DOWNSTREAM FROM THE DAM
Fly-anglers rule this picturesque stretch in Lake Owyhee State Park, before the Owyhee River becomes a slow, agricultural river outside the canyon. It’s a place to be fished year-round with some care.
Experts describe two seasons on the river: high water and low water. Since the flow is dam-controlled, when this occurs depends somewhat on the needs of farmers and ranchers. But typically mid-April to mid-September is high water, while flows are lower the rest of the year. Success will be tougher during high water.
Below the dam is a renowned blue-ribbon fishery, where brown trout get so big that fishing stories just might be true. Brown trout are catch-and-release. Be gentle on these fish. They spawn in October and November, so it’s best to stay away from them at these times. In December and January, the big browns are weak from spawning; it’s especially important then not to remove them from the water after bringing them in. A few hatchery rainbow trout swim in the Owyhee River too.
This section of the Owyhee River is also a pleasant place to relax. Campsites exist along the river, as do the Snively Hot Springs.