Fishing options are limited right now, and subject to change depending on the fluctuating weather. So, I’m going to keep them short and sweet, with more options to choose from. The fish are bound to be biting somewhere!
Lake Cascade (perch, trout)
The ice melted just as quickly as it formed. As of last weekend, there was lots of open water — enough to fish from the bank in some places — and no fishable ice. The ice will reform soon enough, but Cascade will be in limbo until the temperature drops and stays down for a while. Call ahead or follow the Tackle Tom’s Facebook page for the latest updates. It’s better to know before you go!
Getting there: Take Idaho 55 north to Cascade and follow the turnoff signs to sportsman access areas.
Boise River (trout, steelhead)
Fishing has been steady as the tides on the Boise River. Lots of planted rainbows, some nice big wild trout, whitefish and a handful of leftover steelhead are there for the catching. Flies, spinners and bait will all catch fish. Look for the deep pools and riffles.
Getting there: Rainbow trout are stocked between Barber Park and the Glenwood Bridge.
Snake, Salmon and Clearwater Rivers (steelhead)
Steelhead season is winding down, but anglers are still finding and catching fish in the Snake, Clearwater and Salmon rivers. The latest harvest reports had catch rates ranging from 7-13 hours per fish in most places. Statewide steelhead season is open through Dec. 31, so get out and catch one while you can.
Getting there: Check the Idaho Fish and Game website for a detailed list of steelhead seasons, rules and destinations.
Local ponds (trout)
Warmer temperatures in the Treasure Valley mean most ponds are ice-free and easily accessible for anglers. And if the fishing isn’t good, it’s a lot less depressing to waste a 10-minute drive than it is to travel several hours and have your trip spoiled by winter conditions. Take an assortment of flies, lures and baits, primarily with trout in mind. Rainbows will be your most common nibblers, but bass, panfish and even catfish are possibilities, too.
Getting there: Ponds are available from Boise to Middleton and everywhere in between.
Lucky Peak Reservoir (trout)
I’ve seen some good reports on low-water trout fishing from bank anglers and trollers at Lucky Peak and Arrowrock. Pop gear, spinners and the classic worm/marshmallow combination are the most common offerings. It’s close and convenient enough to give it a try.
Getting there: Take Warm Springs Avenue or I-84 east to Idaho 21 and continue east to the reservoir.
Snake River (mixed bag)
The Snake is still open and flowing low and slow. I’ve seen reports of trout out at C.J. Strike, sturgeon near Swan Falls and even some crappie and perch in or near the reservoirs. Bass and catfish action has slowed down considerably, though savvy anglers can still entice a bite if they put in the work.
Getting there: Fish between C.J. Strike and Brownlee Reservoirs.