• Marc Fryt

Fishing Report, Spokane River, October 7th 2022

fishing report spokane river

Although the leaves are changing along the Spokane River, the temperatures haven't quite caught on to the fact that we've been in fall for the last couple weeks. Fly fishing and floating the river this week felt more like summer than anything else. Sunny skies, warm temps, building up a sweat while on the oars, about the only thing missing from the scene would be some fine dry fly fishing, oh wait....

Earlier this week it was one of those exciting moments where the Spokane River just tossed us a soft pitch and as long as you kept your eye on the fly it wasn't too hard to connect. Better yet, we had a decent number of hefty trout take the dry fly, some even went out of their way by chasing it down through the current. As a guide, it was also a rare time when both the dry fly and the nymph just stayed in the game the entire trip which allowed me to enjoy watching the rise of each trout rather than busily cycling through patterns or changing up rigs.

Watching these trout materialize amongst the pocket water, tipping their heads up just enough to slurp in the fly, always amazes me and the anglers in my boat that typically skip over the rougher water. At times, the water clarity actually works against us. You can see the shape of trout emerging from beneath and you know the moment is coming. The hardest thing is throttling back the urge to set the hook before the fish fully takes the dry fly. If you mistime the hook set and fling the fly away from the trout all you can do is cringe, grip the rod tight, and throw a last ditch effort to tempt that trout back to the surface...sometimes they give you a second chance. But, if you can pause, give a count of one-Mississippi, then raise the rod, well that tight line is oh so gratifying.

fly fishing guide spokane river

Almost all of the dry fly takes occurred in the fast pocket water and riffles, the larger redband trout are still hunkered amongst that turbulent water trying to bulk up before we edge into winter. As we floated through some of the pools and glides, the number of dry fly takes went down but the nymph picked up the slack.

Mornings through the evening have fished well, I didn't notice too much of a slump during the midday hours so whichever time you can hit the water should be fine. While the flows have bumped up to above 2000cfs, the clear currents and warm temps should keep the action going through the weekend. As I wrote in previous fishing reports, side channels are continuing to shape up and are worth exploring with a dry-dropper rig. Not all side channels are zones where the river splits around an island, it could just be where part of the river has started to fill in spots that were barely a trickle a few weeks ago.

fishing report spokane river

Large, buoyant terrestrial dry fly patterns (sizes 8-12) should produce some action over the weekend. We haven't had any freezing temps so there are plenty of grasshoppers still popping and chattering along the riverbanks. These grasshoppers will continue to stay alive until we have a handful of frosty nights. The caddis (sizes 14-16) are also starting to re-emerge in the air and we noticed some trout plucking them from the surface (along with midges, sizes 22 and smaller).

Beadhead nymphs, sizes 12-16, that are dark bodies, chartreuse, bright orange, or any combination of that have all worked consistently this week. Whether under a dry fly or indicator (or euro nymphed), play around the colors and (more importantly) the weight. You could also do something completely different and try dead drifting a crayfish pattern under and indicator or tight lining it through pocket water or a run, and at the end of the drift just strip the crayfish back to you. These trout are looking for a meal before winter sets in.


Conservation News

Some big updates along the Spokane River! As some of you may have already noticed, the city has started work on two areas along the Spokane River as part of the Cochran/Downriver Stormwater Management Plan. The first spot is Downriver Park below the TJ Meenach bridge which is now closed to access as they work on upgrading the park by building stormwater bioretention facilities, improving parking, and constructing a new boat launch!

The second location is the Downriver Disc Golf Course where they are also building stormwater bioretention facilities as well as completely re-vamping the disc golf course and improving the parking lot and bathroom facilities.

The stormwater bioretention facilities will be a great boost to the health of the river below TJ Meenach bridge and is a very positive step towards looking after the health of our redband trout and their habitat. Construction at the two sights should be completed by June 2023, and for more information click here.


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 guide spokane


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