Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fishing picking up for the Fourth

Fish and Game has stocked thousands of trout in local waters

Fly-fishing in the Big Wood River can be both challenging and rewarding. Photo by Mountain Express

As high waters slowly recede, fishing should start picking up in the Big Wood and Little Wood river drainage areas.

It's not that fishing hasn't been good in some places already, but the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, as usual, has held off stocking in some locations because of the high water. But according to department stocking records, more than a couple hundred thousand rainbow trout have already been planted in Blaine County waters, with the vast majority going into Magic Reservoir.

Besides Magic Reservoir, as of June 27, Fish and Game had planted rainbows in Penny and Dollar lakes, Little Wood Reservoir and the Little Wood River. Records showed that no fish had yet been planted in Warm Springs and Trail creeks or in the Big Wood River north of its junction with the North Fork.

But experienced anglers prefer to catch wild fish anyway, and fishing expert Bill Mason last week reported excellent results in catching wild stock in some areas. Mason reported that Silver Creek is "terrific," that the Big Wood River is fair but "dangerous" for wading, that Warm Springs Creek is "fishable" but that Trail Creek "is still raging."

Mason recommended Penny Lake for youngsters and beginners, stating that the lake "will be heavily planted for the 4th of July."


According to Fish and Game stocking records, 808 catchable six-inch-plus rainbow were planted in the Penny Lake up Warm Springs Road in May. Across the road, in smaller and harder to access Dollar Lake 190 six-inch plus rainbow were planted in May. Because of difficult accessibility, Dollar Lake may not be optimal for kids and people who have trouble getting around. Although rainbow in Dollar tend to run a bit larger than they do in Penny.

Fish and Game reported planting 4,019 catchable rainbow trout in Little Wood Reservoir in May. Stocking records don't state specifically where the fish were placed, but Fish and Gamed shows 2,225 catchable rainbow planted in the Little Wood River in April and May.

According to stocking records, 212,915 rainbow trout were planted in Magic Reservoir in April and May, but the vast majority were described as 3-6 inch fingerlings who will need another year or two to grow before they'd be worth keeping and cooking.

But fishermen are reporting good results this year in Magic and in the Big Wood River below the dam.

Stocking records for Blaine County and other areas in Idaho can be found at the Fish and Game website at

Before going fishing, anglers should check Fish and Game rules for specific areas. They can vary widely in Blaine County, particularly for Silver Creek and the Big Wood River.

Terry Smith:

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