Hunting Scotch Creek

Midnight tonight deadline to apply to hunt deer this fall on the 6,000-acre Charles and Mary Eder unit of the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area in northeastern Okanogan County. Go to wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/special-hunts/scotch-creek or call 509-754-4624. No charge to enter.

Hunting coming — think ahead

Seasons for several big and small game critters and birds open in just under two weeks. Plan now for access/fire/camping restrictions.

Find out about current restrictions at 800-323-BURN. Get more info on wildfire risk and restrictions info from www.dnr.wa.gov or www.dnr.wa.gov.

Shooting

Note that restrictions for shooting and sight-in on our state-managed ground are being strictly enforced (fire danger). Check out Cascade Field and Stream’s Range on Hayward Hill (first and third Wednesday and Saturday of each month — mandatory 8 a.m. orientation), or find private ground. Clean up carefully after yourself.

Report wildfires or any untended fire to 800-562-6010.

Fishing

Yakima trout are best early in the day only because of the warm air and water. Spies report success on hoppers/stimulators and small nymphs. Small pattern dries are picking up, and enough summer stones are hatching to keep the action going. Big October caddis are still effective at times. Current info at any of the fly shops.

Cooling weather will bring larger catches of ‘bows in Upper County ponds. Expect most action on eggs and red or yellow trout baits.

Columbia River fall chinook back in good numbers, it appears. Check DFW regs and go play.

Ocean salmon fishing is still hot. More fish than earlier in the season, with two Chinook a day in some areas. Info at 800-345-6223, www.westportgrayland-chamber.org or www.oceansportfishing.com.

Info and coaching for salmon across the state at www.salmonuniversity.com.

Northwest Fishing Reports has current info at www.northwestfishingreports.com.

Fish the Snake

Fall chinook salmon seasons look pretty good for Idaho’s Snake and Clearwater Rivers, some open and some coming. Various rules in place from reach to reach. Find needed info at idfg.idaho.gov/fish/chinook/rules. Should be a great fishery. Washington part of the Snake should open at the same time, with six adult hatchery fish per day. Check your regs.

Wildlife and family fun

Elk bugling is happening around Raven’s Roost in the Little Naches drainage. Arrive before daylight and walk the Cougar Valley trail. Watch open hillsides until about 7 a.m. (when they generally drift into the timber). Go check for mountain goats along the road to Timberwolf Mountain near Naches, too.

Fall birds are moving. Watch for nighthawks and our Neotropical songbirds as they begin to gather for migrations. I have reports of hummingbirds on nectar in meadows around Chinook Pass (many of our hummers move south along the Cascade Crest).

Shortening daylight means grouse, bears, deer, elk, coyotes and cougars are on the meadows. Use cameras and binoculars, but don’t harass, or be harassed by, any wildlife. (With bears, back away slowly, talk quietly and avoid eye contact.)

Coming activities

WOW (Washington Outdoor Women) workshop is Sept. 13-17. Basics of fishing, hunting and all outdoor skills with lodging, meals and gear for the women in our lives. Info at www.washingtonoutdoorwomen.org or from Jen Syrowitz at 425-785-3555.

Waterfowl

Another strong number for ducks on the northern breeding grounds, so seasons will be similar to 2018. Statewide duck season open from Oct. 12-30 and Nov. 2 to Jan. 26 (scaup closed until Nov. 1). Youth hunting day is Sept. 21 on the West Side and Sept. 28 on the East Side. Note that Feb. 1 next year, is a special youth, veterans and active military waterfowl hunt — first time in our Pacific Flyway. Details available in the new Migratory Waterfowl and Upland Game Seasons pamphlet (online at wdfw.wa.gov/publications/02079).

Get outdoors at the Fair week after next! Breathe the air of those who made us who we are today; enjoy the taste of the valley’s livestock, hay and other crops. Then take some housebound soul and go make a late summer memory. Wildlife is out and the foothills are perfect hiking (barring wildfire smoke).

— JH

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