Sheridan Lake remains one of Idaho’s best-kept secrets. It is privately owned, however you can make an appointment and be one of the 8 rods allowed daily on the water. Only 19 miles west of Island Park, ID, Sheridan is known for its near 400 acres of surface area and broad shouldered feisty kamloop rainbow trout. You will also find snake river cutthroat and brook trout, just to spice things up a little.
Sheridan Lake is a quiet, private refuge for people and fish alike. Originally built from a natural pond for irrigation, this lake has an average depth of 10 feet, but goes to 25 feet deep in some areas. Besides the natural trout population, over 14,000 kamloop were introduced to the waters in 2004. In 2005 another 16,000 were added, along with 14,000 Snake River cutthroats and 5,000 plus Brook trout. Leeches, minnows, freshwater shrimp and snails are plentiful, which explains the trophy-sized fish.
Loaded with opportunity of big fish, using 5-weight to 7-weight rods gives you great casting and landing with little effort and tremendous thrill. There is a limit to how many people can fish the lake at any given time so the fish are always ready to bite and put on some aerial shows.
The lake is loaded with leeches and Chronomids. The fish love them. In early spring there can be multiple Chronomid hatches come off at the same time. Sometimes it’s hard to determine which one they like best. We’ve found Scientific Angler’s Wet-Cel and uniform sink lines, with 9′ leaders and 3X tippets work well.
You can also expect to catch some top water action during certain periods on the lake. The Damsel hatch is awesome, as are the caddis hatches and the (Gulpers) Callibaetis hatches. At times, they will test your abilities and require a dry fly line with a 15′ leader, but ohhh it’s fun.
With Island Park and West Yellowstone just minutes from this fly-fishing paradise, activities surrounding Sheridan Lake abound. Big game, such as elk, moose, deer and bear share the land while bald eagles soar high above. It’s not uncommon to see Osprey catch their meal while you’re fishing or enjoying the many activities in the area. Horseback riding, cycling and hiking are popular activities in the area, as are cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in the winter months.
Sheridan Lake provides you lively stillwater, fast action, breathtaking scenery, and solitude. If you truly want to get away from it all, here is an absolute gem. One private, personal experience in this pristine wilderness will confirm your passion of fly-fishing great stillwater.