Sandpoint/Ponderay Fishing Report

North Idaho is a bass fisherman’s paradise, with lots of options for smallmouth and largemouth on large waters, like Lake Pend Orielle, and on smallish, “secret” ponds sprinkled through the area. The area offers great options for trout, too, with two great waters draining out of Montana and into Idaho, those being the Kootenai and Clark Fork rivers. In addition, small stream fishing here can bring big surprises, including chances to catch 10-pound plus trout. If you’re looking for variety, north Idaho brings it.
  • SandpointPonderay Fishing Report

    Lake Pend Oreille

    Reports on the lake are increasing. Water temperature reports vary where you’re at on the lake, but safe to say, most are between 40 and 45 degrees. Some pike action has been reported on gear, so you could probably find some pike with the fly along weed edges and dropoffs. Bass action is still tough for the fly. Trout may be found cruising edges and cobble flats. Mysis shrimp are a popular forage for trout, so try some flies imitating those. Stripping streamers will produce fish too if you know where to look. As the weather gets nicer, and the water temperature rises, expect better fly fishing opportunities to show up.

    Clark Fork River (ID)

    Hatches have been slow, and the water is still cold. We’re definitely seeing some increased bug action compared to last month. Look at tossing a #16-18 bwo or adams if you see risers. The best fishing will be upstream of the rail bridge. The sporadic flows make it tough to make a full day outing, so keep an eye on the chart. If you find some fish, drift a mop fly or squirmy wormy in tandem with a pheasant tail or 20 incher. A few cutties and browns here and there, and I’ve caught a few very large whitefish as well. We’re still a ways off from great fishing.

    Lake Cocolalla

    The water temperature on Coco is increasing, which will have the fish a bit more active. The lake is well out of its normal banks with Cocolalla creek pumping in a lot of water from the south end. The drop on the north end of the lake will be an awesome spot to catch cruising fish. Strip woolly buggers, thin mints, and balanced leeches. Try not to throw anything too large. Take your time and work the drops.

    Kootenai River (ID & MT)

    The Kootenai is flowing stable around its base flow of 4,000 cfs. There are reports of a few fish here and there are popping up, but most people aren’t fishing the river yet. The water temperatures are still chilly, but you may find some rising fish coming up for midges and baetis. Look at throwing a #16-18 bwo or adams to rising trout. If you’re going to nymph here, go big. Pat’s rubber legs and nemec stones will catch the attention of hungry trout. Also, bigger streamers will give you the chance at some of the larger specimens lurking around structure.

    See past reports from the Sandpoint/Ponderay area here, or click here to view all northwest regional reports.