Here’s how the Eagle Fish Hatchery handles Idaho’s famous salmon
A few weeks ago, I was in eastern Washington visiting family. On a sunny Saturday, I took two nephews and a niece, ages 6 to 13, on a fishing trip.
Predictably, it was a departure from my typical outings. Rather than keeping count of the fish we caught, the kids kept track of the cool things we saw — a beaver, a great blue heron, pheasants, deer tracks and a dead snake, to name a few.
There were fish, of course. I helped each youngster land at least one largemouth bass, and each catch was a thrill. But the kids were just as excited about the other wonders of nature we encountered, whether it was dissecting cattails, wondering where all those bullfrog noises were coming from or snacking on gummies in a secluded, lakeside forest clearing they decided to call “the room.”
We thoroughly enjoyed our day at the lake, and I was reminded of one of fishing’s magical qualities — the ease with which we anglers can make each trip something special.
Here are a few examples of ways to enjoy fishing. Many of them are probably familiar, but if you see something you haven’t tried before, give it a shot. And if you have a favorite kind of fishing that’s not listed, let me know so I can try it!
The Quick Strike: Sometimes, life is too busy to plan a proper getaway. But the Boise River and local ponds present ample opportunities to get a few casts in over lunch, after dinner or whenever you can squeeze it in. Keep a rod and some tackle in your car, just in case!
The Supermarket Run: I’m all for catch and release, but sometimes, you just need a fish fry in your life. Sharpen your fillet knife and hit up Brownlee for some crappie, Lake Cascade for some perch or just about any local fishery for some stocked rainbow trout.
The Boat Ride: There’s not a more relaxing way to fish than trolling. Making a run for Kokanee at Lucky Peak or trout at C.J. Strike is a great way to decompress after a long day at the office. Just rig up some rods, turn on the motor, kick back with a cold beverage and wait for a strike!
The Adventure: A personal favorite of mine, this trip is all about exploring the unknown. Whether you gear up for a hardcore hike into alpine lakes or take your kiddos (or nieces and nephews) on a glorified nature hike, these outdoor excursions are sure to be memorable.
The Personal Day: Every once in a while, we need a little time to ourselves. When these opportunities arrive, I take my trusty dog Winston and go fishing — usually somewhere I can get away from the crowds with just my thoughts, my tackle and my best fuzzy friend.
The Competition: Up for a friendly game? Grab some fishing pals and keep score. Fish only count if they make it in the boat, and carp count as negative one! If competition is your bag, you can give tournament fishing a shot, too.
The Good Hang: What do you do when you get a free night with your pals? For my money, nothing beats a fishing trip. Load up on snacks, let jokes and stories flow and go catch some fish. Some of my favorite memories with my best friends have happened on the water.
Date Night: Looking to mix things up? A peaceful evening on the water is a great alternative to dinner and a movie. Just be warned, guys — my wife Anna only fishes with me a couple times each year, and almost every time she does, she catches the biggest fish.