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Stott’s Fishing Adventures is a “unique” Pacific Northwest Sport Fishing outfitter.
3314 Meadowlark Drive
Lewiston Idaho 83501
(208) 503-3878
mel@fishstotts.com

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Drano Lake Fishing Guides

Why go on a Drano Lake guided fishing trip? Because, ask anyone in the Pacific northwest that has fished on the Columbia River, what the best tasting salmon is. If they know anything about salmon, the answer is simple, Drano Lake Springers. To rephrase it, there is no better. The Drano Lake & Wind River fishery is a staple amongst our fishing guides. Furthermore, we are happy to share some tips and techniques to enhance your catching. Drano lake is a fabulous fishery and easily accessible for just about every type of boat. Just a little word of caution, the Columbia River Gorge is known for strong winds and heavy boat traffic.

Drano Lake & Wind River Location

Drano Lake is an impoundment separated from the Columbia River by railroad tracks and highway 14. Located in Skamania County, Washington and just miles upstream of Stevenson Washington. Drano was once a back bay off the Columbia until the railroad closed off the mouth and introduced train tracks in the late 1800’s. Inevitably, backwater from Bonneville dam would fill the lake and flood the last few miles of the Little White Salmon River. This backwater is now considered one of the finest springer fisheries we have in the Pacific Northwest. Drano Lake was born, and the rest is history. Learn about the Little White Salmon Fish Hatchery

Returning Chinook to Drano Lake & Wind River

The lower part of the Columbia typically closes early April. A 1 fish limit is common in the mainstream Columbia, Snake and Clearwater river and expect to have restrictions on hooks, rods and areas. However, Drano often allows a 2 fish limit, 2 pole endorsement, and allows party fishing. Down years on much of the river, brings early closures and sometimes never opening at all. Drano Lake still produces enough fish “only” if it is a 1 fish limit. The Drano Lake Spring Chinook will traditionally start trickling into the lake by April 1st and peak in early May. On certain years, fishing can continue to be good all the way through the month of June.

Looking to Fish
Salmon

April-May

Drano Lake Springer Fishing is Popular

This is a super popular spring fishery and requires tons of patience. If you’re not willing to bump into other anglers and watch the boat next to you fight a fish, this is not the place for you. When the fish are in, expect the parking lots to be full and the toilet bowl to look like the Indy 500. Boat control and patience is a must. Get in line and enjoy the tight quarters. This is a big reason why most anglers choose to hire a fishing guide. The big prize is the 15-20-pound bright, chrome salmon. The Columbia river springer averages around the 15 lb. range but we’ve also caught some in the middle to upper 20’s.

High Catch Rates – Pay a Price

Drano Lake is a fantastic “catching” fishery. Just remember, high catch rates come with a cost. High winds, crowded fishing, lines at the boat ramp, impatient anglers, is all part of Drano. If you are not completely comfortable with all these variables, hire a guide and experience Drano in a stress free, fun environmen

Playing the Wind

It’s fairly uncommon to fish Drano lake without some sort of wind. After all, it is the Columbia river gorge. Drano anglers actually prefer some wind out of the west. The westerly wind has a tendency to push dirtier water into the neck of the lake, pushing salmon toward the hatchery. An Easterly wind is better than nothing, it doesn’t bring dirty water, but it does present some surface break. If the pond has frog water, fishing gets tough and time to tinker

Stott’s Favorite Techniques:

Columbia River springers love prawns and herring. The fish are headed to the hatchery and we try and cut them off. While we have our favorite rigging, we let the fish tell us what they want. At some point, herring wraps, prawn rigs and tuna filled super-baits all work. We have seen some patterns and happy to share our thoughts. Colder water or early mornings, springers seem to be a bit shallower. Keep your line at a 45 degree angle and fish more in the 20 foot range.

Lewiston
91°
Sunny
5:34am8:13pm PDT
Feels like: 91°F
Wind: 11mph NW
Humidity: 21%
Pressure: 29.95"Hg
UV index: 3
MonTueWed
min 61°F
95/63°F
99/68°F
Columbia River
*Salmon *Steelhead *Sturgeon *Bass *Walleye

The Columbia River is one of the greatest sport fishing rivers in the world that hosts salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, bass and walleye. We fish year around on the Columbia and provide lots of options to our fishing guests.

Columbia River
Snake River
*Steelhead *Salmon *Sturgeon *Bass

There is not, many places in the world you can catch steelhead, salmon, sturgeon, bass while viewing big horn sheep, elk, deer, turkey’s, eagles, and other wildlife that roam the hill sides of the beautiful

Snake River
Grande Ronde River
*Steelhead *Bass

The Grande Ronde River flows through a 3,000 ft deep canyon lined with basalt and Indian blanket hillsides. This moderate-gradient freestone river supports abundant wildlife and large population of steelhead and smallmouth bass.

Grande Ronde River
Buoy 10 Astoria
*Chinook Salmon *Coho Salmon

Astoria Oregon is one of the great fishing towns in the world. Great coastal weather and cool local vibe is as special as the world class fishing.

Buoy 10 Astoria
Hanford Reach
*Chinook Salmon *King Salmon *Walleye

The Vernita/Hanford Reach area is a spectacular fishery that has the longest free flowing stretch of water between dams. The 50-mile stretch has crystal clear water, creating perfect spawning grounds for hundreds of thousands of fall chinook salmon.

Hanford Reach
Moses Lake
*Walleye *Crappie *Perch *Bluegill *Bass

Moses Lake focuses mainly on walleye, but we can’t help but to catch bass, perch, and crappie while targeting walleye. Prime fishing on Moses Lake is in the spring through the month of June.

Moses Lake
Potholes Reservoir

*Walleye *Crappie *Perch *Bluegill *Bass

Check out our Potholes Reservoir fishing. The Potholes is a great destination fishery for families wanting to catch lots of fish.

Potholes Reservoir

Spread Out & Fish Water Columns

If we are fishing 6 rods, we’ll fish 3 different water columns with the bow rods using heavier weights to bang the bottom. The middle rods will be just up above the bottom with back rods, flat lined. Covering 3 different water columns lets us know where the fish are. Typically, early morning we see a herring bite with our slow rolling Leo Flashers. As water starts to warm, the fish go a little deeper and it’s the prawn and spinner game. Eventually, the superbait and kokanee cutplug bite will become king for the day

Trolling Speed

Key is to keep your rod at a 45° angle and keep a nice spread in the water columns. Most of our trolling is from 1.5 to 2.0 mph. There are times we use 6 oz. of lead and other times we go with heavier 8 oz. cannonballs. When you detect a bite, hit your trolling motor throttle to drive the hook. Anglers make the mistake of lifting the rod out of the holder too early to set the hook. We make sure the rod is loaded up and have our anglers start to reel, keeping the line tight.

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Looking to Fish
Drano Springers

April-May

Little White Salmon Fish Hatchery

Drano lake has a fish hatchery located on the Little White Salmon River which means the fish aren’t going anywhere. The hatchery produces up to 9.4 million salmon/steelhead smolt which are annually released to the lake and other locations within the state of Washington.

In Conclusion

I would say Drano Lake is a unique salmon fishery in every sense. If you catch it at the right time, it’s world class. Fish pass over the Bonneville dam and we intercept them headed to the Little White Salmon hatchery. Our guides spend the better part of a month entertaining anglers that come from all over. We’ve broken down the fishery and shared tips and techniques to eager anglers trying to get an edge. Nothing is perfect, and by no means do we feel this is the end to all Drano Lake salmon fishing. Although, we’ve weeded through our numerous mistakes and left you with a solid blue print to catching more fish.

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