I think my fishing time quadruples when the Spokane River is open for fishing. From the shop we can be on the water in 4 mins. From my house about the same. From anywhere in town no more than 15-20 mins. Pretty awesome. Since we started building a guide service on the river in 2010 my love for the Spokane River has grown tremendously. The fish, the water characteristics, the scenery, all of it. Flowing through a fairly major city it has it's challenges of course, but it's resilient and continues to impress me every year.
June 1st marks the lower river opener on the Spokane River. Note though I said "lower" which to keep it simple is all the water downstream of the falls. The upper Spokane River is all the water out by the shop which opens a few days later, the first Saturday of June 3rd. Always refer to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Regulations if you are unsure what stretch you are fishing.
What's conditions like for opener? High and fishable. The continued theme of the spring around here. Hearty, adventurous anglers that get after it will find some water to fish. By opening it should be around 12,000cfs which is doable. Not ideal, but doable. Brushy banks, small pockets and hungry trout are what I would anticipate. Classic opening day of fishing is blizzard caddis hatches starting late afternoon and redband rainbows keying in on caddis pupa throughout the day into in the evening. Bigger water years like this means potentially some salmonfly action down in Riverside State Park. While these bugs typically hatch in May on the 'Kan, the trout will still remember them in early June and a tightly placed salmonfly pattern to the willowy brush along the banks can get a few fish on the surface.
Most of the time the slam dunk set up for opening is some big rubberleg stonefly nymph patterns, caddis pupa, or streamers. Usually the rubber leg stonefly nymphs patterns I like to run in conjunction with the caddis pupa. Streamer fishing will be good too right out of the gate. Big sparkly shit is our go-to for the next month on the river as the levels work their way down. I am however a big fan of the large chernobyl patterns with a dropper below (caddis pupa or pat's rubber legs) from opener to the fall. Spokane River fish are known for their reaction to swung wet flies, but they can be greedy to pluck a large foam bug off the surface all summer long.
If you have never experienced the Spokane River, need a break from your job, or want to book a guided trip check out this short video we did with Cutboard Studios showcasing our home water.