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Thread: 2017 Dworshak Reservoir Kokanee Fishing Report

  1. #51

    Default Great fun, fat fish

    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    Dropped in at Bruce's on Saturday at about 6:40 AM. Cruised on up to Indian Creek. Came across Icelander right off, in fact got right in his way as my son Tyler and I dropped a couple lines in the water and proceeded to get an instant tangle. While working that out we were worse than a derelict as every once in a while one of use would toss the kicker tiller left or right to correct the dizzying random twists and turn of a driverless powered boat. Most fun you can have at 1.2 MPH :D Afterwards, looked up and we were within talking range of a tinny that reminded of a post here, apologized for being a hazard and got to introduce ourselves and ask if he was a forum poster. Sure nuff, Icalander introduced self and we said our hello's and went to trying to be less of a hindrance to safe boating while we fished.

    We marked some nice clumps around Indian. Dropped a couple of long lines in and went to work on rigging the downriggers. Wasn't long until we had several nice 12 inch fat boys in the ice, all on long lines. I noticed the fish were in small clumps and you could hit them in the same area and go hitless most everywhere else. We were also losing LOTS of fish. I have never lost that many. As well, lots of times get solid hits that never turned into hook up. Really weird day.

    With marking fish around 35 foot we stuck the downriggers at 28 and 32. Never once, in the entire day, did we get a hook up on the downriggers. Nada, nuthin. Up, down, different gear. Even running identical gear as the longlines and working the depths up and up. The long lines ruled and the downriggers were silent.

    On the long lines we ran chrome, brass, scarlet, green, black, UV, whatever. Most hit was fancy multihued taped up 4 pop with a half green half red wedding ring with a scarlet smilie. At first red dyed corn was best, later on no dye with Mike's kokanee lotion. As the day went by we swapped our pop gear to shiny and bright as we could and kept hitting fish. We ran mostly 3/4 to 1 ounce weight on 60 foot of line. Largish and bright for the pop gear, the littler pop gear was pretty quiet. The dodgers and squids and super light gear hanging on the downriggers never got a hit, as far as I could tell. And I tried almost everything I own.

    Trolled on up to Canyon to see how the circus was doing. Generally I won't join the circus, I'd rather find a quiet place and tempt fate my own way. But saturday everyone was going kind of around each in random directions, no order at all, which is always amusing as long as you don't get run over. So we stayed for an hour or so to see if anyone had a wreck, ran aground or got sunk. Next the sheriff boat showed up and pulled up next to almost everyone for a check, which kept making things even more chaotic. Nothing extraordinary happened though. What finally drive us off was the fish we were catching were significantly smaller than what we were catching down at Indian, so back down we went. On the way, watched another boat pull a couple nice ones out about 100 yards off the big rock pile beach 3/4 of the way back to Indian, so headed in ourselves and hit all three long line in the water simultaneously. One of those was a 14 incher. Nice. Made a second pass, got one, kept going to the dock and pulled everything out and headed back before noon. Total catch was 16. Lost at least twice as many, which is something hasn't happened to us in a long time. And had dozens of hits that only amounted to cardio workouts with no fish on the line.

    A beautiful day on the water. Nice to meet ya Icelander, thanks for being so forgiving.

    Rick
    No worries Ricks. Didn't even notice as we were busy hitting the schools of bigger fish (thx for sharing your fish finder intel)! Pleasure to meet you too.
    We found Kokes shallower early, then 3 oz and 45' after wind died down around 8:30. They seem to be softer this year so added rubber bands, and kicked into neutral to bring more fish into the boat. Limited by noon. Joined the mob at Canyon and like Ricks said smaller fish; except for bigger farther in Canyon Cr bay. Gotta hunt for the bigger fish! If you figure a way to stay on em' let me know!

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  2. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    North Central ID
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    Dropped in at Bruce's on Saturday at about 6:40 AM. Cruised on up to Indian Creek. Came across Icelander right off, in fact got right in his way as my son Tyler and I dropped a couple lines in the water and proceeded to get an instant tangle. While working that out we were worse than a derelict as every once in a while one of use would toss the kicker tiller left or right to correct the dizzying random twists and turn of a driverless powered boat. Most fun you can have at 1.2 MPH :D Afterwards, looked up and we were within talking range of a tinny that reminded of a post here, apologized for being a hazard and got to introduce ourselves and ask if he was a forum poster. Sure nuff, Icalander introduced self and we said our hello's and went to trying to be less of a hindrance to safe boating while we fished.

    We were also losing LOTS of fish. I have never lost that many. As well, lots of times get solid hits that never turned into hook up. Really weird day....

    ......Total catch was 16. Lost at least twice as many, which is something hasn't happened to us in a long time. And had dozens of hits that only amounted to cardio workouts with no fish on the line.


    Rick
    Think I pulled into Indian right as you were wrapping that up scene up Ricks. I was in the white Duckworth with a couple little girls. Recognized your boat from your profile picture, was going to troll up and say hi, but you outpaced me up to Canyon. We did a few generally unproductive laps in Indian then headed down to Merry's where we found the motherlode and action was non-stop between 15 and 30 feet. I was running 2 downriggers, with a shuttle hawk off one and one long line off the back. Most of the fish were on the DR and shuttle hawk. Pink was the color with the most strikes, regardless of where we put that rod.

    Glad to hear someone else was having trouble with landing fish too. Never been so frustrated myself. Probably lost several limits at the side of the boat over the course of the weekend. Lost 12 in a row boatside yesterday and got to the point that I wasn't even interested in trying to mess with popping the rod out of the DR and reeling in the fish till they were on there for a while. And then, most would be gone by the time I got them to the surface or they'd flop off just out of net range. I was about ready to huck a rod into the water! I have no idea what is causing that, but I'm not doing anything different....

    Nice sized fish though (the ones that came home) and still managed enough for a worthy canner and smoker session.

  3. #53

    Default

    jumperzee,

    Thanks for the tip on Merrys Bay. Sorry we missed you - next time for sure. This last Saturday was my first trip of the year, so I don't mind trying different stuff and not limiting out. Maybe someday I'll get to be a good kokanee fisherman. Until then, I'm having a blast learning.

    My son is going to work for Columbia Grain full time, and playing Legion Baseball with the Orofino team - which travels all over the PNW. I doubt I get him on the boat again for a while. I guess I'm gonna have to find a regular fishing partner who likes 1.2 MPH.

    Great times ahead this year! Thank all of you on this forum for sharing techniques and equipment. Helps us poor folks who are addicted.

    Rick
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  4. #54
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    25

    Default Saturday Canyon Creek

    Fished further in Canyon Creek & found a couple of honey holes. Lost, at least, one limit & brought home 20 in about 3-1/2 hours of fishing. 10:30 - 3:30 w/lunch break. Since I don't go anywhere else, I'm going to get moorage at Big Eddy.
    While I'm here I'd like to get a recipe for canning kokes? I smoke them but would like to add a little extra by canning a few.
    Thanks

  5. #55

    Default

    I brine overnight. Don't like sweet, so I just kosher salt water bath and 12 hours in the fridge. Many like to use some brown sugar, I just never had a taste for that. I then cold smoke for 2 hours. After smoking can easily skin them and pull the fin bones. Then pack 1/2 inch shy of top, pint widemouth jars with lengths of skinned fish that fit, bones and all. 90 minutes in the pressure canner. I do not add any liquids or other spices. Not needed.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by ricks; 05-30-2017 at 04:39 PM.
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    North Central ID
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stevec View Post
    Fished further in Canyon Creek & found a couple of honey holes. Lost, at least, one limit & brought home 20 in about 3-1/2 hours of fishing. 10:30 - 3:30 w/lunch break. Since I don't go anywhere else, I'm going to get moorage at Big Eddy.
    While I'm here I'd like to get a recipe for canning kokes? I smoke them but would like to add a little extra by canning a few.
    Thanks
    Steve - as far as canning, I just cut off heads and tails (gutted and de-scaled of course) then cut them in half and put 2 kokes worth into a wide mouth pint jar with a dash of salt. Can for 110 min at 15lbs. I don't care for the extra work of smoking them first before canning and the texture isn't the same. Have also tried modest amounts of other spices in each can but never have been able to detect a noticeable difference in flavor and have always been worried about changing the Ph or something else that could spoil them, so I go simple and follow the directions in the canner booklet.

    Mostly used the canned kokes for patties which are a family favorite/staple all year. Great recipe is a can or two of smoked kokes, crushed tortilla chips, egg, plain yogurt or sour crème, finely chopped red onion and a little black pepper. I personally like bigger lumps of meat in my patties so I don't mix the heck out of it, just enough o get the egg/crème mixed in. Great with a dab of wasabi. Now I'm hungry, darnit!

  7. #57

    Default Kokes in the smoker

    Had 3 hours of great fishing last Saturday around Indian Creek. Youngest Granddaughter had the hot rod and boated her first kokes! She's hooked. Hit several on the surface early, then went to 15' to finish.
    Noticed lots of trailers at the Big launch but few boats as far as we could see including Canyon Creek. What's the news? More people fishing above Freeman Creek, Elk Creek?
    FYI: A Fisheries biologist at Dworshak recommended we NOT scale kokes. Said their scales are natural oils, dissolve quickly, and are tasty to boot. Anyone concur by experience?

  8. #58

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by icelander View Post
    Had 3 hours of great fishing last Saturday around Indian Creek. Youngest Granddaughter had the hot rod and boated her first kokes! She's hooked. Hit several on the surface early, then went to 15' to finish.
    Noticed lots of trailers at the Big launch but few boats as far as we could see including Canyon Creek. What's the news? More people fishing above Freeman Creek, Elk Creek?
    FYI: A Fisheries biologist at Dworshak recommended we NOT scale kokes. Said their scales are natural oils, dissolve quickly, and are tasty to boot. Anyone concur by experience?
    I personally don't care to eat the scales or the skin......

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default Fishing Report

    Plan on going to Dworshak Sat; first time this year; does anyone have a report where the hot spots are?

    went kokanee this morning (Sat) was raining cats and dogs at 0700; fished Mary's Bay for couple of hours; caught 10 then went to Indian Creek; got 10 in couple of hours then storm moved in and quit. wasn't bad fishing for the weather condition. all nice fish; running 10/11 inch.
    Last edited by letsgo; 06-10-2017 at 08:32 PM.

  10. #60

    Default Camping At Dent

    Hey, we are camping at Dent this next week and need to know some of the best spots for catching kokes near there. I don't have a big motor and don't want to run very far from there to fish if we don't have to.

  11. #61

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by letsgo View Post
    Plan on going to Dworshak Sat; first time this year; does anyone have a report where the hot spots are?

    went kokanee this morning (Sat) was raining cats and dogs at 0700; fished Mary's Bay for couple of hours; caught 10 then went to Indian Creek; got 10 in couple of hours then storm moved in and quit. wasn't bad fishing for the weather condition. all nice fish; running 10/11 inch.
    Letsgo, how deep were you fishing this weekend?

  12. #62
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default

    started with 3 oz and 55 ft then they quit biting; talked to another boat party and they were using 1 oz and 60 ft; so switched to 1 oz and 60 ft and caught another 10
    can't tell you why the difference

  13. #63

    Default Bruces Eddy

    Fished around Bruces Eddy today for about 5 hours and caught 19 really nice sized fish, many around a foot long. I was using 1 oz of lead and out around 70-80 ft. Different than last time I went out, I lost maybe around 6 or 7 fish and last time I lost at least half of the fish I hooked. I think they short strike sometimes when they aren't very aggressive and it results in a loss. Today they really smacked the spinner and I lost very few. I am new to this and have been told the kokanee will start moving towards the spawning grounds and I won't catch them where I was today. When will that start happening?

  14. #64
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Middleton, ID
    Posts
    23

    Default Couple of questions for first time visit

    Hello-

    My wife and I are heading up to Dworshak on Monday, it will be our first time there. We are camping at the state park, and will be bringing a truck camper and an 18' boat. I had a few questions that I was hoping someone could help with:

    -Is Hanks Grade the best route out of Lenore to get to the state park? I don't mind gravel, as long as it isn't too rough.

    -Is there mooring at Dworshak State Park, or do we have to take the boat out daily?

    -Does anyone have a link to an on-line map of the lake (creeks, etc)? I looked, but didn't have much luck.

    The kokanee fishing has been pretty slow down here near Boise, so were looking forward to trying something new. Thanks in advance for any help!

    -Bob
    White 18' Hewescraft, 115 and 8 hp Yamaha

  15. #65

    Default Maps and sugestions

    Trailbob,

    http://redirect.viglink.com/?format=...worshak%20maps

    If the above link does not work look on page two of this thread about halfway down there is a link to a couple of maps of Dworshak reservoir.

    I can't speak to Hank's Grade as I'm unfamilar with it. When you say the "state park" do you mean Freeman Creek? If thats the case I would go up Hwy 3 from Hwy 12 through Kendrick. Turn just after Kendrick onto Cedar Ridge Rd then on to Southwick Rd which turns into the Cavendish Hwy then left onto Freman Crk Rd and it will take you straight to Freeman Creek State Park. Warning the road although paved is pretty steep and twisty dropping into Freeman Creek. Just go slow and downshift and you should not have any issues. Also I know these directions seem complicated but there are signs to direct you.

    As far as mooring there is a dock that you should be able to tie up to that is close to the campground. If not there should be plenty of room to just beach your boat and tie off to a tree.

    Nice choice in boats, I have a green Hewescraft Sportman 180 as well. I might be there this Monday afternoon as well with my sons trying to catch a few kokanee and bass.

    Good Luck and hope this helps.

    Mike

  16. #66

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Trailbob View Post
    Hello-

    My wife and I are heading up to Dworshak on Monday, it will be our first time there. We are camping at the state park, and will be bringing a truck camper and an 18' boat. I had a few questions that I was hoping someone could help with:

    -Is Hanks Grade the best route out of Lenore to get to the state park? I don't mind gravel, as long as it isn't too rough.

    -Is there mooring at Dworshak State Park, or do we have to take the boat out daily?

    -Does anyone have a link to an on-line map of the lake (creeks, etc)? I looked, but didn't have much luck.

    The kokanee fishing has been pretty slow down here near Boise, so were looking forward to trying something new. Thanks in advance for any help!

    -Bob
    You do not want to take Hanks Grade. Wash boards and rough. The very best way to get to the state park is out of Orofino. There are docks you can moor at, they are to the north of the launch. 2 docks. shouldn't be too far from the camping spots. http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Portal...20Map%20Bl.pdf

  17. #67
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Middleton, ID
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Kokaneecowboy and Microfish, thanks so much for your reply. We should be camping at Freeman Creek starting Monday. We'll be in a brown Chevy 4 door PU with a pop-up camper in case you're in the area.

    Thanks again- Bob
    White 18' Hewescraft, 115 and 8 hp Yamaha

  18. #68
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default Kokanee fishing report

    anybody got a update kokanee fishing report?
    plan on doing some kokanee fishing this coming Sat.

    later
    letsgo

  19. #69

    Default Fishing report

    Letsgo,
    I fished with some friends around Dent the last two days and we didnt do very well. 4 rods out one afternoon and fished for 3 or 4 hours and only caught 10. The next day we fished about 2 and a half hours and caught 2 trout and no kokes. I am going to try Bruces Eddy one more time and see if there are any still there.

  20. #70
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default Kokanee fishing

    thanks for the info
    think I will go and try Merry's Bay/Bruce's Eddy tomorrow.

  21. #71
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Middleton, ID
    Posts
    23

    Default

    My wife and I camped at Freeman Creek, and fished the mornings of June 20, 21 and 22. On the 20th we fished near Canyon Creek and caught 12, on the 21st we fished the same area and caught 18. On the 22nd we went about 3/4 of the way up to Elk Creek, but it was very slow and we only got one. We then moved to across from the Freeman Creek Campground and trolled to Canyon Creek. It was slow for us as we only got three more.

    We used misc dodgers and hoochies (green, and pink), tipped with corn. Scent didn't seem to matter on the corn. The best dodger was silver and dark blue, but we also caught them on chartreuse, and watermelon. We fished from 10 to 25' deep. Two rods had lead core line, and the other two were on downriggers. Most of the fish were 10-12".

    We really enjoyed our stay. It was a great place to camp and fish, and we look forward to going back next year. It was a pleasure meeting Kokaneecowboy and Icelander.
    White 18' Hewescraft, 115 and 8 hp Yamaha

  22. #72
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default TrailBob

    thanks for the info
    I think I will try Merry's Bay this morning and not any good will go try Canyon Creek.

    will give a report tomorrow

  23. #73
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default TrailBob/Elkchaser

    Yesterday (6-25-17) arrived Merry's Bay approx. 0630; was going to fish at Merry's Bay but lots of trash so motored up to Canyon Creek.
    Fished approx. 4 1/2 hrs; caught my limit kokanee; all real nice fish; most were 10 inch with a few approx. 12 in. all nice and fat.

  24. #74

    Default

    My wife and I went sunday the 25th as well. Didn't put in at Bruce's until nearly 8 AM. (lazy bastid, I am) Wife and I motored up to Indian because of all the crap in the water. They opened the gates again since the lake is near full and too much snow still. Quite a bit of current, which will change fish behaviors usually, but not this time, other than all the crap floating between Eddy's and Merrys Bay, the fish seemed to act same as last week before they opened it up.

    I only had a couple hours to fish, the wife's back is so bad, I'm just glad to be able to get her out on the water for a bit. We started catching fish soon as we got lines in the water. BIG ones, several right up at 14 inch. Big for Dworshak anyway. Never really marked more than the odd fish here and there on the finder. Never marked any schools at all.

    I was running a couple long lines and a couple downriggers. Like Trailbob, didn't seem to matter what flavor corn on the hooks. Speed was nearer 1MPH than my normal 1.2. I was only hanging a 3/4 ounce weight on my pop gear rudders on the 60 ft long lines. And 27 feet was where I caught on the downriggers.

    For the first time for me at Dworshak I hit more fish on a dodger and a homemade green squid than pop gear and spinners. That was the hot setup for me. Still caught fish on green weddin rings and hammered chrome pop. But the dodger and squid were best for me.

    Not a lot of kokanee boats out. Plenty of idiots towing tubes with deep draft jet boats right up and personal where we and others were trolling. Make a guy wish to run out a couple 8 pound deck guns sometimes.
    Last edited by ricks; 06-26-2017 at 10:21 PM.
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  25. #75

    Default Bruces Eddy

    Put in at Bruces Eddy on Monday and fished for 2.5 hours and did not catch a fish. Had 2 drive bys but zilch, nada. Loaded up and went home. What is going on, are the fish moving up river or is the release at the dam got them fouled up?

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