Please login to view all forums, thanks!
Sign up Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
FSUBowhunt

Stocked Trout
Registered:
Posts: 37
Reply with quote  #1 

Lately, I've been trying to do a little research on an Idaho fishing trip for the upcoming summer.  Some buddies and I have done Montana for a few years now, and we decided it might be interesting to sneak over into Idaho and check out the scene..  I noticed when searching the archives that a few folks had posted a little bit about Idaho.  I was hoping to get a few possible suggestions about where to fish/stay.  Basically, a buddy and I have picked a week (July 8-14) to go out, but we haven't really narrowed much down other than we intend to fly into Spokane.  He wants to hit Kelly Creek, but other than that, we are wide open to suggestions.  My thought is to put together a loop route that takes us from Spokane, down into Kelly Creek area, and then head back toward Spokane toward the end of the week.  At this point, we are just getting started in the planning stages. 

If you had that week of July and a blank canvas, what would be your ideal itinerary? We are renting a car and mainly camping, but will likely rent a cabin along the way at some point.  Any info you might be willing to give would be greatly appreciated, including any interesting side-bar attractions (restaraunts, bars, historic sites, etc).  I plan to email a few guides and fly shops as well, but I figured someone from this page might have some worthwhile input.  Thanks in advance!

Andy

0
DrewFlu33

Avatar / Picture

Brookie
Registered:
Posts: 4,258
Reply with quote  #2 
SalVOLinus should be able to give some great advice.  Believe he lived out there for quite a while. 
__________________


@Real_FFC
0
Redrun

Musky
Registered:
Posts: 1,155
Reply with quote  #3 
Check this trip out. The Rocky Mountain Fly Highway, a great documentary on Netflix.

The trailer:

__________________
Tight Lines,

Redrun
0
salVOLinus

White Bass
Registered:
Posts: 271
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FSUBowhunt

Lately, I've been trying to do a little research on an Idaho fishing trip for the upcoming summer.  Some buddies and I have done Montana for a few years now, and we decided it might be interesting to sneak over into Idaho and check out the scene..  I noticed when searching the archives that a few folks had posted a little bit about Idaho.  I was hoping to get a few possible suggestions about where to fish/stay.  Basically, a buddy and I have picked a week (July 8-14) to go out, but we haven't really narrowed much down other than we intend to fly into Spokane.  He wants to hit Kelly Creek, but other than that, we are wide open to suggestions.  My thought is to put together a loop route that takes us from Spokane, down into Kelly Creek area, and then head back toward Spokane toward the end of the week.  At this point, we are just getting started in the planning stages. 

If you had that week of July and a blank canvas, what would be your ideal itinerary? We are renting a car and mainly camping, but will likely rent a cabin along the way at some point.  Any info you might be willing to give would be greatly appreciated, including any interesting side-bar attractions (restaraunts, bars, historic sites, etc).  I plan to email a few guides and fly shops as well, but I figured someone from this page might have some worthwhile input.  Thanks in advance!

Andy



Ahh. the Gem State - and the fishing certainly lives up to that namesake. 

Kelly Creek is a HAUL. Even with flying into Spokane you'll have quite a long drive (but gorgeous terrain). If you want to hit some remote water for cutties, I think you've made a great choice. Just be prepared to do more driving than you might expect. 

I love northern Idaho, I was raised in the Coeur d'Alene area. That being said, when I visit Idaho I'm probably heading deep into the Sawtooths, Bighorn crags, or somewhere else more central. Feel free to PM me about any specifics. 

__________________
[28u0kcg]
0
TCFlyFisher

Musky
Registered:
Posts: 1,079
Reply with quote  #5 
Cowboy hats optional
0
philbilly

Channel Catfish
Registered:
Posts: 129
Reply with quote  #6 
I fished the St. Joe in Avery back in the day and plan on going back this fall.   We stay in Avery and there is some 50 miles of cutthroat stream.  Marble Creek is always fun for a day.  
0
Headwaters

Largemouth Bass
Registered:
Posts: 989
Reply with quote  #7 
I don't know what happened to "RedIves" who used to post often on this board?  He lived in Idaho and posted several great photo essays of his fishing journeys, especially for the Bull Trout.
He indicated he was moving back east and he disappeared from the board, unless he changed his board name.  If he is still reading perhaps he will offer his thoughts.
0
wvtroutguy15

Smallmouth Bass
Registered:
Posts: 1,487
Reply with quote  #8 
He is SalVOLinus now and posted above. I think the VOL is all caps due to a disorder/addiction that causes love of  the color orange and disappointment [biggrin]
__________________
"When the buffalo are gone, we will hunt mice, for we are hunters and we want our freedom." -Chief Sitting Bull
0
salVOLinus

White Bass
Registered:
Posts: 271
Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wvtroutguy15
He is SalVOLinus now and posted above. I think the VOL is all caps due to a disorder/addiction that causes love of  the color orange and disappointment [biggrin]


😂
Thanks Ben, haha.

It's pantone151, for the record. Only that shade of orange in particular satisfies a true vol.

__________________
[28u0kcg]
0
FSUBowhunt

Stocked Trout
Registered:
Posts: 37
Reply with quote  #10 
Thanks so much for the advice guys.  Got a couple of PM's, which I really appreciate.  I believe we may focus on the Kelly Creek/NF Clearwater area for the most part.  Now I'm starting to think about flying into Missoula MT instead which would put us closer I believe.  Thanks again everyone.
0
Predator

Avatar / Picture

Nanner Trout
Registered:
Posts: 470
Reply with quote  #11 
I'm heading to kelley creek July 14 thru 28. Planning on fishing the whole area. We are driving out. I have a small camper and plan on staying at the hidden creek campground. Good luck.
0
highfly

Brookie
Registered:
Posts: 2,023
Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FSUBowhunt
Thanks so much for the advice guys.  Got a couple of PM's, which I really appreciate.  I believe we may focus on the Kelly Creek/NF Clearwater area for the most part.  Now I'm starting to think about flying into Missoula MT instead which would put us closer I believe.  Thanks again everyone.

This is a good plan lol

__________________
Spanking the crooked water monkey for way too long.
0
texrope

Sturgeon
Registered:
Posts: 113
Reply with quote  #13 
Fly into Missoula & you could fish the Bitterroot & Clark Fork that flow through Missoula. Blackfoot is a few miles away. Also, Rock Creek is close.
0
FlyFishingPastor

Sauger
Registered:
Posts: 168
Reply with quote  #14 
I was born, mostly raised and educated in WV.  My family still has a farm in Wetzel Co. and I go home, visit family and fish whenever I have a chance (which isn't often now that I live in the Spokane WA area).  After getting out of the Navy, I moved to Indiana and served churches there for some 25 years.  I enjoyed the mid-west.  Michigan and Wisconsin were close enough to hit for a weekend or a weeks fishing when time permitted.  After some 20 years of taking all our vacations in the Yellowstone area (Montana, Wyoming, Idaho) we finally moved west and we enjoy it.  But it's a huge difference vacationing here and living here.  I still check in on this forum but don't post as much as I used to simply because I live 2500 miles away so I don't always have much to add on the local scene.  But, from time to time there are posts here that I can jump in on.  This is one.

For one, back in the day, most of the people we saw, talked with and spent time with while on vacation were those (mostly) in the business of making money off of tourists so they loved us and freely offered advise on where to stay, eat and fish!  We spent money and helped pay their bills - which was fair.  And, don't get me wrong, we love the folks out here.  We did then and still do.  They are friendly, generally relaxed and have a great sense of humor.  Friends are really friends and neighbors act like we were all taught that neighbors were supposed to act.  BUT, nowadays, the average westerner - especially those that hunt and fish in their backyards - don't appreciate the crowds that are becoming more and more the norm.  Visit Yellowstone National Park in July and look at the crowds to get an idea.  There is so much public land out here, it's not an argument about whether easterners have the right to fish here - especially since they support the local economy (for some).  Everyone should use our national lands, but friends, people not from THERE don't treat the lands like they do their neighbors stream back home.  I've noticed a tendency on all the fly fishing forums that I belong to that bristle about the posts on THEIR backyard waters don't seem to have a problem naming names and generously supply information about housing, camping, fishing AWAY from their home towns.  It is not at all uncommon to see people called out for mentioning stream names in their home states but they see no problem in posting stream names for other people's streams on an open forum.  Try fishing the Madison River in July/August and see the packed pull-offs everywhere.  The same thing happens when we mention Kelly Creek on an open forum.

My family has been vacationing in the west for well over 30 years and now we live here.  You would NOT believe the difference.  25 years ago, most streams were reasonably lightly fished.  You could pull over at any stream, on private or public land and fish all day and no one would care.  We always stopped by houses close by the streams to ask permission or to ask if the land was public.  We were almost ALWAYS given permission to fish and invited in for a cup of coffee and a meal, if it was close to meal time.  We still have friends out here that we met way back then.  Great people.  But, try knocking on their door today to ask for permission to fish or hunt!  I still knock on doors when I'm in new territory and it is RARE that they are more than decently friendly and 98% of the time they refuse access for any reason - and often quite rudely.  Why?  They have people pounding on their doors all summer long.  And, some people don't bother to ask, they just pull off and park and fish like they do "back home."  Things are a bit different out here than fishing in a neighbors backyard.  They are sick and tired of picking up garbage, repairing their fences and closing their gates (and chasing livestock).  If you are on private land (and it doesn't have to be posted) and you don't have permission, if you're caught, it involves the sheriff (and they are tired of being pulled off more important tasks to write tickets for trespassing) so you almost ALWAYS will get a ticket.  Westerners are rightfully touchy about people on their land.  Again, most are genuinely nice people, they are just tired of people from out of state wandering in and trashing their streams and their property.  And, it is the same for public waters in the parks and national/state forests.  People trash them and stand elbow to elbow in places where the fishing used to be easily fished out the back door.

During the tourist seasons, June through September, the locals rarely fish.  It's often tough to find a place TO fish.  So, they fish before snowmelt and after it starts falling again.  And, no, if you don't have experience in the mountains, you don't want to fish there when the snow is falling.  It's dangerous.  Our first September out here my wife and I fished in Idaho in September.  Got on the stream just after lunch.  It was sunny and 50 degrees.  I hiked upstream about a mile and before I got back to the truck it had started to rain, then sleet and finally the snow was blowing sideways.  We barely got out of the mountains on those dirt roads with major drifting, even with 4 wheel drive AND chains.  You've mentioned some of what used to be the finest waters in Idaho/Montana, Kelly Creek, Clearwater, Clark's Fork, etc. And, they are good.  But not what they were decades back - but that's likely true on some of the premium water in WV, as well.  There were times, back in the day, when you could camp on Kelly Creek, with maybe one other tent in the campgrounds.  Best of luck in July, to find that today.  It sure COULD happen, but if it does, it'll be snowing sideways or raining.  These streams get hammered now as soon as the roads open (May/June) until the snow starts falling in feet in October.  And, it's a rare week indeed when you find the backcountry in July quiet and uncrowded.  I really do wish you well.  If you hit these streams just right, you'll never quit smiling.  Now that I live here, I fish early and I fish late in the year.  But, I don't have kids in school and I don't have to stick with the vacation season.  And, whether YNP or Kelly Creek, be prepared to hike to get some uncrowded water.  A mile from the parking lot is a LOT less crowded!  Remember to take the Bear Spray and if you camp, DO remember safe food storage.  Bears and wolves are not just in zoos out here and the moose (with calves) can be even worse.  Do not forget bear spray.  Hopefully you'll see bear, wolves and moose - from a reasonable distance. 😉

I know it's common on most forums to ask for advice on where to fish in new areas.  Please remember those waters, famous or not, are SOMEONE's honey hole streams and consider sharing info via email or PM - lots of people troll these forums for information.   And, please understand, I am in no way suggesting you don't fish in the west!  Everyone that loves to fly fish, should have the opportunity to fish a backcountry cutthroat stream - and they are changing fast.  it's not just climate change.  Where even a few years back, if you got much more than a mile off the pavement, you had pristine streams with nary another human footprint evident. More bear tracks than people tracks.  Now, I carry a garbage bag with me - even into the back country to pick up the beer cans and bait containers and it is always full when I get back to the car.   I advise you to get in shape.  Not just physically, but knowledge-wise as well.  If you don't have a DeLorme Gazetteer for the state you'll be fishing, GET ONE.  Because long gone are the days where the local grocery store clerk will tell you any creeks besides the ones you're hearing about here.  And, BTW, neither will the fly shops.  Remember, they have to live there.  If they talk about the few remaining back country streams that aren't hammered, they lose local clients.  So, your best information is to be prepared to get off the beaten trails.  Idaho and Montana have thousands of miles of streams  and the majority of good to great ones are regularly listed on non-local forums.  Be willing to do your own research.  Consider tribs to the streams you're hearing about.  Remember bear spray!  There are more streams than you could fish in several lifetimes in the atlas.

And, when you get home, when you share your information online, stream names, hotels, restaurants (because they're not in your backyard) and posting pictures of the sunsets and fish, remember what it looked like when you were there, because it won't look like that when you go back.  Enjoy your vacay! 😉

Pat

P.S.  I mentioned bear spray because it needs to be part of your gear.  Strap it on every time you go fishing in the back country.  Make noise when you're walking through brush and heavy timber.  Every time.  It's a bad idea to surprise wildlife.  I've had a number of bear and wolf encounters - never had to use the bear spray on them.  But, a momma moose with calves is at least as dangerous as bears/wolves.  These animals don't tolerate people trying to get close for pictures.  They don't fool around when they have their young with them.  Grizzlies aren't usually a problem in Idaho (though there are a few) but black bears are camp pests - certainly in backcountry areas like Kelly Creek.  If you camp, take your food storage seriously.  Bears tear up tents/cars that smell like food.  Also, consider an extra gas can with you and fill up before you drive off the roads.  Gas stations are often infrequent in the mountains and close at random times that can be bad. 

__________________
"Not everything is known about fly fishermen. As the researchers say, further study is indicated." Charles Waterman
0
FSUBowhunt

Stocked Trout
Registered:
Posts: 37
Reply with quote  #15 
Thanks for all the information.  This page has always been a great resource on numerous occasions, for numerous topics.  FlyFishingPastor..I appreciate that post and all the insight within it.  Our current plan for this trip has turned into narrowing down a starting point in a state that has seemingly endless options.  Plus with only 7-8 days, we can't even begin to scratch the surface.  We've narrowed down a general location and now plan was to just bum around and explore the region (with no schedule or lofty expectations).  Kelly Creek was a location that popped up on just about every online Idaho search.  It seemed like a good place to start for a couple eastern guys that have never stepped foot in the state.  Plus with it being close to Missoula (an area I'm pretty familiar with), it seemed fairly convenient. I have already picked up a few books on fly fishing out there, as well as the atlas/gazetteer.  What makes my fishing trips out west the most fun, is getting out there and learning and exploring the public land that we are lucky to have.

Folks have reached out to me via PM and e-mail, which is the way it should be in my opinion when it comes to exchanging information on specific locations, etc.  I'm very thankful for that.   I've been hunting and fishing for 25+ years, and I've learned some lessons about the exchange of information.  That being said, I'll still do what I can to help a person out if I feel they've got good intentions. I've come to realize nothing is like it used to be, wherever you live in this country.  All we can do is make our best effort to preserve and protect what we have,
0
FlyFishingPastor

Sauger
Registered:
Posts: 168
Reply with quote  #16 
FSUBowhunt;

I think that is a great perspective and I completely agree with helping out someone who loves the outdoors.  When people ask for help, I very much appreciate people being willing to help them, I just think a PM is the best way to do that.  I meant no disrespect to you or any of the posters - just offered a different perspective. 

I think you will love Idaho/Montana, especially when you enjoy the "hunt" of finding places to fish.  Personally, Kelly Creek is great, if you hit it right, but it is NOT easy to get into if the weather is off and it takes hours to drive in and drive out.  IF your intention was to drive there and camp there all week, it's not a bad plan but if you had in mind a day trip, in and out, it's a haul.  I can't recommend fishing the tribs off the better known streams highly enough.  If you're in condition to hike for a mile or so, there is still some great fishing to be had.  It's not always productive.  When I first started coming out here, every hike wasn't a "hit."  Many miles were spent tramping into streams with few or really small fish - but when you hit it, well, it's like you won the lottery.  In my opinion, the WORST way for a first trip out here is to try to fish ALL the water in the state.  I did that.  For the first few years, we'd fish one stream in the morning, eat lunch on the way to another stream and hit another on the way home if it wasn't dark.  I'd get home and look at the journal to see what streams we fished and I knew all the names, but I often couldn't remember which one was which.  I think you're wise to take your time, fish a lot, but also get to know the streams even a little bit.  Plus it teaches you what to look for next year.  I'm hoping you come out west every year after that.  It can be amazing.  Again, best of luck on your trip - wherever you head.

Pat

__________________
"Not everything is known about fly fishermen. As the researchers say, further study is indicated." Charles Waterman
0
Roscoe

Brown Trout
Registered:
Posts: 1,875
Reply with quote  #17 
Some buddies and I fished the St. Joe in Idaho last summer. Great place and very remote. Full of good sized cutties and the occasional Bull, although we did not catch any Bulls. I was advised not to fish Kelley creek as it was very difficult to get to and the fishing was no better than the St. Joe

We stayed in Avery at a place called Cabins by the Joe. They book up fast and there is not much else in that town. This area is very remote. Avery has a convenience store and a fly shop, that's about it (and there is no cell service).

The St Joe is a few hours away from Missoula which has a lot of other opportunities that some others have already pointed out.

Feel free to PM me if you would like some additional details.


__________________
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.