From the northern tip of the Panhandle to the southeast corner of Bear Lake, Idaho is truly an angler's paradise. The rivers, lakes, and streams of this vast and wild region offer nearly every type of freshwater fishing available. If you want to fish cold, deep lakes for large lake trout or small mountain streams for native cutthroat trout, the Panhandle has everything you need. If perch fishing is more your style, the state abounds in pan fish lakes that are not only uncrowded, but also relatively easy to get to.
Stream anglers have more than enough famous water for a lifetime with Kelly Creek up in the Clearwater country, Silver Creek in the Wood River Area and the South Fork and Henry's Fork of the Snake in eastern Idaho.
Except for part of the Bear Lake Region and the Panhandle, the entire water system of the state is directly connected to the Snake River. Beginning in Yellowstone National Park, the Snake River arcs its way through the southern plains to eventually join the Columbia River in Washington state. Something as immense as the Snake River cannot be described adequately in the space available. It must be seen, felt and pondered.
As large as the Snake River is, it is only part of the Idaho fishing story. Every region in the state has water that ranges from good to excellent, along with a few surprises. These maps and regional descriptions are not how-to information. They are merely jumping-off points for further research and exploration on your part.
Some new information about high mountain lakes has been added to this edition. These areas can be dangerous, so thorough preparation must be made before venturing into these distant places.
In a day and age when the world seems to be getting smaller and smaller, a walk through an Idaho mountain meadow along a babbling brook or watching a bobber on a high mountain lake with a grandchild or a friend can make the world big again.
IDAHO'S BIG 10
To say there are 10 top streams in Idaho is like comparing beauty, which is truly in the eye of the beholder. There are so many wonderful areas to fish that listing 10 is actually more folly than fact, though the waters mentioned here are often the ones people talk about most when they talk about fishing in Idaho.
Sample Region Introduction
The Clearwater Region is one of the most productive fishing areas in the state, boasting more than a dozen species of game fi sh. It is also one of the most primitive. Lewis and Clark traveled through this area on their Voyage of Discovery and much of the land remains nearly as primitive today as it was in the early 1800s.
The major drainage is the Clearwater River and it drains an area of 25,000 square miles from the northeast corner of the region, near the Montana border, south to the north side of the Salmon River in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area.
This region includes part of the Snake River downstream of Hells Canyon Dam and the Salmon River downstream of Riggins. For most of the way across the interior of the state, the north shore of the Main Salmon River acts as the region's southern boundary.
There are several world-famous trout streams in the Clearwater Region. North Fork Clearwater, Kelly Creek and the Lochsa and Selway rivers are spread across this wilderness drainage with their headwaters high in the forestlands of the Bitterroot Mountains. These streams alone would make a trip to the region worthwhile.
Part of the Selway, and bits and pieces of the Lochsa and South Fork Clearwater rivers, run through rugged areas. The Lochsa and the Selway meet near Lowell and they form the Middle Fork Clearwater River and are part of the National Wild and Scenic River System. There are still some areas here where man has had little impact.
This book is FISHING IDAH