More than 300 lakes and four major river drainage’s within a 20 mile radius make this area heaven on earth for anglers. Equally rewarding fishing for trout, salmon, steelhead, perch and smallmouth bass can be found in rivers, reservoirs and alpine lakes throughout the region. Here are a few of our favorite areas:

Fishing Seasons and Rules | Idaho Fish and Game

License, Tag, and Permit Buying Options | Idaho Fish and Game 

Explore Valley County Water Recreation References

Boating & Water Recreation map application was created to stream information to the public, including boating references, no-wake zones and parks or campsites around Cascade & Payette Lakes.

Payette Lake & Lake Cascade Boating & Water Recreation Map

At 5,300 acres, Payette Lake boasts three species of trout: rainbow, cutthroat and lake trout, as well as Kokanee. Downstream lies Lake Cascade, a 28,000-acre reservoir with a diverse fishery, including small mouth bass, rainbow trout, Kokanee, Coho salmon, crappie and yellow perch. 

Payette National Forest

Boise National Forest:  Cascade Ranger District

The Salmon River System

In the many famous forks of the Salmon River, you’ll enjoy excellent fishing for beautiful west slope cutthroat trout, as well as Chinook salmon (summer) and steelhead (spring and fall). Popular forks of the Salmon include the South Fork, East Fork of the South Fork, Middle Fork, as well as important tributaries like the Little Salmon, and Big Creek in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area.

Hells Canyon of the Snake River

Northwest of Valley County lies the deepest river gorge in North America (deeper than even the Grand Canyon of the Colorado). Hells Canyon offers fishing for salmon, steelhead, smallmouth bass, as well as catch & release fishing for enormous white sturgeon, up to 10 feet or more in length.

Alpine Lakes

While many of the 300 alpine lakes require a hike, most will find it well worth the effort. Grab your float tube and go prospecting for will rainbows and cutthroats in some of the most breathtaking mountain settings in the Pacific Northwest. For more information on rules and regulations for this region, just contact Idaho Fish and Game’s Information office at (208) 634-8137.

General Information
Valley County Recreation Director
Larry Laxson
Recreation Planner
Dave Bingaman
Recreation Coordinator
Danny Amen