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      RIVER BOAT FISHING

      THE 5 ITEMS MOST PEOPLE FORGET ON THEIR FISHING TRIPS

      The weather is right, the sun is shining, and the rivers are full. Yes, it’s fishing season once again, and that means it’s time to get out to beautiful Hells Canyon to explore the Snake and Salmon rivers.

      Here at Killgore Adventures, we run river boat fishing trips throughout the year. While we can outfit you with nearly everything you need for your fishing trip, some people like to bring their own gear. However, we find that nearly every group that goes on one of our fishing adventures has someone who forgets at least one of these five items at home. So as your making your packing list, make sure these items are at the top of your list.

      #1: SUNSCREEN

      Yes, sunscreen. A tube of SPF 50 costs you less than $5 and will last you for a week’s worth of fishing trips. While lightweight clothing is becoming an ever more popular way to protect yourself from the sun, sunscreen should still be a part of your day bag. Make sure to use it on your hands, neck, face, ears, and chest. These are often forgotten or covered by a hat.

      For those going after salmon in cloudy weather, they might think they can get away without using sunscreen thanks to the cloud cover. In reality, you can still get burned even with good cloud cover. A sunburn is no joke and it can increase your chances of contracting skin cancer.

      #2: FISHING BAIT

      We can’t tell you how many times we’ve headed out to the water with a client only for them to open their tackle box and find no bait inside. It’s a heartbreaking event and one that can put a stop to an entire day of fishing. Make sure you check and then double-check that you have your bait before you head out to the river.

      Not only that, make sure you have the right fishing bait. Some fish, like Sturgeon or salmon, like particular bait more than others. This may be different then what the fish back home like to pursue. Brush up on your bait knowledge and figure out what you should bring to try and attract your particular quarry.

      #3: FISHING POLE

      In the fishing world, leaving your pole at home is equivalent to not being able to find the glasses on your face. We find that the most common reason people forget their fishing pole is because they are so focused on getting to the river. make sure your pool is packed and ready to go and placed in plain sight so you don’t forget it on your way out the door.

      #4: EXTRA TACKLE AND TOOLS

      It’s not uncommon for avid anglers to create a special packing list of tackle and tools to catch a certain type of fish. But specialized tackle can get expensive or time-consuming to make. We often see anglers bring only one bit of tackle or a fly pattern, and then leave frustrated and defeated when a tough trout takes their lure off the end of the line.

      Think about the type of fishing you want to do and bring the right tackle and tools to meet those needs.

      #5: A SENSE OF HUMOR

      You can have the right gear, the right weather, and the right tide times, but you can still walk home empty-handed after a long day of fishing. In moments like these, it’s important to pack a sense of humor and a quick grin in your back pocket. After all, a bad day of fishing still beats a day at the office.

      BOOK YOUR IDAHO FISHING ADVENTURE NOW

      Don’t settle for just any fishing trip, go on a truly incredible one! We offer multi-day fishing adventures that take you through the biggest rapids in Hells Canyon to catch the best fish! Book your trip with Killgore Adventures today!

      CAN YOU FISH IN IDAHO IN WINTER?

      We’re always up for a great adventure, but we do recognize that adventuring gets a little challenging during different seasons throughout the year. While we here at Killgore Adventures are retiring to our warm beds in front of cozy fires for the winter, that doesn’t mean that you have to, and it certainly doesn’t mean that the fish have. 

      We offer our adventure fishing trips from May to October every year, but the fact is, you can go fishing in Idaho nearly all year round. Don’t believe us? Check out some of these places in Idaho where the fishing are biting even during a cold snap.

      WINTER FISHING IN IDAHO

      There’s no denying that Idaho is a dream for outdoor recreators of all kinds. Thanks to its unique terrain and more than 100,000 miles of rivers, anglers, in particular, are treated to some world-class fishing options year-round. Below we’ve put together a quick list of some of our favorite places to go fishing when it starts to get cold outside. You can find out more about these spaces on the Idaho Fish and Game website.

      THE PANHANDLE REGION

      Throughout the panhandle, you’ll find a myriad of lakes that are flush with fish even in winter time. When the weather is right, you’ll enjoy great ice fishing opportunities to pursue northern pike. It’s not uncommon for anglers to catch pike that weigh in at 20 or more pounds. 

      If you’re headed to the Panhandle to do some fishing, check out Hayden lake. The north end of the lake routine freezes over during the winter. You can also explore the Coeur d’Alene chain lakes, which is also popular for those in pursuit of pike. We’re also fans of Avondale Lake, which is not far from Hayden and Coeur d’Alene, making it easy to access. Populations of perch and bluegill have been in flux, so wildlife managers have been stocking the lake with rainbow trout for winter fishers. You can find public parking for the lake at the Avondale Golf Club.

      THE SOUTHWEST REGION

      Traveling to the other corner of the state, you’ll find great fishing on the Boise River. Sections of the river are warmed by the Lucky Peak reservoir, which means that trout and whitefish are active during the colder months. You’ll also see the occasional steelhead which has been kept stocked for anglers, in particular. At Mann Creek Reservoir, ice fishers can pursue rainbow trout and red bands. The C.J. Strike reservoir surprisingly stays free of ice even in winter, making it ideal for those looking to do some fishing from its banks. Finally, you can visit the Wilson Springs Ponds in Nampa, which are spring-fed and serve as an urban fishery that’s kept stocked with rainbow trout.

      THE SALMON AND SNAKE RIVERS

      We’d be remiss if we didn’t cover our favorite rivers in Idaho. 

      Along the Snake River, just below American Falls reservoir, you’ll find thriving populations of trout. On warm winter days, you’re likely to catch more than enough to satisfy you and your fishing pals. Along the Snake River’s South Fork, you’ll find a near-limitless supply of rainbow trout. You’ll even have the chance to reel in some whitefish.

      Pull on your hiking boots or hop on an ATV and head up the East Fork of the Salmon River to get to Jimmy Smith Lake. You’ll find tons of rainbow trout with a 25-ish limit, more than enough to satiate even the most avid of anglers. Plus, head to Hayden ponds to find a spring-fed pond that stays ice-free, making it easy to catch trout.

      SIGN UP FOR YOUR RIVER BOAT FISHING TRIP TODAY

      It’s never too early to start thinking about the warmer weather and all of the fishing opportunities you’ll have. If you’re looking for a new experience, why not book one of our adventure fishing trips? Pursue trout, bass, steelhead, and even sturgeon all from the deck of our amazing jet boats. Connect with us today to learn more about our fishing trips and then book yours today!

      TIPS AND TRICKS FOR WINTER FISHING

      For those truly committed to fishing, there’s never an off-season for the sport. While ore casual anglers might turn in at the first sign of snow, the dedicated simply shrug on another layer, change their lures and head out into the snow and cold. 

      Despite the ice and chilly weather, winter is actually a great time to go fishing. We should know, after all, we lead fishing trips throughout the year here in Idaho. But if you’re new to winter fishing, it helps to have some insider tips and tricks to make your experience more enjoyable and fruitful. So here are some quick things to keep in mind before you head out to the winter landscape of Idaho’s lakes and rivers.

      GEAR UP

      If you haven’t already, make sure to take a minute and get caught up on our recent blog post on how to layer effectively for fall and winter travel. The fact is, you’re going to get cold out there, especially if you decide to wade into the water to pursue your catch. When possible, wear neoprene waders, which do a good job of insulating you from the cold. You’ll want to wear a few layers made from fast-drying wool or synthetic materials. If need be, using a wading staff, as you want to avoid falling into the water.

      Once you’ve got the right layers on, it’s time to prep the rest of your gear for your winter outing. Check the condition of your reels, and if need be, clean them of old grease and oil and replace it with fresh stuff. This ensures that your reel won’t freeze when you’re bringing in the big one. Another thing to keep in mind is your line. The cold can make it difficult to manage your mono-filament and fluorocarbon lines. Use a line conditioner to keep your line from twisting and tangling. You can use the line conditioner on your rod guides to keep water from freezing to them. 

      PICK YOUR SPOT

      Even in warm weather, finding the right spot to go fishing can be challenging, and this process is made only more complicated by the chilly temperatures of winter. Lucky for you, we put together a brief guide on some of our favorite places to go winter fishing in Idaho. You can also make use of resources available through the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. In general, you’ll want to find warmer waters, making tailwaters or areas just downstream of a reservoir ideal spaces to go fishing during the winter. That’s because fish are more likely to congregate there. Trout, for instance, love waters that are around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

      TIMING IS KEY

      While we’d all love to have the freedom to pick up our gear, load up the truck, and go fish whenever we’d like, the fact is that many of us have to work for a living. This can complicate when and for how long we go fishing. This can be even more challenging in the winter, as you have to consider weather windows as well as work schedules. 

      When you’ve picked out a few days to go fishing, make sure you check the weather forecast. Lower barometric pressures indicate an incoming front, which could mean snow and ice. In fact, weather fronts can not only make you more uncomfortable but can affect the fish as well. Just before a front moves in, fish will be more active. Immediately after a front, on the other hand, you’ll notice that the fish are less active.

      GET THERE LATER

      We know, we know, this goes against everything you ever learned about warm weather fishing, but trust us. Take the time to sleep in a little bit and get to your fishing spot around late morning to early afternoon. We’ve found that the best time to go fishing in the winter is between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. By then, the sun will have warmed the water enough that the fish will start to be active. You’ll stay warmer as well, and you’re more likely to catch something. If you’re worried about crowds, don’t be. The cold temperatures are enough to keep all but the most serious of fishers away. 

      BET ON BETTER BAIT

      Choosing the right bait for your winter fishing pursuits can be a little tricky. During the colder months, fish have a reduced metabolism, meaning that they don’t eat as much or as often. That means you have to be particular in your choice of bait.

      Live bait is always a good choice since their natural movements will attract even the chilliest and laziest of fish. If you’re planning on using artificial bait, choose those with hair and feathers, as they move more naturally in colder waters than soft plastic options. If you’re using lures, make sure you’ve got one that can attract and catch multiple species. Finally, make sure your bait is fairly small, as fish will be on the hunt for prey that’s small and easy to digest.

      EXPLORE HELLS CANYON ON A RIVER BOAT FISHING TRIP

      Winter time fishing is a unique way to experience the outdoors. But once the weather starts to warm, it’s time to start thinking about new experiences. Killgore Adventures offers riverboat fishing adventures from May to October. Step aboard our jet boat and pursue trout, bass, and even sturgeon in Hells Canyon! Book your adventure fishing trip today!

      LESSONS YOU LEARN FROM FISHING

      Fishing is widely considered to be one of the most relaxing and contemplative sports out there. When it’s just you, your rod and reel, and the water, it can give you a lot of time to think. While Killgore Adventures amplifies the experience with its riverboat fishing adventures, there are still some quiet lessons to be learned from riverboat fishing. The river serves as one of nature’s greatest classrooms, offering us insights into ourselves and our place in the world. While everyone takes something unique away from their time on our Adventure Fishing trips, we’ve found that there are a few universal lessons that everyone who goes fishing can relate to.

      ENJOY THE QUIET

      While everyone loves to share the story of their big catch, every angler can relate to the sense of quiet and peace they find while fishing. The gentle whir the reel makes with your first cast, the gurgle of the river next to you, and the hum of animal life all around you. It’s in these moments that you quiet yourself too, letting your body and mind relax and focus on enjoying this singular moment completely. When you’ve found this quiet on the river, you’ll be able to identify the important things both in the water and in your life.

      PRACTICE PATIENCE

      A natural extension of inner quiet is patience. When you’re focused on the quiet and the river, you become more patient with your fishing. Putting together your rod and reel is a careful practice, and you take great care to tie on the right fly. Every movement in that first cast is measured and thought-out. And of course, the greatest test of patience is with the fish themselves. Both you and the fish are living life in your best way, and that doesn’t always mean that your lives will intersect at the end of your line. When you practice patience while fishing on the river, you are granted a sense of calm that you can bring with you when you pack up and go home.

      LEARNING TO FAIL WITH GRACE

      Of course, sometimes all the patience in the world doesn’t pay off, and the fish simply aren’t biting. Some might react to this with a sense of frustration and anger, that for all of their work there was no reward. But those who have learned to fail with grace recognize that there was more to the experience than simply catching a fish. They took the time to think about what they felt while fishing, as well as lessons learned out on the water. With this in mind, they can bring this focus with them the next time they go river boat fishing. Learning to fail with grace means that you can continue to try even in the face of the risk of failure.

      GO RIVER BOAT FISHING IN HELLS CANYON

      If you’re ready to learn these lessons and more in an amazing landscape, then it’s time to schedule an adventure fishing tour with Killgore Adventures. We’ll take you up and down the Wild River, or Salmon River sections of Hells Canyon so you can go after salmon, trout, bass, and even ancient sturgeon. Book your adventure fishing tour today!

      CRAFTING THE BEST “BIG FISH” STORY

      Everyone loves a good story, and it seems like everyone has their own version of a “big fish” story, where the fish they caught grows larger every time they tell the story. But crafting the best big fish story takes more effort than simply talking about the fish. Great big fish stories have drama, intrigue, and a bit of levity to them. We know all of this because we’ve spent a lot of time fishing, and maybe just as much time listening to big fish stories. So today, Killgore Adventures, the leading riverboat fishing expedition company in Idaho, will show you how to put together your best big fish story!

      START WITH THE SETTING

      How many tales have you heard that started with “Well there I was…” It’s not a cliche, it’s actually a great way to establish the setting of your story. In this case, you might open by describing the roaring Snake River, deep at the bottom of the immense Hells Canyon. While your story can avoid cliches like “a dark and stormy night,” you can use raging rivers, intense heat, and blustery winds instead. Immerse your listeners into the sights and sounds of Hells Canyon, even if they’ve never been there.

      INTRODUCE YOUR CAST OF CHARACTERS

      Compelling characters can make or break any story. In this case, there’s no one more compelling than you! Play up your dedication to catching “the big one,” or your status as a mere fishing neophyte. Shining the spotlight on yourself doesn’t mean your side characters can be cardboard cutouts. Highlight spectacular people who added to your adventure, for instance, Captain Kurt Killgore, who bravely navigated your boat and crew through the harsh waters of the Snake River. Don’t add too many characters, as they can be hard to keep track of. If a friend went with you on your riverboat fishing trip and is around to hear the story, make sure to tie them into the narrative.

      SET UP YOUR PLOT

      No one wants to listen to someone rambling on about their fishing trip, not even other anglers. Making sure your story has a cohesive plot ensures that listeners will hang onto your every word, waiting to hear what happens next. You’ve already established your setting and characters, so your beginning is taken care of. Next, you need to think about the most important events. For a fishing story, you’ll want to highlight the major conflict of your riverboat fishing trip, the climax of the story, and of course the resolution.

      THE CONFLICT

      It’s you versus the river, versus the fish, versus the world. The conflict of any great big fish story pits you against nature itself. You must overcome adversity, challenging yourself in the process. Your line is cast, it draws taught, you see a large fin snap out of the water, which leads us to…

      THE CLIMAX

      Suddenly, something happens. As you’re struggling to reel in the fish, the rod snaps! Your best friend falls overboard! The captain of the boat falls asleep! This is the height of the story, where listeners aren’t sure if you’ll bring home your prize, or you’ll reach the dock defeated.

      THE RESOLUTION

      End your story with a heroic triumph over the unknown. You rescue your friend and catch a fish that sets a new size record in Hells Canyon. Incredible, truly, you are the hero. While the best big fish stories have an element of the fantastical to them, you’ll want to sure that is still sort of believable.

      TELL A NEW STORY WITH KILLGORE ADVENTURES

      Looking for the best inspiration for a new big fish story? Take a riverboat fishing expedition with Killgore Adventures! Throughout the fishing season, you can go after some of the biggest bass, salmon, and even sturgeon that North America has to offer! Sign up today!