Fishing Magician

This was a great week to be outdoors. I spent Monday at Moses Lake and Saturday on Banks Lake, fishing with my daughter. What a great time of year here in Central Washington. I am going to try to make the most of these warm fall days by getting out on the water as much as possible.

My daughter loves to fish Banks Lake. I introduced her to walleye and bass fishing here years ago, and she hasn’t missed a trip to Banks since. It was really fun watching her learning to tie on her own hook and thread a lizard on it to fish for smallmouth on our first trip. It took her a while to get the hang of setting the hook, but she caught on and catches lots of smallmouth when she comes for a visit and we fish Banks.

This past Saturday she was determined to get some walleye. On her first morning of fishing for walleye years ago, she got a 26-incher before I got a second rod out and got a 24-inch fish a little later. The following year she landed a 30-inch walleye, a mark I have yet to beat on Banks. Whitney did have the same luck on her recent visit. Fishing was tough on Saturday, and although I tried to talk her into switching to bass fishing, she wanted to stick with trying to get walleye.

We got a small fish on Barker Flats in the morning, but only two more, while missing a bunch of hits and me pulling the hooks out of a fish at Million Dollar Mile. She did get the biggest smallmouth ever, when we were bottom bouncing spinners and crawlers though, and we had a wonderful day together. This week’s photo is of Whitney with the big smallmouth she landed last Saturday.
If you saw my Facebook post you would have seen several openings to salmon fishing in our region. The WDFW announced that they have opened the Upper Columbia River to coho retention from Priest Rapids Dam to Wells Dam. In another announcement, the lower Yakima River was opened to fishing for fall Chinook and coho salmon. Anglers should go to the WDFW website to view the news releases that provide the details for these two fisheries. One announcement was the opening of coho fishing on the Icicle River, which began last Thursday.  This turned out to be kind of a non-event. I thought I would drive over and check things out and when I arrived I found the gates closed! There was no way to get to the access below the hatchery. So, I ran over there and spoke to the assistant manager who was surprised to learn that the season had opened. He said he would check the news release and get the gate opened right away. When I went by a little later he had done what he promised.
The closed gate may not have turned many anglers away. The water is extremely low right now and I didn’t see any evidence of coho in the stretch below the hatchery. The coho must have missed the release about the opening of the season, too. Less than 400 have passed over Rock Island Dam. The run is showing up much later than last year. There are good numbers of coho coming up the Columbia and fishing will get in gear soon. A good rain would help move fish into the Icicle.

Here’s some good news for anglers that are fishing for fall kings on the Hanford Reach or plan to this season. Close to 53,000 fall Chinook are on their way to the Reach and this is 17 percent higher than the pre-season forecast. It appears that there will be plenty of wild fish for escapement and the sport fishery should continue through the scheduled season. The best fishing of the season typically is right now through the season’s end. Another item of interest about this year is that a very good number of four- and five-year old fish are included in the return, so some real hogs could be taken. Anglers are also adding coho to their catches.

I know anglers are having good success trolling Super Baits, either up or down stream, and I hope that they are saving some eggs from these catches. Often the king bite will switch to an egg bite, and it is a good idea to have a good supply on hand. I have had some great days back-trolling eggs with jet divers in a couple of spots not far below Priest Rapids Dam. I have also caught some of my biggest kings back-trolling herring when back bouncing them on lead balls. This would be a great way to catch kings now, but in the past we were using releases, and when we got a fish on the lead it would drop to the bottom of the river. Lead is too expensive to lose this way now, and it’s not a good idea to leave all this lead on the bottom either.

I wanted everyone to know that I just sent out my E-Letter for the fall to my list of subscribers. Here is a comment that I received about the most recent E-Letter: “Hi Dave. 

Another letter loaded with helpful information!! You are my go-to source for PNW fishing information!! So very grateful for the years of hard work you have put into helping anglers young and old! With heartfelt gratitude,” a long-time subscriber.

If you are not receiving these free E-Letters, it is easy to get on the list. Just go to my website at www.fishingmagician.com and click on the E-Letter button at the top left of the Home Page or on the navigation bar. Just provide your name and email address and I will get one sent off to you. After that you will automatically receive all future E-Letters.

As usual the fall E-Letter has a lot of photos, maps and information on how to fish for species that are currently open to fishing, and my list of Top Prospects for the Fall. This list includes lakes and streams that I like to fish this time of year.

I love this time of the year. Great weather and so many terrific fisheries!

Past Articles

September 16, 2022
I am very excited about my plans for this week. I will be heading over...MORE...

September 9, 2022
I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Weekend. I know for many...MORE...

 

September 2, 2022
One of the busiest weekends of the year is coming up. Thousands of anglers will...MORE...

August 26, 2022
Hot weather has meant early starts to get on the water before the temperature ...MORE...

 

August 19, 2022
Stormy weather kept me off the water on Lake Wenatchee for several days last week ...MORE...

 

 

 

August 12, 2022
I had another great week of fishing for sockeye on Lake Wenatchee.  There was a lull in the bite when a storm ...MORE...

 

 

August 5, 2022
I was able to fish Lake Wenatchee on the opening day of sockeye fishing ...MORE...

 

 

July 29, 2022
Sockeye salmon have a very large fan base here in Central Washington. ...MORE...

July 22, 2022
The big news on the fishing front here in Central Washington is the huge return of sockeye salmon that has been arriving in...MORE...

 

July 8, 2022
There is a lot to be excited about for the salmon season in our region this year. If you follow the dam counts...MORE...

 

July 1, 2022
We were all complaining about how cold it had been this spring, and all of a sudden we can start complaining...MORE...

 

 

June 24, 2022
I covered a lot of territory last week. I fished a couple of days on Lake Roosevelt at Kettle Falls...MORE...
 

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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