SALMON RIVER AT RIGGINS (CHINOOK)
Anglers continue to do well on the main river and the Little Salmon. They’ve caught 1,862 through May 17. The Rapid River Fish Hatchery has trapped 146 chinook through March 20. This is going to be a big weekend up there, and a lot of fish will be caught. There’s about 11,000 fish available for sport anglers, which is among the highest harvests shares in the last 20 years. That leaves about 9,000 fish available, but in the past, anglers have caught up to 3,000 fish in a week. Do the math and plan your weekends accordingly. The Main Salmon was flowing about 28,000 mid week, and the Little Salmon was 1,710.
Getting there: Take U.S. 95 north to Riggins.
CLEARWATER RIVER (CHINOOK)
Chinook salmon fishing from the Cherry Lane Bridge upstream to the Orofino Bridge ends at the end of fishing hours Friday, May 22. Fishing has been excellent, which is why the season is closing on that section. Other sections of the Clearwater system remain open, but don’t procrastinate, this season may not last a lot longer. The river was flowing about 19,000 cfs at Orofino midweek.
Getting there: Take U.S. 95 north to the river near Lewiston.
Bass and bluegill are spawning, which means fishing for them can be good to excellent. Search around to find the fish. Idaho Fish and Game is also planting nearly all the ponds with trout, but they will stop when the weather turns hot and the temperatures get too warm for trout. Get out and enjoy these local gems.
Getting there: Ponds are located throughout the Treasure Valley.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE RIVER
The Mountain Home Ranger District may reopen camping by the opener Saturday, but there are some bureaucratic details that could stall it. Check idahostatesman.com/outdoors for updates. Fishing typically is fair to slow on the opener, but it’s been a weird spring so you never know. It will be fun to find out, regardless.
Getting there: Take Interstate 84 to Mountain Home and U.S. 20 to Anderson Dam Ranch Road.
SILVER CREEK (TROUT)
This could be a fly angler’s best bet for the stream opener. Lots of work was done last year at by the Nature Conversancy at Silver Creek Preserve and nearby stretches, and we may see early dividends with the trout. Watch for PMDs, baetis and callibaetis hatches, but fish tend to be naive early season, so terrestrials will also work. You can expect the world-famous brown drake hatch in the first week of June, but it might be a little early this year.
Getting there: Take Interstate 84 to Mountain Home and U.S. 20 to the creek.
C.J. STRIKE RESERVOIR
I’ve heard about coolers full of crappie, so fishing is pretty darned good when you find the schools. Remember to take only what you can eat (or feel like filleting). Nothing wrong with catch-and-release crappie fishing. Smallmouth fishing is also good along those rocky shorelines and in the Narrows.
Getting there: Take Interstate 84 to Mountain Home, Idaho 51 to Bruneau and west on Idaho 78.