Fishing in Idaho

RVshare
Last updated on July 8th, 2021 at 11:51 am. Originally published on July 6th, 2021

If you want secluded fishing spots, Idaho may be the perfect place for your next fishing expedition. After spending the day on one of Idaho’s 2,000 named lakes with a fishing pole in your hand, you can find many great places to dine and hike. There are also over 70 streams that are over 50 miles long in the state, and many of them offer outstanding fishing opportunities. Therefore, it can be challenging to decide on a fishing spot in the state unless you have a little guidance on where to fish in Idaho. Before embarking on your fishing Idaho adventure, be sure to research the state’s regulations about where you can fish and how to get a license.

A person stands in the middle of a wide, shallow river surrounded by huge green grass hills.

Fishing Camping in Idaho

C.J. Strike Reservoir

The C.J. Strike Reservoir near Mountain Home is naturally divided into three sections, each offering a unique fishing opportunity. Fish for trout, yellow perch, and bullheads in the main reservoir using worms. You can fish for trout by trolling rooster tails in the narrows or use jigs to fish for smallmouth bass in the smaller coves. In the Snake River Arm, use a spinning lure to catch trout, and the Arm is also a great place to go catch-and-release sturgeon fishing. Fish from the shore in the Bruneau Arm using worms for bluegill, bass, and channel catfish.

Lake Lowell

Approximately 7,500 channel catfish are stocked in Lake Lowell annually. It is not unusual for anglers to catch catfish weighing more than 10 pounds at this location near Nampa, and catfish over 30-inches long have been pulled from this lake. It is also a great spot to go bass fishing with anglers often finding success in flooded vegetation in May. The shallow water in front of the Lower Embankment is a terrific place to catch bullheads. This lake inside the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge offers many different types of fishing, including dock, shoreline, and boat fishing.

Brownlee Reservoir

The Brownlee Reservoir is the largest of the three main reservoirs along the Idaho-Oregon border. Start your fishing Idaho expedition with fishing for crappie where the Burnt River enters the Oregon River in the spring. It will peak about the second week of June when the spawn hits its highest level. Late May and early June is a great time to fish for smallmouth bass using crayfish in rocky areas. There are many opportunities to fish from shore for bass, and you can fish for channel catfish in freshly flooded areas in the early spring as they will head there to get the most tender vegetation.

Lake Cascade

Lake Cascade near McCall is a fabulous place to go rainbow trout, perch, and bass fishing. The state stocks approximately 400,000 rainbow trout annually. Good fishing spots for those trout year-round include near Sugarloaf Island and the golf course near Crown Point. The Crown Point area is also an ideal place to fish for large and smallmouth bass using small plugs or spooners. You can also catch perch in this lake.

Lower Goose Creek Reservoir

Lower Goose Creek Reservoir, often called Oakley Reservoir, is an ideal spot for walleye fishing in Idaho. The best walleye fishing at this reservoir near Burley is usually in its feeder streams in the spring as the fish spawn. After they spawn, look for them in darker, deeper water. Then, particularly during the summer months, try trolling for walleye from sunset through midnight.

Swan Falls Reservoir

Swan Falls Reservoir is about 45 minutes south of Boise. Use streamer-type patterns to catch smallmouth bass right below the dam. While many people wade into the waters here to fish, it is also a great place to go shore fishing. This impoundment of the Snake River also offers some opportunities to catch rainbow trout and channel catfish. Summer evenings are usually the best time to fish at this location.

Anderson Ranch Reservoir

Anderson Ranch Reservoir near Mountain Home is one of the best places for fishing camping in Idaho for kokanee salmon. If you are fishing in the spring, try the area near the dam as it is where you will find the most fish. Anglers can also bring home Chinook salmon and smallmouth bass out of this reservoir. You must follow dirt forest service roads to reach this isolated location, so be sure to give yourself enough time.

Fishing Spots in Idaho

The high-desert terrain in southern Idaho lies along the Snake River, and it is a favorite place to go fishing for walleye, largemouth bass, and brown trout. Fly-fish anglers often choose to head to eastern Idaho, where they usually fish along Henry’s Fork and the South Fork of the Snake River for rainbow and brown trout. Central Idaho, along the Salmon River, is filled with wilderness areas breaming with rainbow and cutthroat trout. Head to the densely forested Panhandle region to catch lake trout. 

Camping and Fishing in Idaho

Camping and fishing in Idaho provide a fabulous opportunity. Make the most of your catch by thinking about how you intend to prepare it. Bring along your favorite fish-cleaning tools and an ice chest or another way to transport your fish back to your campsite. Bringing an RV to a nearby location helps ensure that you can keep your fish at a safe temperature so that you, your family, and friends can enjoy the meal when you’re ready. 

There are memory-making experiences to be had in each region of the state, but the best ones will be the memories you make spending time with those who mean the most to you. Before you go, read this fishing blog filled with helpful tips regarding fishing Idaho.

With an RV rental, your fishing trip will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day fishing, grill up your catch right at your campsite. Then retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home on board your RV. Plan your perfect fishing getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.

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