Most reservoirs to the southeast are full and fish are in the shallow water in such as Winder, Lamont, and Johnson Reservoirs and Twin Lakes. With warmer weather, look for warm water fishing to be good. Further good news is that boat inspection permits can now be purchased ($15.00) at Twin Lakes. Launching watercraft at Twin Lakes is now permitted ONLY at the main boat ramp.
We usually do not receive a lot of warm water fishing information because most information comes from trout fishing, the major angling interest regionally. This year we and other local shops are receiving even less on warm waters because of increased restrictions and added inconveniences. Here are a few. Invasive species regulations (up to date boat sticker purchase requirement and verification), no fishing from boats and no wading (only fishing from shore) on Deep and Devil’s Creek Reservoirs, and the lack of boat inspection stations in Franklin County, the location of so many of reservoirs hosting warm water fish species. The Franklin County situation is that the only boat inspection station is on U. S. Highway 89 just north of the Idaho-Utah border. Thus persons wanting to fish county reservoirs, including those further north in the county where most are located, must go almost to the Utah border first for an inspection and its verification certificate. Add to that the $20 fee required for non-Franklin county residents and good for only five days, and the result is that visitation to these reservoirs is way down compared to past years. For those willing to bear this burden, crowding is not a problem, but there certainly is an impact on fishing time for those anglers residing north of Franklin County.
We have received some information from IDF&G’s Southeast Region on warm waters fisheries that might help in deciding destinations during this season.
Twin Lakes is in recovery mode from being drawn down. This action seemed to impact bluegill population more than bass.
Johnson Reservoir has a high bluegill population, but they run small.
Lamont Reservoir has some big bluegills and the same for bass
Glendale Reservoir is good for bass and bluegill and has some crappie
Winder Reservoir is also recovering from a draw down happening about five years ago.
Treasureton Reservoir has an illegally introduced bass population with individuals in the 12-14″ range.
I apologize for not updating the warmwater section of the fishing reports for a while now, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of information to pass on.
Ririe Reservoir has fished well for Smallmouth all summer and should only get better as we get some cooler weather. There are lots of small fish being caught shallow, but few larger fish. Those large fish seem to be out in water over 10ft deep. Down around Preston, many of the lakes have been drawn down pretty low this year and this has kept a lot of people from fishing. The weed growth has made things tough, but for those willing to do a little searching, there are still plenty of nice bass to be had. Fishing baitfish patterns on sinking lines has been good, as well as poppers for small fish. All Preston area lakes should really improve with the cooler weather we have coming.
Carp fishing has been hit or miss all summer for people. Blackfoot Reservoir has been either really good, or really bad, with the same thing going on down on the lower snake too. When the carp are in, the same techniques that work all spring have been effective. If the carp are not in, or not feeding, it has made for some really tough fishing.
We have not heard many panfish reports this summer in the shop, but that doesn’t mean anything. As things cool off and water levels start to come back the panfishing down around Preston can be really good. With all the lakes relatively close to each other, its fun to take a full day and fish two or three different reservoirs and try and get on the fish.
Warmwater fish do not get a whole lot of attention in the area come fall. People are hunting, Steelhead fishing, fishing streamers, etc… but they are missing out on some of the best warmwater fishing of the year. Give us a call at the shop if you have any questions at all.
If you can stand to fish in the heat that is now in the region, there are still plenty of good warmwater options out there to get your fix!
Carp– Blackfoot reservoir and the lower Snake are the main players as far as carp go right now. Lukes Carp Candy in various colors, Dan’s Crayfish sz 8, and Lukes shell back bug sz 6 are producing well at both locations. This time of year carp can be especially picky so smaller, more subtle patterns like the latter two mentioned above are flies you really need to have with you. This can be a great time of year to sight cast to carp so get after them while you still can!
Panfish– All area panfish are done spawning now so focus on fishing deeper water adjacent to structure or off the edges of weedbeds. Full sinking lines with small leeches/nymphs or indicator fishing with the same flies will be your best bets. Small beadhead damsels, bluegill candy, and any darker colored leech will take panfish right now. Fishing has been best early or late, or any day with cloud cover.
Bass– Bass fishing is a little tricky for fly fishers this time of year, but you can still have good days if you work at it. Ririe reservoir has been good for smallmouth, but most of the bass have been small. Fish deeper water 10+ ft to get into the bigger bass. Full sinking lines or indicator fishing with crayfish and baitfish patterns will be your best bet. The smallmouth fishing on the lower snake has been good with streamer patterns on sink tip lines. you can catch fish very shallow, but most of the bigger fish will be in deeper water. American falls reservoir along the dam should be fishing very well for smallmouth right now too. Largemouth are tricky for the fly angler to get at this time of year. A lot of the bigger bass tuck in really tight to cover and are just plain hard to get at with a fly rod. However, early and late in the day the bass will venture out of the cover and can be taken on a variety of streamer patterns. For the bass that haven’t tucked up into cover, they can be taken in deeper water 6ft+ using streamer/leech patterns either on a full sinking line or indicator set up. One other thing to try this time of year is a popper. This typically only works well really early or really late in the day but there are always exceptions. If you head out topwater fishing try and cover as much water as possible and fish when the sun is off the water. We have a great selection of bass flies in the shop and we can get you all set up for your trip!
With trout fishing taking center stage in the area, there aren’t many people who make it out after warmwater species throughout the summer. That is a mistake though, as this time of year can provide awesome fishing for bass, carp, and bluegill.
Bluegill fishing has been good on Preston area reservoirs when the weather cooperates. The wind from this past weekend made it tough to locate bluegill, but the fishing will be good again with consistent weather. The bluegill fishing has been weird so far this year, but I think the best is yet to come. If you make it out and find the bluegill all the traditional patterns like san juan worms, bluegill candy, bream poppers, and small beadhead nymphs will take fish.
Carp fishing has been red hot on Blackfoot Reservoir. We have heard more then a few reports this past week about excellent fishing in most any shallow bay with lots of smaller 5-12lb fish showing up with the occasional 20+lb big boy. I would make sure and have flies like Lukes carp candy and Dan’s crayfish up there with me.
Bass fishing remains good in the area for both Large and Smallmouth. This is peak time to hit Ririe Reservoir for smallmouth with small streamers and poppers. The American falls area continues to fish well, although I would start fishing a little bit deeper 5-12 ft of water with the warmer temps we have been experiencing. The largemouth fishing down around Preston has been great if you can get there early, and I don’t mean 8 or 9 o’clock early. I have been down Largemouth fishing quite a bit and once the sun comes up the quality bass really slow down and pull back into cover or move out deeper. If you can fish them when the sun isn’t on the water, it can be pretty good. Bigger crayfish and Clouser minnow type patterns is what I would be throwing for Largmouth and Smallies.
Bluegill are finally being caught with some consistency down at Twin Lakes. We have been hearing a mixed bag of reports from down there but it seems like this last warm spell has finally got them going. With the water situation we have this year though, traditional bluegill areas might not be as good in years past. If you don’t find them where you usually do just keep searching and checking out different areas until you find them, they are there. We have been hearing good reports from other Preston area lakes like Winder and Lamont so hopefully the Bluegill fishing will be good the next couple of weeks.
Bass fishing is good and will continue to get better, especially for Largemouth. Any Preston area lake you like to fish would be good, but I would pay special attention to Twin Lakes and Glendale for Largemouth. If you prefer Smallmouth, American Falls Reservoir and the Snake below are fishing very well right now. Its spawning time for smallies so look for them to be in shallow water and very aggressive.
Carp fishing at Blackfoot Reservoir and the Snake River is great right now. This is a fun time of year to sight cast to carp if weather permits. If you get a windy day, fish any good looking flat and look for mud lines to signal the carp are feeding. Fly choice won’t be terribly important, I would start big and go smaller if the carp aren’t responding to the bigger stuff. San Juan Worms always work………..
If you are a warmwater fly fisherman now is the time to get out and really start chasing bass, bluegill, carp, etc….. We have been hearing good reports on the warmwater fishing from all over the area.
Bluegill– Although the water is a little lower then what we would typically like to see at Twin Lakes, we have heard of fisherman doing well on bluegill this past week. Any shallow structure you can find in the lake is likely to have bluegill on it. Fish to these fish either under an indicator with small nymph patterns or even try a popper if the fish are aggressive. The Bluegill fishing should continue to get better in the coming week in all of the Preston area reservoirs containing Bluegill.
Carp– Any shallow bay on blackfoot reservoir or on the lower Snake is fishing great for carp right now. If you can choose a day to fish, pick a day in which the weather has been consistent a day or two prior. Any of the carp flies we carry in the shop paired with a full floating line will work great on both places.
Bass– Smallmouth in Ririe and the lower Snake are active right now and this is a great time of year to get into a bigger fish. I like fishing crayfish or clouser minnow/baitfish type patterns on an intermediate line. Fishing out of a boat is nice, but not necessary. Right now and the next couple weeks is peak Smallmouth time, so if this is something you like doing or wanna try get out there and do it! The Largemouth fishing really turned on this past week down around Preston. I visited a couple lakes down there and found the bass had moved into very shallow water and for the most part, were very willing to eat. Any bigger leech pattern will work on the largemouth right now. Switch up your retrieve to see what kind of mood they are in. The largemouth fishing will be good all the way through the summer and as it warms up poppers can be a great way to take these bass as well.
Alright I am excited we now have a section of the fishing reports strictly devoted to the warmwater opportunities in the region! There are a lot of people in the area that really enjoy this type of fishing and it is a fun alternative to the trout fishing we have. We are lucky enough to live in an area where within just a couple hours or so of the shop you can fish for big Smallmouth/Largemouth Bass, perch, bluegill, crappie, catfish, carp and even some tiger musky (although there aren’t a ton of those!). All of these present an awesome challenge on a fly rod and typically fish well all through the summer. So, hopefully a lot of you will use these warmwater reports to help plan your own trip, or maybe convince you to try the warmwater gig for the first time!
Right now we are in the beginning stages of the warmwater fishing really kicking into gear. Smallmouth bass are already being caught on the lower Snake River and the smallmouth at Ririe shouldn’t be too far behind as the warm weather continues to move in. Smallmouth will move into really shallow water as it warms up in the spring to get ready for the spawn. This is the best time of year for a fly guy to get into a good fish as most are in water from 2-6ft and will readily take the same streamers you use to catch trout. Largemouth Bass like warmer water then Smallmouth so they are just beginning to wake up in some of the SE Idaho lakes. Until it warms up look for Largemouth to be in areas where they have easy access to both shallow and deep water. The same baitfish imitations you use for trout will work on these early season Largemouth. I have been fishing for Largemouth the last couple weeks and although it isn’t easy fishing, the rewards can be awesome. Most the fish I have seen have been in 5-12 ft of water and aren’t real aggressive so a slower approach has worked better for me.
The favorite warmwater fish of the area for most is probably the Bluegill. If you have never tried fishing for Bluegill, you need to do it, those little fish are a blast! I was talking to Jimmy in the shop today about Bluegill and he seemed to think that by this weekend, you could find them back in the trees of Twin Lakes. If we get a cold snap that will push the bluegill back out deeper, but as long as we have decent weather look for the fishing to really heat up! Twin Lakes, Winder, Lamont, Johnson, and really most of the Preston area lakes can have good bluegill fishing, although Twin is the most popular. If you find the bluegill small poppers, and any small beadhead nymphs will get the job done.
As always, we have everything you need to set you up for this type of fishing and anyone in the shop would be happy to help you with any questions you might have about the warmwater fishing in the area.