I'm a big fan of fishing in north Idaho and I love that area's cutthroat streams, including the Coeur d' Alene, St. Joe, Lochsa, Selway, Kelly Creek and Clearwater. Over the past four years there have been catch-and-release only regulations on the St.
The South Fork Snake is one of Idaho’s best trout fisheries—some would argue that is the gem state’s best fishery—and it hosts some solid rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout.
It gets a lot of pressure from locals and the outfitting crowd from Jackson, Wyoming. Bu the river keeps banging them out each year and it should continue to do so in 2012 because research conducted last fall found more than 5, 177 fish per mile in the river, the second highest tally since the mid-1980s.
What does that mean? It means that you should hit the river this spring before runoff and then continue to do so after runoff, which should occur sometime in July this year. Also this: if you’re looking for a really big brown trout, meaning a fish that stretches past 24 inches and might weigh six, seven, eight, even 10 pounds, the South Fork is a good place to toil—it holds some hogs.
It was too nice not to get out of the house this weekend and throw a line on Montana’s Bitterroot River. My decision was made a little easier when I talked to John and Jed Fitzpatrick and was told that they’d take care of the boat and shuttle—all I had to do was show up and fish. That I can do boys, even after staying out way, way too late on Saturday night.
As many of you know, southeast Alaska is one of my favorite places in the world, a lot of that sentiment coming from the fact that I lived there when I was young and have continued to visit the area almost every year, at least once or twice. The reason: the Tongass is loaded with salmon, steelhead, dolly varden, and cutthroat trout and it's a haven for wildlife, including black bears and coastal grizzly bears, mountain goats, Sitka blacktail deer, moose, and waterfowl. In addition, it's rich in shellfish, meaning you can drop a pot over the side of your boat, let it soak for a few hours while you fish, and likely come back to enough for a great meal of Dungeness or king crab, or sidestripe shrimp or spotted prawns. The Tongass is a rainforest so most days in the area, which stretches from Yakutat south to Ketchikan, anglers encounter cloudy and rainy conditions. But, on those days when the sun breaks through and the sky lifts, there's no more beautiful place on the planet.
I’ve been thinking about a steelhead trip sometime in the near future, maybe even this weekend. And since I plan on swinging up fish, I’ll be tying on Pick Yer Pockets and Intruders.