Fishing in Idaho

For an angler looking for a backcountry fly-fishing trip after wild trout and salmon, Idaho more than deserves the title of the Gem State.
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About Idaho

Located in the Pacific Northwest, Idaho's stunning geography includes the mighty Snake River, tranquil high desert lakes, and the picturesque mountain streams of the Rocky Mountains. The Salmon River, known as the "River of No Return," is one of the premier destinations in the world for steelhead fishing. The Clearwater River and the Snake River also offer excellent opportunities for salmon and steelhead fishing, attracting anglers from across the globe. The Henry's Fork of the Snake River, often called the "Fly Fishing Capital of the World," is renowned for its wild rainbow trout and pristine waters. The South Fork of the Boise River and the Big Lost River are other top destinations for fly fishing, offering productive fisheries and stunning natural settings. Idaho’s climate varies from region to region, offering different fishing conditions throughout the year. Summers are warm and ideal for fishing in the state’s rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, while fall brings cooler temperatures and vibrant foliage, making it one of the best times for fishing. Winters in Idaho provide unique opportunities for ice fishing in the state’s frozen lakes, while spring sees the rivers and streams rejuvenated by snowmelt, creating prime conditions for trout and steelhead fishing. Fishing in Idaho is regulated by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, which oversees sustainable fishing practices and the conservation of fish populations. Anglers aged 14 and older must have a valid Idaho fishing license, which can be purchased online through the department’s website or at authorized vendors. The state’s regulations include specific rules on bag limits, size limits, and seasonal restrictions for various fish species. For instance, there are designated seasons and catch limits for salmon and steelhead in the state’s rivers, and special regulations for fishing in certain areas to protect these fisheries. Always check the latest regulations before your trip to ensure compliance and to contribute to the preservation of Idaho’s rich aquatic ecosystems. Idaho’s rich fishing opportunities, diverse environments, and robust regulatory framework make it a top destination for recreational anglers. Whether you’re drawn to the expansive waters of Lake Pend Oreille, the serene streams of the Sawtooth Mountains, or the dynamic rivers and lakes of the central and northern regions, Idaho offers an exceptional fishing experience. Just try not to overestimate your ability to handle the wilderness of Idaho’s backcountry, where it’s best to secure the services of a reputable guide. Plan your fishing adventure in Idaho today and explore the angler’s paradise that awaits in the Gem State.

Fishing Types

Idaho has some of the wildest and most scenic stretches of backcountry, and it’s backcountry fishing that attracts thousands of tourists to the Gem State every year. There’s a wealth of opportunities for trips of all skill levels, from hardcore hiking or horseback outings that will have you walk in the shoes of early settlers and First Nations, to simply driving up and casting your bait or lure into one of the state’s rivers or lakes. Should you go river fishing in Salmon River, Clearwater River, the Snake River, or one of their tributaries, or lake fishing in Pend Oreille or high mountain lakes of the Sawtooth and the Bitterroot Mountains, you’re sure to find yourself surrounded by stunning landscapes and can expect outstanding catches.