Hey thanks for tuning into KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle. Hey tonight we have a really cool show for you. We are going to take you to a reservoir that we’ve never fished before and we are going to try and fish for a species through the ice that we’ve never caught through the ice before. We are also going to take you on a great snowmobiling ride just a few hours from the Wasatch Front. First though, we had to stop off here with our friends from Trax PowerSports Rentals here in Provo and pick up a couple of sleds.
Renting machines is a great deal for most people that ride them.
You don’t have to worry about storing them, you don’t have to worry about maintaining them. You just come and drop it off when you are done.
We rent snowmobiles, we rent side by sides, we’ve got side by sides with the snow tracks on them. In the summertime we also rent boats, jet skis, and four wheelers as well.
You get the trailer, you get everything included that you need to. We’ve also got accessories if you need helmets and snow gear, or if you need gear for the boat, we rent all of that.
We even rent a rescue package which includes your beacon, probe and the shovel all packed nicely in a backpack.
Alright Taylor, we look tight we are ready to go. We are going to go ice fishing, we’ll see you in a couple of days. Sounds good we’ll see you. Alright see you up there.
We’re headed to beautiful southeastern Idaho. Our goal is to catch kokanee salmon through the ice and our first destination is Ririe Reservoir, located just east of Idaho Falls.
Well before we go snowmobiling, we are actually going to go ice fishing with a local fishing legend here in Idaho. His name is Bill Sc heiss. Let’s go meet him.
This is the best kokanee fishing in the state I believe right now.
And this is Bill Schiess. A retired school teacher, journalist and a world renowned fly fisherman who literally wrote the book on fishing Henrys Lake.
I’ll drill this one.
And Bill is also an avid ice fisherman. He fishes Ririe about three times a week.
I fish this in the summer probably once or twice a week. In the wintertime I fish most Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
I just enjoy getting out, it beats the heck out of TV.
Bill deploys five kokanee rigged rods, all at different depths to maximize his fishing efforts.
When the kokanee come in, they come in a big group. They just color the screen red.
If they come in between 20 and 30 feet I will jig these two rods. If they come in deeper I’ll jig these rods. Holy crud! Look at them all! Big school. Come on baby. Come on eat it.
There he is. Little perch.
But hey it’s a fish. The bite… Maybe the bite is turning on?
Oh no, it’s a kokanee. Clear on the bottom huh? I thought it was a perch. I caught it on a Hali. What the heck? That is the first kokanee I’ve ever iced. Look at that little guy.
Little silver bullet up here in Idaho. He is going to go home to the Camp Chef smoker and make some awesome dinner.
There he is.
Kokanee run in schools. So when the fish come through, it’s all hands on deck.
Oh! John’s got one!
Ok, another one.
Bill doesn’t waste a second when the bite is on. Once he gets the fish to the surface, he throws his rod, fish and all and keeps on truckin’.
And I jig them vigorously because when they are dropping they are taking.
This is about the size that we are catching right now. Beautiful silver sided kokanee.
You got one? Hey that’s a good one.
I think this one is on the buck shot. Little perch.
Alright how is that possible? I got a perch on my buckshot which is supposed to be a kokanee lure and a kokanee on my hali jig which is supposed to be a perch lure. What am I doing wrong Bill? I’m catching fish, just not with the right lures. You have to remember, fish are like woman, they change their mind often.
Well Mike we are catching a few. And we’ve got some right now messing with us. It’s nice, very few people out here right now. Got the place to ourselves. I know, not like when we started. It’s not like Echo has been the last month or so, catching all of those perch, you can come up here and actually have a little elbow room.
So why would you make the drive from the Wasatch Front to come fish here? In a word, opportunity.
Well we have, right here in our backyard we have Ririe Reservoir that we are fishing, this close to Idaho Falls. We also have the South Fork of the snake river. A pretty famous stretch of river.
We also have Henry’s Fork, a famous stretch to fish as well.
And then you know we have Henry’s Lake. And then you head over, towards Mackay area we have more high mountain lakes and smaller creeks over there.
Utah has got a lot of great opportunities and things there, but I think as far… we just don’t have the population base that Utah has. Here in this valley, you have lakes, rivers, you know, creeks, you just have it all. You really do.
Huge bunch of fish.
We stock about 300,000.
Kokanee. Smokeanee. Oh and he got off right at the hole!
A little over 300,000 kokanee in here a year.
They are from top to bottom. They’re from 15 feet down all the way to 70.
So there is plenty of opportunity for people to come out here and fish, troll and ice fish and get into them.
Whoa! He came off.
We also stock the rainbows in here, about 10 thousand or so every year in here.
Ok what I’m doing is reeling these up to, these were at 40 feet and I’m reeling them up to the twenty foot depth.
In addition to kokanee and rainbows. Ririe is also a good summer smallmouth fishery. There’s also a few lake trout, and great population of, perch!
Oh good perch, healthy, fatty.
They are up to 8,9,10,11 inches. In this reservoir, we get a lot. When I set nets here in the fall here we get 2 thousand, 3 thousand perch in our nets. There’s plenty of perch out here.
There he is.
Bill is catching more than double the amount of kokanee, than the rest of us. His setup is simple. He uses a pink Swedish pimple tipped with Gulp maggots and he pre-baits more lures on extra rods. So that when he catches a fish, he can just chuck it and drop another.
There’s a fish.
We are catching the kokes suspended, twenty to forty feet over seventy feet of water. Jigging vigorously is important as kokanee are territorial and are striking our lures out of aggression. The kokes come in waves, if you don’t see them for awhile, don’t worry they’ll be back.
If people have a desire to learn how to do this. They know where they can find me. Right here on the west side of Ririe Reservoir in about 60 feet of water. And uh, anybody that wants to learn about it, they can come out and I’ll show them. In fact I’ve probably given away more pink Swedish pimples than I care to believe.
The kokanee limit is fifteen and ice anglers are only allowed to fish the first one mile of Ririe reservoir above the dam.
I got something.
If you do come, you’ll find reasonable hotel rates in nearby Idaho Falls and plenty of elbow room to come and enjoy yourself.
Hey, there’s a dandy.
Welcome back to KSL Outdoors, back here in Idaho, I’m Adam Eakle. Well you can’t come up to Idaho, especially in the winter and not come to Island Park and go snowmobiling. So that’s what we do, we’ve got a bunch of people, most of them from Utah. In fact, we are going to go see some sights that I’ve actually never seen before. Let’s go.
So where are we headed? We are going to head to Stan Meadows. So we are going to head back down towards Robins Roost.
And then we’ll head across Stan Meadows trail, back to the west, head down into what they call the shotgun area.
And then we’ll cross back over to the Henry’s Fork.
Jason and his wife Holly have a cabin in the area and say they purchased their getaway in part because of the great snowmobile riding that Island Park is famous for.
We probably spend more time up here in the winter than we do during the summer. Why’s that? Snowmobiling.
It’s quiet, there’s something surreal about being out in the snow.
There is over 740 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. So then all of those trails you can access all of the backcountry stuff you want. You can play wherever.
You couldn’t ask for a better day to go snowmobiling.
So this is the Upper Mesa Falls, there’s an upper and a lower falls. The upper is really just one large waterfall and the lower falls is a series of tiered waterfalls.
It’s just peaceful and beautiful and get away from everything. The kids like it up here? They love it.
Yeah, they’re just, you can see everything up here. Lots of moose still live up here all winter long, so you can see those on the upper part of the Henry’s Fork.
There’s actually a lot of wildlife that lives year round on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, in part because this water is a constant 52 degrees. Here at Big Springs where the Henry’s Fork starts is also where you can see one of the most photographed sites in Island Park. This is the Johnny Sack Cabin. Johnny built his cabin at Big Springs in 1929. Fifty years later, the cabin became part of the National Register of Historic Places.
If somebody wants to bring their family up here, you know between 70-150 dollars a night you can get a pretty nice cabin. Bring your whole family up for a night, two nights. The nice thing, from the Ogden area in Utah, it’s four hours, you know, door to door. Jump in the car, come up on a Friday after work, spend Saturday, Sunday, go home Sunday night.
That’s what we did. We stayed at Drift Lodge. The cabins were great, warm, and only about ninety bucks a night. There is also plenty of really nice restaurants, just down the road.
We have eleven cabins here, we have two more that we manage over on Henry’s Lake on Stalely Springs. I have… it’s a full service fly shop. So anything and everything you need for fly fishing.
Mike is also a fishing guide on Henry’s and Sheridan Lake as well as inside Yellowstone.
When do you think is a good time to come up here. Oh the end of June, middle of June towards the middle of July. Big bug hatches up here, it’s good fishing all the time. There is always something happening. We have so many waters that we can always find you something.
Hey this is a neat place to come out and don’t forget the wintertime is a great time, very few people here and the rates are reasonable. Pretty reasonable here for food, and lodging.