BUHL, Idaho (AP) -- While most anglers spend the winter months only dreaming about fishing, Jeff Cates stalks big rainbow trout in Clear Lake on the grounds of Buhl Country Club.
Clear Lake's constant water temperature of 54 degrees gives southern Idaho fishermen a place to practice their avocation all year long. It also was recently stocked with 10,000 pounds of two- to five-pound trout and will be stocked continually throughout the winter."It's perfect for fishing," said Cates, who makes a trip to the lake every few weeks from Boise.
Clear Lake is a pay-to-fish area operated by the country club. There is a two-fish limit and only fly fishing is allowed.
Assistant golf professional Tim Hasbrouck knows almost as much about rainbow trout as he does 9-irons and greens.
"There are a lot of big fish down there," he said. "These fish are stocked from local fish hatcheries. When they get too large for the hatcheries, they sell them and we buy them."
Not many country clubs have a fishing hole, Hasbrouck said, especially one that stocks trout up to 14 pounds.
And even though the fishing is ideal for beginners, it is still a challenge to find the bigger fish. Expert fly anglers are faced with getting their flies past the four- and five-pound fish while trying to catch the nine- to 14-pound rainbow trout.