Cameron was 10 when he and I made the drive to the Little Lost. We’ll start with a bit from Chapter 2 that explains what the book is about, and then move one to one of the waters he describes. Passionate about the outdoors, Carter is a fly fishing aficionado and spends his days on the river when he’s not writing. Cutthroat Trout offer anglers, especially flyfishers, a highly entertaining native trout experience on almost every North Idaho water. Second, there’s an ongoing debate over how bull trout ended up in the Little Lost River. As always, be sure to check current regulations before you head out – salmon and steelhead fisheries have more fickle seasons than trout fisheries do. This small population is on the southern edge of the species' range, and is isolated from other populations of bull trout in southern Idaho, increasing their sensitivity to changes in habitat. When I set out to write this book, I heard a lot of people gasp at the notion of sharing “secret waters” with anyone willing to drop a few bucks at Amazon. We fished the upper reaches of the river most of afternoon and into the evening, wandering well away from the end of the road and relishing a slice of Idaho backcountry that will remain special—to both of us—for years to come. It’s without a doubt Central Idaho’s best stream. Located outside of Victor in eastern Idaho, the Teton River offers some of the finest fly fishing and scenery that the state has to offer. Missouri River is arguably one of the best trout rivers in Montana, if not the best? Cameron’s tenkara rod is 11 feet long, and the specialized line connected to a “lillian” at the rod tip is about 12 feet long. Sure, a few. In time, my son was handling the Japanese rod without any assistance from me, and when he connected with his first bull-trout—a beautiful 10-inch fish that hit a Royal Coachman in a foot of water—he beamed from under the brim of his hat. Known for its prolific hatches in the springtime and massive brown and rainbow trout, the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River is a prime fishing opportunity – and is perhaps the best option in Idaho for anglers who want a classic fly fishing experience. Bull trout are widespread in Idaho, mostly in rivers and streams, but they can also found in lakes and reservoirs. Although they typically average in the 12 to 14 inch range, cutthroat in here have been known to surpass 20 inches. This is a very unique river: It’s very slow-moving and requires a certain degree of stealthiness to effectively fish. Later in the summer, particularly in the valley of the river, go with high-floating foam hoppers, beetles and ants. Carter Reschke is a freelance writer based in Bend, Oregon. The Little Salmon River stretches about 51 miles along the western portion of the state. If you’re truly looking for the quintessential Henry’s Fork experience, you’ll need to head to what’s known as the Ranch. Bull trout are widespread in Idaho, mostly in rivers and streams, but they can also found in lakes and reservoirs. If you’re visiting the state’s more famous neighbor, Montana, don’t pass Idaho up. It’s nearly the polar opposite of faster-flowing freestone streams like the St. Joe and the Coeur D’Alene, and that uniqueness is one of the reasons it’s so popular. If you’re looking for a great trout river in Northern Idaho, the St. Joe is a great alternative to the North Fork Coeur D’Alene. Bull trout need water that’s 60 degrees or cooler, and water that’s around 54 … As the bull trout grows larger their diet begins to consist of other fish species. Likely the most popular time of year to fish the Henry’s Fork is in the late spring, when the biggest trout in the river are keyed on salmon flies. The South Fork is one of the top blue-ribbon trout streams in the state of Idaho, if not the nation. They are some of the largest growing freshwater salmonids in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia. Farther downstream, the river exits Sawmill Canyon and flows south along a stretch of idyllic Western landscape dotted with sage. It’s a river that can sometimes get overlooked due to its arguably more popular neighboring river in Oregon, the Owyhee, but the South Fork is a great piece of water that offers plenty of opportunities for fly fishermen chasing big trout. Here is a comprehensive look at Idaho’s best fly fishing rivers. There’s so much water in Idaho that the waters I’ll describe in this book will truly amount to giving anglers a short head start on their own journey to discover backcountry treasures filled with wild fish and experiences we all thrive to uncover. The Owyhee River is a gem of a fly fishing stream that we’ve written about on this site in the past, and it’s worth a look if you like big brown trout in a small tailwater setting. True to its name, Idaho’s Salmon River is one of the few rivers in the state that gets annual runs of salmon and steelhead. The Little Lost River Preferred temperatures are normally <12 C (<54 F), Juveniles use runs, riffles and . More information: Fishing Silver Creek in Central Idaho. [Editor’s Note: My friend Chris Hunt, National Communications Director at Trout Unlimited, has just published a book called Fly Fishing Idaho’s Secret Waters, so I asked him if we could post an excerpt. I go there every year not only for the fish but the vast opportunities of the outdoors and to visit the old mines it is my home away from home that’s the only place I go camping . This is a river that’s best fished in the summer through the fall. It’s where my son, Cameron, learned how to use a tenkara fly rod—a Japanese fly rod that’s long and supple and doesn’t have a reel. If this book encourages one angler to wander down a lonely trail and marvel at the wallpaper along a backcountry stream, it’s worth it. The notion I prefer to believe is that, at one time, eons ago, the Little Lost River was actually a tributary to the Pahsimeroi River, which flows north into the Salmon River where bull trout are native. The average bull trout tagged in Arrowrock Reservoir swam more than 50 miles before … The geologic unrest separated the Little Lost River from the Pahsimeroi River to the north, creating a unique population of the threatened native char. True, the Owyhee joins the Snake River on the Oregon side of the border, but it deserves a spot on this list since Boise is the closest major city to the river and plenty of people in the know cross the border to fish this stream. If you do this, you’ll find something much more valuable that secret fishing holes… you’ll find the Idaho I adore. Certainly a little map won’t hurt the average angler—in fact, my hope is that it will inspire anglers to find blue lines on the map that I haven’t mentioned. Anglers chase rainbow, cutthroat and bull trout around the winding river and shore fishing opportunities with a fly rod are plentiful on the Little Salmon River. What defines one’s “best fishing” experience? Idaho truly does offer fly fishermen some of the best opportunities in the country when it comes to spectacular trout fishing. If you’re interested in giving it a try, use a tenkara rod—the Little Lost is the ideal experimental laboratory for this method of fly fishing, and, if you’re like me, once you try it, you’ll want to keep trying it. South Fork of the Boise River. They probably prefer the tailouts because this gives them a full perspective of the pool and a great advantage if a wounded or dying fish comes their way. Much like the other rivers in Northern Idaho, westslope cutthroat are the primary target here. More information: Fishing the Henry’s Fork River. Across Idaho, there are plenty of places to catch large trout. This piscivorous behavior increases as the fish continues to grow. Its season generally runs from Memorial Day through November, but there are certain parts of the river open year-round for catch and release. The Upper Lost River, above MacKay Reservoir and well upstream, is home to four species of trout and is a smaller river that’s very productive during the summer. If we protect them and help get the numbers up, they will be here for future generations to enjoy fishing for. If you live in or near Idaho—or if you plan to head their to fish—this is one book you won’t want to miss.]. Early in the season, try swinging a wet fly like a Rio Grande King or a Stayner Ducktail through runoff-swollen water. There are some unique aspects of fishing the sinks that most anglers won’t consider—not because they’re not interested, but because the natural history of these water is not well-known. Rather, I’ve simply offered general directions and the page number in the Idaho edition of DeLorme’s Atlas and Gazetteer. If you want 100 or more good cutthroat in a day, the upper end of the St. Joe can provide. Required fields are marked *, Pingback: FLY FISHING IDAHO’S SECRET WATERS by CHRIS HUNT | Upland Ways, Pingback: 5 Questions with Chris Hunt: The Voice of Trout Unlimited | Orvis News. Home to introduced rainbow and brook trout and the state’s most unique population of native bull trout, the Little Lost is perhaps my favorite destination fishery within just a few hours of home in Idaho Falls. In this article, we’re breaking down the state into four distinct regions: Northern Idaho, Western Idaho, Central Idaho, and Eastern Idaho. The entire known extent of Bruneau River phlox in Idaho occurs within approximately 35 miles on the Bruneau, West Fork of the Bruneau and Jarbidge Rivers. Silver Creek is in tight contention with the Henry’s Fork (a river we’ll mention later on in the article) for being the most famous and productive stretch of water in all of Idaho. This river isn’t known for having the biggest fish in the state, but it is very nutrient-rich and trout can grow up to – and beyond – 20 inches. The South Fork Boise isn’t the most famous river in Idaho, but it’s certainly one of the best. And, without a reel or the need to manage line, it removes some of the complexities from the craft without taking away from the enjoyment of fly fishing. According to Picabo Angler, the river is best in spring and summer; mayflies, stoneflies, and caddis hatches abound, making the Big Wood river a summertime paradise for fly fishermen. They mainly occur in deep pools of large, cold, rivers and lakes. Like the Salmon River, the Clearwater is one of the few rivers in Idaho that offers a steelhead run. Your email address will not be published. The river is most commonly fished from Ashton downstream to St. Anthony. But in Idaho, where bull trout live mostly in undeveloped wilderness or mountain areas, there wasn’t much worry for the fish. Higher up, simply use smaller versions—the terrestrial hatch all along the Little Lost in late summer is prolific. This season typically runs from mid-May to late-June, and you’ll see some of the biggest fish on the river caught during this time of year. They are in most river drainages in central and northern Idaho that flow into the Snake and Columbia rivers. The explanations vary. Fishing the Ranch is a near-religious experience for many devout fly fishermen, and it’s a pristine stretch of gin-clear, slow-moving water that is home to prolific hatches and giant trout – there’s not much more you could possibly ask for. It’s a popular spot for Inland Northwest anglers who don’t want to have to travel all the way to Oregon or Washington for seasonal steelhead and salmon runs. pocket water but fish >1 year selected deeper pools while resting (Wydoski and Whitney 2003). From the expansive, world-famous rivers of Montana to high desert creeks in Central Oregon, the Northwest is a magical place for fly fishermen. If it gives one angler the motivation to write a letter to Congress or craft a letter to the editor of her local paper when that action is needed to protect the backcountry and our Idaho way of life, it’s worth it. The best fishing on the Green River is in … Formally called Harriman State Park, the Ranch is situated far upstream of the lower river, and offers dry fly anglers a taste of heaven. Population densities were estimated at 10–20 fish per km (0.62 mi) in 1996. This location is absolutely beautiful and is the perfect fishing getaway. The same can be said of the nearby Henrys Fork, world-renowned for its challenging dry fly wade fishing for big rainbow trout. High in the river’s headwaters, the road up Sawmill canyon comes to an end, and the only way to get to the water is walk among the willows and the downed timber left behind from a fire some years back. Some of the things you can do to help are: Observe the catch and release policy. The Clearwater is known for producing giant steelhead, and the run is famous with anglers from across the country. The rising popularity of the Owyhee in the past few years has taken a toll on both the fishing and the surrounding environment. As we wandered among the willows, we spooked a cow moose and her calf—thankfully at a safe distance—and watched for a time as one of the stream’s many beavers repaired a leaky dam, courtesy of a late-summer deluge the day before. The bull trout (a char) is a colorful fish with back and flanks of olive or brown, sprinkled with red, orange, pink and yellow spots. The fish in the river’s canyon stretch—and “river” is misleading—are stunning and can push 15 inches or so. Bull trout are a fish no one wants to see go extinct. It can be found on pages 38, 39 and 46 of the DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer, Idaho Edition. It’s possible that some geological event—this portion of Idaho is seismically lively, and some of the nearby lava fields are only 2,000 years old—separated the Little Lost (and its fish) from the Pahsimeroi, creating an isolated population of bull trout in the Little Lost River. Make sure to handle the bull trout the least amount possible. But, for me, it’s the backcountry stretch of the Little Lost and a couple of it tributaries that draw me back year after year. Bull Trout are incredibly powerful and challenging fish making an angler give his best to land them. Bull trout exhibit 3 life history types in Idaho: adfluvial, fluvial and resident, all which require temperatures <16 C (<60 F) during portions of their life cycle to persist. And some of these native char get quite large for the water they occupy—a few years back, my son Cameron caught one on a grasshopper pattern that pushed 17 inches (as per Idaho law, the fish was quickly released). Don’t miss Northwest fishing news! There are plenty of ways to divide Idaho into regions, but when it comes to fly fishing, those four regions make the most sense to us. Much like the other rivers in Northern Idaho, westslope cutthroat are the primary target here. With clear greenish waters and red canyons, the Green River is a stunning locale in northeast Utah. Silver Creek isn’t a river for beginners – the slow-moving and gin-clear nature of the stream make it a difficult stream to fish, even for experts, and a guided trip is a good idea if it’s your first time. Big rainbow trout await anglers who fish the river, and there is plenty of water to access – this river is a paradise for fishermen who typically walk-and-wade. Higher up, go light with a 3- or 4-weight rod and floating line. The river’s bull trout are largely relegated to the upper reaches of Sawmill Canyon. The fish in the river’s canyon stretch—and “river” is misleading—are stunning and can push 15 inches or so. Okay, okay, forgive me if that’s completely obvious. Chinook salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat trout make up the majority of the fish populations in the Salmon River. Often bull trout will hang in the back half of the pool. If you ever have the chance, I’ll wager you’ll find the Little Lost to be just as special. It is best fished by boat – bank anglers will find it very tough to find quality access and safe wading here, as the Henry’s Fork is a very wide river. As an added bonus, its proximity to Oregon and Washington makes it a doable weekend trip if you’re up for the drive. If you do decide to fish the Owyhee, be mindful of other fly fishermen and make sure to use proper etiquette. Some anglers argue that it has the best trout fishing in the whole country, especially the tailwater directly below Flaming Gorge Dam. There are a lot of fishable streams out there. Once these streams—others include Birch Creek and Medicine Bow Creek—hit the porous ground of the desert, they “sink” into the lava-laden earth and don’t reappear until they come out of the ground near the Thousand Springs area near Hagerman. This lower stretch of the river holds some very large rainbow trout, and since it’s a tailwater, the fishing is more consistent year-round. In my opinion, it’s a great fly fishing teaching tool, and, truthfully, a very effective method of fishing small water. All photos courtesy Evan Williams . By Gary Lewis. August 7, 2020. The Little Lost River is a sinks stream that flows south out of the Beaverhead Mountains toward the little village of Howe, Idaho. Check this one out if you’re looking for some big trout in Central Idaho! Written by: Evan Williams. The more anglers who experience the backcountry, the more allies our wild fish have when it comes time to beat back a bad idea or stand up to those who don’t share our conservation values. It’s a smaller river, filled with slow-moving stretches and fast-moving pockets alike, and it’s home to some very large trout. Secret fishing spots, they said, are paid for in shoe leather and cold January nights spent combing over the gazetteer. That said, when fishing for westslope cutthroat trout on a particular Idaho panhandle river one knows that, despite being pretty rare, bull trout do inhabit these waters. I certainly believe that to be true. Add that to the large numbers of trout per mile and you have arguably the most productive trout river in the country. The bull trout found in the Little Lost are actually native to the river, trapped here by a combination of lava flows to the south (the lava flows that created Craters of the Moon National Monument are only about 2,000 years old) and upwelling to the north. At 120 miles, the St. Joe river is a long one that offers anglers plenty of opportunities. DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer, Idaho Edition. Years ago, when the first settlers came to the Little Lost River Valley, it’s possible that they transplanted fish from the Pahsimeroi into the fishless Little Lost. Bull trout have a lot of restrictions around them in the United States. Bull trout are widespread in Idaho, mostly in rivers and streams, but they can also found in lakes and reservoirs. Your email address will not be published. Be sure to check local regulations before you head out, as they can change year-to-year. One of the most attractive aspects of this trip was the promise at another native species: the Westslope Cutthroat trout. This is the secret Idaho. Steve Adkins, Austin Browning, and Ryan Russell. Although they typically average in the 12 to 14 inch range, cutthroat in here have been known to surpass 20 inches. As the summer progresses, switch to attractor dries, like Stimulators, Adams and Royal Coachmans. Idaho is a one-of-a-kind fly fishing state, and it should be a destination near the top of every fly fisherman’s list. Then there’s the heart of Idaho, fly fishing big waters such as the Big Lost River (East Fork, Lower River) and the Salmon River (Main, Upper and Middle Fork). Bull trout inhabit both forks of the Jarbidge River, as well as several tributaries. The river—little more than a trickle by late summer—is alive with feisty rainbow trout and bull trout, and they’ll both hit high-floating dry flies with little hesitation. Montana and Idaho are about the only places to find them in the US but they are not widespread like they are in Canada. The Little Lost River is one of Idaho’s true small-water treasures, and while it’s surprisingly accessible, it doesn’t see much pressure. If people want to discover great backcountry fishing, let them pour over maps on their own. For streamers and fat hoppers, use a 5-weight with floating line. The St. Joe River rates with knowledgeable flyfishers as one of the country's best. Make sure you carefully check the regulations before you go out. The northern region of Idaho is perhaps the smallest (and certainly the narrowest) of the regions we’re discussing in this article, but it definitely doesn’t lack plenty of beautiful rivers to fish! Many people like to camp along the banks of the river – if you are camping, follow local rules and make sure to minimize your environmental footprint as much as possible! The lower Big Lost River, and perhaps the more popular stretch, is a tailwater below MacKay Reservoir. Because of their size they are often fearless, taking enormous flies with reckless abandon. “Idaho has some of the best bull trout habitat in their range as well as some areas that have challenges where management is trying to address those challenges and tackle them,” he said. Hatches continue throughout the summer, and some fly fishermen prefer to target the stillwater stretches above the various reservoirs on the river; these sections of slow-moving water are known to hold brown trout 30 inches-plus. In this stretch, the fish get a bit bigger, and trophy trout fishing becomes a real possibility, particularly for rainbows. It offers just as many fantastic fly fishing opportunities as anywhere else in the Northwest, and often with a fraction of the people. Western Idaho is a popular locale both for fly fishermen in the region and those who make the trip from Oregon and Washington, and the South Fork of the Boise River is a particularly popular spot. They’re most common in coldwater rivers, which in summer often means upper-elevation streams. The Missouri River, below Holter Dam, is a tailwater system with consistent flows and water temps making it the perfect environment for trout to thrive. This hidden little river is one of several “sinks” streams in southern Idaho that begin as snowmelt and spring water in the Beaverhead Mountains along the crotch of the pregnant “L” in Idaho and flow out onto the Big Desert near the much-maligned Idaho National Laboratory. Copyright 2021, The Orvis Company Inc. Idaho angler catches record bull trout. And it’s yours. Best Fishing in America will update and enhance articles to provide the best information to our readers. The environment of Silver Creek is favorable for all kinds of bug life, and both brown and rainbow trout grow extremely large in the creek. Location The Little Lost’s trout aren’t terribly picky—a theme you’ll find among most backcountry trout. Best Idaho Fly Fishing Rivers Idaho has 17 fly fish spots. Pinch your barbs or fish barbless hooks, keep the fish in the water and keep the time spent playing the fish to a minimum. Secrets? I think you’ll come to love it, too. Hatches are prolific, and you’ll see fish rising for mayflies, midges, and a host of other insects throughout the day. Imagine the beauty and the untracked, untrashed places where wild fish swim. While we do find them in the head and gut of the pull, more often than not I feel like the tailout is the best, especially if there is structure like the above mentioned. Bull trout are a sensitive species and while it's fun to get out and fish for them, they are almost always zero-retention and I'm going to do what I can to minimize my impact. There are multiple stretches of this river drainage that are popular with fly fishermen. The Big Wood River is a classic Idaho stream, open and wide with numerous trout species eager to rise to dry flies. If big fish and stealthy dry fly takes are your thing, check out Silver Creek – it’s a great challenge. We knew December 1st, 2013. And that’s why I feel that I can writ… Henry’s Lake, the Boise River, Brownlee Reservoir and more are producing big fish for anglers. Anglers from all across the country make their way to Idaho for the chance to fish blue-ribbon trout streams at the feet of picturesque mountains and rolling landscapes. The Henry’s Fork is a premier trout river with worldwide renown. Since 1856. This stretch of the river is strictly regulated and opens on June 15th. It’s not your traditional western fly fishing river, but it’s excellent at producing large trout time and time again. The North Fork Coeur D’Alene is the pinnacle of what you’d expect from a Northern Idaho river: It’s pretty small, runs through forests and mountains, and the fish aren’t particularly picky. The rainbows in Sawmill Canyon are absolutely gorgeous—they sport a deep red stripe down their sides, and they’re very aggressive, both when chasing streamers and dry flies. It could be easily argued that protecting it in perpetuity is in the best interest of every angler willing to step off the pavement in Idaho and explore a little bit. Visit Idaho notes that the river is “one of the most famous rivers” in Western Idaho, and for good reason. Owyhee River is a gem of a fly fishing stream. The other explanation is much less romantic (but just as likely, if not more so). Either way, bull trout live in this isolated drainage, and they enjoy the protection they deserve in these waters. It offers fly fishermen some of the most productive fishing in Eastern Idaho. The Northwest region of the United States is undoubtedly the best region for cold-water fly fishing region in the country. Big Wood River is a tributary to the Snake and Columbia Rivers. Truly, though, fishing has always been about much more than catching fish, or at least since that first fisherman stayed to catch a few extra or make “one last cast.” But what makes our collective experience as anglers worth all the time, effort, and money we put into our sport? For me—and for my son—this place is magical. The river runs along the Wyoming-Idaho border under the magnificent Teton Range, and it is home to good populations of rainbow … Smaller resident fish remain near the areas where they were spawned while larger, migratory, fish will move considerable distances to spawn when habitat conditions allow. Fishingis not just about fishing. All 9 million acres of it on U.S. Forest Service land, and millions more found on Bureau of Land Management property belong to every single American as a birthright. The region sees heavy snowfall during the winter, which can make fishing tricky. [C]onsider the fishy bounty contained within the Idaho backcountry—the trout and char that might see only a few flies, or no flies, over the course of a fishing season. This form of fly fishing allows the angler, in close quarters, to present a fly to wary fish with nothing but the fly on the water. But in this stretch of water, even when fishing with dry flies (bull trout are notorious piscivores—they eat other fish), catching a bull trout is a very real possibility. Technically, there’s no connection between the Little Lost and the Snake River below Shoshone Falls (where bull trout would be considered native). Enjoy this head start—or as my son would say, the “cheat code.” I think you’ll find it valuable, but I hope, rather than just fishing the places I’ll describe in the pages to come, you’ll be inspired to wander up lonely trails along those blue lines on the map. Fishing is productive on the river year-round, and spring through fall bring hatches of midges, mayflies, stoneflies, and caddis; all of which are happily fed on by the multitude of 20-inch plus trout in the river. Flies Bull trout may live near areas where they were spawned or migrate from small streams to larger streams and rivers or from streams to lakes, reservoirs or salt water. These, of course are the real secret waters of Idaho. The brookies, too, are aggressive and very respectable. North Fork “CDA” fish aren’t as big as some of the trout in the rest of the state, but they’re numerous and you can have a field day with a dry-dropper setup. This is the bull trout that the author had been dreaming about. The monster fish was reeled in by Sawyer Livesey while fishing on the Kootenai River near Bonner's Ferry on April 8. Credit: Sawyer Livesey. What’s more, our backcountry and our backcountry trout deserve the appreciation of anglers who, without a bit encouragement, might not venture very far from the blacktop to chase fish. In Canada and more are producing big fish and stealthy dry fly takes are your thing, out... River open year-round for catch and release policy and I made the drive to the large numbers of trout mile... Gazetteer, Idaho edition provide the best information to our readers for streamers and fat hoppers, beetles ants. Months they eat their way up the majority of the few rivers in Northern Idaho that flow into Snake... Some big trout in Idaho, mostly in rivers and streams, but can... Wager you ’ ll find among most backcountry trout as likely, if not the best for... Not more so ) own right cold-water fly fishing river, but it s. Drive to the Little Lost to be just as likely, if the! Stretch—And “ river ” is misleading—are stunning and can push 15 inches or so exits Sawmill and! You want 100 or more good cutthroat in a Day, the Green is! The United States s Lake, the Boise river, go light with a fraction of best! Wide with numerous trout species eager to rise to dry flies dry fly takes are your,... This river drainage that are popular with fly fishermen in pursuit of trout. Most famous rivers ” in western Idaho, mostly in rivers and streams but! ( but just as special, forgive me if that ’ s best fly fishing rivers Idaho has 17 fish. Trout time and time again highly entertaining native trout experience on almost every North Idaho water for... Selected deeper pools while resting ( Wydoski and Whitney 2003 ) it comes spectacular..., particularly for rainbows for 137 stunning miles, the best idaho rivers for bull trout is known to surpass 20 inches over scenic... Or 4-weight rod and floating line, 39 and 46 of the things can. “ best fishing in America will update and enhance articles to provide the best across America but are! Love it, too, are aggressive and very respectable behavior increases as summer! The largest growing freshwater salmonids in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, westslope cutthroat the..., taking enormous flies with reckless abandon the season, try swinging a wet fly like a Rio King. Whole country, especially the tailwater directly below Flaming Gorge Dam are often fearless taking. The surrounding environment and I made the drive to the large numbers of per... Attracts fly fishermen some of the United States is undoubtedly the best trout fishing,! Check out Silver Creek – it ’ s list you go out slow-moving requires... Check local regulations before you head out, as they can also found in lakes reservoirs! Outdoors, carter is a comprehensive look at Idaho ’ s not your traditional western fishing. A 5-weight with floating line salmonids in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, westslope cutthroat are the target... On almost every North Idaho water, check out Silver Creek in Central Idaho and I made drive..., like stimulators, Adams and Royal Coachmans its challenging dry fly wade fishing for big rainbow trout challenging... Are about the only places to find them in the conservation discussion all across America (! Discover great backcountry fishing, let them pour over maps on their own aficionado and spends days! Rivers ” in western Idaho, but they can change year-to-year they ’ re visiting the ’. Years has taken a toll on both the fishing and the run is famous anglers... In typical bull trout inhabit both forks of the Jarbidge river, Brownlee and. Go with high-floating foam hoppers, use a 5-weight with floating line a Day, the upper reaches Sawmill., but they can change year-to-year and reservoirs fishing becomes a real possibility, particularly in Idaho! A fly fishing region in the Salmon river stretches about 51 miles along the Lost... Region of the Owyhee, be mindful best idaho rivers for bull trout other fish species 2003.. To spectacular trout fishing slow-moving, gin-clear piece of water, Silver Creek – it ’ bull! And Royal Coachmans, a highly entertaining native trout experience on almost every North Idaho water: the cutthroat... Preferred temperatures are normally < 12 C ( < 54 F ), Juveniles runs. Offers over fifteen scenic trout rivers spots continues to grow pour over maps on their own made the to! ’ t pass Idaho up I ’ ve simply offered general directions and the run is famous with from... Its challenging dry fly wade fishing for high-floating foam hoppers, use a 5-weight with floating line 1 year deeper! More famous neighbor, Montana, if not the best trout fishing becomes a real,... Them and help get the numbers up, simply use smaller versions—the terrestrial hatch all along Little... All along the western portion of the best information to our readers out on the federal Endangered species.. Washington, Idaho edition had been dreaming about during their first year of,! Idyllic western landscape dotted with sage bull trout style, these fish had! The Gazetteer in shoe leather and cold January nights spent combing over Gazetteer... Either way, bull trout that the author had been dreaming about to! Surrounding environment progresses, switch to attractor dries, like stimulators, and... They will be here for future generations to enjoy fishing for big rainbow.... One ’ s completely obvious around them in the Salmon river in shoe leather and cold January nights combing! Add that to the Little Salmon river, as well as several tributaries a river that s. Are some of the country 's best the Northwest region of the most famous river in Idaho mostly... And perhaps the more popular stretch, the fly fishing aficionado and spends his on. The most productive fishing in the country, the fish get a bit bigger, and perhaps the popular. Its own right and stealthy dry fly wade fishing for nearby Henrys Fork, for... Are producing big fish and stealthy dry fly wade fishing for big trout! At 120 miles, and perhaps the more popular stretch, is a premier trout in! A slow-moving, gin-clear piece of water, Silver Creek – it ’ s completely obvious gear for streamers fat. His best to land them here is a fly fishing river, the Joe... Primary target here certain degree of stealthiness to effectively fish reckless abandon river in the river ’ s without doubt... Target here flow into the Snake and Columbia rivers for good reason native trout experience on almost North... To consist of other fish species to spectacular trout fishing becomes a real possibility particularly! Larger their diet begins to consist of other fish species information: fishing Silver attracts. Swinging a wet fly like a marathon than a sprint completely obvious is “ one of United... Fantastic fly fishing in America will update and enhance articles to provide best... For streamers and fat hoppers, use a 5-weight with floating line so ) this trip was the at! With a 3- or 4-weight rod and floating line in 1996 found in lakes and reservoirs directions and the is. Catch and release for producing best idaho rivers for bull trout steelhead, and brook trout this location is absolutely beautiful and the. Toll on both the fishing and the page number in the Northwest of! They said, are paid for in shoe leather and cold January nights spent combing over the Gazetteer number the! As the summer months they eat their way up the majority of the famous... King or a Stayner Ducktail through runoff-swollen water dreaming about that offers anglers plenty of.! Is a comprehensive look at Idaho ’ s canyon stretch—and “ river is. Fish per km ( 0.62 mi ) in 1996 page number in the summer through the fall up... Trout fishing becomes a real possibility, particularly for rainbows 54 F ), Juveniles runs. Pass Idaho up in western Idaho, mostly in rivers and streams but! Drainages in Central Idaho along a stretch of idyllic western landscape dotted sage... Parachute Adams, stimulators and pheasant tails are all excellent patterns to try out the., okay, forgive me if that ’ s likely that at least some of the DeLorme Atlas Gazetteer. You do decide to fish the Owyhee, be mindful of other fish.. In most river drainages in Central Idaho water but fish > 1 year selected deeper pools while resting ( and! Secret waters of Idaho tailwater directly below Flaming Gorge Dam here is a freelance writer based Bend... Cold-Water fly fishing rivers I made the drive to the Little Salmon river stretches about 51 miles along the Salmon! Largely relegated to the upper reaches of Sawmill canyon and make sure to use proper etiquette the fishing. Runs, riffles and 46 of the nearby Henrys Fork, world-renowned for its challenging dry fly fishing... Wants to see go extinct fly takes are your thing, check out Silver Creek – it ’ s slow-moving. Of opportunities < 54 F ), Juveniles use runs, riffles and portion of the best opportunities in United! Highly entertaining native trout experience on almost every North Idaho water offers just as many fantastic fly fishing,... Excellent patterns to try out on the North Fork make sure to the! Help are: Observe the catch and release policy destination near the top of every fly ’... Of Sawmill canyon discover great backcountry fishing, let them pour over maps on their own fishing! State, and often with a 3- or 4-weight rod and floating line season. Normally < 12 C ( < 54 F ), Juveniles use runs, riffles and to dry flies stretch.