I spend a couple weeks a year out on twin lakes up in colville, fun for bass fishing, but I need some river time out there. We spent a few hours last summer fishing the sanpoil near the acess road to twin lakes--lots of action, but really small fish, largest 4in... Landed a couple hungry two inchers. Tried lots of fishy looking water, but the little guys were all we could find. Anyway, the river seems really fishy, wondering if I can get some advice on where to find the bigger guys in the sanpoil.

Thanks for the help. -Jeb.
Fish till ya drop.
Then suck it up
and fish the evening hatch.

I fished it years back and have pretty much given up on it. The best fishery is during the time the river is closed....from Lake Roosevelt spawners in the lower reaches. Glad it's closed for that reason.

As to the rest....pretty much depends on hitting it when the waters
just coming down and clearing from the spring freshet.Then you get
a few decent fish all through it and even above the Rez. June usually.

As for sunshine summer fishing. Forget it. The decent sized fish
just seem to disappear as soon as the water clears and drops.
Stick to Twin Lakes.
The SanPoil has lots of small fish. I've fished it several times and never hooked any decent fish. My family fishes at Twin Lakes every year. Several years ago in July and went to the river one afternoon. It was really hot and the water was very low with little good holding water. When I was done fishing, I found two ticks from my legs due to wet wading in shorts. I've also seen lots, and I mean lots of rattlesnakes and black bears on the Colville Reservation. Our family friend had a cougar run across the road in front of their vehicle two years ago. To many wild and biting things to put up with for small fish.
I agree with Fishnfella that any decent fish move down to the lake after the water drops. Stick to the Twin Lakes or try the Kettle. It does hold some nice fish but is best fished from a boat.
Thanks for the input guys. Crushing my dreams of wade in river fishing out there. Brian, do you flyfish for trout up at twin lakes? I've only thrashed around for bass... Love to get some advice for how to catch trout on a fly out there.

thanks again,



Well now I can cross another place off my list. I was thinking of going over there this summer and try it out. I see now,that I don't have to waste my time there. Jim S. :COOK
I fish the basic trout stuff. Woolly buggers,careys,leeches etc. There can be some dry fly fishing on the twin lakes in the evenings on calm night.

Richard E

Active Member
I've fished the Sanpoil in the summer, and the water is usually really, really, really low, and it's very challenging to find a decent fish, most are under 10". I've heard bigger ones are caught, but it's down towards the reservoir. And, the Indians fish down there and keep everything; the Indians I talked to say they don't catch much down there either, probably because they keep 'em. I don't go any more because of little fish and I got tired of ticks. And don't keep anything exposed in your vehicle that someone else might want. You might come back to a rig with a broken window, your equipment gone, and your glove box rifled. Voice of experience here . . .

There are just easier places, less far away from Puget Sound area, to get to where I can catch bigger fish, don't worry so much about my rig getting broken into, and ticks.
It sounds like you must have experienced some ticks also. It is odd how one area has lots of them and others don't. It must be all those cattle that roam freely along the highway over there. The ticks must take Les Schwab up on his offer of "free beef".
P.S. For anyone who drives on the reservation, don't drive fast at night. The deer are bad enough, but hitting a cow is even worse!
Fish till ya drop.
Then suck it up
and fish the evening hatch.

Yes that area is bad for stuff on the road, be carefull. I nearly nailed a Horse just over the crest of a hill one night. That's open range in there. Snakes Galore come down for water in the river. Ticks galore all over E.Wash guys. More bears in the Sanpoil than anywhere.
Cantcatchem....Head for the Kettle and drift it dusk or at night for
monster browns.Daytime good for rainbows too.

Guys that want to flyfish Twin Lakes. Use Chironomids in 10-12' of water in spring. Or if ya rather drag stuff use Helgrammites.
Later on in June use Gray Gompus Dragonfly Nymphs. I've caught trout
in there with as many as 20 Gompus Nymphs in their gut in june and july.