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AKA: Dworshak Lake

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Dworshak Reservoir, ID

Popular Fish Species Dworshak Reservoir, ID

Dworshak Reservoir Popular Fish - Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Smallmouth bass are a favorite of many locals at Dworshak Reservoir, as they are plentiful and easy to catch, once located. Fishing for smallmouth bass is good anytime they are shallow - in spring, during high water, mornings in summer and during warmer fall afternoons. Use shallow crankbaits around rip rap, and around grass use worms, jigs, topwater and spinnerbaits. In winter, spend your time on deeper structure with small worms, jigs and spoons.

Kokanee Salmon

Kokanee Salmon

Sockeye salmon which remain landlocked, never migrating to the ocean, are called kokanee salmon. Typically kokanee average about one to two pounds. As one of the premiere kokanee fishing lakes in Idaho, Dworshak Reservoir has the largest population of kokanee salmon and delivers plenty of fish above average. These tasty fish school in lakes at depths which remain at ideal temperatures of between 48 and 58 degrees. Once this depth is identified, use a fish finder to locate schools. Use small lures trolled at the appropriate depth. The can also be caught using corn, but the main way they are caught is using flashy lures which they attack when the lure intrudes their space.

Dworshak Reservoir Popular Fish - Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout Fishing

Even though smallmouth bass and kokanee salmon get the most attention at Dworshak Reservoir, this year fishing for rainbow trout is on the rise. Catching rainbow trout here often involves using worms, salmon eggs, prepared baits, small spinners, spoons, and crankbaits in vibrant colors to mimic their preferred prey. Additionally, floating or sinking flies, such as nymphs, streamers, or dry flies, are popular choices for fly anglers targeting rainbow trout. Trolling with lures or flies behind a boat, casting near shoreline structures, or still fishing with bait can all yield success. Adjusting lure size, color, and retrieve speed can enhance chances of enticing these colorful and spirited fish.

Dworshak Reservoir Fishing Video

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for smallmouth bass, black crappie, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon and steelhead at Dworshak Reservoir in Idaho.

Extending more than 50 miles, Dworshak Reservoir covers 16,500 surface acres providing excellent fishing lake in the northwest part of the state. Much of the 175 miles of shoreline is mostly accessible by boat.

Dworshak Reservoir, located in northern Idaho, is a premier destination for fishing enthusiasts. This vast reservoir, nestled amidst the picturesque Clearwater National Forest, offers a serene setting and excellent angling opportunities. Anglers are drawn to Dworshak Reservoir for its diverse fish populations and the chance to catch some of Idaho's popular fish species.

One of the prized catches in Dworshak Reservoir is the trophy-sized kokanee salmon. These landlocked sockeye salmon provide an exhilarating angling experience, known for their acrobatic jumps and tenacious fights. The reservoir is also home to other popular species such as rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, and catfish. Anglers can choose from a variety of fishing techniques, including trolling, fly fishing, and bait fishing, to target these sought-after species.

Dworshak Reservoir is a true paradise for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts, showcasing the best of Idaho's natural beauty. Whether you're casting a line for kokanee salmon, cruising the reservoir's tranquil waters, or camping under the starry night sky, Dworshak Reservoir promises an unforgettable experience. Its diverse fish populations, ample boating opportunities, and picturesque camping areas make it a must-visit destination for those seeking outdoor adventures in northern Idaho.

There are roads surrounding the lake, some primitive, that do provide some access for fishing from the bank. Shoreline fishing is available along sections of the roads that run close to the lake, at both ends of Dent Bridge, and the campgrounds and boat launch ramps. Fishing and pleasure boats are welcome as are pontoon boats, canoes and kayaks. The lake has no restrictions on boat motor HP. At an elevation of only 1,600 feet above sea level, the waters are ideal for both warm-water and cold-water fish species. Trout, salmon, steelhead, crappie and bass are favorites here and the lake receives annual stockings of rainbow trout.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Idaho

Primary fish species residing in Dworshak Reservoir

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Smallmouth bass Black crappie Rainbow trout Cutthroat trout Kokanee salmon Steelhead

Dworshak Reservoir Amenities

Marina: NO
Boat Rental: NO
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: NO
Bait & Tackle: NO
Restaurant: NO

Today's Weather & Forecast

Beyond fishing, Dworshak Reservoir offers ample opportunities for boating enthusiasts. With its expansive waters and stunning scenery, boaters can enjoy leisurely cruises, engage in water sports, or explore the reservoir's secluded coves and bays. Whether you prefer motorized boats, kayaks, or canoes, Dworshak Reservoir provides plenty of space for recreational boating activities and the chance to discover hidden gems along its shoreline.

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Big Eddy Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off Viewpoint Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Bruce's Eddy Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest corner of the lake, off A Road, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Canyon Creek Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, southeast side, off Canyon Creek Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Dent Acres Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, northwest section, north side, off Old Dent Road, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Freeman Creek Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, west side, off Three Meadows Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.


Big Eddy Lodge and Marina
3286 Viewpoint Rd
Ahsahka, ID 83520
208 476-5994

Fishing Guides On Dworshak Reservoir

ReelTime Fishing Guides - smallmouth bass

If you offer fishing guide services on this lake, please contact us for a free listing, to be posted here.

Fishing License

Click here for a Idaho Fishing License.

Camping is a popular activity for those looking to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Dworshak Reservoir. The area offers several campgrounds with beautiful lakefront views, where visitors can set up tents or park their RVs. Camping near Dworshak Reservoir allows anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to wake up to breathtaking sunrises over the water, enjoy peaceful evenings around a campfire, and have easy access to prime fishing spots along the shoreline.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Dworshak State Park Campground - 888 922-6743

Freeman Creek Campground - 208 476-3132

Dent Acres Campground - 208 476-1255

Lodging Nearby

Best Western Lodge at River's Edge - 208 476-9999

Helgeson Place Hotel Suites - 208 476-5729

White Pine Motel - 208 476-7093

Dworshak Reservoir ID Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Dworshak Reservoir
Dworshak State Park
9934 Freeman Creek
Lenore, ID 83541
888 922-6743


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Dworshak Reservoir in Idaho.

Information about fishing lakes in Idaho

Dworshak Reservoir offers trout, salmon, steelhead, crappie and bass fishing in northwest Idaho.

Fishing on Dworshak Reservoir.