Life off Interstate 84 - Idaho

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(19 April 2014)  My name is Tim Bondy and the owner of this website.  As of Jan 1st, 2014 we moved to a different domain.  Please head over to the Bondy Blogs Website at  Different address, different system but same type of great articles, photos, stories and information. 

You are here: Mtn Home Outdoor Local Outdoor News Early Season Fishing at Long Tom Reservoir

Early Season Fishing at Long Tom Reservoir

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Fishing Long Tom Reservoir Lead Photo by Bondy

(April 17th, 2012) An April 2012 fishing trip to Long Tom Reservoir started out with a short but semi-torturous hike in, loud neighbors but some great views. Unfortunately, this “close to Mountain Home, Idaho” fishing trip wasn't exactly stellar.

The Prep Work was Done
I was looking for an early season fishing trip and Long Tom Reservoir seemed like an easy and quick place to explore. With Google Earth and some USGS topo maps, I set my off-trail hike into the north side of this little written about body of water. With a few “way points” uploaded into my GPS unit, I was ready to go.

The Hike
As usual, my ever-present Plott Hound dog, Addie was with me and we headed straight west into the sagebrush steepe. As anyone who has hiked in southern Idaho knows, there isn't any straight paths through the sage brush. And there are very few straight paths up, over and through this landscape of rocks, small cliffs and canyons that seemed deeper than what I saw on the maps.

Overall, the hike in was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. The shallow canyons seemed more like full-fledged canyons at least far as my lungs and legs were concerned. But the steeper than expected terrain also made for better scenery. I was glad to find a game/cattle trail down in the canyon that would take me to Long Tom and some fishing.

Standing on canyon rim above Long Tom Reservoir

The Fishing
Obviously, without any roads into this area I was pretty darn sure I wouldn't see anyone else and I was right. Being the high water season, the banks were pretty steep but there were plenty of places to fish in both directions.

From Fishing Long Tom Reservoir

Being the first fishing trip in about 18 months, I still had some old fishing line on my reel and this caused some tangling problems. And the lack of recent casting experience might have resulted in a few errant lure throws also. But I got to go fishing.

Did I catch any fish? Nope! I did get a few bona-fide hits on my lure. And I saw a few glimpses of fish following my lure in towards shore, so I know there are fish in Long Tom Reservoir. So, if you have some time, head out there for some fishing.


Other Information
  • There is road access to the southern end of Long Tom. I hiked that road last year and figured this year the chances of getting stuck axle deep in mud was pretty high this time of year. I was also looking for some good exercise that I wouldn't get by driving in.
  • The water in Long Tom Reservoir is awful “white” and reminds me of glacial flour. Of course it's not.
  • The place I fished wasn't exactly a peaceful place. There were a couple pairs of Canadian Geese making this section of the lake their home and were quite (and continuously) vocal about our presence in the neighborhood. Addie didn't enjoy racket anymore than I did.

View Larger Map

The Stats
- Road miles from Mountain Home: About 21 miles
- Hiking mileage: 1.97 miles
- Total Elevation Gain/Loss on hike: 575 feet
- Fish caught: None
- Enjoyment Factor: High
- Link to more pictures of this local fishing trip:

Hike up and unnamed canyon near Long Tom Reservoir

The Local Environment
As far as I could determine, most of the land I hiked on was BLM lands. Apparently the lakeshore around most of Long Tom Reservoir is privately owned, but I saw no signs or fences during this hike.

I didn't see any trash/garbage along my route or even around the lake itself which is sort of surprising. Being BLM lands, cattle grazing is allowed in this area so there were plenty of cow patties to detour around.

I surprised 3 mule deer during this hike. And my dog got into the action chasing them for about 5 minutes before figuring it was useless trying to catch up to these swift animals.

Hope you enjoyed my first story in well over 1 month. Hopefully I can get motivated to start posting more articles in the near future,  Comment away if you wish.


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