Best Idaho Fishing Trips (Best Destinations)


Lake Pend Oreille
Rating 9.75

Lake Pend Oreille is a popular lake to visit in northern Idaho.  The lake is 65 miles long and as deep as 1,150 feet in some spots.  Lake Pend Oreille is surrounded by quite a few small towns and national forests.  Some of the more popular towns on this lake are Sandpoint, Bayview and Hope.  This is an excellent lake for fishing and the highest rated Idaho fishing destination by us.  This is a special lake with so many different types of fish, trophy fish and the ability to catch good numbers of fish too.

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Coeur d’Alene, ID
Rating 9.25

Coeur d’Alene is a popular tourist destination and it is the largest city of Kootenai County, Idaho.  This area has so much to offer with the dining, shopping, nightlife, skiing and outdoor recreation.  There is even a casino in the area if you enjoy gambling.  Lake Coeur d’Alene is very popular among boaters and fishermen.  There are marinas available as well as fishing guide services to take care of your needs.  Coeur d’Alene is one of the better fishing destinations out west.  Lake Coeur d’Alene has a diverse fishery.  In the lake, you can catch chinook salmon, kokanee salmon, northern pike, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.

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Riggins, ID
Rating 9.25

Riggins, Idaho is located between the two deepest gorges in North America: Hells Canyon to the west and the Salmon River Canyon to the east.  This town is popular for people that are looking for a vacation with a little bit of adventure.  The scenery is beautiful and there is plenty to do with the Salmon River, Little Salmon River and Snake River nearby.  Anglers target a variety of fish such as salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, trout and bass.

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Salmon, ID
Rating 9.0

Salmon is a small city located in Lemhi County, Idaho on the Salmon River.  This city is a very popular vacation destination.  People that enjoy a little adventure will love it in Salmon, Idaho.  People enjoy taking river trips, fishing and hunting.  The middle fork of the Salmon River provides some of the best fishing in this area for rainbow trout and cutthroat trout.  From late fall through early spring, there is also good fishing for steelhead.  These fish enter from the Pacific Ocean in the fall and hold over during the winter and they spawn in the spring.  The Lower Gorge of the Salmon River is warm enough for smallmouth bass and sturgeon.

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Ketchum – Sun Valley, ID
Rating 8.75

The Sun Valley – Ketchum area is known for its world-class skiing and outdoor recreation.  There are many resorts in these towns as well as nice restaurants, shopping and bars.  There is so much to do here and the scenery is breath-taking. During the summer months, people come here to experience the fishing and whitewater rafting.
Some of the popular areas to fish are Silver Creek, Wood River and the Big Lost River.  Most of the rivers in the area have excellent rainbow trout fishing with some brown trout and brook trout mixed in.  Some anglers make a day trip up to the town of Stanley (about 60 miles away) during the steelhead run.

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Priest Lake
Rating 8.25

Priest Lake is located in the northern most portion of Idaho.  The northern part of this lake is only 15 miles from the Canadian border.  Priest Lake is a popular vacation destination.  If you enjoy being outdoors, you will enjoy Priest Lake.  It is a gorgeous lake that is loved by fishermen and pleasure boaters.  Lake trout dominate this lake and you can find a few charters that will be able to take you out for a fishing trip.  The average fish is usually in the 5 to 10 pound range, although, it is not uncommon to catch lake trout in the 20 to 30 pound range and even bigger on this lake.  Smallmouth bass are also available in this lake.  There are other lakes and streams nearby that offer some excellent trout fishing too.

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Stanley – Sawtooth, ID
Rating 8.25

The Stanley-Sawtooth area in central Idaho is great place to take a vacation.  Get away from it all and enjoy the mountains, wilderness lands and wild rivers.  Spend some time whitewater rafting or fishing on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

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Orofino, ID
Rating 8.0

Orofino is a small town located in the northeastern part of the Nez Perce National Historical Park.  The area is very scenic with the Clearwater River, Dworshak Reservoir and the surrounding mountains.  There are some hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and lodges to accommodate you as well as guides and outfitters to put you on some fish.  The fishing is excellent for native cutthroat trout, rainbow trout and dolly varden.  Anglers do well in this area and you will find several fishing guides available to put you on some fish here.

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Challis, ID
Rating 8.0

Challis is a small town in central Idaho.  This town isn’t as popular as some of the other areas that we covered in Idaho, but you will find some of the same adventures in Challis that you find in other towns.  The Salmon River offers fishing and whitewater rafting.  Steelhead fishing is good on the Salmon River and there are licensed guides and outfitters that can show you the best fishing spots.

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Bear Lake
Rating 7.75

Bear Lake is located on the Idaho – Utah border.  The lake is known for its turquoise blue water.  It is a popular summer vacation destination.  Many people visit here to enjoy the beautiful waters.  Boating and fishing are popular on Bear Lake.  Anglers fish for cutthroat, mackinaw and whitefish.  If you enjoy fishing for trout, you will enjoy fishing on Bear Lake.

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Boise, ID
Rating 7.5

Boise is the capital and most populous city in Idaho.  You can find plenty of hotels and restaurants throughout the city as well as all of your modern-day conveniences.  Boise also offers plenty of outdoor recreation such as fishing, rafting, kayaking and more.

There are many options for fishing in and around the Boise, Idaho area.  The Boise River in town is a great tailwater fishery with rainbow and brown trout.  The North Fork and Middle Fork of the Boise River do not get as much attention as the South Fork, however, the fishing in these forks can be very good.  You may be driving a couple of hours from Boise to get to these sections of the rivers, but for some people, it is well worth the travel time.  Anglers catch rainbows, cutthroat, bull trout and whitefish.  In the South Fork, you’re still going to have to drive a little bit from the city, but this part of the river is famous for its excellent rainbow trout fishery.  The Snake River also is an option in this area.  Anglers target smallmouth bass, carp, channel catfish, crappie and the occasional rainbow trout.

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