Memorial Day is the traditional opening day of fishing for many Idahoans, so let’s keep the tradition going! Fish and Game hatcheries have continued to stock area waters over the last several weeks in anticipation of a busy holiday weekend. To find out whether or not a water body has been recently stocked, visit the Fish and Game website at https://idfg.idaho.gov/ifwis/fishingplanner/ where an angler can simply type the name of the waterbody into the search box to learn all about that particular waterbody, including its stocking history.
Anglers are reminded to always check the current fishing regulations before heading out to your favorite fishing hole.
When traveling to and from home, anglers need to be mindful of local communities when traveling to your fishing destination, and practice social distancing when traveling through small communities as well as when fishing and camping.
Here are some suggested fishing spots throughout the Magic Valley:
Reservoir fishing opportunities
Magic Reservoir – With its gently sloping shoreline, this is a favorite place to take kids fishing. Magic Reservoir is stocked periodically with hatchery rainbow trout and has received more than 14,000 fish since mid-April. The reservoir also produces large rainbow and brown trout that are naturally produced upstream in the Big Wood River. Yellow Perch are also a very common species found in the reservoir.
Fishing from a float tube on Magic Reservoir is a great way to spend a day fishing.
Directions: On State Hwy 75 from the US Hwy 20 intersection, go 3.5 miles south. Turn west on E Magic Reservoir Rd and go 4.6 miles to the east boat ramp. For west shore access, go west on US Hwy 20 from the State Hwy 75 intersection, turn south near milepost 162 and continue 13 miles. Moonstone Landing, Hot Springs Landing, and Sheep Bridge provide additional access.
Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir – A short drive south of Twin Falls, this large reservoir in Idaho's high desert provides tons of fishing options with boat ramps and long shorelines. The reservoir was heavily stocked in April with over 18,000 rainbows larger than 6” and over 108,000 rainbows under 6”. And, over 14,000 cobow’s (cross between a coho salmon and rainbow trout) over 6”. The reservoir also supports one of the few walleye fisheries found within the state.
Directions: From E 3600 N on US Hwy 93 in Twin Falls go 21 miles south to Rogerson. Turn west onto Jarbidge/Three Creek Rd (1520 N Rd) and continue 7.5 miles to the dam. The boat ramp access is beyond the campground. Several dirt roads heading west from Hwy 93 south of Rogerson provide additional access to the central portion of the reservoir. These include Greys Landing, Norton Bay, and other informal access points.
River fishing opportunities
Big Wood River – Due to a low snowpack, the water levels are lower than anglers would see over most Memorial Day holidays. The river has been closed since April 1 to protect spawning rainbow trout but will reopen on Saturday, May 23. The river was stocked with over 400 rainbow trout in early May.
Fly fisherman on the Big Wood River.
Directions: River access can be found at numerous locations along Highway 75 north of the Highway 75/Highway 20 junction. Access can also be found along Highway 20, west of the 75/20 junction.
Billingsley Creek – A great little creek in the Magic Valley. Be sure to check the regulations because there are portions that are fly-fishing only. Anglers will have the opportunity to catch brown and rainbow trout. It was last stocked with brown trout in late September 2019.
Directions: Billingsley Creek can be accessed from the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway that passes through the community of Hagerman.
Several of the area ponds in the Magic Valley Region received large retired broodstock rainbow trout, as a donation from Riverence, formerly Clear Springs Foods, over the past few weeks. We would like to thank Riverence for their donation to the sportsmen and sportswomen of Idaho. In addition to stocking the donated rainbow trout, Fish and Game has continued to stock hatchery rainbow trout in regional fishing waters to provide fishing opportunities over the holiday weekend.
Community ponds can be found:
Burley – Freedom Park Pond, Emerald Lake and Burley Pond
Filer – Filer Kids Pond and Filer Pond
Picabo (Hayspur Hatchery) – Gavers Lagoon
Ketchum – Dollar and Penny lakes
Featherville – Featherville Dredge Pond
Twin Falls – Dierkes Lake
Glenns Ferry – Blair Trail Fishing Pond
Hagerman – Oster Lakes
For more information call the Magic Valley Regional Office at (208) 324-4359.