Quincy Lake Derby Results and More
John Kruse, March 12, 2020
TROUT DERBY RESULTS -The Quincy Valley Chamber of Commerce held their annual trout derby on March 7th at Quincy Lake and it was a big success with 90 adults and 46 kids participating in the one-day event where $5,000 in money and prizes were given away or raffled off. The winner of the derby was Joshua Shew of Quincy who caught the biggest trout of the day, a 17.5- inch rainbow. His first-place prize? A kokanee fishing trip for four on Lake Chelan with Washington Guide Services.
By pure coincidence, my daughter and I went to Quincy Lake ourselves a few days before the event and were fishing right next to Joshua Shew. He caught a nice 12-inch rainbow fishing a leech pattern under a strike indicator from shore and said it was the smallest of the four trout he had caught that day. He also said he was planning on fishing the derby and his pre-fishing expedition clearly paid off! The photo accompanying this week’s column is of Joshua and that trout we saw him reel in.
COLUMBIA GORGE FISHING – Due to a low projected run of spring Chinook salmon this year, daily limits will be reduced to just one adult Chinook on the popular Drano Lake and Wind River fisheries as well as on the Klickitat River. On the sturgeon front, the harvest quota has been met in the John Day pool so all sturgeon fishing on the Columbia River now is a catch and release affair.
OKANOGAN COUNTY - Keith Roe at North 40 Outfitters in Omak says when it comes to fly-fishing Omak Lake has been good and will get better as the lake continues to warm. Starting around the first week of April the Lahontan cutthroat trout will make their way into the shallows. Until then, look for them at drop offs where the fish normally feed. Leech patterns, bloodworms and small minnow patterns will all work to draw strikes. If you are a gear angler silver, silver/green and silver/blue Kastmaster spoons or Blue Fox spinners work well as do standard marabou 1/16th to 1/8th ounce jigs in brown or black. Just cast the jig out and work it back slowly. The average sized Lahontan cutthroat right now is 18 to 20 inches and spring is the most popular time to target these fish which are more accessible and also more aggressive. Remember you do need a tribal fishing license and starting April 1st this becomes a catch and release fishery.
Three national wildlife refuges in Eastern Washington offer great wildlife watching this time of year, especially for raptors, waterfowl and other birds returning to the Pacific Northwest as spring arrives. Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge near Cheney is a mix of forest and wetlands that are home to both birds and mammals like deer, elk and moose. You can take in the refuge from your car on an auto tour loop or stretch your legs and explore the 5.5 miles of trails here.
The Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge is in the Lower Yakima Valley and is easily accessible off of US Highway 97. This refuge is all about the birds, and while waterfowl are the main draw there are also lots of shorebirds, wading birds and song birds to see here too.
Finally, the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge near Othello offers another great opportunity to see not only waterfowl but also deer, muskrats and beaver in a beautiful setting mixing wetland ponds, sagebrush and basalt rock outcroppings. One bird many come to see in March is the sandhill crane. Thousands of them migrate through here in the late winter and early spring and there is even an annual festival that celebrates their return. This year, the Othello Sandhill Crane Festival takes place March 20th through the 22nd in Othello and features several wildlife watching tours to the refuge. Find out more at https://www.othellosandhillcranefestival.org/
If you visit any national wildlife refuge you will need to purchase or possess an annual pass. That is, unless, you are a duck or goose hunter. That Federal Duck Stamp you buy for hunting season also qualifies as a free pass to any National Wildlife Refuge in the nation.
John Kruse – www.northwesternoutdoors.com and www.americaoutdoorsradio.com
Joshua Shew caught this nice rainbow trout out of Quincy Lake and a few days later won the annual Quincy Valley Chamber of Commerce Trout Derby with a 17.5-inch trout from this same lake. – J. Kruse