One thing all my favorite camping locations in Idaho have in common is that they are all near water. I love being outdoors in the sun and beautiful scenery, but I also need a place to cool my feet and fish. The Hayspur campsite and fish hatchery in Picabo is one of our most frequently visited sites, not because it is beautiful but because it is close to home. Magic Valley reservoir isn't far from the camp sites. Pine is among our favorite places because of the beauty and the variety of water. Pine has a great river with occasional hot springs along it and all the camping is close to Anderson Ranch Reservoir.

With the coronavirus pandemic still a worry for many, these camping locations seem to be more important than ever for our sanity. We feel a need to get out of our everyday homes to live like a hobo for a few days to reset and rest our minds. Even when we can't get in a full weekend of camping, my family has made fishing our get-out-of-the-house activity to make sure we get some sun and aren't on screens all day long. We have found that fishing at Dierke's is a lot better than we had expected.

We also got a hot-tip from a friend that I'm going to share with you: some of the large breeder stock of trout was recently dumped into the reservoir in Mackay. We've seen friends pull out some monster sized fish in the last few weeks. We decided to test the info and went up to Mackay last weekend. I threw in my line right when we got there and had a fish before my wife got our of the car. We continued to have good luck for the next hour and a half, pulling in seven good sized rainbow trout. One that got away was so big it snapped our line just a few feet from the shore.

There are a few places you can easily fish at Mackay. We heard that the bigger fish were being caught near the boat launch area at  Fallini campground, but we opted to head towards to other end of the lake and still had great luck. Of course we were fishing with our favorite bait again - marshmallows. Check out some of the fish we have caught this year, including our trout with the Fish and Game tag in the fin.

Idaho Fish Catches

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Pine and Featherville Hot Springs

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