Captain Tim Parrish and Jordan Rodriguez with a 4-foot white sturgeon

I recently had the privilege of going sturgeon fishing with Captain Tim Parrish of Hammett Valley Fishing Adventures. Tim offers panfish and bass trips on C.J. Strike, guides fly anglers hunting river smallmouth and carp, and also leads sturgeon excursions.

When Tim invited me fishing, I opted for the latter—I’ve wrestled sturgeon before, but not as often as I fish for other species. Plus, my buddy Randal was a sturgeon virgin, and I wanted to see him catch a dinosaur. The following is an excerpt from my next column—read the full story March 10 in the Idaho Statesman!

My bait had barely hit bottom when the telltale tap of a sturgeon bounced the rod tip. Once, twice…I picked up the rod and kept a finger on the 80-pound braided line. There!! I could tell he had it. I reeled down furiously and felt the weight of a fish moving towards us.

“Is it a dino?” Randal wondered.

“Maybe,” I answered. “It’s either small or doesn’t know it’s hooked yet.”

Just then, the fish stopped. I smiled at Tim, who nodded in approval. The reel groaned as a huge fish took off downstream. Sturgeon on!

I fought the fish for 10 minutes and then handed off to Randal. When the fish made its first run with him at the controls, he let out a whoop of excitement as the drag sizzled.

After a 25-minute battle, we had a six-foot sturgeon boat-side. We joined it in the water for pictures, then quickly scrambled aboard to get the lines back in the water.

The dinner bell had sounded. Not five minutes after releasing the first fish, I had another dino on…

Book Your Own Hammett Valley Adventure!

Captain Tim Parrish of Hammett Valley Fishing Adventures is a licensed Idaho guide offering panfish, bass, fly-fishing and sturgeon trips on the Snake River and C.J. Strike Reservoir. To book a fishing trip with Tim, call (208) 585-4858, email, or visit