Jimmy Smith Lake

Flows into the Big Lake Creek

  • Recommended Fishing Water
  • Family Fishing Water

Jimmy Smith Lake in Custer County is 92.2 acres.

A 60-acre high-desert lake formed by an ancient landslide in the East Fork Salmon River drainage, this is a great fishing spot for family adventures, and a favorite ice fishing destination. The short hike or ride to the lake is rewarded with scenic views and wild rainbow trout.


Motor Restriction
Boat Ramp
ADA Access


From Challis, go 18 miles SW on US Hwy 93 and State Hwy 75, then 15 miles S on the E Fork Salmon River Rd. Turn right on Big Lake Creek Rd and go 1.2 miles to the end of the road at the trailhead. The nearest shore is about 0.5 mile from the trailhead parking area. The improved trail provides foot, horse, motorcycle, and ATV access to the lake, although the trail beyond the lake is open only to non-motorized travel.

Recommended Game Fish

Species Observed in Surveys

Fish Stocking Records

No stocking records found for Jimmy Smith Lake.
Source: IDFG Fish Stocking Database.

Licenses and Tags

Learn more about IDFG Licenses, Tags & Permits

Restroom (ADA) at parking area/trailhead only.

Fishing Rules

All Waters Open All Year

Except as modified in Special Rules
Fishing is not allowed within the posted upstream and downstream boundary of any fish weir or trap.

Daily Bag Limits

The following daily bag limits apply to all waters within each region except as modified in the Special Rules. The possession limit is 3-times the daily bag limit after the second day of the season.

Special Rules

Jimmy Smith Lake
  • Trout limit is 25
Salmon Region Bag Limits
Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth)
  • No bag, size or possession limits
Brook Trout
  • Brook Trout limit is 25
  • Harvest allowed during any open season unless otherwise noted under Special Rules - if gear or bait restrictions are listed, they must be followed when fishing for Brook Trout
Bull Trout
  • Bull trout limit is 0, catch-and-release
  • Kokanee limit is 25
Salmon (ocean-going)
  • Salmon seasons and limits are set annually by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission and rules are issued in a separate brochure
  • Fishing for or targeting salmon is prohibited unless a salmon season is specifically opened for that water
Steelhead (ocean-going)
  • Defined as Rainbow Trout longer than twenty (20) inches in length in the Salmon River drainage (excluding the Lemhi and Pahsimeroi rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and ponds)
  • Fishing for or targeting steelhead is prohibited unless a steelhead season is specifically opened for that water (see fishing regulations for details)
  • Sturgeon limit is 0, catch-and-release
  • Sturgeon must not be removed from the water and must be released upon landing
  • Barbless hooks and sliding sinkers are required, see fishing regulations for details
Tiger Muskie
  • Tiger Muskie limit is 2, none under 40 inches
Trout includes Lake Trout, Golden Trout, Arctic Grayling, Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Sunapee Trout and trout hybrids (e.g. Tiger Trout)
  • Trout limit is 6, all species combined
  • Chinook Salmon placed in ponds are considered in the trout bag limit
  • Does not include Bull Trout and Brook Trout which are listed separately
  • Whitefish limit is 25
  • Harvest allowed during any open season unless otherwise noted under Special Rules - if gear or bait restrictions are listed, they must be followed when fishing for whitefish
Protected Nongame Fish including Pacific Lamprey
  • May not be harvested or possessed
All Other Fish Species includes bullfrogs and crayfish
  • No bag, size or possession limit
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