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Thread: 2017 Dworshak Reservoir Kokanee Fishing Report

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Boise. Idaho
    Posts
    443

    Default 2017 Dworshak Reservoir Kokanee Fishing Report

    Hope your season goes well and you have lots to report from Dworshak.

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    17 ft. red/white Crestliner
    90 hp and 8hp Hondas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hell's Canyon, WA
    Posts
    102

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    Has anyone fished Dworshak this year for Kokanee (2017) ?

  3. #3

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    Hi Ken and Barb. We haven't been there yet but Toby Wyatt in his recent newsletter said that he caught a limit of 25 between 10 and 13 inches long. His letter had a picture and they looked nice and fat! He didn't include any details.

    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hell's Canyon, WA
    Posts
    102

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    Thanks John, The Snake here in Hell's Canyon is high & cloudy, up until a week ago it was really good Steelheading. Think we may try Dworshak for a day soon, will make a post when we go, some fresh Kokanee would be pretty good. Will you please send me the email address for Toby Wyatt's newsletter, didn't know he put one out. Thanks again, Ken & Barb

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenbarb View Post
    Thanks John, The Snake here in Hell's Canyon is high & cloudy, up until a week ago it was really good Steelheading. Think we may try Dworshak for a day soon, will make a post when we go, some fresh Kokanee would be pretty good. Will you please send me the email address for Toby Wyatt's newsletter, didn't know he put one out. Thanks again, Ken & Barb
    His website, reeltimefishing.com, has a short form in "contact" you complete to get on his mailing list.

    John

  6. #6

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    We fished Dworshak for the first time this year last Thursday. We put 6 in the cooler, the biggest was 12" the others were 10". We made passes near the dam and Indian/Canyon creeks. Talked to a group who had landed 20 using 4 ounces of lead. The fish we caught were scattered between 20 and 60 feet on the downriggers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hell's Canyon, WA
    Posts
    102

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    Thanks for the report John, really sounds encouraging, Barb & I may give it a try this week. I sure like catching them using downriggers, and ultralite gear, but for numbers it seems like we catch about three times as many with weights, and a gob of spinners. How was water clarity, and debris in the water? Sure glad you made the trip. Ken

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenbarb View Post
    Thanks for the report John, really sounds encouraging, Barb & I may give it a try this week. I sure like catching them using downriggers, and ultralite gear, but for numbers it seems like we catch about three times as many with weights, and a gob of spinners. How was water clarity, and debris in the water? Sure glad you made the trip. Ken
    Ken: Water was in very good shape, no debris. We never know from one trip to the next whether long lines or downriggers will work the best. A lot of times it changes during the day. We were going to go again this week but the weather has us hunkered down. Maybe next week.

    John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    1

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    I think I may have been the one that talked to you last Thursday there was three of us in my boat anyway we had a pretty good day and ended up boating 37 fish too bad I don't think the weather is going let us get back out this week...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    North Central ID
    Posts
    36

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    Been up a few days this year, mostly getting a feel for my new boat. Not "seriously" fishing yet but caught kokes each time at Indian Cr. As mentioned above they're pretty scattered and you gotta hunt for them, but they're hitting. I was mostly fishing shallower, maybe down to 20' or so. Good size fish, looking forward to a great season. I can finally get the family comfortably onboard in my new (to me) 20' Duckworth. Once I get the DRs mounted it's going to be a koke hauling machine!

  11. #11

    Default Spotty

    Managed to pick up 22 last Thursday. Varying depths. Smallest just under 10", largest just under 12". Sure was nice to be on the water. Hoping they don't get flushed as biggest concentrations seemed to be near the dam, and huge spills are forecast through April.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    2

    Default April Flush

    If you drive US 12 between Peck and Lenore you will see hundreds, if not thousands of dead kokanee that have been recently flushed out from Dworshak Reservoir. There appears to be two year classes present, 3-5" fish and 8-12" fish.

    Hopefully IDFG will issue a salvage order, as it is possible to net some next to the shoreline, but the majority are in the main current of the Clearwater River.

  13. #13

    Default Ouch!

    Hey Big Mack, When did you see them? What a shame. Was looking forward to a banner year of fishing.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    4

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    That is not necessarily bad news. Remember 2013? The Corps dropped the lake down 120ft and flushed millions of kokanee. This relieved the population load and the fish grew like crazy and were much easier to catch in our experience. I am very excited to see what happens if 10-12" fish have less competition for food. This could be an incredible summer on Dworshak.

  15. #15

    Default Flush

    Hopefully not too many flush because the estimate of catchable kokes is less than 300,000 (about half of last year's) based on F&G test fishery last fall. Not millions. That's why many are pushing 12" already.

  16. #16

    Default Dworshak outflows

    The Corps is going to cut back outflows to 8,000 cfs very soon. Hopefully the fish will quit being sucked thru. It this persists there will be a salvage order next week.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    2

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    If you have a passenger in your rig and are driving westbound from Orofino they will see them from Big Canyon creek near Peck to almost Lenore. Many are stuck up in the brush near eddies. Looks like they are staying in main current for quite awhile half alive, but then they wash up on the shore when they die. A bump on flow on the main river would probably wash them away.

  18. #18

    Default not sure what happened

    March was excellent both times we went out - 10 - 11 inches......... April so far has been very poor by all fishermen according to the Game Warden check at dock. We caught 6 yesterday (all day fishing), and we caught more than anybody else. Last week we did poorly also. Freeman Creek dock is still out of the water. Heard they were catching them above Dent.

  19. #19

    Default food

    Quote Originally Posted by stev7975 View Post
    That is not necessarily bad news. Remember 2013? The Corps dropped the lake down 120ft and flushed millions of kokanee. This relieved the population load and the fish grew like crazy and were much easier to catch in our experience. I am very excited to see what happens if 10-12" fish have less competition for food. This could be an incredible summer on Dworshak.
    They are suppose to start putting the "nutrients" in the water in May according to the Game Warden.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    5

    Default Dworshak Kokanee

    Anyone having any luck recently??

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigjim1992 View Post
    Anyone having any luck recently??
    We fished for several hours yesterday and caught one fish. We worked Freeman Creek, Canyon Creek, Indian Creek, Dicks Creek, and Elk Creek. Surface water temp was 54 degrees.

  22. #22

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    What will it take to change the bite? Pretty new to fishing for kokanee on Dworshak.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    North Central ID
    Posts
    36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkchaser View Post
    What will it take to change the bite? Pretty new to fishing for kokanee on Dworshak.
    Elkchaser - if you read previous years Dworshak reports Microfish has some good explanations of fish movement around the reservoir. In summary, when they "pull the plug" to draw the lake down, the fish have a corresponding movement upstream/uplake. Once the cork goes back in the dam and the lake starts to rise, the fish return to the lower areas that most people with normal gas and time budgets fish.

    I'm hoping that's still true and they're on their way back down cause the fishing is definitely off right now. Went up last Wed and never even found one on the FF which is a little disconcerting for this time of year. Tried all the usual spots at Dick's, Indian, and Merrys and not a thing. Pretty big fluctuations in water levels this year with a big purge to accommodate the spring runoff. A lot of folks talk about the fish getting flushed thru the dam, but I can't believe enough got sucked out to make a difference in the fishing over the season. I'm being patient...there's a nice predictable rise to the lake now and the fishing "should" follow.

  24. #24

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    That makes sense. Thanks for the reply and I hope we're both catching fish soon.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jumperzee View Post
    Elkchaser - if you read previous years Dworshak reports Microfish has some good explanations of fish movement around the reservoir. In summary, when they "pull the plug" to draw the lake down, the fish have a corresponding movement upstream/uplake. Once the cork goes back in the dam and the lake starts to rise, the fish return to the lower areas that most people with normal gas and time budgets fish.

    I'm hoping that's still true and they're on their way back down cause the fishing is definitely off right now. Went up last Wed and never even found one on the FF which is a little disconcerting for this time of year. Tried all the usual spots at Dick's, Indian, and Merrys and not a thing. Pretty big fluctuations in water levels this year with a big purge to accommodate the spring runoff. A lot of folks talk about the fish getting flushed thru the dam, but I can't believe enough got sucked out to make a difference in the fishing over the season. I'm being patient...there's a nice predictable rise to the lake now and the fishing "should" follow.
    Thanks for the update from so many locations. We are hearing the same from a few other Kokanee gurus that have been striking out in April despite decades of success on the reservoir. Unfortunately work got in the way earlier this spring and we were unable to go before the reservoir level was drawn down. Everyone we talked to that fished prior to the reservoir level draw down was catching double-digit numbers every outing. Perhaps the difference now is that the draw down this year came later and had to be done faster than is typical due to some maintenance on one of the turbines at the dam. We were told by one of the folks working on that project that the Corps would have liked to have started drawing the reservoir down earlier and thus more slowly to prepare for the large snow pack this year, but the fish hatchery requested they wait as long as possible before starting the draw down this year which may have led to the repeat of the 2013 Kokanee effect.......? Reading the reports of two year classes of Kokanee floating past Peck recently would suggest a repeat of 2013, which led to some great dip netting below the dam but some slower fishing for the next couple years above it. Things picked up pretty good in 2015 (two age classes later) and were as good as most people could remember last year. Fingers crossed that we don't have to wait till 2020 to put as many in the cooler as last year.

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