Pete Heley Outdoors 12 / 31 / 2014

Virtually all of the streams have fishable numbers of steelhead in them and fishing success can be as simple as fishing the ones that are currently in prime fishing condition. For other species, some prime choices for those able to travel are: Lake Chelan in central Washington and Crescent Lake in central Oregon for mackinaws, Pyramid Lake in western Nevada for big lahontan cutthroat trout.

Last winter, Potholes Reservoir, near Moses Lake Washington, had incredible icefishing for several weeks. The prinary fishery was for big yellow perch and rainbow trout, but many other fish species were taken incidentally by ice anglers including walleyes, bass, burbot, crappies and even channel catfish to 28 pounds.

As of last week, Diamond Lake was not yet suitable for icefishing, but with colder weather predicted, that should change. Snow flurries have blocked some of the roads around the lake.

Other winter fisheries would include bottomfishing off from jetties or out in the ocean when weather conditions permit or ocean crabbing when possible.

Winter fishing for whitefish can be very productive. The trick is to find a spot with a good population of whitefish that is open for fishing in the winter months. One of the more consistent spots used to be Crescent Creek, the outlet to Crescent Lake, but it is no longer open to winter fishing. Most whitefish anglers use small baits such as maggots or small pieces of nightcrawlers, but a few flyfish with small weighted nymphs.

Another reminder for hunters that purchased deer or elk tags for 2014 to report their success – even if they didn’t actually hunt – it could save them from paying an extra 25 dollars when they purchase their 2016 hunting license.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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