Coeur d'Alene Fishing Report 11.08.18

Coeur d Alene Fishing Report

Coeur d'Alene River

Well, with the big bump in the rivers last week and the colder weather, the CdA has been kind of rough.  This week should be good though as the rivers are dropping back to normal and we are supposed to have sunny weather.  The sun is now welcome as the water temperatures have dropped substantially and this will help get the bugs more active.  Your window of goodness will be from noon into the afternoon when the water has had a chance to warm up.  However, this is diminishing.  The nights are getting much colder and it takes that much longer the next day to warm things up enough to get the bugs out.  If you are not seeing much surface activity, throw some smaller tandem nymph rigs or slow pulling a streamer should get some eats.  Small copper johns, pheasant tails, bead head soft hackles, red brassies are all good nymphing options right now.  There should also be a few blue-winged olives and midges around and mahoganies too, but these will be sparse.  Winter is coming, so take advantage of the last little bit of what was a spectacular season on the CdA.

St. Joe River

The St. Joe River is not bad, but it’s getting tougher.  Look for runs that are more exposed to the sun as the water is pretty cold now.  Also, there is no real need to start early.  Take your time in the morning and let things warm up.  If you find rising fish, it’s probably a good idea to hang in there.  The hatches are going to be sparse now with the colder temperatures.  They will be pretty picky if they are on the blue-winged olive or midges.  So, a longer leader and a really good presentation will be in order.  Blue-wing olive cripples in a #18-20 trailed behind a small x-caddis or parachute mahogany will be a good rig. I like to run a tandem small soft hackle rig now as well.  Take an olive soft hackle in a 16 and trail an 18 or a 20 behind it and use a small indicator above it and possibly a small split shot too, just enough to get them down a bit.  I will use this rig on sipping fish, and it can be deadly.  Let it swing out at the end of the drift too and you will be surprised with how many takes you will get.  You will find more rising fish in the flat water and pools now versus the riffles. So, keep your polarized glasses handy and look for small dimples out there. They may fool you for a small fish when actually Mr. 20-inches is just barely sucking down tiny blue-winged olives. Good luck!

Clark Fork River

Fishing is solid now but get it while it’s good. It’s not going to be too long before it's done.  The sunny weather this week is welcome and will keep fish looking up on the Clark Fork.  If you are needing a change of pace from the St. Joe or CdA rivers, go give the Clark Fork a go.  There is plenty of wading access around the St. Regis and Superior areas, and you should have no problem finding rising fish now.  The flat tail outs and foam pools are where I'd be looking for heads up.  Again, like the CdA and St. Joe Rivers, blue-winged olives, midges, and mahoganies are on the plate for bugs.  The fish on the Clark Fork tend to run a bit bigger and hotter too.  So, take your "A" game when you hook one of these hot rainbows, browns, or cutthroat.  They can light you up this time of year with the colder water temperatures.  They are also super fun and acrobatic but plenty strong.  I prefer using a 4x versus a 5x if I can help it.  And, a longer leader in the 10 to 12-feet range can be needed at times too.  If you are floating it now, a good searching rig is a larger orange stimulator #6-8 with a long bead head pheasant tail dropper size #12.  There are still a few October caddis kicking around. This time of year even if you aren't seeing them, the fish will take that offering.

See past reports from the CDA region here, or click here to view all northwest regional reports.

Want free eMags, exclusive access to gear and fly sales, and updates on the latest river reports in WA, MT & ID? Join Our Email List
Author Image
Twenty years ago Coeur d’Alene went mostly unnoticed by the fly-fishing community as tunnel-visioned anglers sped east, to Montana and elsewhere, to pursue rainbow and brown trout on iconic waters. They may have even raised their noses as they unwittingly passed some of the most varied trout fishing options in the world. Today, CDA and its nearby waters are on the map as premiere destinations for westslope cutthroat and bull trout. And its local lakes provide super-enticing fly-fishing options for bass, pike and salmon. If that weren’t enough, CDA anglers can hit several of the Inland Northwest’s best steelhead waters—including the Grande Ronde, Clearwater and Snake rivers—with a reasonable two or three-hour drive. North 40 Coeur d’Alene is your destination fly shop, whether outfitting for the St. Joe, Coeur d’Alene or Kelly Creek, or some other water. We’ve got all the fishing reports and info you need, and we carry the latest fly-tying material, hot patterns, and equipment. We have a knowledgeable staff that’s welcoming to everyone, so stop in and say hello.

Latest posts by Coeur d'Alene Fly Shop (see all)

Leave a Reply