It is currently Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:05 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Go to page 1, 2  Next   Page 1 of 2   [ 29 posts ] New Topic Add Reply
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:25 pm • # 1 
User avatar
Hero Member

Joined: 05/16/09
Posts: 2123
Idaho's Streams Less Waded

Image

Southeast Idaho has to be on most 'must fish' list, even world wider lists for fly fishing enthusiasts. From my front door, I can be on no less than half a dozen famous waters and drive little more than an hour to get there. The South Fork and Henry's Fork (or locally known as the North Fork) meet not 20 miles from my house and an hours drive can send you along either river with excellent fishing opportunities just about anywhere you can park. Better yet, both these rivers, offer drift boating opportunities and fine angling that is hard to beat. All you have to do is Google Eastern Idaho fishing guides and you will get pages upon pages of possibilities. All it takes is money. Even outside of the two Snake River forks, there is the Teton River, not to mention nearby Yellowstone Parks and Southwest Montana and all it has to offer those who visit and bring a fly rod. How blessed I am to live, smack in the middle of all this, yet my heart is not lost to fine waters such as these, my heart is lost on the many streams less fished, less waded and less heard of. The real gold mine in my opinion is the waters that merge into these rivers. Find a tributary that flows into the river, and follow it upstream, my vehicle at first, then walk, because you follow information on your GPS or Topo map, you know you might be fishing a 4th order stream, then a 3rd, then perhaps a 2nd or 1st....and likely find pools that can hold wild trout. Walk into one of the many fly shops in the area and ask what fly rod is best and you hear the proverbial 9 foot 5 or 6wt rod. Such equipment is next to useless on small streams. That is what this article is about – small waters, fly patterns and small water rods.

Since this is my back yard, I am going to keep the names of many of these places a secret....however, if any one of my good friends wish to visit Idaho, I will gladly play guide for the cost of a cold Pepsi and burger for lunch (ha ha...only kidding).

Image

Image

I will begin discussing what I call small rivers of the area. These are likely well known to most locals for recreation opportunities ranging from fishing to rafting and even floating inner tubes as a way to cool off on hot days. I have never found much conflict on these waters and I gladly give a wide berth to those who are enjoying our public lands and waterways their way. One of my favorite small rivers in this area is the Warm River. It is a spring fed tributary to the Henry's Fork. As it is spring fed, the water conditions vary little throughout the seasons. There is a really nice campground just upstream from it's confluence with the Henry's Fork. While there is fishing here and is on regular rotation for the stocking of what we call 'cookie cutter' rainbows, it does see a lot of pressure during the Summer. Lots of youth groups and family reunions and other get-togethers call this their destination, however, a short hike upstream can put you on some water that sees little activity of any kind.

Image

Image

Image

This is nice dry fly water and throughout the Summer Months, into Fall, very predictable hatches can be taken advantage of. Caddis and various mayfly species from PMD's, March Browns and even a few Grey Drakes can offer good sporting action for a light rod. Speaking of rods, this is where an Ultra Light rod comes into play. In truth, I much prefer a rod that is less than 8 feet long for most of my fishing anyway...so waters such as this suit my style more than most larger waters. Even there, I always say, I fish the 'small stream' that is in the big stream. A medium fast or medium action 2 through 4wt rod will provide all the stick you will need for fishing waters like the Warm River. My favorite tactic is a #14-12 Stimulator and #18 beadhead dropper. The Warm River is smooth, freestone like so you have to search out likely holding water...behind a rock, against a bank, below a downed tree, etc. You will find yourself moving fast and hitting the mostly likely locations a few minutes, then moving on. This is where I like to hike a couple miles upstream, jump in the river and fish backwards, or the 'Idaho Way', casting and mending for downstream drifts that are drag free and the beadhead is present first, before the dry is seen. Usually, I find that the trout take the beadheads on the first or second cast in any new location...but now and then they skip the nymph and clobber the dry, which can be rather surprising which you are used to it just disappearing under the surface. It can make for fun fishing.

The Warm River is Rainbow and Brown Trout water....along with some Whitefish and a few brookies. It is one of my favorite trout streams in Idaho.

Image

Other similar sized streams in Eastern Idaho include ***** Creek, Badger Creek, Blackfoot River, Robinson Creek, Buffalo River and the Portneuf River.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Going down one or two sizes are what I call true small streams. These are streams where you can likely fish with only hip boots and an 8 foot rod might be too long....at least it is at the edge of practical use. Most fish on these streams run on the small side, say 8-12” being most common, however, as we all know, there can be surprises on any small water. A good example of a small stream is Fall Creek right here in Eastern Idaho,

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

It is a tributary to the South Fork Snake River. Again, Fall Creek is ground zero for outdoor recreationists... and provides free public camping with minimal regulation. It is a major jumping off point for not only anglers, but horse back riders as well as ATV affectionos. Fall Creek lands, literally, in the South Fork, tumbling off a big cliff in a stunning waterfall that is very popular with photographers. Brookies and Cutts can be caught here any just about any old dry fly you can cast at them. This is where you might cast some of the classier patterns of yesterday, Royal Coachmans, Grey Hackles and Renegades

Image

Image

Image

to name but a few. This is water for 0 (and sub 0) wt rods up to 2 and 3wts. Above the falls, it is classical meadow fishing, as the creek bends and meanders, here and there, providing a bend or undercut bank that holds trout. Late in the Summer, this is ant fishing and small hopper fishing at it's finest. Eastern Idaho must have hundreds of similar small streams such as Fall Creek. One could spend the entire Summer and Fall fishing only waters such as these and not cover 10% of them and certainly not to any kind of impact.

Image

Image

Image

Fishing pressure is very light once you get away from the normal camping areas. Other streams, to name a few (and to keep my favorites a secret) include other South Fork tributaries, such as Burns Creek, and Rainey Creek. Others include the Camas Creek drainages, Salt River drainages, Thomas Fork, Bear River tributaries, a dozen such streams in the Island Park area...just to name a few.

There is still a smaller classification of fishing opportunity here in Idaho that I call creeks, cricks,

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

brooks, that can be so small, you wonder how they could possibly hold fish. These are what would be considered 1st and 2nd order tributaries to the many small streams mentioned above. This is where a 6 to 7 foot rod might be all the longer rod you would want. Finding a place to cast might take some exploration but the rewards of casting flies to fish that seldom...possible never get fished over can be life altering. I like to fish these waters with what I call Banty Rods, light lines and tiny flies. I can fish nearly all these streams with a few simple partners, such as #18 Griffiths Gnats and Grey Hackles. If use as heavy a tippet as I can get through the eye. I leave enough flies in bushes and trees the choke these tiny waterways and I find most of the trout that inhabit these streams, are not leader shy.....rather they are hungry.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

In closing, if you ever find yourself in Eastern Idaho, give me a ring. If I am around, I would be glad to show you around.


Top
  
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:26 am • # 2 
User avatar
Hero Member

Joined: 12/23/09
Posts: 658
Excellent article and photos. I lived in Utah for a short period and I now regret not venturing north a bit. I was too infatuated with the remote waters in the High Uintas. If I ever make it out your way again (and I will....it just might be a few years) I will probably be soliciting information. And I will come stocked with a case of pop (and beer) and a cooler of burgers and brats.


Top
  
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:02 pm • # 3 
User avatar
Full Member

Joined: 07/22/11
Posts: 177
Outstanding thread!
Thank you very much.


Top
  
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:33 pm • # 4 
User avatar
Administrator

Joined: 06/25/09
Posts: 3259
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Very enjoyable, Dave! Thanks very much for getting my mind going in your direction.
Great pics as usual too.


Top
  
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:00 pm • # 5 
User avatar
Hero Member

Joined: 05/10/09
Posts: 2184
Location: 208
Nice!


Top
  
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:54 pm • # 6 
User avatar
Newbie

Joined: 12/28/11
Posts: 22
WOWSERS! Thanks for such a great post! My buddy and I will be there (Swan Valley) in August for several days and you've upped my excitement to near critical levels. We want to fish the famous water some, but the creeks are where I'd like to spend time. Dries and a 2wt forever!

-Mike


Top
  
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:56 am • # 7 
User avatar
Hero Member

Joined: 05/16/09
Posts: 2123
Mike L wrote:
WOWSERS! Thanks for such a great post! My buddy and I will be there (Swan Valley) in August for several days and you've upped my excitement to near critical levels. We want to fish the famous water some, but the creeks are where I'd like to spend time. Dries and a 2wt forever!

-Mike


When you get done with your big water fishing, if I am around, I would be happy to show off a couple local streams.

BTW, August, is perfect for the South Fork....and surrounding streams.


Top
  
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:43 am • # 8 
User avatar
Sr. Member

Joined: 04/12/11
Posts: 321
Location: Longmont, Colorado
What a real pleasure to view this photo essay, DCG. Your part of the country is beautiful and you are truly blessed to live so close to fantastic fishing. I will read and view this again and again. You have set a higher standard for all of us.


Top
  
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:56 pm • # 9 
User avatar
Administrator

Joined: 11/17/08
Posts: 4827
Good article Dave!


Top
  
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:28 am • # 10 
User avatar
Newbie

Joined: 11/19/11
Posts: 26
Outstanding country and waters, and fantastic photos and essay. Thank you for sharing. Very nice!


Top
  
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:40 pm • # 11 
User avatar
Sr. Member

Joined: 09/21/09
Posts: 413
WOW ! so much beautiful water


Top
  
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:34 am • # 12 
User avatar
Full Member

Joined: 12/22/11
Posts: 203
Location: UK
A wonderful trip upstream, Dave - many thanks for sharing!

Theo


Top
  
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 pm • # 13 
User avatar
Jr. Member

Joined: 05/09/12
Posts: 73
Amazing! Thanks for all the info and even greater thanks for the pictures!


Top
  
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:09 pm • # 14 
User avatar
Newbie

Joined: 10/27/12
Posts: 38
Great post and thanks for sharing a few names of your rivers and also for keeping a few secret as well.We venture over to the states every year or so from Australia.Usually go straight to Wyoming and Montana fishing in Yellowstone and Paradise Valley but you have got me going now I think I will have to make a side trip to Idaho.Will be back there in May next year.
Thanks
Muz


Top
  
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:03 pm • # 15 
User avatar
Newbie

Joined: 10/09/12
Posts: 11
Wow! Thanks for the article and pictures. Before kids, I ventured to NW Montana a couple of time and always wanted to return. You article makes me want to reconsider and come to Idaho. If I ever do, it would be my pleasure to pick up the tab for a burger, Pepsi, and some fish stories.

Don


Top
  
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:35 am • # 16 
User avatar
Newbie

Joined: 04/16/12
Posts: 44
Location: Chicago/NYC/Lincoln NE, Jackson Hole, San Juan PR
DCG,
Great post. I actually have fished Fall Creek quite a few times, first on the Wyoming side and later on in Idaho side. I am in Jackson Hole now and have been fishing everyday I can (except today). We should fish soon as I know barely anything of Idaho fishing beyond what the guides have shown me. - Blake


Top
  
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:17 am • # 17 
User avatar
Jr. Member

Joined: 11/10/12
Posts: 83
Location: Golden State
Awesome post! There is definitely many treasures out you way. I'm looking forward to meeting ya someday.


Top
  
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:10 pm • # 18 
User avatar
Full Member

Joined: 02/17/13
Posts: 111
Location: San Antonio Texas
You know I have fished extensively in Montana and Wyoming, but have hardly touched Idaho.
I do love creek and smaller stream fishing. It seems Idaho has much to offer.

As always I don't think I will live long enough to cover all the water on my bucket list. Seems each year more entries are added than checked off.

Richard Parks is a fly Shop owner in Gardner Montana at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. His father was a park ranger all his life and is probably the only person to fish every river, stream, creek, and trickle in the park. It took his entire life to accomplish that feat. It's no wonder that with the ability to learn of all the great waters available to modern anglers that my reach is beyond my grasp. Still with the way that flfyfishing invigorates me, I might just get further down the bucket list than I expect.

Thanks for sharing!

Jimbo


Top
  
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:32 pm • # 19 
User avatar
Jr. Member

Joined: 09/21/12
Posts: 63
Location: Washington State
Just proves there's a lot of great fishing out there that doesn't draw the attention of mass crowds.


Top
  
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:28 pm • # 20 
User avatar
Newbie

Joined: 07/08/12
Posts: 6
Great article and fantastic photos.
Any of you fellows and gals are ever around West Yellowstone stop in Blue Ribbon Flies and talk to Craig Matthews. He will put you on to some fantastic creeks and small water. Carry bear spray always!!


Top
  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  

Go to page 1, 2  Next   Page 1 of 2   [ 29 posts ] New Topic Add Reply

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group

- OurBoard Support -