The Fishing is Great - the Catching is More Difficult
Great places to take kids fishing, and where they can catch, as well.
As defined by Wikipedia, fishing is the activity of catching fish. Fishing techniques include netting, trapping, angling and hand gathering. I guess by this definition I have not yet this season, in my many “outings” been fishing - as I have yet to catch anything.
My $25.75 license has not paid for itself, although I have enjoyed just being out with my line in the water. I enjoy it a lot more with a fish hanging from my hook. Especially if that fish was a large enough rainbow trout (13 inches long) to get the $15 cash reward as part of the “Save the Lake Pend Oreille Fishery,” contest.
Creek fishing just opened up this Memorial Day weekend, and we took to Grouse Creek in hope of the big catch that we were sure to receive on such a great day - unfortunately that big catch didn’t happen. It rained, it poured, and still we “fished.” We moved on to Pack River - there’s always a car or two on the side of the road there and I was sure there was a reason for that... but not today. Eventually we had to let go of our excitement from earlier in the morning and accept that maybe today was not going to be our day for great fishing.
I’ve heard from many a person that I am not the only one that is having such a difficult time catching a fish this season. Fish and Game has been by a few times and have shared that sentiment as well. I couldn’t tell you what exactly it is this year - maybe just how cold the winter was, maybe it just hasn’t warmed up enough yet, if the sun would come out for just a few more days, warm it up just a little more, I mean is it warm enough to spawn? - or maybe I just need to get a fishing boat to do some real fishing.
If you’re just going out fishing, and don’t care about the money that there to be made, you can check out some of the stocked waters. I myself have not been to anywhere that is stocked yet this year and can’t vouch for them personally - but I can tell you my favorite places to go with the kids.
This year, according to Fish and Game’s website, they have stocked 990 fish up there on May 7. I’d like to have a boat to go up, but since I don’t, I take the one “good” spot up there which is the trail to the right that leads to the Large Rock. If it’s sunny you’ve got a really warm, clear spot to fish from. You can see the turtles swimming in the water there which the children really enjoy. The only problem with Antelope is the lack of “fishable area” that I’ve been able to find. If too many people show up that rock sure gets crowded. And it can get ugly if there are too many children casting and not enough room. Antelope, by the way, is just outside of Clark Fork.
Granite Lake, which is of course near Granite Hill on your way south to Coeur d’Alene, is a nice spot. I’ve fished there quite a few times in the past and it’s very nice. You can rent a small boat fairly cheaply if you don’t have one - and get in a great workout with the oars. There are many different types of fish in the waters there, and the kids love the easily caught “sun-fish.” Granite was stocked on May 14 with 450 fish.
Kelso & Mirror Lakes
Kelso and Mirror are also nice. Both are located 5 to 6 miles north of Athol and both were stocked with 1,980 fish on May 14. These are children friendly, have nice docks to fish off of, and when the water is nice the kids can safely swim.
Clark Fork River
I’ve become fond of fishing the Clark Fork River myself. It’s not entirely safe if you have lots of children, but if you’ve got one or two that you can keep an eye on there are large rocks to sit on and it’s quite the view. I’m still waiting for “the one that got away” from me on our first “outing” of the year... and I’m sure that I’ll be back for him.
This is nowhere near a complete listing of places to go, but you can get more information online from Fish and Game. This website is quite helpful in finding good places to go and how to get there.
You can also pick up the Fish and Game booklets anywhere that you can get a license. Probably a good idea any way as it has all of this year’s rules and requirements which everyone should brush up on. I’m hopefully going to get a chance this year to fish some waters that I haven’t been to before - up towards Coeur d’Alene, and hopefully some down south. They’ve got to be catching them somewhere!
So, have a great fishing season, keep everything clean when you leave.... and enjoy one of those many things that North Idaho is good for and get out of the house!
Fishing photos on this page and front by Misty Grage, who is filling in for Scott Johnson while he’s on vacation.