Lake and Stream Fishing

The Priest Lake area offers a wide variety of choices to the angler. Fishing opportunities include trophy-sized Mackinaw in Priest Lake, cutthroat fishing in the nearby alpine lakes, brook trout angling in the numerous streams in the Priest basin, catch-and-release fishing for westslope cutthroat in Upper Priest Lake and great ice-fishing on Cavanaugh Bay.

Lake Fishing North Idaho’s Priest Lake

Kids Fishing Priest LakeMackinaw (lake trout) is the predominate species in Priest Lake and trophy-sized fish are not uncommon. The Idaho state record for Mackinaw (57 1/2 pounds) was caught at Priest Lake in 1971. Mackinaw fishing methods include downriggers, leaded line, wire line and jigging – all designed to present lures near the bottom especially during the summer and winter months. For the inexperienced Mackinaw angler or the trophy fish hunter, it is recommended that a fishing guide be hired. There are a number of highly-recommended and very experienced guide services listed under Recreation Guide & Services in our Business Directory. Priest Lake is open year-round to fishing with a harvest limit of six lake trout per day.

Fishing in Upper Priest Lake and Upper Priest River is restricted to catch-and-release, no bait, and single, barbless hooks. These restrictions are necessary to protect the bull trout which has been declared “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act and to assist in the recovery of the native westslope cutthroat population.

Stream and Alpine Lake Fishing

Stream fishing in the numerous creeks in the area is also a popular pastime. The predominant species in most of the creeks is brook trout, although you may hook an occasional cutthroat or rainbow trout.
Priest River, downstream from the Priest Lake outlet dam, is open all year for fishing.

Various alpine lakes nestled in the Selkirks on the east side of Priest Lake are stocked with trout. These include the following lakes: Hunt, Standard and Two Mouth. These secluded lakes offer a great opportunity to hike scenic trails, topped off with a backcountry fishing experience.

On the west side, Petit Lake is a fly fisherman’s delight. Muskegon Lake, located just off USFS Road 1013 north of Granite Pass also offers good fishing. Float tube fishing is recommended for both lakes – and remember Washington state fishing regulations apply as both of these lakes are located in that state.

Moose Lake Fishing Pond

The Moose Lake Fishing Pond has become a great place for the kids to experience fishing success – and a few parents and grandparents have been known to drop a line in Moose Lake too. The lake is privately owned, but open to the public.

An attractive feature of the pond is the two pathways that lead most of the way around the north and south shorelines – however, they do not connect. Approach the pond carefully as moose are known to frequent the lake. You may also be able to spot an elusive wood duck on the pond or an occasional osprey circling above.

Duck – Photography by Lori BarnesMoose Lake’s location within the beautiful forest of Huckleberry Bay creates the perfect environment for a day of fast-action fishing for young and old alike. The pond is liberally stocked with trout twice yearly by Idaho Fish & Game. Benches and a picnic table are also available – so bring a lunch and enjoy. Please remember, this is private property and access rights can be withdrawn if the pond is abused with litter, etc. – PACK-IT-IN PACK-IT-OUT. Idaho fishing regulations apply at the pond.

Getting There

Moose Lake Fishing Pond is located just off the Eastshore Road approximately ½ mile north of milepost 16. A road sign clearly marks the turn-off to the parking area, which is located a few yards off the main roadway. The pond is approximately 1/4 mile south of the parking area via a marked trail.

You may also join the many Priest Lake area residents who fish for bass in Chase Lake. It is located 1-1/2 miles south of Coolin, off East River Road. The Chase Lake season is open from July 1 – December 31 for bass harvest and gasoline-powered motors are prohibited on the lake.