If you’ve driven Highway 95 between Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint you’ve probably noticed Cocolalla Lake. Near Westmond, this 800 acre lake offers a variety of fishing opportunity.
Cocolalla Lake is stocked with both rainbow trout and westslope cutthroat trout. In 2019, hatchery crews stocked more than 6,000 magnum (12-inch average) catchable rainbow trout. In May 2020, over 3,200 catchable-sized rainbow trout were added. As a result, rainbow trout fishing has been great! Cutthroat trout are stocked at a small size, around 3 inches. However, in a year or two these fish reach 16 to 18 inches. Rainbow and cutthroat trout from Cocolalla Lake can be harvested as part of a daily 6 fish trout limit.
Brown trout and brook trout are also abundant and add to the mixed bag available. Although these fish were historically stocked from hatcheries they now reproduce on their own in streams around the lake. Brown trout can get large and 20 inchers aren’t unheard of.
Anglers regularly have luck trolling spoons, spinners, and flies throughout the lake. Fly fishing can also be a productive technique for catching trout and other fish from the lake. Fly anglers often target areas around the inlets and outlet of the lake casting various streamer and insect type patterns.
A variety of warm water fish also offer up opportunity at Cocolalla Lake. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch are some of the most popular. Channel catfish are also stocked here to add to this diverse fishing experience. Catfish anglers will find the best fishing in the warm summer months. Bait fished on the bottom of the lake at night is a great technique to catch channel catfish.
Access to Cocolalla Lake is provided by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game on the north end of the lake. The access site can be found via N. Cocolalla Loop Road off of Highway 95. Check out the Idaho Fishing Planner for more information.