Outdoors Blog

Flooding might have spoiled your favorite Boise River spot (fishing report, Aug. 11)

The Boise River has receded to fishable flows, and the trout are biting on spinners, flies, worms and Rapalas.
The Boise River has receded to fishable flows, and the trout are biting on spinners, flies, worms and Rapalas. Special to the Idaho Statesman

Every Friday, we’ll post fishing writer Jordan Rodriguez’s weekly report in the Playing Outdoors blog. His column appears three Tuesdays per month.

Boise River (Trout)

I fished the Boise for the first time this summer, and while it was an overall success, it was definitely a learning experience. I went back to some old honey holes only to find them completely changed by the crazy flooding we experienced all spring. This wasn’t a surprise, but it did add to the challenge. I caught a few small trout — including an elusive brown — on a black Panther Martin spinner before moving on to explore some new terrain. The second hole I tried was more successful, yielding a couple native rainbows, a planted trout and a pikeminnow. Overall, the water is still a bit fast in places, but it is navigable and there are plenty of good holes to fish. Spinners, Rapalas and bait are the go-to tackle. For fly anglers, hoppers, caddis flies, midges, streamers, sculpins and hare’s ear nymphs should be productive. Fish early, late or on weekdays to avoid the floating crowd in town.

Getting there: Rainbow trout are stocked all along the river, from Barber Park to the Glenwood Bridge in Boise and westward through Eagle and Star.

Lake Lowell (Bass, Catfish)

Summer fishing is plugging along at Lowell. Bass fishing is fair, with soft plastics and top water frogs producing fish in and around the weed beds. Drop-shotting soft plastics in deeper water also can be effective. It’s now legal to keep bass, but it’s a two-fish limit, and none between 12 and 16 inches. I recommend releasing all bass to boost the population, which seems to have declined over the past few years. Lowell also offers good fishing for channel catfish, including 10,000 new arrivals that were stocked there last week. Fish near the bottom with cut bait, shrimp, night crawlers or Mormon crickets. Be aware of the recent blue-green algae advisory issued at Lowell — it shouldn’t impact the fishing much, but you’ll want to keep your dogs and kids out of the water for now. All three boat launches are open, and boating hours close at dusk.

Getting there: Head south from Nampa or Caldwell.

Magic Reservoir (Mixed Bag)

Magic is a regular destination on the winter ice fishing ledger, but I don’t include it often enough in the summer. I got a great reminder thanks to a recent report from reader Alberto Cariaga. Alberto sent in pictures of two beautiful rainbows he caught at Magic, including a 22-incher that weighed 5 pounds. He was fishing from shore with worms and marshmallows. Boat anglers can troll for trout using Rapalas or pop gear tipped with corn or worms. Magic also has good populations of perch and smallmouth bass. For perch, use your fish finder to locate schools, which hang around weed beds and underwater structure in 10 to 30 feet of water. Small jigs tipped with worm or cut bait work best. For bass, use crankbaits, jigs, Rapalas or soft plastic baits around rocky points and ledges. Top-water lures also work, especially early or late in the day.

Getting there: Take I-84 east past Mountain Home. Take Exit 141 and follow U.S. 26 and Idaho 75 northeast to West Magic Resort. Call West Magic Lodge at (208) 487-2571 for the latest fishing reports.

Owyhee River (Trout)

The Owyhee is running low and slow, but anglers are still picking up some nice brown and rainbow trout. Afternoon PMD hatches have been the main event in recent weeks, followed by caddis, midge and streamer patterns in the evening. Spinners and Rapalas also catch fish on the Owyhee — just keep in mind it is catch-and-release only on browns, so modifying your lures with single and/or barbless hooks is a good idea. Also, anglers should be aware that Oregon Fish and Wildlife is surveying the river with an electrofishing raft this month. The sampling will take place between Owyhee Dam and Snively Hot Springs. Fishing remains open, but if you see or hear the raft coming, quickly exit the water and stop fishing until the boat is at least 100 yards downstream. Don’t forget your Oregon license.

Getting there: Fish downstream from Adrian, Ore.

Jordan Rodriguez has been fishing Idaho waters since he was a teen. Share your fish stories, adventures, tips and tricks at outdoors@idahostatesman.com.