On June 11, anyone can get out and enjoy a day of fishing without a fishing license, but all other rules still apply.
Free Fishing Day is an Idaho tradition that includes Fish and Game employees and volunteers bringing fishing gear to various fishing spots and loaning rods, reels and tackle and helping people learn to fish. The day offers novice anglers a great opportunity to experience some of the wonderful fishing opportunities Idaho has to offer and learn a fun and inexpensive sport that all ages can enjoy.
And just a reminder, kids 13-years old and younger do not need a fishing license in Idaho, so fishing is an inexpensive summer activity. Catchable-sized trout ranging from about 10 to 13 inches are regularly stocked statewide and in many easily accessible fishing spots, including community ponds, local reservoirs and nearby lakes.
“In the month leading up to Free Fishing Day, Fish and Game hatcheries stocked about 450,000 catchable rainbow trout throughout the state,” Fish and Game Hatchery Manager Bryan Grant said.
Every region in the state plans to host a few Free Fishing Day events on June 11. Click on the map above for a bird’s eye view of Free Fishing Day events happening around the state, or see the list below.
- Post Falls Park Pond
- WaterLife Discovery Center
- Ponderosa Springs Golf Course Pond
- Rathdrum Park Pond
- Mann Lake
- Lewiston Levee Pond
- Deer Creek Reservoir
- Karolyns Pond (Red River)
- Fenn Pond (Selway)
- Wilkins Pond
- Fischer Pond (Cascade)
- Kleiner Pond (Meridian)
- Legacy Park Pond (Mountain Home)
- McDevitt Pond (Boise)
- Dick Knox Pond (Emmett)
- Caldwell Rotary Pond
- Rowland Pond (McCall)
- Wilson Springs Ponds (Nampa)
- Lowman (Ten Mile) Ponds
- Riley Creek Pond (Hagerman WMA)
- Becker Pond at Ryder Park
- Trail Creek Pond (Victor)
- Mill Creek & Stoddard Mill Pond (Island Park)
- Rexburg City Ponds (Rexburg)
Make your own adventures for Free Fishing Day and beyond
If you’re new to fishing, or just new to fishing in Idaho, the state has hundreds of places to fish, and you can catch a variety of species ranging from bluegill to sturgeon. Check out Fish and Game’s Fishing Planner webpage to search for nearby fishing spots, the types of fish in those bodies of water and a list of when those places were last stocked.
Speaking of fishing stocking, Fish and Game stocks about 30 million fish annually for anglers, which includes millions of trout that are immediately available to catch.
Gearin’ up for June 11
If you don’t have fishing gear, it’s fairly inexpensive to get started. A simple rod and reel combo goes for about $25. All you need to for tackle is a few hooks, weights, bobbers and bait. It’s tough to beat live worms for bait – nearly all fish will eat them – but if you don’t want to deal with squirming live worms, there are many other options, including marshmallows, Powerbait, dough bait, imitation fish eggs and a plethora of other things.
If you’re unsure how to rig a rod for fishing, Fish and Game provides simple instructions on its Learn to Fish webpage.
For information about bag limits and other rules, see the 2022 Idaho Fishing Seasons and Rules booklet, which is available in a printed booklet at Fish and Game offices and many license vendors and sporting goods stores.
Fishing can be a fun time for the whole family, too, and easy for kids to learn. Remember when taking young kids out to make sure they wear lifejackets and bring lots of snacks, a hat and sunscreen. Be patient with kids and enjoy your time outdoors with them, even if the kids decide they’d rather explore nature or do something other than fishing. For more information (and helpful tips) when fishing with kids, check out this list of the Top 10 Tips When Taking Kids Fishing.