Regional Reports-West

Dworshak Reservoir

Pack up your bass gear, because Dworshak Reservoir's trophy smallmouth bass bite this month, and don't forget to take a hunting rifle, too. Idaho's current state-record smallie, an eight-pound-plus bass, was caught here back in 1995 on 6-pound-test line. The fish ate a three-inch Berkley Power Grub fished along the shoreline of this huge lake. "The guy who caught that fish was boating back from his elk camp and decided to do some bass fishing on his way home," says Stu Kestner, at Riverside Sport Shop in Orofino. "October is the best month for big fish and numbers of smaller fish really hitting the feed. But there's very little fishing pressure." You can troll with silver-and-black or crayfish-imitating crankbaits, but the best big-fish tactic is vertical jigging with three- to five-inch grubs or drop-shotting plastic worms. Concentrate on rocky points from Dent to the dam, and around Canyon Creek; you should be able to find fish all the way to the head of the reservoir. Launch a boat at Canyon Creek or Freeman Creek and prepare to fish as deep as 30 feet along ledges, boulder fields and any stretch of shoreline where rock transitions to sand. There's plenty of hunting along the reservoir's shores, too. This is the first year Idaho Fish and Game has capped rifle elk tags in the Dworshak zone (unit 10A). The 2,380 B tags are available on a first-come basis, so either make sure you can still buy one or plan to hunt the November muzzleloader season on the unlimited A tag. You might want to wait for November to hunt rutting whitetails along the shores of the reservoir. Contact: Idaho Fish and Game, Lewiston (208-799-5010).