Outdoors Blog

Ice is off, trout bite is on at Horsethief (fishing report, April 27)

Horsethief Reservoir near Cascade is full and ice-free, making it a great place to catch rainbow trout like this one.
Horsethief Reservoir near Cascade is full and ice-free, making it a great place to catch rainbow trout like this one. Special to the Idaho Statesman

Horsethief Reservoir (Trout)

I’m hearing good things about spring trout fishing at Horsethief Reservoir near Cascade. The ice has been off for several weeks now, and Fish & Game aggressively stocks the lake with rainbow trout and Kokanee salmon for anglers to enjoy. There is plenty of water in the lake, so launching a boat shouldn’t be a problem. There is also good shore access. Gear-wise, worms, Power Bait, corn and marshmallows fished on a slip-sinker setup are always a good choice. From a boat, trolling with pop gear will work for both trout and Kokanee, while casting spinners, spoons and flies should attract some rainbows.

Getting there: Take Idaho 55 north through Cascade and turn right on Warm Lake Road. The turnoff for Horsethief is about 7 miles in on your right. Lake Cascade is also ice-free and ready for spring fishing. For the latest conditions and fishing reports in the Cascade area, call Tackle Tom’s at (208) 382-4367.

Owyhee Reservoir (Bass, Crappie)

Water temperatures are still in the 50s, but the early-season bass fishing has been decent at Owyhee. There were a couple of tournaments there last weekend, and most anglers were able to fill a limit using jigs, drop-shots or spinnerbaits. Owyhee is home to both largemouth and smallmouth, along with rainbow trout, brown trout, crappie, catfish and perch. It can be an excellent crappie fishery, and this is a good time of year to look for massive schools of fish gathering near coves and rocky points. Target them with small panfish jigs in white, red, yellow or pink. Owyhee is a huge lake, so fishing with someone who knows the area is helpful. Don’t forget your Oregon license.

Getting there: Head southwest to Adrian, Ore., and follow the Owyhee River past the dam.

Boise River (Trout)

Flows remain high, but fishing is improving as the water clears up a bit. I’m seeing both fly and spin anglers catching nice rainbows and an occasional brown trout using bait, spinners, spoons, streamers, nymphs and small dry flies. Your best bet is to find smaller tributaries and flood plains that aren’t typically under water. Those areas will be easier to navigate because they are shallower and require little-to-no wading. Remember that fish don’t care for high, fast water, either. If you can find the slower moving pockets of water, you should get into some trout.

Getting there: Fish and Game stocks rainbow trout all along the river, from Barber Park to Glenwood Bridge and on down through Eagle and Star.

Come Fishing with Me!

I’m teaching a fishing class this summer through The College of Idaho’s Community Learning program in Caldwell. Join me June 12-16 for “Stop Fishing, Start Catching,” a fun and informative class for anglers of all ages and ability levels. The course costs $69, which includes four hours of weeknight classroom instruction and activities (6-8 p.m. June 12 and 14 in the Marty Holly Athletics Center) and a four-hour Saturday morning fishing trip (8 a.m.-noon June 16). Every participant receives a tackle goodie bag, plus chances to win awesome prizes. This class usually sells out quickly, so reserve your spot early. Register online at www.cofifun.com. For more info, call (208) 459-5188 or email tightlinesboise@gmail.com.