I know the trout fanatics won't like this, oh well.
The Spokane river is becoming a great smallmouth fishery. See attached picture of a 17" smallie caught out of the Spokane, there were 6 more of the same caught on Sunday. I love it...
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This beautiful specimen of a smallie was released along with all of the other ones caught. Enjoy what you have now,, and don't live in the what used to be. I have fished for smallmouth all over this great country of ours, and there are several areas with trout and smallmouth in the streams. And nice trout and smallies at that. Do not blame the smallmouth population for the demise of the trout in the Spokane river, blame AVISTA and the Coeur D' Alene lake homeowners for not keeping a constant flow over the dam to allow all of the spawning gravel areas that the trout spawn in to remain underwater and to not dry out prematurely. Smallmouth spawn in deeper areas then trout so they will survive the low water and higher water temperatures.
buzzer you are right to place the blame on Avista but also the North Idaho counties allowing landowners to suck water out of the aquifer. Now the upper river is lower and warmer than at any time in history. It is not the small mouth that have depleted the trout population. What has happened is the trout are moving downstream to where the aquifer is recharging the Spokane with cold water again. The trout stay down in this cooler water and the bass stay up in the warmer water. The fish biologist says that snorkel assessments have shown that it is almost like an invisable barrier between the two species.
It is too bad that the pollutant situation is not better so that some of these nice Smallmouth Bass could be caught and eaten. Then maybe they would get to a nice size and not overpopulate and get smaller as often happens with Bass.
I have had some fun days on the upper river catching small mouth we might as well enjoy them they are not going away.
I would love to fish the Spokane river for smallies! Do you fish from shore or is the current mild enough to fish from a 'toon? Also, are you comfortable revealing any particular stretch to fish? Any other advice is also appreciated. Thanks for the report!
As of a couple years ago the only developed launches on the Valley stretch of the Spokane were at State Line and Harvard Road. It's a fairly short float, maybe 4 miles, but all pretty good smallmouth water and very doable in a pontoon boat for a moderately experienced floater. There are some other spots that could serve for a pontoon boat launch/takeout but they are pretty "western"
I did that float in September a few years ago and caught mostly bass but also a few pikeminnow and one trout. I asked about shuttle service at the fly shop near the Spokane Valley mall but they weren't offering that at the time. If more people are doing it, maybe they offer something now?