WEST REGIONAL

Bass at Tenmile Lake, St. Joe Troutin', Beartooth Plateau in Montana and more.

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Home of Largemouths
Expect numerous bass at Tenmile Lake

Oregon Oregon bass anglers don't necessarily envy those in Southern California or Texas, because they have Tenmile Lake. And in August, the largemouths begin an aggressive bite. The lake has produced bass up to 10 pounds, with the average fish weighing in at around two or three pounds.

Your best bets are Yamamoto Senko soft-plastics, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. A brown or black five-inch Senko worm-something that falls slowly and evenly to the bottom-is a local favorite. Use a 3/0 Eagle Claw Featherlight hook, rigging it weedless.

The lake has a variety of structure and cover including deep water, weeded shorelines, isolated points and docks that can all produce bass. A top tactic is to target fish in the outside weed lines in about 10 feet of water.

Rainbow trout are also available in the lake, with fish averaging 14 inches. Light spinners such as Rooster Tails and Panther Martins work best in a slow retrieve. Cast to crappies and bluegills with small, white crappie jigs in the canal joining North and South lakes.

Catching 20 to 30 bass per day is possible. There is a limit of five bass a day, no more than two over 16 inches. The first weekend in August is the annual Tenmile Open, a two-day bass tournament open to all anglers.

Contact: Oregon Department of Wildlife (503-872-5252); Lakeside Hardware & Tackle (541-759-3448). -Scott Staats

**Casting Up the Mountain **
Indian Peaks alpine wilderness is full of off-trail trout

Colorado You can sit bumper-to-bumper on Trail Ridge Road with the other 3 million visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park, or you can bypass the crowds and reach some fantastic trout waters in the Indian Peaks alpine wilderness west of Boulder.

Access isn't as easy as it is in the popular park, but trailheads off Highway 72 out of Ward get you above the tree line after a few miles. You can also drive to the trailhead at Brainard. Make camp at Brainard Lake or up St. Vrain Creek and then spend several days traversing glacial cirques for a mix of cutthroat, rainbow, brook and brown trout. The fish don't get big here, but most lakes have numerous catchable trout just right for the frying pan. And simple tackle will fool them: Small bright spinners and micro-jigs, bushy attractor flies like Royal Wulffs and Chartreuse Trudes or hopper patterns all work. There's great trout fishing on the east and west ends of Lefthand Park Reservoir on the eastern margin of the wilderness (be sure not to trespass on private lands in the wilderness).

The sawtooth ridgeline of the Indian Peaks is visible from Denver, and the wilderness's proximity to the metro area can mean crowding on weekends. If you're after solitude, hike on weekdays and avoid arterial trails. You need a $5 back-country permit until September 15.

Contact: Boulder Ranger District (303-541-2500) for back-country permits; Colorado Division of Wildlife in Denver (303-291-7299). Find a list of all the Indian Peaks wilderness regulations and an inventory of back-country maps at www.fs.fed.us/arnf/districts/brd/fishing. -Andrew McKean

St. Joe Troutin'
A classic river, easy access

Idaho The St. Joe River starts on the Montana border and picks up fishing pressure and fat rainbows as it drops toward Lake Coeur d'Alene. The best trout are in the catch-and-release section east of Avery, where bait is prohibited and large attractor dry flies like Humpies, Royal Wulffs and Stimulators are the top late-summer patterns. Downstream from Avery, nymphs, dark-colored spinners and worms take the larger trout. Access is a cinch almost anywhere from State Route 50, upstream of Avery. The cutthroat population decreases as the Joe drops toward Calder, where rainbows and bull trout domite. Also try the St. Joe's tributaries, such as Marble Creek.

Contact: Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Lewiston (208-799-5010); Blue Goose Sporting Goods, St. Maries (208-245-4015). -A.M.

**Trout Above the Tree Line **
The Beartooth Plateau offers multispecies alpine lakes

Montana Up on the Beartooth Plateau lies a constellation of alpine lakes southwest of Billings that hold a mix of cutthroat, rainbow and even golden trout and grayling. The area is mostly National Forest land.

The best trailheads are out of Red Lodge, south of Big Timber and just outside Cooke City. Or drive the Beartooth Highway (Highway 212) and hike into Hellroaring Plateau lakes (or south into Wyoming's portion of the highland). Once you're atop the plateau, the hiking is relatively easy, across boulder fields and meadows thick with bear grass and wildflowers.

Black cricket, beetle and ant fly patterns work very well. Or cast black or red-and-yellow Panther Martin spinners or smaller spoons. Bait is also legal in these alpine lakes, so take along some worms and grubs just in case.

Contact: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Billings (406-247-2940); Beartooth Plateau Outfitters, Cooke City (800-253-8545). -A.M.

Maximum Chinook
The Columbia should see record numbers

Washington The fall chinook return to the Columbia River this summer might reach an estimated 677,900 salmon, the third largest return since 1948. Most anglers fish below Bonneville Dam in August and September and above the dam in October. Start at Buoy 10 in August and follow the salmon upriver; fishing from the mouth of the Cowlitz River up to the dam is the best bet. Anchor in 30 or 40 feet of water and cast Kwikfish and Flatfish. Or fish cut-plug herring on a six-foot leader with 30-pound-test monofilament line and 6/0 and 5/0 hooks. Known as a Delta Diver, this setup is trolled in about 20 feet of water.

Expect 30-pound fish and don't be surprised at the occasional 50-pounder. The Hanford Reach of the Columbia above Bonneville Dam has the highest catch rate for chinook. The best fishing is from mid-September to the closing date, which is October 22 this year. Back-bounce Kwikfish or troll herring using downriggers.

Contact: Streamside Guide Service (503-357-0042). -S.S.

**In the Zone **
Flathead Lake whites and macks

If you think of whitefish as bothersome diversions between trout, why not eat a few? Check out northwestern Montana's Flathead Lake this month. I hit the big lake every year in August, just as its huge population of Lake Superior whitefish begin their spawning run up the Flathead River. When the fish are biting it's possible to take several dozen whites in a day.

These aren't puny river-dwelling mountain whitefish; they average three pounds but grow to six or seven pounds. But the real attraction is that when you encounter big whites on the main lake, it means that the big macks-the lakers, some to 20 pounds-are right in the same area. The big macks are a kick on 8-pound-test line and hit the same thing you should use for whitefish: jigging spoons and small green-hackled flies baited with maggots.

The whitefish action starts in Elmo Bay, on the west side of Flathead Lake, and moves north through the month. By Labor Day most fish will be off the mouth of the Flathead River, and by later in September, anglers jig the river between Kalispell and Columbia Falls for 100-fish limits. -A.M.

**Blacktail Land **
California's earliest hunt

California California offers one of the earliest rifle deer seasons in the country-the A-Zone season, opening the second Saturday in August. The A Zone has a quota but it is almost always undersubscribed and tags can be purchased over the counter at Department of Fish and Game offices.

The tri-county area of Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties contains some of the highest deer numbers, the most public land and a high buck harvest. Hike in as far away from the roads as possible and hunt hard.

Within the largest public hunting area, the Mendocino National Forest, the top producing areas are the Fork Fire Burn and the Pine Mountain area. Also try the 85,000-acre Cache Creek Natural Area in Lake County.

Contact: Department of Fish and Game (916-653-7664); Mendocino National Forest (530-934-3316); Bureau of Land Management (707-468-4000). -Gary Kramer

Alaska
Mulchatna Caribou: Unit 17 west of Lake Clark is the season's first hotbed of caribou hunting. This area is home to the 150,000-strong Mulchatna caribou herd. The season opens August 1 and limits are five for residents and two for nonresidents. Charter and guide services based in Anchorage can get you to the action. Contact: ADFG (907-267-2182).

Valdez Silvers: Some of Alaska's best silver salmon fishing occurs in August near Valdez. Boat-anglers target the Valdez Narrows with flashers and lures. Shore-anglers fish the Valdez City Docks and Allison Point with Vibrax spinners and Pixie spoons for the 8- to 18-pound silvers. Contact: ADFG (907-267-2218); Valdez Chamber of Commerce (907-835-4636).

Report Catches: Anglers catching Atlantic salmon should turn over the uncleaned fish to state biologists for analysis. These unwanted fish have large black spots on their gill covers and back but no spots on their tails. Atlantic salmon are an invasive species that have escaped from fish farms in British Columbia and Washington, and if established could compete with native Pacific salmon. Contact: ADFG (907-267-2218).

Key Dates
August 1: Caribou season opens in most units west of Anchorage.
August 10: Dall sheep season opens in the Wrangell Mountains.
August 10-18: Seward Silver Salmon Derby.

Arizona
Lee's Ferry Trout: August's heat doesn't much affect the classic tailwater rainbow trout fishing in Lee's Ferry, below Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. While air temperatures hit 100 degrees, the water stays around 60 degrees. Cast spinners and spoons, or deep-diving bass crankbaits, for the two- to eight-pound trout. Contact: AGF (520-774-5045).

Roosevelt Bass: Early in the morning work the shoreline cover with topwater plugs for largemouths in shallow water at Roosevelt Lake. Later in the day, head for deeper water where schools of bass chase threadfin shad to the surface. A shad crankbait, floating Rapala minnow or spoon tossed into the boiling mass of bass and baitfish is sure to draw a strike. Contact: AGF (480-981-9309).

Apply Online: This year you can apply for Arer at Department of Fish and Game offices.

The tri-county area of Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties contains some of the highest deer numbers, the most public land and a high buck harvest. Hike in as far away from the roads as possible and hunt hard.

Within the largest public hunting area, the Mendocino National Forest, the top producing areas are the Fork Fire Burn and the Pine Mountain area. Also try the 85,000-acre Cache Creek Natural Area in Lake County.

Contact: Department of Fish and Game (916-653-7664); Mendocino National Forest (530-934-3316); Bureau of Land Management (707-468-4000). -Gary Kramer

Alaska
Mulchatna Caribou: Unit 17 west of Lake Clark is the season's first hotbed of caribou hunting. This area is home to the 150,000-strong Mulchatna caribou herd. The season opens August 1 and limits are five for residents and two for nonresidents. Charter and guide services based in Anchorage can get you to the action. Contact: ADFG (907-267-2182).

Valdez Silvers: Some of Alaska's best silver salmon fishing occurs in August near Valdez. Boat-anglers target the Valdez Narrows with flashers and lures. Shore-anglers fish the Valdez City Docks and Allison Point with Vibrax spinners and Pixie spoons for the 8- to 18-pound silvers. Contact: ADFG (907-267-2218); Valdez Chamber of Commerce (907-835-4636).

Report Catches: Anglers catching Atlantic salmon should turn over the uncleaned fish to state biologists for analysis. These unwanted fish have large black spots on their gill covers and back but no spots on their tails. Atlantic salmon are an invasive species that have escaped from fish farms in British Columbia and Washington, and if established could compete with native Pacific salmon. Contact: ADFG (907-267-2218).

Key Dates
August 1: Caribou season opens in most units west of Anchorage.
August 10: Dall sheep season opens in the Wrangell Mountains.
August 10-18: Seward Silver Salmon Derby.

Arizona
Lee's Ferry Trout: August's heat doesn't much affect the classic tailwater rainbow trout fishing in Lee's Ferry, below Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. While air temperatures hit 100 degrees, the water stays around 60 degrees. Cast spinners and spoons, or deep-diving bass crankbaits, for the two- to eight-pound trout. Contact: AGF (520-774-5045).

Roosevelt Bass: Early in the morning work the shoreline cover with topwater plugs for largemouths in shallow water at Roosevelt Lake. Later in the day, head for deeper water where schools of bass chase threadfin shad to the surface. A shad crankbait, floating Rapala minnow or spoon tossed into the boiling mass of bass and baitfish is sure to draw a strike. Contact: AGF (480-981-9309).

Apply Online: This year you can apply for Ar