Fish rap: A partial thaw opens up more fishing options

December 26, 2013 

Hopefully you found a new fishing rod under the Christmas tree and now you’re itching to get out and try it.

Fortunately, Mother Nature and Santa are conspiring to give you that opportunity.

If you’re reading this in print, chances are good you’re in the Treasure Valley. If you’re in the western Valley, Wilson Springs in Nampa is a good place to try out your new gear. If you’re in Boise or its ’burbs, the Boise River is probably your best option. Wrap up and hit the river for an hour or two late morning or early afternoon and it can be surprisingly pleasant on a sunny day. If the sun’s not out, a warm place is never far away.

If you’re a steelheader, there’s been a partial thaw on the Salmon River and plenty of open water downstream from Riggins. It’s another place that can be surprisingly pleasant — or it can be bitterly cold if the wind is blowing up the canyon.

But winter is really about ice fishing, and it seems to be growing in popularity each year. It’s a fun way to get outside, and ice anglers seem to revel in the cold.

Ice conditions are good on the big three: Lake Cascade, Horsethief Reservoir and Magic Reservoir. All three have plowed places to park, easy access to the ice and good fishing.

There are some cool ice fishing events coming up this winter, and the first is the Fifth Annual Youth Ice Fishing Day on Jan. 11 at Horsethief Reservoir. Mark your calendar for this one. It’s a blast.

I will have more about ice fishing and events in the Jan. 9 edition of Idaho Outdoors.

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