Every Tuesday, we’ll post fishing writer Jordan Rodriguez’s weekly report in the Playing Outdoors blog. His column will appear three Wednesdays per month.
Boise River (Trout)
Things have really picked up on the Boise River over the past few weeks. Fish & Game continues to stock rainbows every month, and there are enough big, wild rainbows and browns to keep things interesting. If you want to catch a brown trout, try fishing west of Boise and target slower, deeper pockets of water with minnow-imitating lures like spinners, spoons or Rapalas. Large streamer and sculpin patterns will also do the trick. I recommend releasing Boise River browns — they are much less common than the rainbows. On the in-town stretch, anglers have been catching fish on worms, marshmallows, power bait, spinners, small dry flies, hopper patterns and bead head nymphs. Bridges, dams, cut banks, deep pools and riffles are the best places to target.
Getting there: Trout are regularly stocked between Barber Park and the Glenwood Bridge.
Lake Lowell (Catfish)
Bass fishing has been hit-or-miss at Lowell, but I’ve seen lots of nice catfish coming out of the lake. As the water level drops, channel cats and bullheads tend to cruise around the shallow flats in search of an easy meal. Drop some bait — worms, garlic marshmallows, shrimp, chicken livers, crickets and cut bait are a few popular options — near the bottom, and keep a close eye on your line. Lowell has plenty of catfish big enough to drag a pole into the water if you aren’t paying attention! Largemouth and smallmouth bass can still be found around the remaining submerged cover, along rocky shorelines, or near the equalizer. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, soft plastic jigs and drop-shot rigs are the ticket. The lake will remain open to motorized boats through September 30 as long as there’s enough water to launch. There’s plenty of bank access, too, especially if you are targeting catfish in the flats.
Getting there: Head south from Nampa or Caldwell.
Duck Valley Indian Reservation (Trout)
Early fall fishing has been good at Duck Valley, with anglers catching some nice limits of rainbow trout at Mountain View Reservoir, Sheep Creek Reservoir and Lake Billy Shaw. Most of the reports I’ve heard have been from bank anglers throwing worms, marshmallows and brightly colored Power Bait. Leeches, midges and damselflies are go-to patterns, while trolling or casting spoons and spinners also will pick up fish. Duck Valley is pay-to-play, but the fish are big, averaging 15 to 20 inches. It’s a great place to camp for a weekend and stock up on trout filets for the winter. The fall weather can be unpredictable, so plan ahead and be prepared to adjust on the fly. Be sure to purchase your Duck Valley license ($15 per day) before you start fishing. More info on Duck Valley is available at www.shopaitribes.org/fish.
Getting there: From Boise, go east on I-84 to Mountain Home, then take Idaho 51 south toward the Nevada border.
C.J. Strike Reservoir (Bass, Panfish)
Fishing is holding steady at C.J. Strike, with anglers still finding schools of perch and plenty of bass. Bluegill, crappie and catfish are also possible catches, and as the water cools, trout fishing should pick up along the dam as well as rocky shorelines. Perch typically hold in 20 to 30 feet of water. The bite hasn’t been quite as hot as it was during spring and early summer, but if you can find a school, you’ll catch some fish. Panfish jigs tipped with worms are the lure of choice. If the bite is tough, try replacing the worms with fresh cut bait. For bass, work submerged vegetation, overhanging willows and rocky points with crankbaits, jigs and soft plastics. Top-water action can be good early or late in the day, too. Trout will take worms, marshmallows, Power Bait, spinners, spoons or trolling rigs. If the fishing is slow, nearby Crane Falls Lake and Cove Arm Lake also offer good fishing for bass and panfish.
Getting there: Take I-84 east toward Mountain Home and head south.
Jordan Rodriguez has been fishing Idaho waters since he was a teen. Share your fish stories, adventures, tips and tricks at outdoors @idahostatesman.com.
GO FISHING WITH JORDAN
I’m teaching a fishing class through The College of Idaho’s Community Learning program this fall, and I’d love to have some readers participate. The course will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 27 and 29 and also includes an 8 a.m.-to-noon fishing trip on Saturday, Oct. 1. The cost is $59, which includes eight hours of tips, tricks, instruction and more! Register today by calling 459-5188 or visiting www.cofifun.com.