When the weather’s cold, bank anglers on some southern Idaho reservoirs turn to drive-in fishing.
In this case, drive-in isn’t watching the big screen, but looking through your windshield at your fishing pole in a rod holder on the water’s edge.
The main feature isn’t the movie “Grumpy Old Men,” but rather seeing a fresh rainbow trout at the end of your line.
Throughout the winter months, anglers can be been driving down to the water’s edge and casting out a line, and then going back inside their trucks to sit with the heater blasting away and listening to the radio. When it gets down to the low 30s, and the winds blowing, nobody’s going to be standing on the reservoir shore watching a fishing rod.
I’ve seen drive-in anglers all through November and December near the Turner Gulch boat ramp at Lucky Peak Reservoir. I expect to see them in January and February, depending on the weather.
Last month, before sheet ice formed on the shoreline near Springs Shores on the upper end of Lucky Peak Reservoir, anglers were fishing from the comfort of their trucks along the beach.
In November, I’ve seen anglers drive-in fishing on the beaches at Arrowrock Reservoir. (Those were hardy souls who braved the icy, curvy gravel road going around Arrowrock Dam. Most of us don’t like to drive that road in the summer, let alone in winter.)
Some truck anglers set up tables and chairs, and sit outside for a few minutes before retreating to the warmth of their trucks. Some built campfires, but end up sitting in their trucks to get out of the wind. The bitter wind can drop the wind chill like a lead sinker.
Is it worth it? Bank anglers this winter are catching a fair amount of trout from the shores of Lucky Peak. Trout from those icy waters taste mighty good.
There are a few hazards of truck fishing like getting stuck in the sand or a snowbank, sliding down an icy boat ramp, clanking your oil pan on a boulder, getting a flat tire after running over a piece of driftwood with nails or wearing down the truck battery running the seat warmers.
Drive-in fishing will probably continue as long as the sandy beaches remain frozen or firm enough to drive on and there is enough open water to cast a line.
It’s an Idaho thing.