Fishing Magician

I covered a lot of territory last week. I fished a couple of days on Lake Roosevelt at Kettle Falls and hit Rufus Woods on my way back. I even spent a couple of hours on the bank at Spring Canyon before heading home. High water is creating some problems for anglers all along the Columbia River.

I had a plan in place to travel to Kettle Falls and fish for walleye with my friend Kevin Witte, owner of Up River Outfitter guide service. The fish were in post spawn mode, and he was filling his live well to overflowing with fish. I knew we were up against a full moon, but what we didn’t anticipate was the huge influx of water into Lake Roosevelt from Canada. Typical flow for this time of year is a bit more than 150,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) and last Thursday it jumped to 290,000. The current was fierce, and both the Kettle and Colville rivers were dumping a lot of very dirty water into the reservoir. We tried fishing above these streams near Evans, but the fish had moved off the flats that had produced so well for Kevin earlier in the week. We covered a whole lot of water that day but were able to put just three fish in the boat. Kevin worked hard, but the timing couldn’t have been worse. I want to get back up there when the reservoir is at full pool. The walleye fishing in this area is tremendous when conditions are right.

In spite of the very poor conditions on Lake Roosevelt, Mike McKee and I fished with Keven Witte, of Up River Outfitter guide service, again on Friday morning. Although the fishing sucked, Kevin was sharing some great information about fishing in the Kettle Falls area and I wanted to get enough footage for a video. Kevin decided to put us in the mouth of the Colville River and pound it. It worked and we got three fish that morning. I then drove down to Coulee Dam and on to the Colville Net Pens site to try for some triploid rainbow. I had a big surprise when I arrived. The boat launch was under water and there was hardly any shoreline exposed. I had to fish well below where I usually do here, and although I landed a fish after about 15 minutes, I just was breaking off too much gear to continue fishing. When I passed Grand Coulee Dam on my way through town I saw that they were spilling water over the dam. This is very unusual. I think I have only seen this once before. They are having a tough time keeping up with the runoff entering the Columbia River from Canada. This week’s photo is of the launch on Rufus Woods.

I had planned to fish Rufus Woods on Saturday morning last week but changed my mind. I just didn’t want to drive all the way up there early enough to get a good spot, and then spend only a half hour or so to get my limit. The fishing is excellent, and it takes no time at all to get your fish, but there is hardly any shoreline to fish from here right now. I opted to give Spring Canyon a try. It’s just a couple of miles from town, and I have done well from shore here. The rainbow average 16 inches and are of excellent quality. I walked down the beach below the swimming area to one of my favorite spots and made a cast with some Power Bait. I got a bite almost immediately and had a nice 19 to 20 inch rainbow on my stringer in about 15 minutes. I fished for two hours and only got one more nibble. I stopped at Northrup to clean my fish on my way home. I talked to an angler here that had limited on walleye on Banks that morning. I better get up there!

I had a friend reach out to me about where I plan on fishing for summer salmon and sockeye on the opening day, which is July 1st. I fished opening day with Shane Magnuson for many years and we started the season at either Wanapum or Chelan Falls. We had good success at both locations. I am thinking about starting out in the Brewster Pool this year. I am watching the dam counts already and both summer salmon and sockeye are on the way. I usually fish the Brewster Pool once or twice each season and we always get our sockeye and have put a few kings in the cooler here, too. I have hooked kings on my sockeye gear and managed to land them a time or two. Wanapum can be great, but it looks like this could be a high water year and that makes navigating the fishing area below the dam a real challenge. Chelan Falls has treated me very well on past openers. It is getting to be extremely crowded in the early season. Mainly because of the high ratio of hatchery fish taken here. I haven’t made up my mind yet, so we’ll see.

The high water we’re experiencing right now may last a while and that may present some challenges for salmon anglers when the season opens. Current is a good thing usually, but when it is excessive it makes fishing difficult in certain areas. It would be nice to get some advice from an experienced salmon angler on how to approach fishing this season. Better plan on attending the free seminar at Bob Feil Boats and Motors on Tuesday, June 28th. Austin Moser will be there with a presentation on his tackle and techniques for catching salmon on the Columbia River. You won’t want to miss this one. No matter what stretch of the Columbia you plan to fish; he can help you be successful. I am sure he will be talking about his favorite methods for catching sockeye, too. The seminar will be held at the Bob Feil Boats and Motors Dealership, on Sunset Highway in East Wenatchee. The fun will begin at 6 p.m.

While we wait for the salmon season to open, go to Lake Chelan for kokanee or the big lakes, like Moses, Potholes and Banks are just now producing good catches of walleye. I can never have too many walleye in the freezer!

 

Past Articles

June 17, 2022
Dang, I am tired of rain. I have rescheduled fishing trips, video sessions and other things because of it this spring...MORE...


 

June 10, 2022
I have been encouraged by some warm daytime temperatures—finally—this year, and it has me very excited about the walleye fishing...MORE...

 

 

June 3, 2022
I can’t believe it’s June.  It has been such a cold spring this year that everything on...MORE...

 

 

May 27, 2022
Typically, I have made a few trips to Moses Lake, Potholes Reservoir and Banks Lake to fish for...MORE...

 

 

May 20, 2022
I had a week of low numbers with big fish, and a trip...MORE...

 

 

May 13, 2022
Along with the warmer days we get in the spring it can be windy throughout the region...MORE...

 

May 6, 2022
I had another terrific week of fishing here in North Central Washington ...MORE...

 

 

April 29, 2022
My wife Eileen and I visited several lakes to see how anglers were doing on the opening ...MORE...

 

April 15, 2022
I had a wonderful week on and off the water. It started....MORE...

 

April 8, 2022
There has been a sharp increase in the number of boats out on the water here in Central Washington....MORE...

March 25, 2022
Spring weather has anglers chomping at the bit...MORE...

 

March 18, 2022
I had a great weekend. The annual Burke Lake Trout Derby took place on Saturday...MORE...

 

March 11, 2022
As many of you know, my wife Eileen and I have hosted several trips...MORE...

 

March 3, 2022
Despite the prospect of finding many of the lakes in the Columbia Basin MORE...

 

February 25, 2022
Winter is being reluctant to release it’s icy grip. We even got a good shot of new snow up here MORE...

 

February 25, 2022
I did some exploring last week. I spent a short time fishing from the shore at Keller on Lake Roosevelt MORE...

February 18, 2022
The sunny skies we have seen throughout the region inspired me MORE...

 

 

February 11, 2022
There are a very good number of anglers enjoying the colder weather we’ve had this winter  MORE...

February 4, 2022
Cold temperatures have been great for fans of ice fishing MORE...

 

January 28, 2022
The ice fishing season is on! Anglers are out on frozen lakes throughout the region MORE...

 

January 21, 2022
I had a great time last week traveling to four different ice fishing lakes up north was really fun MORE...

 

January 14, 2022
Like so many others here in Central Washington, I have been pretty much home bound  MORE...

 

January 7, 2022
The ice fishing season is on! Anglers are out on frozen lakes throughout the region. I have reports of good catches of perch, MORE...

 

December 31, 2021
I hope everyone had a great Christmas.  As we approach New Year’s Day we have extremely cold temperatures forecasted throughout the region.  MORE...

 

 

December 24, 2021
I made a few trips to the middle net pens last week.  We had very good success, limiting on most days.  My last trip was on Sunday and fishing was tough.  I am glad we MORE...

 

 

 

December 17, 2021
I had a really fun week of winter fishing again.  This time I was able to get up to the MORE...

 

 

 

December 10, 2021
I have been trying my luck fishing from shore for rainbow lately MORE...

 

 

 

 

December 3, 2021
I had a terrific Thanksgiving Weekend.  My daughter visited MORE..

 

 

 

November 26, 2021
Winter arrived with a good dump of snow in Leavenworth last week MORE..

November 19, 2021
I didn’t have a lot of success when I got out fishing this past week MORE..

 

November 12, 2021
Anglers are having very good success on the Icicle River for coho MORE..

 

November 5, 2021
I had so much fun fishing this week, it’s hard to believe it’s November. MORE..

 

October 29, 2021
I got out on the Icicle a couple of times this past week. It rained hard last Friday MORE..

 

 

October 22, 2021
I got out several times this week to sample some of our fall fishing opportunities MORE..

 

October 15, 2021
It was a great week of fishing and not catching for me. That’s the way it goes sometimes. MORE..

 

 

October 8, 2021
Anglers are having increased success fishing for salmon on the Hanford Reach for fall kings...MORE..

 

October 1, 2021
I hope you were able to get out on the water this week...MORE..

 

 

 

September 24, 2021
With the fall-like weather comes some really good news for fall fishing...MORE..

 

September 17, 2021
I had a very fun week. Got the chance to fish with my two brothers...MORE..

September 10, 2021
I hope everyone had a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend
MORE..

 

 

September 3, 2021
Can you believe it’s September already? Where did summer go?! Actually, I am not missing the...
MORE..

 

August 27, 2021
We are in a period of transition right now. Salmon fishing on the upper..
MORE..

 

August 20, 2021
I spent most of my week on Lake Wenatchee fishing for sockeye, and got...
MORE...

 

August 13, 2021
I have had a tremendously fun week of fishing. Lake Wenatchee MORE...

 

 

August 6, 2021
Salmon fishing continues to be the biggest draw for anglers here in the region... MORE...

July 30, 2021
I considered several options about where to fish this past week.  I finally settled on ... MORE...

 

 

 

July 23, 2021
I had a great time this past week, fishing for sturgeon out of Kettle Falls on Lake Roosevelt... MORE...

 

 

July 16, 2021
Although temperatures have cooled a bit throughout the region... MORE...

 

July 9, 2021
The extremely high temperatures we’ve experienced throughout the region didn’t... MORE...

 

July 2, 2021
Man, it is a scorcher out there! I would like to get out fishing more,MORE...

June 25, 2021
I got out on the water a few times this past week.  MORE...

 

June 18, 2021
I had a great time this past week.  I had one of the best days of MORE...

 

June 11, 2021
A family wedding brought my daughter Whitney to the east side of the mountains MORE...

 

June 4, 2021
I hope everyone had a safe and fun Memorial Weekend  MORE...

 

 

 

 

May 28, 2021
I had a terrific time on the water this past week. I was on Moses Lake two days  MORE...

 

 

 

May 21, 2021
I ticked off a couple of commitments this week and had a lot of fun doing it. MORE...

 

 

May 14, 2021
I had a great time last week. I traveled to the town... MORE...

 

 

May 7, 2021
I got out on the water a lot last week MORE...

 

 

 

 

April 30, 2021
Last weekend was the annual opener of the lowland trout lake MORE...

 

April 23, 2021
The weather was almost summer-like last week MORE...

 

 

April 16, 2021
In just a few days one of the most unusual MORE...

 

Dave Graybill
"The Outdoor Insider"
email: fishboynwi.net
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