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Fishing gets exciting for Cd'A, Hayden

| April 29, 2010 9:00 PM

Fishing is getting exciting on Coeur d'Alene and Hayden lakes. Using lipless crankbaits or Rattlin' Raps, fishermen will be sweeping in the small-mouth bass, said Jeff Smith of Fins and Feathers Tackle Shop and Guide Service.

Fishing is getting exciting on Coeur d'Alene and Hayden lakes.

Using lipless crankbaits or Rattlin' Raps, fishermen will be sweeping in the small-mouth bass, said Jeff Smith of Fins and Feathers Tackle Shop and Guide Service.

"You can cover a lot of water, you know, and get the aggressive fish that are going to bite," he said. "You can catch a lot of fish really fast with those."

Largemouth bass have also been biting on the chain lakes, he said.

Most are sticking to shallow depths right now, he warned, and weedless rubber worms or rubber lizards are the best way to snag them.

He advised also pitching swimbaits and weedless spoons.

"It's kind of a nice load to throw on the chain lake system," he said. "Pike and bass will hit them, so you're covering both bases there."

Bass fishing is just picking up on Twin and Hauser lakes, he said.

Crankbaits are good for large-mouth bass, Smith said, but weedless rigging is crucial to reach where they hide under logs and docks.

"They're just more cover oriented," Smith said. "It's kind of fun, though."

•••

"If they're going to walk and wade, get above Prichard," said Pat Way of Orvis Northwest Outfitters. "The river (Coeur d'Alene) may be half of what it normally is, but it's still pretty pushy."

He thinks people will do better nymphing right now and suggests Pat's Rubber Legs and good size prince nymphs.

For streamer fishing, heavily weighted wooly buggers are working well, Way said.

If there is some dry fly activity, he said it's probably blue-winged olives and some smaller stoneflies.

"Fishing is good, and if you have the capabilities to float the lower river, by all means do so," Way said. "But there is some new debris you have to watch out for."

•••

Water temperature is heating up.

So there's good fishing when it comes to hitting area lakes for crappies and large mouth bass, said Brad Zierer, of Black Sheep Sporting Goods.

Water temps have hit 53 degrees at Fernan, and large mouth there are chasing huskie jerks.

Split tail grub baits have been working well on the lower Twin Lake, too, he said.

Bigger lakes such as Hayden Lake will warm up in the next few weeks to match the activity in the smaller ones.

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

Coeur d'Alene, St. Joe rivers

Water levels have been dropping quickly, and the fishing is beginning to improve again, said Mark Roush of ROW Adventures in Coeur d'Alene.

"Most of the fish the last few days have been coming off of nymphs, buggers and streamers," he said. "Be sure to pack some pheasant tails, princes and dark-bodied buggers."

There are still some fish looking to feed on the surface, which should be the continuing trend, Roush said.

Water clarity is also beginning to improve, but this may change as there is a lot of rain in the forecast for the next week. Blue-wing olives and stone flies should trigger bites on the surface if the fish are active. Fish are continuing to move upstream and they should be strewn throughout the entire river systems soon.

Area lakes

The water temperature in area lakes has continued to rise, and fish are feeding more aggressively, Roush said.

Crappie and bluegill are in heavy pods and if you can locate them you should get a bunch of tugs.

"Jigs and red worms work well for terminal fishermen, while fly fishermen hold leeches, buggers and various bead-headed nymphs under an indicator," Roush said. "Hauser, Hayden, Fernan and the Chain Lakes are starting to see some more activity from small and largemouth bass."

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