Idaho

Idaho is one of my favorite states, with spectacular scenery, plentiful wildlife, and excellent fishing. I fished Priest Lake in the upper part of the panhandle for lake trout with Rich Lindsey (https://theidahofisherman.com). Words cannot even describe how gorgeous this lake is; the pictures on Rich’s website of mountains and wildlife are amazing even if you are not interested in fishing. His fishing pictures are amazing too, and my fishing trip with him did not disappoint. I caught 12 lake trout, with the biggest being a 12-pounder. I also saw a bald eagle dive in the water and catch a fish, which was incredible.

The next day I fished with Ken Hayes (www.seagullcharters.net) on Lake Pend Oreille for big Kamloops rainbow trout. A front was moving in, dropping the temperature 10 degrees compared to the day before, and the bite was slow. (This front followed me into Montana for my fishing trip there too, unfortunately.) I did not catch any Kamloops rainbow trout, but I did catch my first bull trout (17 inches) and my first westslope cutthroat trout, the state fish of Idaho, along with a limit of kokanee salmon. Kokanee salmon reminded me of bluefish in the sense that they are not what you want to catch, but you definitely appreciate the action when the fish you want to catch are not biting. Catching the bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout were awesome surprises too because I had heard so much about Mountain West trout, but had never seen one myself. Moreover, it gave me two new species to add to the list of species I have caught.