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Idaho Lakes - Magic Reservoir
Idaho's Magic Reservoir

Magic Reservoir is located about midway between Ketchum and Twin Falls, Idaho. It was constructed in 1909 for irrigation storage. At full pool the reservoir has an area of 3,700 acres, is 5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide and a maximum depth of 120 feet. Boat ramps in the East and West Magic resort areas are usable through out the summer. Ramps accessible from Highway 20 are only usable at high water levels. Camping is allowed at Lava Point and along the shoreline.

Rainbow trout and perch are the primary fish in Magic. During good water years, large shallow areas along the southwest side of the reservoir produce huge quantities of small aquatic insects which are available for both to eat. During these years, trout and perch grow rapidly and provide anglers with great fishing.

Rainbow Trout Fishing
The trout fishery in Magic Reservoir depends on spring stocking of hatchery rainbow trout. Trout remaining in the reservoir for two years or more easily reach 4 and 5 pounds.

Magic Reservoir has ample opportunities for bank anglers. Access is easy along the southwest side from Lava Point past West Magic to the dam. Anglers can also reach the reservoir at East Magic, Hot Springs and Moonstone areas. Bank anglers do best using nightcrawlers or eggs on number 8 to 10 hooks. Using a bobber or marshmallows helps keep the bait up off the bottom and may increase angler success.

Boat anglers do well trolling through out the reservoir, however areas along the east side and in the narrows may be best. Trollers use a variety of gear including lures, spinners and even flies. The use of boats will allow anglers to access a few isolated areas in the narrows or in the inlet bays that are difficult for bank anglers to access.

A third method of fishing that is popular at Magic Reservoir is the use of float tubes. Anglers fishing from tubes primarily fly fish using either small dry flies or sinking wet flies. When using dry flies, anglers normally try to match the hatch which is most often midges. When using wet flies, leaches and small midge larvae imitations are good.

Brown Trout Fishing
Brown trout are found in low numbers through out the reservoir, but tend to concentrate more along the rocky eastern shore. Slowly trolling along the shore with an imitation fishing lure near the bottom is one of the better methods of catching these fish. Some anglers also drift along the shore casting lures into the rocky areas similar to fishing for bass.

Yellow Perch Fishing
Yellow perch fishing in Magic Reservoir depends on the amount of water staying in the reservoir during the summer. In good water years when water levels flood the shallow benches on the west side, perch grow larger and numbers increase. If water levels drop down into the canyon during the middle of the summer, there is a decline in both numbers and growth rates. It generally takes two good water years in a row to produce good numbers of 9 to 11 inch perch. Perch can be caught with worms or small jigs on a common spinning outfit.

Ice Fishing
During winter months, ice fishing on Magic Reservoir can be excellent for both perch and trout. Areas near the dam and lower canyon are some of the best. Anglers can use up to five rods or tip ups when fishing through the ice. Remember to test the ice before fishing especially at the start and towards the end of ice cover.


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