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Best fishing is from boats on Hayden Lake

| April 8, 2010 9:00 PM

Crappies are starting to hit on Hayden Lake.

They've slowed a bit recently with the cooler temperatures, but they should pick back up once the weather warms, said Brad Zierer of Black Sheep Sporting Goods.

Anglers should cast lines baited with crappie jigs or maggots, and the best fishing is from boats, Zierer said.

Now that it's cooler, trout have dropped down to between 80 to 100 feet below the lake's surface.

Hopefully, they'll rise again to chase sized 10-12 black and brown rooster tail flies and orange and green stimulators.

•••

The water is back up, and so is the fishing.

Recent downpours have made it easier to snag a fishing line in lakes around Kootenai County, said Jeff Smith of Fins and Feathers Tackle Shop and Guide Service.

"The water on Lake Coeur d'Alene came up a little bit, and that's helped the bites, just getting that water flow," Smith said. "Hopefully we'll keep getting that (rain)."

Salmon has picked up the most on the lake, he said, adding that some catches have gotten up to 15 pounds on the south end.

"Fishing is good in almost any of the bays," he said.

Most are chomping on tiger rapalas or helmeted herring, he added.

Folks can test the water for themselves on April 17 and 18 for Fins and Feathers' Spring Salmon Derby, Smith said.

Fishermen can pay the $20 registration at the tackle shop. The derby runs until 4 p.m. Sunday, April 18. Weigh-in will be at Carlin Bay.

Crappie are still biting on the east end of Fernan Lake, too, Smith said. Fishermen are mostly relying on rocket bobbers and scented screw grubs.

Coeur d'Alene, St. Joe rivers

Water levels have risen drastically over the last week and a half on area rivers, said Mark Roush of ROW Adventures in Coeur d'Alene.

"With these rising water levels, fish have been tougher to find," he said. "Water levels do seem to be coming back down a bit, so the fishing should pick back up here in the next few days."

If you find yourself out on the water, be sure to have some skwalas and leggy stone patterns, Roush said.

Nymphing with the bugs has been the most productive method for many anglers. There has been some dry fly activity on the warmer days, so be sure to pack some small mayfly and imitator patterns.

Area lakes

Area lakes are fishing decently, Roush said.

"The last week has been pretty ugly, so there have not been many fishermen out," he said. "Most fishermen have been targeting pike, bass, trout and perch with reasonable success. Trolling fishermen on Pend O'Reille, Hayden, Fernan and Coeur d'Alene have had some good hookups with rainbow trout and chinook."

The water is still a little cold for solid crappie fishing, but they should turn on the next week or two, Roush said. With lake levels rising, you will start seeing more folks bank fishing on Lake Coeur d'Alene for over-sized pike.

Steelhead

There are still a few steelhead kicking around on the Grande Ronde, Roush said. Head down there soon as steelheading days are numbered.

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