Scenic USA - Washington

Pend Oreille River

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Pend Oreille River - Pend Oreille County, Washington

Photo by Jim Stiles
Jim Stiles Photography
Inset photo by Eric Engbretson

     Tucked into the northeast corner of Washington State, Pend Oreille (POND-o-ray) County is one of the stateís undiscovered gems. State Route 20 (part of the International Selkirk Loop) passes through the Kaniksu National Forest, and follows the Pend Oreille River. Simply referred to as the river by Kalispell Natives, the Pend Oreille heads north to the Canadian border and British Columbia. Brown Trout Once across the border, the river changes to the French pronunciation (Pend d'Oreille) before it joins the Columbia River.
     In northeastern Washington and Idahoís panhandle, the Priest, North Fork of the Clark, and Pend Oreille rivers make up a huge river basin which contributes over 40 percent of the Columbia Riverís water. Here along the Pend Oreille River, sometimes called the zoo, hunting, fishing and bird watching are king. More than 260 bird species and 50 animal species are spread throughout the Selkirk Mountains and the Kaniksu National Forest. Anglers target smallmouth and largemouth bass, northern pike, cutthroats and brown trout. When the water begins to warm in midsummer, trout begin to hold in deeper pools. Once that secret spot is found, elusive browns, some weighing in over 10 pounds, put up one heck of fight.

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