View Full Version : Idaho Fishing

11-22-2005, 09:21 PM
I just got back from another stint in North Idaho and fished two of my favorite lakes. I won't give much detail about the land locked Chinook in Couer D Alene other than to say, what a blast! We landed a couple dozen from 3-11 lbs...and the big fish are caught in the spring. I have to get back for some of the spring action because it was a lot of fun. Two thumbs up to Jeff Smith of Fins and Feathers who took us out on a guided trip one day and taught us the ropes. His teaching would enable us to produce again later in the week on our own. If you want a guide on CDA, Jeff is the guy to call. A more knowledgeable CDA fisherman would be tough to find and he is just a good quality person who is very easy to spend a day with. This was our biggie for the week.


As good as the Chinook fishing was, the gem of the trip came from Pend Oreille. We started at Pend Oreille on Wednesday trolling flies behind planers as we always do this time of year. The day was a little dark and a little wet early, but anyone who has been there before knows any day on Pend Oreille is beautiful...a little snow/sleet/rain won't put a damper on the sights to see...not even for a California flat lander. And sights we did see; Bald Eagles soaring in the skies, Moutain Goats effortlessly meandering up rock faces none of us would make it up, a glacially carved beauty of a lake so big the size continually deceives, and by the end of the day a trout we were proud to boat.

Apparently, the pinkish/purplish flies had been producing as they most closely mimicked the darkening Kokes, which serve as little more than dinner for the predator species base. All day we trolled colorful flies without even a scratch. I was cursing the full moon cycle. After swapping out several different colors throughout the day, I decided on a dark fly...in all black. Another hour of trolling goes by and I see a hit on my inside line and just as I jump to grab the pole I see a fish launch full body out of the water attacking my fly. You fish these flies WELL behind the boat, so the first thing I'm thinking is this is a nice 5lb'r...after all it was a good 300 feet behind the boat. The fish takes a few hard runs taking quite a bit of line in the process, but eventually we start to make a little ground on it. The fish doesn't leap again so we never see it until we get it close and it flashes up from under the boat. When it did all I thought was...that's a lot bigger than 5lbs. I look over at my buddy and can see he has that nervous look on his face that comes when you have the net in your hand and your friend has a good fish on the line. What was just exhilaration instantly turns into pure tension. The fish makes another dive and pulls a good chunk of line with it, but shortly thereafter is returned to the surface, visibly tired. He just rolls over and we're able to smoothly slip the net under him and the celebrating starts; fish in the boat. A 13lb Gerrard Strain Rainbow, my best to date.


11-23-2005, 06:08 AM
Good Story , Great pics, and one heck of a trip.
Pend Oreille is one of the few lakes I'm dying to try. I don't spend a lot of time fishing for Bows, but the thought of a 20 Lb. Gerrard is a good reason to bend a little. ;D

11-23-2005, 06:50 AM
Great story and pictures BA... and great timing posting it for Thanksgiving. I'd be ecstatic to catch either of those fish. If you have anymore photos of the trip post them -- Hell, even Co-Pilot was impressed and they're not even browns. :D Hey Co-Pilot notice the big smile on his face.;D

11-23-2005, 07:01 AM
Way to go Bassassin 8) nice fishes and great trip. Frank, leave Co-Pilot alone, he'll be smileing when he catches that next trophy ;) Boy that King sure is silver 8)

11-23-2005, 07:11 AM
What a great story. Thanks for sharing

11-23-2005, 07:18 AM
Bassassin, just out of curiosity, what are you or did you do with those giants?

11-23-2005, 07:39 AM
Great report! Awesome fish. That has to be the pretiest large bow I've ever seen. The two largest I have ever seen in person were that size and a bit larger - both from Natomas, and they both looked nuclear. Way to go and welcome back.

11-23-2005, 08:58 AM
Man thats awesome. Good job!

11-23-2005, 09:06 AM
Great story and pics. Trip of a lifetime for us California flat landers. I cant wait to go there myself one day.

11-23-2005, 09:17 AM
Hey Bassassin, what's that thing on yer head. Yeah I remember just how bitter cold it can get up there. I lived about 15 miles from that lake for a number of years. Great Pictures, great story and great fun. We'll have to talk about some of the details on the floatilla next month. I'm jealous and miss the PNW a lot.


11-23-2005, 10:00 AM
That is a picture perfect Rainbow...What a trout!!! ;D
Ain't no farm fish!!!

11-23-2005, 11:15 AM
and to think im goin up there in the Spring of '06 ;D thanks for the pics and report 8)

11-23-2005, 01:37 PM
Awesome story Jason. The fish are'nt to bad either ;D ;D

11-23-2005, 02:44 PM
Thanks for sharring Bass, love the pics, ( We like pics ) nothing better than big trout, now you have me thinking of the Great Lakes, Big Salmon , Big Macks, Big Steelhead, Big Browns, all the good stuff, See What You Did now I'm depressed :'(

11-23-2005, 06:44 PM
One other note... Bassassin's pictures tell the most important story: How to hold a fish for a photo-op. Hold them like that and you can release them with confidence. ;)

11-23-2005, 07:39 PM
8)What did he do with those like any true sportsman can you sa WALL MOUNT it dont get much fine that aboy bro know for that wall mount sturgy coming soon. 8)

11-23-2005, 08:57 PM
Thanks for all the nice comments. 8)

PO produces monster trout and while I may be biased, I look forward to fishing it again every time I leave. Visually stunning and the chance to catch a true monster is always there. We have had many days on that lake, both fall and Spring and have never caught anything any of the locals consider decent. Like anywhere else, those who know how to fish it catch quite a few fish in general and big fish are caught regularily. In hindsight, a smarter bunch would have hired a guide to show them the ropes many hours ago, but we originally decided to rough it with little to show for it prior to this week. A few dinners, but that is about it. The shop Fins and Feathers in CDA has a picture of a guy with a 30lb'r from PO and the fish is just amazing. The girth on mine was just under 18". I couldn't even guess the girth on that 30. It may have been as long as the fish. Heck, maybe longer. It just makes me wonder how many Kokanee a fish like that eats in a day.

The quality and beauty of the Salmon in CDA is truly as good as they get. The only ones I have seen that compare are the ones I have pulled from the ocean. They are a beautiful fish, good fighters, and the meat is just incredible. Apparently the lake record is something like 42lbs. They seem to thrive there. If I lived up there I would fish them a TON. The one pictured I'm taking to my folks tomorrow as my Mom doesn't eat turkey. ::) As for the bow, while not huge by PO standards, it is HUGE for me so I dropped it off at a taxidermist that lives right on the lake. It will be mounted on driftwood with the fly I caught it on being attacked. 8) The guy doing it has quite a back log so I won't see it for at least another year. :'(

IT, that hat was a life saver...and not too bad of luck as it turned out. When you are as follically challenged as I you need something to keep all that hot air inside. I'm looking forward to fishing again and will look forward to sharing stories and a beverage or three.

FF, now that I am back we need to do that fishing trip. I'll PM some dates to you and we'll find one that works. Believe it or not, they actually want some of the predators removed from PO. The Mack fishing is open for commercial fishing (rod and reel) and they encourage the removal of the Bows. They're working hard to elevate the Kokanee population and the predators are so efficient they really do a number on them.

11-24-2005, 05:57 AM
Looks like a Idaho fest in the making ;)

11-24-2005, 10:30 AM
Give me 30 minutes and I'll be ready to go! Great fish, nice post. Thanks for sharing.

11-24-2005, 12:49 PM
We have been talking about it Mickey. Let's do it! CDA and PO are destination lakes for sure. I wouldn't eat any fish out of either one of them, but that's just because I want to live forever. ;)

I have 3 trips to Idaho in April for work. I wonder what I should do on the weekends? ;D Spring is no good for PO rainbows since they get really skinny after the spawn. But I've visited with the fisheries people up there and there are always lots of big fish available. The koke situation is a management disaster, but it's still very good during the summer and fall by our standards.