Lake Pend Oreille Fishing Report 5-18-17


The long wait is finally over! The weather is SLOWLY warming up, water temperatures are rising, and Smallmouth fishing is great on the fly!

If there is a gear fisherman reading this, he is probably laughing because finesse fishing for Smallies has been great for a few weeks now.

However, finesse fishing for Bronze Backs on a fly rod isn't easy, so we are limited to stripping streamers.

The bass are still in pre-spawn so they are fatter than ever, and looking to eat some protein before the spawn. The bass I am finding are along sharp rocky points in 7-10 feet of slow moving water. All of the "small" smallies seem to be elsewhere because every bass I am finding range from 1-4.5 lb. There will come a time in the summer when I can't keep the sub-1 lb. smallies off my flies.

Blue or chartreuse flies have been the go-to colors. My favorite patterns include Hud's Bushwacker Chartreuse or Blue, Blue/ White Deceiver, #2 Chartreuse Clouser, and a 1/0 White Mandolin Minnow.

My fly line of choice continues to be 30 feet of T-8 followed by your favorite monofilament running line (I prefer Rio Slick Shooter).

This line allows you to fish in depths anywhere from 5-20 feet depending on how long you let the line sink. I haven't seen or had any surface action yet, but I always keep a fly rod rigged with floating line, and a juicy popper.

Don't have a boat? Not a problem. Most of the places I have been finding bass are coincidentally very accessible from shore. The old saying, "When fishing from shore, you cast out as far away from shore as you can. When fishing from a boat, you cast as close to shore as you can," holds true.

If you are in need of direction on where or how to fish for smallmouth bass on Lake Pend Oreille, stop by our Ponderay, ID location, and I will fill you in on the latest from the lake.

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I was raised in the lettuce capital of the world Salinas, California with hunting and fishing running through my veins. I don't remember when I started fly fishing, but there are pictures of me stripping wolly buggers on Henry's Lake when I was 4 in my Snoopy life jacket. In California, I fished for every kind of bass, but my favorites are definitely striped and white bass. I am fortunate enough to spend every summer in the Yellowstone region where I get my trout fix for the year. I have worked 7 years in a few different fly shops in West Yellowstone, Montana and Last Chance, Idaho. I graduated from Colorado State University-Pueblo with a Bachelors of Science in Business Management in 2015 right before I moved up to Ponderay, Idaho where I began working for North 40 Outfitters. I love the area I currently live in and I'm always looking for more fishing or hunting partners. Stop by the Ponderay fly shop anytime and tell me of your latest fishing experience!
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