LOCAL PONDS (TROUT)
October should be a great month to hit the local ponds. With precious little daylight available after work hours, the convenience of ponds is ideal. Idaho Fish and Game is set to stock nearly 20,000 rainbow trout in the Treasure Valley this month, and the majority of those fish will go into ponds in Boise, Nampa, Meridian, Caldwell, Emmett and the surrounding areas. Use spinners, flies, worms, marshmallows or Power Bait, which seems to work really well for recently stocked fish. Bass, bluegill, catfish and more are still cruising around in a lot of ponds, too, and fishing should remain decent for those species as long as the warm weather holds.
Getting there: Ponds are available from Boise to Middleton and everywhere in between.
SNAKE RIVER (BASS, CATFISH)
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Smallmouth bass fishing can be dynamite well into October. The fish are fat and healthy after a full summer of feeding, and apart from some chilly mornings, the weather is perfect for spending a day on the water. Try Swan Falls Dam, the Marsing Bridge or Celebration Park on foot, or launch a boat into Snake River reservoirs like C.J. Strike. Channel catfish and some really big flatheads are still biting, and you might even stumble into a nice school of perch.
Getting there: Fish between C.J. Strike and Brownlee Reservoirs.
LAKE CASCADE (PERCH)
September was a great month for perch, especially the jumbo, 12- to 15-inch fish Cascade is known for. Good perch fishing should continue into October along with solid smallmouth bass fishing. And within a few weeks, the big rainbow trout should start cruising the shorelines, providing excellent opportunities for bank anglers. The water is low, but smaller boats can still launch from the Blue Heron ramp. The fishing has been best on the south end of the lake. Take some live worms and a tackle box full of your favorite perch jigs, bass presentations and trout lures and you should catch something.
Getting there: Take Idaho 55 to Cascade. Stop in at Tackle Tom’s to get the latest intel.
BOISE RIVER (TROUT)
In addition to local ponds, more than 4,000 rainbow trout will be stocked in the Boise River this month. That will create opportunities to catch some nice pan-sized fish for the frying pan. Fall fishing for bigger rainbows and browns also has been good of late. I’ve seen monster brown trout come out and eat small, recently stocked trout. With the trees changing color, the scenery should be just as good as the fishing.
Getting there: Trout are stocked between Barber Park and the Glenwood Bridge.
HORSETHIEF RESERVOIR (TROUT)
There have been reports that Horsethief is closed, but that’s not the case. The campground is closed, but the lake remains open and salvage rules are in effect (meaning licensed anglers can catch and keep as many fish as they want). There are brown trout in the reservoir, and this is a great time of year to catch some big ones. The reservoir is being drained to eradicate it of non-native bullheads, but my source in Cascade says there is still plenty of water and Horsethief should remain fishable for at least a couple more weeks.
Getting there: Take Idaho 55 north to Cascade, turn right on Warm Lake Road and follow it about 8 miles in to the reservoir.