Your Best Spring Fishing in Idaho

Your Best Spring Fishing in Idaho
Photo By Ron Sinfelt

Although it's been a long and cold winter across the Gem State, the days are getting longer and Old Man Winter has loosened his icy grip. Warmer weather is coming, and it's time to dust off your fly rod and patch your waders; there's spring fishing in Idaho to do. Here are a couple you can't go wrong with this spring.


March & April


Her sheer beauty alone is enough to cause you to visit the Upper Salmon River come spring, but throw in migrating steelhead and more than 100 miles of road access and you have no excuses. As the steelhead move up through the canyons towards Stanley, anglers follow their progress. Although catch rates can be low and effort high, just being in the steelhead game makes for a good spring.


Bolting through shallow water riffles, Salmon River steelhead will congregate and rest in the downstream half of deep pools before they continue on their migration journey. These fish are more apt to strike a well-presented fly than those blasting through fast water. Egg patterns are always effective for enticing a strike, and streamers are also known to draw some attention. Picking the right size and color is always the key, so having a good assortment to choose from will help.


March, April & May

Starting from a trickle high on the Boulder, Pioneer and Smokey mountains, the "Wood," as locals refer to it, is Idaho's premier rainbow trout fishery, and when March arrives the residents start rising. This classic freestone fishery offers countless pools, riffles and runs for anglers to sample, and with recent creel surveys showing catch rates to be over one fish per hour, rainbows that average around 13 inches and trout numbering an estimated 3,000 per river kilometer in some prime stretches, it's easy to see why the Big Woods draws such spring angler attention.


Offering countless access points coupled with Idaho's generous river access laws that provide public opportunities below the high water mark to any of its waterways, it's easy to find a share of the river to yourself. Some of the best access points are found from Stanton Crossing all the way up to Lake Creek.

Because this is a freestone fishery, spring runoff does have an effect in May; however, fishing is excellent just prior to the river blowing out. Prior to this midge patterns always seem to catch some attention, so have your boxes filled with a variety of #16 to #24 midge patterns. Some better ones are Shuck Midge, Griffiths Gnats, Parachute Adams, beaded Zebra Midge and Brassies.

Don't forget to share your best fishing photos with us on Camera Corner for your chance to win free gear!

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Guns

MidwayUSA Pro Series Shooting Mat

G&F Staff

Shooters across the U.S. are using this competition shooting mat.

Records

Upon Further Review: 70-Year-Old Catfish Record Voided

G&F Online Staff - May 22, 2019

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Abu Garcia Virtual Rod with Bluetooth

Pure Fishing's Andrew Wheeler tells Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead all about the brand new Abu Garcia Virtual rod that integrates Bluetooth technology through a free ANGLR smartphone app.

Mustad's New Tungsten Weights

Long known as one of the world's premiere hook makers, Mustad's Reid McKinstry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that the company is now one of the leaders in making tungsten terminal tackle products for anglers.

Berkley's New Terminal Tackle

OSG's Lynn Burkhead and Chad LaChance, host of World Fishing Network's Fishful Thinker television show, talk about Berkley's new innovative terminal tackle being introduced at ICAST 2019.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?

Walleye

Record-Sized Walleye Was Foul-Hooked, Agency Says

G&F Online Staff

North Dakota Game & Fish Department said the 16-9 walleye doesn't qualify for record.

Catfish

Catfish Night & Day: How to Catch 'Em Both Ways

Terry Madewell - April 04, 2018

Catfish tend to be found in shallower water at night, but they are still active during the...

See More Stories

More Bass

Bass

MLF Pro Tips: How to Fish New Waters

G&F Online Staff

These Major League Fishing pros share their approach to a new lake.

Fishing How-To

Why You'll Lose Your Next Big Bass

Larry Larsen

Now that you know you might screw it up the next time a big fish bites, let's fix it.

Bass

Lake Erie's Summertime Smallmouth Bass

Jeff Knapp

This Great Lake offers prime habitat for smallmouths. Here's where to catch them.

See More Bass

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×