Outdoors Blog

Playing Outdoors: the weekly fishing report (Feb. 23)

Every Tuesday, we’ll post fishing writer Jordan Rodriguez’s weekly report in the Playing Outdoors blog. His column will appear two to three Wednesdays per month.

Jordan’s report for this week:

Lake Cascade (Perch, Trout)

We are into the final weeks of the ice season, but the fishing is good at Cascade. Anglers are catching lots of perch in the 12-inch range, and the fish are entering the spawning phase, adding extra weight to the jumbo perch that could break the state record. Conditions are deteriorating a bit around the city boat ramp, but Blue Heron remains a solid access point, and anglers can get on the lake at Poison Creek or French Creek, too. Accessing the Sugarloaf Island area via snowmobile or four-wheeler continues to be the best bet for finding schools of big perch. Use small jigs tipped with night crawlers, meal worms or corn. Big rainbow trout and occasional kokanee and Coho salmon come through the ice, too. So far, the nights have been chilly enough to keep the lake frozen, but with warmer temperatures on the way, time is running short, so get out and get your hard water fishing fix while you can!

Getting there: Take Idaho 55 north to Cascade and follow the signs to popular access points. Call ahead to Tackle Tom’s for the latest reports at 382-4367.

Snake River (Mixed Bag)

Fishing is starting to pick up all along the Snake River. Smallmouth bass are stirring, and I’ve seen some nice catches of perch, bluegill, catfish, carp and sturgeon, too. Fish during the day when the water is warmest, and bring a variety of tackle so you can take advantage of whatever’s biting. Slow-fishing crankbaits, jigs or soft plastics will catch bass, small jigs or live bait will work on panfish, and cut bait will entice catfish and sturgeon. Bow fishermen have had some good luck shooting carp on the river, and the large bottom-feeders are a popular target for fly-fishermen as well. If you have a two-pole permit, throw a live worm or some cut bait out on one line and fish lures on the other — you’re bound to catch something!

Getting there: Fish between C.J. Strike Reservoir and Brownlee Reservoir.

Boise River (Trout)

It’s steady as she goes on the Boise River. Spin anglers and fly-fishermen alike are catching lots of rainbows and a few whitefish. Folks seem to be catching more brown trout than usual, too. I recommend releasing big browns and native rainbows — those fish are rare and take years to reach their impressive size. There are plenty of stocked rainbows to take home to the frying pan. Spinners, spoons, worms, salmon eggs and nymphs are the lures and baits of choice at the moment.

Getting there: Fish & Game stocks rainbow trout between Barber Park and the Glenwood Bridge.

Salmon, Snake and Clearwater Rivers (Steelhead)

Fishing has slowed thanks to high, muddy water. Catch rates have dropped off significantly, and your time is probably better spent elsewhere until conditions improve.

Getting there: Check the Idaho Fish & Game website for an updated list of steelhead seasons, rules and locations. The latest catch rates are posted every week, too.

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