Lake Roosevelt (Franklin Roosevelt Lake)

  • Lake Roosevelt (Franklin Roosevelt Lake)

This big reservoir above Grand Coulee Dam has been known for excellent fishing for kokanee, rainbow trout, walleye and smallmouth bass for years.  The kokanee state record is from Lake Roosevelt, at over 6 pounds, and anglers expect to set a new record every year.  In the winter months there are boats scattered from just above the dam up to Keller Ferry looking for these big kokanee.  Although the limit is just two wild fish anglers flock to Roosevelt to get them.  Not only are they exceptional fighting fish on light tackle, they are at the top of the list for table fare.  In the winter these fish are found in the top of the water column and are caught on side planers or on downriggers set at less than 15 feet.  Anglers put their baits 100 feet or more behind the boat when the kokanee are this shallow.  Lures like Rapalas or Flicker Shads are run out on the side planers and Kokabow spinners and blades, or hoochie style kokanee lures are run behind dodgers on the downriggers.  The spinners and hoochies are always tipped with a kernel of white shoe peg corn.  Anglers will fish deeper and deeper as the water warms in the spring and summer.  Rainbow trout are planted at a rate 750,000 each year.  These are triploided and grow fast.  It is not unusual to catch trout weighing 3 pounds, while fishing for kokanee. The rainbow trout limit on Lake Roosevelt is 5 fish.  Walleye numbers are also astounding on Lake Roosevelt.  Fishing along the shore, particularly on shallower flats can be amazing.  Spinners like those from Dutch Fork Custom Lures, behind a bottom bouncer and baited with a nightcrawler is very effective.  Crank baits, such as diving Rapalas also work well for the walleye.  Smallmouth bass can be found along all the shorelines of Lake Roosevelt, and are very abundant.  Anglers cast lures or plastics to catch them.  To learn about the catch limits and the wide range of other species available in Lake Roosevelt, please visit the WDFW web site at www.dfw.wa.gov.  Be sure to click on the “Fish Washington” logo on the Home Page and look under Stevens County Lakes, and Franklin Roosevelt Lake, to learn more.  There is also a listing of public access found here.  The two most used launch sites in the winter months are at Spring Canyon, just two miles east of the town of Grand Coulee, and the launch near Keller Ferry.  The launch near the dam at Crescent Beach is used when the water level comes up in the spring.

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