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Thread: 2020 Dworshak Reservoir Kokanee Fishing Report

  1. #101
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Grangeville, Idaho
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    142

    Default

    Perfect day on the water... slow bite, got 12 for two of us for 3 hours of dragging lines. Downriggers really slow, even though were at 20-30ft. Long lines with 1/2 or 1/3 ounce were best. Never found anything consistent. Get a couple hits on brass, never get another, a couple on hammered nickel, nothing more. Most prolific was silver and pink Mini Ford Fenders from Luhr Jenson/Rapala.

    Marked a lot of fish. Here's typical. Lots of fish up shallow. I think the cooler weather, and water tempts pretty cold for July, have the fish very shallow.

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    We went from Elk River to Dent Bridge. Think next week I'll try Reeds.

    Rick
    Last edited by ricks; 07-08-2020 at 08:56 PM.
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  2. #102

    Default 7/11/2020

    Man the kokanee are fishing odd for me this year. Started at freeman creek launch in the AM, picked up a few between the surface and 20’. Same story at elk creek arm entrance, no consistency at all.

    After swimming most of mid-day we fished the East ending of the dam, right off the boat launches and got into a really consistent bit for a couple hours. Ended with 23 on 4 rods and about 5 hours fishing.

    I’m wondering if more fish got flushed this year or last than anyone thought? Seems to me the numbers are down?

  3. #103

    Default

    We fished Friday and stayed low, picking up 20 or so in a 3 different areas around the dam. Marked some of the largest schools on sonar I've seen this year, but lucky to pull one or two from each of them. Ran up river below Indian creek and found a nice bunch and finished with 3 limits. Just did loops on them for 3 hours. Not a big school on sonar, but consistently scattered fish on the screen. They were hitting on every rod, but mainly Ford Fenders with rings and maggots. Corn worked too. Based on how the year has been going I'd say we got lucky, as scattered has been the name of the game this year. Surface temp was 72. Thinking that is part of why they are still down low for this time of year.

  4. #104

    Default

    Have not been on in a while. Been doing well on dworshak. Fished from 6-2 today. Landed 36 and had great weather!

  5. #105
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    Jul 2013
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    Grangeville, Idaho
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    Took a couple friends on a sightseeing type fishing trip up to Reeds Creek after launching at Bruce's yesterday. We fished the last half mile before Reeds then went up Reeds as far as we could. Not working real hard, mostly enjoying what was a perfect day on Dworshak. The kokanee we did catch were nice and fat. We did find what we called a 'honey hole' a couple hundred yards past the floating dock. It continuously hit when we looped through it. For the amount of work we put in the 20 fish caught were plenty. I don't really have working space for four people on my boat, so mostly it was an amusing circus act. There are a LOT of fish in Dworshak and the majority of this year's catch are getting up over 10 inch. We are all going to have a great late summer. I'm looking forward to water temps coming up a little so they start schooling more.
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  6. #106

    Default

    Rick I have noticed they really aren't schooling up much. That's related to the cooler water temps?

    How late in the year do you generally fish? This is my first really serious year kokanee fishing and I'm hooked. Learning a lot but have much more to learn.

  7. #107
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    Jul 2013
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    Grangeville, Idaho
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschmit04 View Post
    Rick I have noticed they really aren't schooling up much. That's related to the cooler water temps?

    How late in the year do you generally fish? This is my first really serious year kokanee fishing and I'm hooked. Learning a lot but have much more to learn.
    Of note, while I have about 10 years fishing for koke, I often feel like a beginner. I post on this forum and share ideas, and I often get disabused of thinking I know anything.

    I *think* that the cooler water temperatures have changed the feeding because the planktons that the kokanee eat are closer to the surface where the planktons can grow and find food. Those planktons are very dependent on water temps. This is my theory. We don't see most any kokanee on our sonar that are in the top 10-15 foot of water. The angles are wrong. And it definitely is apparent the fishing this year is much much better along the shallower shorelines, not in deeper cooler waters.

    I have no clue at all how all this will effect the late summer/fall migration to their redds at the other end of the lake. I would think it might make it a little later, but that's a WAG. I originally started fishing for kokanee after catching them right off Dent campground in October camping with a cataraft and my son. I got the addiction only to find out almost no one fishes for koke in October :^). Every year is different, but we will be able to catch this years spawners well into late August early September.

    This is mid October many years ago. Had no idea that stringing kokanee led to lost, and mushy, fish.

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    Last edited by ricks; 07-15-2020 at 03:56 PM.
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  8. #108

    Default

    Fished 7/18 from 9-2. Boated two dozen. Big Eddy, to Indian, then down to in front of the dam. No big schools, but not bad for mid-day. Saw other boats in the areas also getting fish too. More pleasure boaters than fisherman though. Passed through Canyon Creek quick after Indian, but no one one fishing there, so went back down to the dam. Dent should pick up soon I would think.

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    3

    Default best areas in late July to August

    This thread is really helpful. Looking at postings from other years, the fish should be moving North. For me, Dent is a little out of my range launching from Freeman Creek. Do the kokanee stick around the dam later in the season compared with Canyon Creek? Sounds like this year might be a little different than "normal" though, so maybe hard to predict...

  10. #110

    Default

    Dworshak dam started spilling water yesterday (probably to combat the high temps in the Snake), so this might push fish upriver now.

  11. #111
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    Jul 2013
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    Grangeville, Idaho
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    Default Fisheries science

    Anyone interested in the plankton nutrient enhancement program introduced a couple years ago into Dworshak might be interested in reading the report.
    https://collaboration.idfg.idaho.gov...Mitigation.pdf
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  12. #112

    Default

    Fished 7/22, only from 0930-1pm. Hit Big Eddy real quick and got 2 then ran up. Few at Dicks, then that died so with the water down as much as is decided to go to Dent. Was good for the time we put in and ended with 30, with a bunch coming off at the boat. Fish are definitely moving up now. Even had one fish take 2 lures. Thought it just ran in to the other line and when we netted it it had both hooks in it's jaw.
    3-4 other boats around, and saw fish getting landed every few minutes.

  13. #113
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    Jul 2013
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    Grangeville, Idaho
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    142

    Default Still great fishing

    Went out today, Friday July 24. I didn't think the koke would be traveling far up lake after they were so plentiful mid lake and dam end last week. So I went back to Elk Creek at the inlet. Started out close to Dick's, and worked all the way across Elk past the point towards Dent. Fish were everywhere except past the point on the Dent side. We caught 30 in 3 1/2 hours. Had an hour in the middle of total deadness. There are fish EVERYWHERE and they are FAT. The water temps are finally high 70's on the surface. The deepest we caught anything was 35 ft. Kind of weird in that a hammered nickel troll with a smallish red wedding ring was the hot hitter all day. Most of the fish caught were between 20 and 25 FT. Here was a typical sonar screen, my apologies for the massive downrigger ball lines:

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    Last edited by ricks; 07-24-2020 at 06:21 PM.
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  14. #114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    Anyone interested in the plankton nutrient enhancement program introduced a couple years ago into Dworshak might be interested in reading the report.
    https://collaboration.idfg.idaho.gov...Mitigation.pdf
    Thanks for posting, Rick. That's a report only a biologist could love (I know because my fishing partner is one)! Bottom line, the fertilization program has worked exceptionally well with no apparent negative side effects. Sean and Matt have done a great job to improve our kokanee fishing on Dworshak.

    John

  15. #115

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rwlee47 View Post
    This thread is really helpful. Looking at postings from other years, the fish should be moving North. For me, Dent is a little out of my range launching from Freeman Creek. Do the kokanee stick around the dam later in the season compared with Canyon Creek? Sounds like this year might be a little different than "normal" though, so maybe hard to predict...
    In my experience there are fish at the dam pretty much year round, this years yearlings aren’t migrating toward spawning streams and by late fall they’ll be the 8” class fish you’ll find down there, in my opinion.

  16. #116
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    2

    Default Advice

    Hello Dworshak Koke addicts. I'm thinking of make my first run up to Dworshak from down south in the next few weeks. I'm looking for some advice on where to camp and launch from. General areas is all I'm asking for, I have a 15' aluminum boat with a 25hp so don't plan on making long runs around the reservoir. Look forward to the advice. Right lines!

  17. #117
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    Jul 2013
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    Grangeville, Idaho
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    142

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    Right now, go to Dent Acres Campground and fish under the bridge.
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  18. #118
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    Jul 2013
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    Grangeville, Idaho
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    Default Funny couple weeks

    I went out last friday and this morning, Friday the 14th. Last week started along the shore between Dicks and Elk and ended at the east side of Elk River mouth. Fishing was decent. And the fish are fat! All pretty big, mostly over 12" However nothing was real consistent. It was a constant swap of colors, depths and speeds. In 3 hours we pulled 22.

    Today, like last week marking herds of fish. I have a screenshot below of mouth of Elk River. I couldn't catch a cold there though. Finally pulled up stakes and tried the bridge. HUGE school on the west side of the bridge. Caught just three. And I'm now running a new Motorguide Xi5 motor instead of my putt putt. I put everything I own down and caught more trout than kokanee. Such is life. Next week, Reeds Creek or Magnus.

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  19. #119
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    Feb 2020
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    Heading out tomorrow. Any suggestions where to try? First year kokanee fishing and havent had much luck so far.

  20. #120
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    Well, on Thursday I am going to start at Cranberry and maybe end up at Reeds Creek. Not much else to tell you. It gets hot, the fish go deeper. My last trip was a tough go.
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  21. #121
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    Feb 2020
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    Probably put in at Freeman and run up the reservoir a ways then. Thanks.

  22. #122
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    Feb 2020
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    Made it to Freeman creek around 6:30. Cruised up to Dent bridge, fired up the kicker and no water coming out of the "pee hole". Tried everything to get it unplugged and no luck. Had my toolbag but apparently took the screwdriver out of it I needed to pull the cowling off. Marked lots of fish. Swam with the kids a little. Fixed the kicker when we got home and heading back tomorrow.

  23. #123
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    Jul 2013
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    Grangeville, Idaho
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    I'll be cruising by. Holler at us!

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    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

  24. #124
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    Feb 2020
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    We will be in a red Custom Weld.

  25. #125
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    Jul 2013
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    Grangeville, Idaho
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    Absolutely loved seeing a young family spending their day on the water. And what a beautiful boat! It was great seeing and waving to Sands as we both fished Cranberry. In just two weeks the fishery is completely different. We are mostly catching next years 7-9 inch fish. I caught one big booger that was changing, in right next to the destination dock in Cranberry. There were a few BIG returns on the sonar in Cranberry, you can see in the second pic.

    Got tired of little fishies, so ran up to Reeds Creek. Kinda weird, be running along, nothing happening, all of a sudden two or three would hit, then back to nothing. Or one pole, change colors and it hits like four times in 10 minutes while nothing else, even though similar, does nothing. Makes me feel like a beginner again, how fun, huh? Last pic is what the water around Reeds, in the main channel though, looked like. I never did go up Reeds, stayed out since marking so many.

    Next week Grandad for me.

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    Last edited by ricks; 08-20-2020 at 11:04 PM.
    Gray/White Bluewater - Stop and say howdy!

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