Fish Rap by Roger Phillips: A skiff of snow? Must be Memorial Day weekend

rphillips@idahostatesman.comMay 23, 2013 

You don't have to live in Idaho long before you have your very own story about snow on Memorial Day weekend. It's almost a tradition 'round here.

Snowstorms hit the high country midweek, and with any luck, weather will improve by the weekend. I am seeing forecasted highs between 60 and 80 degrees for the weekend depending on elevation. So it's going to be fairly mild, but chilly at higher elevations.

I'm not expecting snow, but it still wouldn't surprise me.

What effect that will have on fishing is another matter. Let's break it down.

Trout fishing is less likely to be affected. They're pretty tolerant of cooler water, and if it ticks up a few degrees, all the better.

When it comes to trout fishing in rivers, it's probably going to get better later as rivers drop and warm, but it's still worth a try, especially if you're fishing an area that's stocked.

Warm water is the wild card. It got pretty darned good when we had temperatures in the 90s, then tapered down with cooler weather.

Will it warm enough to get the fish back on the bite? Tough to tell, but I sure wouldn't let the weather stop me from trying. I think if you give warm-water fishing an honest effort, you're likely to catch some.

Finally, let's talk salmon. Chinook fishing is on the verge of turning on, and you might want to start planning a weekend trip to Riggins soon. The rivers are dropping fast, and the fish are probably about a week or two from arriving in big numbers. Early June is traditionally the best time to be there.

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