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Turning Fishing Dreams Into Reality

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It’s almost time to hit the water, and Matt has the tips to make sure you’re ready.

I was cleaning up the garage the other day and saw my fly rod sitting in its case covered in dust and the cobwebs it gathered through the winter. I just bought my wife a new fly rod for Christmas and it lay upright unused next to my rod, a virgin to that lovely bend of a fighting fish.  Needless to say, I got the hankering to do some fishing. 

I began to dream of casting a big hopper, laying it in that perfect spot on the river as the late evening sun set on a warm August night. It’s definitely a character flaw of mine to long for something I can’t have. Believe me, in August when the temperatures are in the 90s, I’m wishing for that cold fall or winter day! I guess you can say I’m a little unsettled! 

Well, fishing is on my mind this cold, snowy day in January and good fishing is right around the corner, so here a few reminders before you grab your rods, and of course, your kids.

Now is the time to start getting your gear together and making sure that your equipment is operating well. Remember when you stored your gear this winter with that damaged fly line or that huge bird’s nest in your bait caster? You’ll regret that when the stars align and that first opportunity to fish is knocking on the door.

Of course, you should be thinking about purchasing your license as well, because when you get that hankering to wet a line and you’ll never remember to purchase your license first; it’s kind of like buck fever. Unfortunately, I run into folks every year that forget to buy their license, or use the excuse they couldn’t afford one. It’s a lot more affordable to buy a license than pay a fine that would be equivalent to six years of purchasing a resident license. Put five dollars in the piggy bank every few days and you have the $25.75 you’ll need to purchase your resident Idaho license in no time. Come on, what can you purchase for such little cost that will bring that much fun over the course of an entire year, and in some situations bring quality food to your household?

Please don’t forget to pick up a copy of the fishing regulations when you purchase your license; the new ones are out and they have some changes you should be aware of. Every year I come across folks who say they didn’t know that the regulation changed and now they are in a heap of trouble because they didn’t take the time to grab a copy of the regulations, and read them! 

Some new changes to the regulations include the closing of harvest of rainbow trout in the Clark Fork River and its tributaries, Pack River and tributaries, and Grouse Creek and Tributaries, until the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend. Catch and release on those big Kamloop Rainbows is still legal. Remember, those fish are headed to spawn and your attention to properly handling and release is paramount in creating a quality rainbow fishery. In addition, the Clark Fork and its tributaries are open to Kokanee harvest with a limit of six fish, and like in the past, the harvest of bull trout and cutthroat is illegal.

Lake Pend Oreille regulations have changed a bit as we move through the stages of recovering a Kokanee and rainbow fishery.  The bounty is no longer in effect on Kamloops, so please don’t turn your heads in anymore, the check will not be in the mail. Harvest limits on rainbows are six fish a day with only one rainbow over 20 inches.  Some exciting news on the Kokanee front is that we now have the opportunity to harvest with a limit of six fish a day. The use of unlimited rods from a boat while fishing Lake Pend Oreille is still legal and, as always, the mouths of Gold, North Gold, Granite, and Trestle Creek are closed to fishing for a radius of 100 yards into the lake.

With the regulation changes and some increased opportunity, your local Fish & Game officers will be increasing intensity of our patrols on the Lake Pend Oreille.  We, of course, will be focusing on the education aspect with our contacts, but at the same time we need increased enforcement of those folks who think it’s okay to steal fish from all of us intentionally. So don’t be upset when we ask to board your boat, check coolers, and check those little hidey holes in the floorboards you think we didn’t know about.  We appreciate your patience and understanding while we protect your resources!

Please call me or call our regional office in Coeur d’Alene 769-1414 for any questions about regulations you may have. I know the regulations can be confusing, especially when there are changes. As enforcement officers it is not only our job to enforce, but more importantly, to educate the sporting public on laws.  Allow us to do that before you head out for the day.

Don’t forget about those kids, they want to go fishing too! They need your patience and guidance to learn the lifelong passion of fishing. So pick a day and place to fish that’s friendly to kids and will encourage success, and most of all have fun out there. 

Leave No Child Inside . . .  put a fishing rod in their hands.

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Author info

Matt Haag Matt Haag is an Idaho Fish and Game Conservation Officer.

Tagged as:

fishing, Kamloops, The Game Trail, Lake Pend Oreille fishing regulations

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