Fishing mailbag: Readers share adventures, questions from far and wide

Fishing is on people’s minds across the Treasure Valley. Maybe it’s the annual fishing guide we published earlier this month, or maybe it’s these bluebird spring days flirting with 60 degrees, but my inbox has been blowing up with fishing questions. So, it’s time for another reader mailbag column! If you have questions or stories, you can always reach me at On to the mailbag:


I got a lot of fun feedback on my recent column about “couch fishing.” My favorite response came from local reader Chris Preston, who chases some of the same exotic South American species pursued by popular TV personalities Jeremy Wade and Cyril Chauquet. Chris shared some epic pictures of Colombian peacock bass and payara (aka vampire fish), as well as a beautiful Bolivian golden dorado. These species have been on my bucket list for a while now, but seeing a fellow Idahoan share his success provides extra motivation for a trip south. I hope to make it happen soon, Chris!


I enjoyed Nicole Blanchard’s recent story about Boise angler Stephen Veals, who set and accomplished a goad of fishing every day during 2018. Even for a diehard angler, that takes dedication!

Speaking of fishing-related goals, reader George Zantvoort emailed me another cool story with Idaho ties. Texas angler Paul Hale is on a journey to catch fish in all 50 states. As of this writing, he had crossed 46 off the list, including Idaho. Hale called catching steelhead on the Clearwater River one of the most memorable highlights of his trek across America. You can read more about Hale’s trip on Zantvoort’s blog at


Readers have been inquiring about my annual spring fishing class, “Stop Fishing, Start Catching.” Sadly, the College of Idaho discontinued its community learning program. BUT, I plan to continue teaching fishing classes here in the Treasure Valley, including “Start Fishing, Start Catching,” “Ice Fishing 101” and a brand new offering coming this summer! Details are being finalized as we speak, but look for an update very soon. Thanks for your interest, and for making the classes successful and fun!


I’ll be hosting another Facebook Live chat at noon on Wednesday, April 24, on the Idaho Statesman Facebook page. We will answer reader questions, give away some prizes and generally have a good time talking fishing, just like we did in the January ice fishing edition. Stay tuned for more details, including Facebook posts where you can get your questions in and enter to win prizes!


A got a couple reader tips about a new book by local author Matthew Miller. His recently published “Fishing Through the Apocalypse: An Angler’s Adventures in the 21 st Century” explores what the future holds for fish and the anglers who pursue them. The book is available via Amazon and other retailers.


In case you missed it, Idaho Fish and Game received federal reauthorization for its steelhead fishing season, so fishing will continue this spring. Special limits remain in place, allowing anglers to harvest:

One hatchery steelhead per day in the Mainstem Clearwater, North Fork Clearwater, Middle Fork Clearwater, Salmon, and Little Salmon rivers, and the Snake River from the Washington state line upstream to the Dug Bar Boat Ramp.

Two hatchery steelhead per day in the South Fork Clearwater River and Snake River from the Dug Bar Boat Ramp to Hells Canyon Dam.

As always, anglers need a valid license and steelhead permit to fish for steelhead. Check the Idaho Fish and Game website for more details. Tight lines!

Jordan Rodriguez has been fishing Idaho waters since he was a teen. Share your fish stories, adventures, tips and tricks with him at

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