Spokane Winter Fisheries Top 3

Sean Visintainer - 12/10/14

Winter Fly Fishing at Rocky Ford Creek in Central Washington.

Winter time blues? There is always an option to fish!

Want to get out and fish? There are always options! Below are my top 3 choices and a little info on each. If you are interested in checking any of these fisheries out, just swing by the shop and we will set you up with the right flies, equipment, etc and show you where to fish on each. It's that easy to go fishing right now!

Winter Fly Fishing on the Spokane River with Sean Visintainer and Dave Dana.

1 - Spokane River

The Spokane River, is in my opinion, the most overlooked winter fly fishing option and it's right under everyone's nose! So think about this... the opportune time to fish right now is short (mid-day only), the roads can be a little treacherous, lots of rivers are frozen or very cold... not the Spokane!

The Spokane River never freezes and has warmer water temps than the NF CDA and St Joe Rivers right now. Being a tailwater system and having aquifer recharge will keep this river ice free over the next few months. Plus if fishing sucks or you're cold... you can be back home in 15 minutes! Both the Upper River near the shop and the lower river below the Falls down to the Riffle Club Rd are fishable right now. Occasionally if we get some snow, then a quick melt, Hangman (Latah) Creek can dump mud into the lower, but so far so good.

Even though the Spokane doesn't have nearly the amount of fish the other rivers have, it is enough to get out on and potentially have some decent shots at quality wild fish.

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Sean Visintainer overlooking Rocky Ford Creek, Washington

2 - Rocky Ford Creek

Most of you already know about Rocky Ford Creek north of Moses Lake. In-case you don't though, Rocky Ford Creek is a fly fishing only stream that is spring fed. Because it is spring fed it never freezes and has consistent temperatures in the low 50's. The main food source for the trout is scuds, midge larvae / pupa, bwo's, and some caddis. Anglers not wanting to fish small patterns can also chuck some big nasty streamers out here and do very well. It's a great place to site fish for big rainbow in clear water and test your skills. I've literally fished here in snow blizzards and caught fish.

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Sean Visintainer with Snake River Steelhead Fish.

2 - Snake River

The Snake River is one of the best winter steelhead fisheries in our area. The reason why? It does not freeze. Plus the fact that all the steelhead that go to the Grande Ronde and Salmon Rivers have to go through the Snake to get there!

The Snake River can be a little intimidating at first because of its size. Don't let that bother you though, look at the first 30-50' of the shoreline and just focus on that . Plus most of the main pieces of water are obvious... they have a vehicle turnout spot! That's usually a good indication of "hey, this is good water".

The Snake can be fished with single handers, however, it is ideal Spey rod water. Switch rods are okay too. Most runs are broad and long and to cover the water efficiently a Spey rod will do the best job. Sink-tips and marabou or leech patterns are the best options right now. Our favorite sink-tip in most runs is 10' T-10.