The Great Outdoors: Boating and Fishing in Idaho

Hiring a licensed outfitter is one of the best ways to enhance your camping, boating or fishing experience. Guides thoroughly know their areas and species hunted or fished. Their knowledge can make a real difference in the success of your trip. One major advantage in booking your hunting trip through an Idaho outfitter is that deer and elk tags are easy to obtain. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game allocates tags specifically for non-resident hunters who book with licensed outfitters. Idaho outfitters have tags available long after neighboring states sell out.

Fishing, A Way of Life

Fish abound in the giant lakes of northern Idaho, the intimate high mountain alpine lakes of central Idaho, the smooth valley reservoirs, and the 3,000 miles of winding rivers. Idaho-born steelhead trout and salmon make one of the longest spawning runs of any anadromous fish in the world. You can fish for steelhead in the swift waters of the Snake, Salmon, or Clearwater Rivers. If lake fishing is your passion, the big lakes in northern Idaho have giant Kamloops, Mackinaw, and monster Chinook. Native cutthroat trout have lived in Idaho waters for centuries and trout fishing is available across the state. Sturgeon, the largest freshwater fish in North America, can be found in the Snake, Kootenai, and the Salmon Rivers. Experts call the Henry’s Fork in Eastern Idaho the “world’s premiere dry-fly fishing stream.” Writer Ernest Hemingway, who lived in Ketchum, loved Silver Creek near Picabo. Other excellent streams include the Teton River and the South Forks of the Snake and Boise Rivers.

Boating, Hit the Open Water

Idaho’s Silver Creek, the Henrys Fork, and the South Fork of the Snake are world renowned for their fly-fishing opportunities. Whether you hope to catch dinner or just catch and release, Idaho is the perfect place to relax on the water. Most state parks have docks, so bring the waterskis, jetskis and tubes, just don't forget the sunscreen.

Close