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Best Places To Fish in Idaho

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Idaho is a haven for fishing enthusiasts, offering a wide array of pristine rivers, lakes, and streams that provide exceptional angling experiences. Let's delve into some of the best places to fish in Idaho, the popular species that can be found, and the optimal seasons for fishing. The purpose of this page is to share information about the best fishing lakes in the state, listed by species.

One of the top fishing destinations in Idaho is the Henry's Fork of the Snake River. Revered as one of the finest trout fisheries in the United States, this river beckons anglers from around the globe. Here, fly fishing enthusiasts can delight in pursuing rainbow trout, brown trout, and cutthroat trout. With a diverse range of insect hatches throughout the year, the Henry's Fork offers a year-round fishing paradise. Spring and fall seasons are particularly favorable, as the trout display voracious feeding behaviors.

Another notable fishing location is Priest Lake, situated in northern Idaho. This picturesque lake is renowned for its trophy-sized Mackinaw (lake trout) and kokanee salmon. Anglers seeking Mackinaw can experience prime fishing conditions during the colder months, from late fall to early spring, when these trout move closer to the lake's surface. For those targeting kokanee salmon, the summer months provide the peak fishing season, as the landlocked sockeye salmon undertake their spawning journey in the lake's tributaries.

The Clearwater River, a legendary fishery, deserves recognition for its steelhead and Chinook salmon runs. This scenic river attracts both fly anglers and gear fishermen, providing ample opportunities for diverse fishing techniques. Steelhead fishing season typically extends from late summer to early spring, while Chinook salmon fishing is most productive during the summer months. Anglers are drawn to the Clearwater River for the chance to hook these powerful and acrobatic fish.

For a versatile fishing experience, the Payette River stands out as an excellent choice. It offers sections suitable for anglers of all levels, from beginners to experts. Rainbow trout, brown trout, and smallmouth bass are the primary species sought after in this river. Fly fishing enthusiasts will find success on the upper stretches, while spinners, bait, and lures are effective in the lower sections. The spring and fall seasons are particularly favorable for fishing the Payette River, as the water temperatures are conducive to trout and bass activity.

For an adventurous angling experience, the Snake River's Hells Canyon is a must-visit destination. Known as North America's deepest river gorge, Hells Canyon offers breathtaking scenery and excellent fishing opportunities. Anglers can target smallmouth bass, channel catfish, sturgeon, and various trout species in this majestic river. The summer months are particularly rewarding for fishing in Hells Canyon, with pleasant weather conditions and active fish populations.

Idaho boasts an abundance of premier fishing spots, catering to a variety of preferences. Whether you're a fly fishing enthusiast, a lake angler, or an adventurer seeking rugged canyons, Idaho has it all. It is important to check local fishing regulations, obtain the necessary licenses, and practice catch-and-release to preserve these valuable fisheries for future generations.

There are many great places to fish in The Gem State. And, lots of fish species to pursue. The state sports both cold-water and warm-water lakes and has bragging fishing in both.

Idaho's Top-Five, Amazing Fishing Spots

In a state like Idaho, there are so many great places to fish it can be difficult to pick the top five. We chose these five due to longstanding records as a good fishery for quantity, quality and variety. Several other lakes may compete for this ranking, one year over another. Learn more...

Most Popular Fish Species In Idaho

Anglers will find largemouth and smallmouth bass, black and white crappie, five species of trout, two species of catfish, walleye, and numerous other popular fish species that are fun to catch. Learn more...

Best Bass Fishing Lakes In Idaho

Smallmouth bass tend to dominate the colder lakes in the northern part of the state and largemouth the warmer lakes in the southern part. Both species can be found in some lakes, to add a little variety to your fishing. Learn more...

Top Places To Fish For Crappie In Idaho

Crappie can be found in about a third of the larger lakes in the state, and are even more common in small lakes and ponds. State records for both species exceed 3 1/2 pounds. Learn more...

Top Places To Fish For Trout In Idaho

There are some amazing rivers and streams in the state which provide excellent trout fishing. As we only cover lakes, we picked these three as the best lakes to fish for trout in Idaho. Learn more...

Best Lakes To Fish For Catfish In Idaho

The best place to fish for catfish in Idaho, depends on whether you are looking for numbers or size. We chose these three for a balanced combination of both, as well as historical good fishing. Learn more...

Best Walleye Fishing Lakes In Idaho

Walleye are considered by many to be the best tasting of all the freshwater fisn.They can only be found in a limited number of Idaho fisheries, but learning where to look is worth the effort. Learn more...

Enjoy these top spots to go fishing in Idaho

Find the best places to fish, by state.



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