Featured FLY FISHING RIVERS
The Big Creek runs 30 miles eastward through the Frank Church Wilderness-Of-No-Return to the confluence with the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. This catch-and-release river is known for its west-slope cutthroat trout, many above 14 inches. Access is provided from the headwaters, and a trail runs the northern shore for its entire length descending from 6,000 feet down to 3,500 feet at the confluence.
Southwest of Saint Regis, the St Joe River is a scenic freestone river with huge westslope cutthroat trout. This catch-and-release river starts at St Joe Lake and runs 50 miles through forest. Easy access is provided on the lower 33 miles by a parallel road (St Joe River Road aka FS218). Upstream of Spruce Tree Campground, the only access is via a 17 mile long hiking trail that parallels the river.
Southwest of Missoula and west of Lolo Hot Springs, the Kelly Creek is a catch & release area known for its cutthroat trout. Many people liken Kelly Creek to the St Joe River to the north. Both are of similar size, and many fly fishermen hit both in the same week. The lower section (10 miles) is accessed by a parallel gravel road (Moose Creek Road). The upper section of the river is...
Southeast of Lowell, the Selway River is an epic 40 mile fly fishing river. Starting from Lowell, a road parallels the north shore for the first 15 miles. At the end of the road, heading upstream into the wilderness area, there is a foot trail along the river...
Near Ketchum, the Big Wood River runs about 50 miles from the headwaters near Galena Summit to Magic Reservoir. Expect to find plenty of rainbow trout on the upper sections, and look for brown trout averaging 13 inches in the lower sections. This freestone river averages about 75 feet wide, and supports good fly fishing from mid-June to October.
North of Stanley, the Middle Fork Of The Salmon River is a 104 mile rugged river passing through the Frank Church River Of No Return Wilderness Area. While the best access is via float, there is a 70 mile trail that parallels much of the river, but it is a very rugged route.
Southwest of West Yellowstone and north of Ashton, the Falls River flows from the southwestern quadrant of Yellowstone National Park and merges with the Henrys Fork of the Snake River. There are numerous waterfalls in the upper sections. Prior to human intervention, there were no fish in the upper reaches. But now you can expect to find plentiful trout. The best section of the river is...
Near Stanley, the Salmon River is known for excellent fly fishing. The Salmon River starts south of Stanley and winds through the valley heading north-northeast. There are easy roadside fly fishing access points for the Salmon River from the main highways, though many fly fishing on the Salmon River prefer float boats, especially further downstream in the canyon.
Northwest of Pocatello and Arco, the Big Lost River is popular with fly fishermen for its rainbow trout. The Big Lost River is a tailwater fishery starting at MacKay Reservoir and generally flowing southeast. Fly fishing access to the Big Lost River can be challenging due to the amount private property along the banks.
Southeast of Coeur d'Alene near Kooskia, the Clearwater River is popular with fly fishermen. Formed by the confluence of the Selway River and the Lochsa River, the Clearwater River heads west to the Snake River confluence.
East of Couer d'Alene and northeast of Kingston, the Couer d Alene River is popular with fly fishermen. When fly fishing on the Couer d'Alene River, you can expect to find plenty of West Slope Cutthroat trout, but keep in mind that this is a catch-and-release river.
Northwest of Pocatello and MacKay, the Upper Lost River is popular with fly fishermen. When fly fishing on the Upper Lost River, you can expect to find cutbow trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout and rainbow trout.