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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 29, 2011 at 1:08 PM

East of the Cascades lakes also brimming with trout for opening day

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While most of the attention to lowland lakes opening day is focused on places in the Puget Sound region, those willing to brave high gas prices can experience some mind blowing trout fishing east of the Cascades.

Among the top choices that have thousands of planted trout are Badger (planted with 7,000 trout), Williams, West Medical, Fish, and Clear (31,000 catchable rainbows, 696 fish averaging 1 1/2 pounds apiece and 300 3 pound trout) lakes in Spokane County and Fishtrap Lake in Lincoln County. According to state Fish and Wildlife anglers usually average about two trout each at all of these waters. Most have rainbow trout, but some also have cutthroat and tiger trout.

Bill Baker, a state Fish and Wildlife northeast district fish biologist, said a couple of Stevens County lakes that open in late April are often among the state’s top 10 in catch rates.

Deer Lake in Stevens County got about 24,000 rainbows, plus some triploids. Loon Lake known to produce some monster trout on opening day got a plant of 1,036 rainbows averaging 1 1/2 pounds apiece, plus 250 3 pound trout.

Cedar Lake, near the Canada border, and Rocky Lake, just south of Colville, last year provided limits of five rainbow trout for every angler out on the opener.

Other good trout fishing in Stevens County can be found at Waitts, Deep, the Little Pend Oreille chain of lakes, and Potter’s Pond. Selective gear fisheries like Bayley, Rocky and Starvation lakes are also good through May.

Pend Oreille County’s Big Meadow and Yocum lakes usually provide anglers an average of two to three trout each. Other good producers include Diamond (got 31,000 catchables), Frater, North and South Skookum, Marshall and Sacheen lakes. Davis Lake also in Pend Oreille County got a plant of more than 4,000 rainbows.

In Okanogan County hit up Pearrygin Lake near Winthrop, Conconully Reservoir and Lake, Chopaka Lake, Aeneas Lake, and Blue Lake in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area.

In Chelan County, the top lakes include Clear Lake south of Wenatchee and Wapato Lake north of Manson.

In Douglas County, Jameson Lake south of Mansfield is a popular opening day spot.

In Grant County, Blue and Park lakes near the town of Soap Lake, and Warden Lake east of O’Sullivan Dam on Potholes Reservoir are planted with trout.

(Photo taken by Betty Udesen, Seattle Times staff photographer)

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