Spring has sprung and my favorite winter fly fishing stream is a rough and muddy river. While an ice cold snow melt enema is good for the stream bed, it all but ends my days trout hunting on this little Idaho gem. With many rivers on the rise with snow melt or closed for spawning trout, Spring is the time of year I am lured to lakes and confronted with the annual puzzle of putting a fish on my fly rod. A vastness of a lake can be intimidating. Hit a lake too early and all you find is ice and the mess inconsiderate ice fishers leave behind, too late and the water warms, spurning trout to find cool deep water.
In the foreseeable future I hope to use this blog to recount and journal my journeys and adventures fly fishing the lakes, rivers and streams of Idaho and the surrounding states. Hopefully I'll throw in a random overseas adventure, budget willing. Today I was focus on the tortuous task of landing lake trout or rather, trout in lakes. I have, from experience and dumb luck, learned only a handful of tricks to aid me. First, hit a lake early, in the first month after the ice clears. Shorelines almost always melt first and these bands of free water act like feeding lanes for trout much like in a river. Hungry trout seems to cluster near the banks in 2-3 feet of water taking advantage of new aquatic food sources both above and below the water. Second, don't be surprised if the fish are in very shallow water near the bank where warmer water means a more diverse food menu and increased metabolism. Finally, explore and find a few nice shallow lakes or reservoir with enough depth in the summer to prevent warm water kill. In southern Idaho almost any reservoir with trout is worth a look. A nice sort cut is to find out where the ice fishers are and ask them when the ice starts to melt and ends their season. Being a Boise resident I recommend, in order of first thaw, CJ Strike, Blair Trail, Little Camas, Duck Valley, Cascade, Horsethief, and Upper Payette Lake. There are more hidden gems out there but you'll have to discover them yourself or puzzle them out in my posts.
The first stop this year was...a shallow 250 acre lake about 1-2 hours from Boise. Rumor has it the water Gods will drain it this year, so I fishing while the fishing is good. And boy was it ever.
If you read this blog and have a grub of information or pointers pertaining to fly fishing, drop it off in my comments I'll start to compile a help list for other like minded trout chasers.
Thanks for reading,
Scottie on the Fly!