Little wavelets formed in the rock's slipstream and flowed over a bathtub-size bucket of deeper water. Not a bad spot, I could see why the osprey was so fixated on the site.

After rigging up a dry-dropper, I landed a cast over the rock slab and drifted the flies through the bucket. No takers. I made a few more casts, but still no love. So, I lengthened the tippet leading to my dropper and redeployed the flies. On the next drift the dry fly plopped under and I raised the rod feeling tension immediately in the line. The trout shook under the water then vaulted skyward glinting its sides in the sun. I bowed the rod pressuring the trout into slower water and towards my net already outstretched in front of me.

The trout glided into the net and I unpinned the fly from its upper jaw. Holding the net in the water, the trout coasted and relaxed. I could catch a thousand of these redband trout and still be in admiration of their colors, particularly the fins with their white hand-dipped tips that are so mesmerizing to look at.

fishing report spokane river

While absorbed by the trout, a number of loud chirps rang out right above my head. I almost dropped my rod it startled me so much! I hadn't noticed that the osprey, whose territory I was trespassing in, was now perched in the pine overhead. It really looked pissed! The bird was so close I could feel the yellow in its eyes trying to burn me for my meddling. Just then, the trout kicked in the net and the osprey bobbed its head left and right, puffed up its wings and leaned forward on the tree limb. "Holy crap," I thought, "this bird is going to skewer me for this fish!"

I quickly got up and waded into the current and released the trout in deeper water, nobody's meal today. The osprey continued to chirp at me and I raised my hands, apologized, and vacated its spot to find a new stretch of river. That'll be the last time I low-hole an osprey.


Fly fishing for these upcoming days will remain much the same as it has been. Dry-droppers are still first to bat and the majority of trout are stationed near riffles, pocket water, and runs. The Spokane River continues to drop little by little as we inch into late summer, but keep an eye out for any side channels that are still formed away from the main current. Any side channel with a few feet of depth and a nice in-flow of current are good spots to target.

There were only a few dry fly takes this week, most action was on the nymph. Tightline nymphing and swinging wet flies have also been productive. I like to use wet flies or smaller streamers and swing them through the current as a clean-up game on my way back downstream, you might be able to pick up one or two more trout that way as well.

fly fishing guides spokane river

Frenchies, olive drab caddis pupas, and blowtorch nymphs have all worked well (tungsten beadheaded, and sizes 12-16). For dries, keep some small parachute adams (18-20) in your box along with caddis patterns (like an elk hair caddis, sizes 14-16). The grasshoppers along the riverbanks have also grown and are starting to take flight a little more recklessly, so any hopper pattern (sizes 8-10) is a good tactic to use along stream sides lined with willow saplings and other vegetation.

If you are going out onto the water this weekend, focus on early morning or late evenings. It will be bright and sunny, and if you want to cast dries then look for shadowed water near the banks. Work runs, riffles, and pocket water of course.

(Read: How to Fly Fish Pocket Water)

With any piece of water you are fishing, concentrate on fishing near to far. It is too often that fly fishers want to get down to the water and fire off a 20 or 30 foot cast into the river. Rather, be methodical and work your flies near to far, then move upstream a little, rinse and repeat. There could be trout tucked up right near the bank and it would be a shame to throw a cast over their heads and spook them with your fly line.

Speaking of fly lines, check out our latest article on how to clean your fly line. It will not only extend the life of the fly line but it can also improve certain qualities like smoother casting, mending, and floatation: How to Clean Your Fly Line.


Conservation and Other News

The 2022 International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) is coming to Spokane on August 25th over at the Magic Lantern Theater (25 W Main Ave. 99201 Spokane, WA) from 7:00-9:00PM. It will be hosted by the Spokane Riverkeepers and all proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Riverkeepers and their efforts to protect our Spokane River fishery. There is a fantastic line-up of fly fishing films that will get you jazzed up to go out and cast a line, and it is for a great cause to support our local watershed. Fun for the family, so please consider going, tickets can be bought at the IF4 website.

Again, there are still dates available to take part in a crayfish study on the Spokane River. This is a really fun and informational event where you will help collect crayfish which will be sent to the University of Idaho to monitor mercury levels in the river. It's a great stewardship activity and kids also have a blast with it so bring the family. Sign up for that is over at the Spokane Riverkeepers, and available dates are August 7th, 18th, and 27th.


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 pages 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.

fly fishing guided trips spokane

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