There’s something legendary about America’s northwest. Just look at the names: the Bighorn Mountains, Glacier National Park, Olympic Peninsula. It seems like everywhere you turn there are larger-than-life landscapes and historic locations.
Getting caught up in the majesty of the northwest is easy, but anglers know that the region is also a great place for fishing. With abundant trout streams, lakes, rivers, and easy access to the Pacific Ocean, there are plenty of places for northwest anglers to visit.
Let’s take a look at the top fishing spots that you should know about in the northwest.
When you think of fishing in Idaho, or anywhere in the northern Rockies, you probably think of shallow trout streams full of clear mountain water. Well you should also think of Lake Coeur d’Alene, one of the best bass lakes in the country. This lake has been increasing in productivity over the years, and was named the #11 bass lake in the nation for Bassmasters’ 2015 list.
Located to the west of Seattle, Puget Sound is one of the finest saltwater fishing areas in the world. This narrow channel offers excellent angling, and it’s one of the main sources for Seattle’s vibrant fish markets. Different sections are open for fishing at different times of the year, but the area from Vashon Island to Admiralty Inlet is one of the best places to catch king salmon.
Located at the bottom of a deep canyon, Bighorn Lake offers supreme fishing for anglers of all kinds. The area is a favorite location for campers, and anglers looking to catch bass, catfish, trout, walleye, and crappie can get in on the fun too. With a great park, the area also has ponds for shore, canoe, and kayak fishing.
Oregon and Washington residents are spoiled with great saltwater fishing thanks to the Pacific Ocean, but anglers who want a different experience can head to the Columbia River, which forms most of the border between these two northwestern states. The Columbia River is one of the top locations for bass, and it’s also a national hotspot for walleye, a species usually associated with the center of the country.
Montana anglers have lots of options thanks to mountain streams and rivers like the Yellowstone. One lake in particular stands out as the top choice for bass anglers: the Noxon Rapids Reservoir. Meaty largemouth are a common sight on this scenic lake, helping create a bass craze in a state primarily known for it’s trout fishing.
Kyle Alsop and Taylor Bivins of Kansas State University are the winners of the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, thanks to a series of consistent weights. They finished the tournament on Kentucky's Green River Lake with 36 pounds, 4 ounces.
The Kansas State team was the only one in the field of 89 teams to bring in more than 10 pounds every day.
You often hear the phrase there is nothing more important than a friend but like many other clichés of life especially at today’s pace, many of these old time sayings are said without really understanding their meaning. As I look back at the past five decades of my life spent in blue water and at my hunting career which has taken me all over the globe, I lift both hands in front of me and start counting off the friends which I could call at any time day or night for help; those who would put their life in jeopardy to save mine, or for that matter those who I can count on in the absolute worst of situations.
America (and much of the globe) seems to have an obsession with billfish, but few species are as popular as the Atlantic blue marlin. Not that there is anything wrong with black marlin, sailfish, swordfish, or striped marlin; it’s just that the blue marlin, which is the largest of the billfish group, has captured the hearts and passions of anglers for centuries.
If you want to join the ranks of anglers who’ve pulled up a blue marlin, you have your work cut out for you. But with the right techniques, you can add this world-class trophy to your list.