Flickr album link: Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
Some western wildlife areas are perfect for hikers, while others are better suited aquatic adventures. The difference between the two is not always obvious when browsing a map, especially if the device features only city streets and highways. Many major river tributaries out west harbor wildlife refuges that are solely designed to protect waterfowl and fish hatcheries, which are best toured via watercraft. These places are important nesting areas where sneaking up on foot to get a closer look can have disastrous consequences for hatchlings, so observing from a comfortable distance out on the water is the way to go. Boating through a riverside wildlife area also presents an opportunity to put some fresh fish on the campfire cookout menu, so when the opportunity arises be sure to pack a rod and reel for the ride.
The Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge definitely is a destination where boaters have an advantage. This refuge is located along the islands section of the Snake River next to Nampa, Idaho. This high desert region is a vast irrigated agricultural area and several sections of natural riverside terrain have been have been designated as wildlife preserves. Deer Flat is one such spot and it is a haven for anglers and bird watchers alike. This section of the Snake River attracts massive migrations of Canadian Geese and Mallard Ducks, while shorebirds nest here too. Ospreys and hawks rule the skies, so be sure to pack a powerful lens in order to enjoy the show. Deer Flat features a modern boat ramp and fish cleaning facility, while watercraft rentals can be found in town. Local fishing guides can also be found in Nampa and they definitely know the best flies to tie for each season. For these reasons, the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge definitely is worth keeping in mind, especially if you have a bass boat in tow!
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