When I was little, my dad would take me to fish his secrets spots at different lakes and streams. I was usually only successful because my dad knew where to take me to catch the best fish. So, where do you go to catch Kokanee salmon in Idaho?
Anderson Ranch Reservoir (My favorite!)
The chosen GPS coordinates for this location are 43°24’00.5″N 115°24’50.5″W.
These coordinates will take you to Evans Creek Campground, which is on the shore of Anderson Ranch Reservoir, but the best place to fish is actually under the power lines, about middle of the way through the lake. You can’t miss it if you drive your boat through the reservoir. There are very high power lines with the orange balls on them going all the way across the lake. It’s right where there’s a fork in the reservoir. Fish on the right fork (if you’re coming from the dam) under the power lines. That’s where I’ve had the best luck.
Boasting the title of the first point of the Kokanee Silver Triangle, and flowing into the South Fork of the Boise River, Anderson Ranch Reservoir covers 4605.4 acres, and is located in Elmore County.
This spectacular Kokanee fishery features boat ramps, docks, toilets, campgrounds, no motor restrictions, and access for those of us with disabilities.
While easily accessed from Anderson Ranch Dam Road, there is additional access from Anderson Dam and the dirt roads surrounding the area. According to the special rules, the Kokanee Limit for this location is 25.
If you’re not wanting to “rough it”, you also have the option of staying at the nearby Fall Creek resorts, both of which are placed at different locations around Anderson Ranch Reservoir. This is one of the only places that has both great Kokanee fishing as well as great places to stay, so take advantage and sleep in a real bed!
People always enjoy their time there, And tend to return. There are plenty of Kokanee here, and its a great option for any avid fisherman.
Kokanee are the type of fish that get bigger when there is a smaller population in any given area. This place has a fishing limit of 25, which is much larger than any other place on this list.
Personally, I’ve caught more kokanee at Anderson than I have at Lucky Peak, Arrowrock, and everywhere else combined. Anderson has always been my hot spot.
Try some things that not a lot of people are trying and see if you can nab the monster that is sure to be lurking here!
The GPS coordinates for this location are – 43°35’42.1″N 115°55’21.8″W
These coordinates will take you to Arrowrock Dam, which boasted the title of the tallest dam in the world from the date of it’s completion to 1924.
Arrowrock has always been hit-and-miss for me. Sometimes I go and bring back a whole stringer, and other times I get skunked. The kokanee can be harder to find at Arrowrock. I haven’t found one spot that always produces. I usually troll for kokanee for a couple hours, and then switch to trolling Rapalas to pull out some of the big trout they have in there.
The second point of the Idaho Kokanee Silver Triangle, this reservoir flows into the Boise River. Arrowrock Reservoir covers 3014.2 acres and is located in Boise AND Elmore County. These two counties may have different bag limits and policies, so be careful
This location sports boat ramps, toilets, campgrounds, and access for those of us with disabilities. There are no motor restrictions, so you can go ahead and get out your bass boat and go to town!
Boating, canoeing, windsurfing, and, of course, fishing, are some of the most popular activities at Arrowrock Reservoir. Located to the east of Boise, fishing season is open year round here.
Access can be a litter trickier here, but the Kokanee here tend to be larger than the Kokanee at Lucky Peak Reservoir, and there are generally fewer people and fewer boats at Arrowrock Reservoir. The Kokanee salmon in this location is typically between 14 inches to 17 inches.
The average size of a Kokanee is between 8 and 12 inches, meaning that this place has larger than average salmon. Since its a little secluded, this is an excellent place to get some great sized Salmon.
The bag limit for Kokanee is 6, so you should be able to fill your cooler with larger than average salmon. 6 isn’t as much as some of these other places, but you should be able to get some pretty big ones here so I will let it slide.
Whether you are here in the summer with your boat, or in the winter with your auger, you should see some success.
Lucky Peak Reservoir
The chosen coordinates for Lucky Peak Reservoir are –
These coordinates will take you to the Lucky Peak Dam Recreation Area.
The most popular spot to fish at luck peak is just across from Spring Shores Marina. Just take off from that boat ramp right across to the other side and start trolling about 100′ out from the bank and you’ll be on the kokanee.
The trouble with kokanee at Lucky Peak is just the volume of anglers. On a summer Saturday there’ll be 20 boats trolling the same area, and then the ski boats are out around 11AM causing wakes. So it’s very popular and productive, but I prefer Anderson Ranch.
The third and final point of Idaho’s Silver Kokanee Triangle, the Lucky Peak Reservoir (also referred to and known as Lucky Peak Lake) drains into the Boise River, and covers 2765.8 acres
Located in the Ada, Boise, and Elmore Counties, this reservoir features a Kokanee limit of 6.
Lucky Peak Reservoir comes with boat ramps, docks, bathrooms, campgrounds, and is handicap accessible. There are no motor restrictions, and some of the campgrounds do require reservations to be made beforehand.
A popular place for boating, water skiing, and picnicking, Lucky Peak Reservoir is still a good place for fishing, but due to the ease of accessibility and higher traffic that passes through, fishing can be a little tougher. That being said, the average Kokanee size in Idaho is 10 inches to 12 inches, and the Kokanee caught at Lucky Peak Reservoir are typically between 14 inches to 17 inches.
Lucky Peak Reservoir has boats, personal watercraft, and other water sports equipment available to rent at the Spring Shores Marina, which is located at the northernmost part of the main body of water.
If you are only in Idaho driving through, then this is the place for you. Having the option to rent a canoe is awesome for those that aren’t close to home, and the average size for Kokanee here is larger than most, so you should at least have some great photos to take.
As you can see in this video, this area has some really beautiful views. There is a lot of open water to explore and will end up being your favorite part of your trip through Idaho.
Like I said, this place is really popular, and for good reason. If a lot of other people being around makes you worried that this isn’t good for fishing, then you are going to miss out on some awesome fishing. You will not regret hitting this place up I promise.
Between the beautiful views and awesome fishing, this place had to make this list.
Lake Pend Oreille
The coordinates for this location are –
These coordinates will take you to Farragut State Park.
Wow, this place is so pretty. I did my best to find a video that does it justice. The views on this lake are stunning, and that rich blue water is amazing. I really like fishing, but fishing in a place that is this beautiful makes me love it. There is nothing better than having a nice cold soda on the lake with a line in the water while you have stunning views all around you.
We all have out little fisherman beliefs, and I have this thing about big Kokanee salmon being where they have 2 things: Lots of room, and lots of trees. I really think that the amount of trees in the area is a great indication that there are some big salmon in these waters just waiting for you to come along and wrangle them.
Lake Pend Oreille flows into the Pend Oreille River, covering a total of 92765.4 acres. Located in both the Bonner and Kootenai Counties, this location does have special rules in favor of the Kokanee fisherman. There are other special rules when it comes to different species of fish.
There is no limit on fishing rods per angler when you are fishing from a boat.
For the fisherman, Lake Pend Oreille has boat ramps, docks, bathrooms, campgrounds, and is handicap accessible. There are no motor restrictions for this location, and you will need to make reservations for camping.
Farragut State Park, located on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, features many great activities for a family, such as disc golf, horse and llama trails, a visitor’s center with a gift shop and nature displays, and many other fun options. The campgrounds include showers, cabins, and an amphitheater, and there are several schedules activities that happen throughout the day that you can take part in. Really there is plenty to do out here, so everybody should find something fun to do.
I really love to fish, but my family does not. Places like this are really great for when you want to go fishing but also want to bring the family along with. There is nothing worse than trying to fish with a whiney 10-year-old in the boat with you. Even though we want our children to enjoy what we enjoy, sometimes that just can’t happen. I tend to like getting rid of the extra baggage and taking all the people that actually want to fish out on my boat. (Sometimes that is just myself)
Lake Pend Oreille is one of the deepest and largest natural lakes in the western United States, reportedly going as deep as 1,237 feet in some locations. The odds of catching Kokanee here seem fairly high, as Fish and Game have reported that there are so many of them that it’s impacting the size of the fish.
Kokanee salmon are really sensitive to water temperature, and therefore they love having a really deep lake to find the right temperature of water in. Since this lake is so deep, the population of Kokanee is huge.
With such a high population, you shouldn’t have any problem reaching the bag limit for this lake which is 15. I would even go as far as to say that you can afford to be choosy with your fish and throw back the fish that are only okay.
Do you really need anything more than 15 fish anyway?
The GPS coordinates for this location are –
These coordinates will take you to the Blacktail Day Use Area at the left side of the reservoir. Access to the Blacktail park will cost you 3 dollars to 5 dollars, depending on the day of the week. A small price to pay for such an awesome location!
Ririe Reservoir drains into Willow Creek and covers a total of 1414.5 acres. Located in Bonneville County, the Kokanee limit is 15.
Ririe Reservoir has standard amenities, with boat ramps, docks, toilets, campgrounds, and disabilities access. There are no motor restrictions.
Popular activities for this area include water sports, boating, fishing, and the use of recreational vehicles, so plan your fishing accordingly, as this is a popular spot for locals to relax.
People in Idaho are generally more considerate than most other areas, so wakeboarders and tubing boats will try to avoid fishing boats as best as they can. Sometimes you are going to get racked with waves, and that is just how it is.
Trolling is a great way to catch your Kokanee salmon at this location, however, a number of anglers have reported success fishing from the shore. Ririe Reservoir has also proven to be a great place for ice fishing, and Kokanee salmon will continue to be caught through the winter.
Having a great Ice fishing spot is essential for any fisherman. We all have our favorite spots to hit during the warmer months, so why not have a favorite spot during the winter? Many fishermen report that this is their favorite spot to ice fish, so why can’t it be yours too?
Unlike in the summertime, during winter Kokanee will go for more types of bait. Many people boast success using fire corn, pink maggots (live or synthetic), or even still baits.
If you have never been Ice fishing before, this is a great spot to start. Just make sure that you are dressed properly because it gets really cold and windy up here in Idaho!