Fish Rap by Roger Phillips: Don’t overlook Magic Reservoir for ice fishing

rphillips@idahostatesman.comDecember 19, 2013 

Reservoirs are funny things. They build a reputation, and sometimes it changes. Where people once flocked now seems abandoned. It’s not quite the case between Cascade and Magic, but it is an interesting switch. Cascade has seen a resurgence in ice fishing in recent years with the perch returning and the trout fishing being pretty good. Lake Cascade State Park also does a good job of plowing parking lots to make it easy for anglers to get on the ice.

Magic used to be THE place for ice fishing for perch. I can remember several trips when it was so easy to catch perch even a dumb fly fisherman like me could do it.

But Magic hit some hard times when it was lowered (not drained) to repair the dam, and a low snowpack meant the reservoir didn’t refill the following spring.

Here’s where the reputation part comes in. There seems to be some bad intel out there that Magic isn’t fishing well. I’ve had limited reports because few people are fishing, but the reports have been favorable for both perch and trout.

There can be several explanations, the weather has been great for forming ice, but not travel friendly, and the holidays are fast approaching. It’s also early in the ice fishing season, but based on this weather, there’s plenty of opportunity ahead.

So what it boils down to is Magic is ready for ice fishing. Don Hartman at West Magic Resort said the ice is thick enough and there’s easy parking below the resort. He’s also got all the tackle, munchies and beverages for a day of fishing. So give it go, and let me know how you do.

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