The Middle Fork of the Salmon River is one of the premier fishing rivers in the continental United States for native cutthroat and rainbow trout.
The water on the Middle Fork is crystal clear and the scenery is unmatched. While the fish are not known for their excessive size, they are legendary for their willingness to aggressively attack your fly.
FISHING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
As a result of the outstanding fishing opportunities on the Middle Fork, Adventure Sun Valley does offer many “perks” for guests with a Standard Seating option. We provide fly fishing gear for all of our guests during the trip: the rods, the flies, the fishing holes and even free fly fishing lessons. All guests who think they might like to fish do need to purchase a fishing license prior to the expedition.
There are always opportunities to fish the main tributaries while in camp, in the morning, at lunch and in the evenings. In addition, guests with a fishing license on a standard seating option get an opportunity to fish from an oar raft during the trip, if desired. For guests who are more experienced fishermen, or looking for several days of guaranteed fishing, you may want to consider the “Guaranteed Fishing Seat Option” which offers the ultimate fishing experience.
THE MIDDLE FORK IS A CLASSIC DRY FLY FISHERY
Most people choose to fly fish on the Middle Fork Salmon River. Even the novice angler stands an excellent chance of landing significant numbers of fish each day. Because the Middle Fork is a prolific fly fishing river in Idaho, it is an outstanding place to introduce the young or novice angler to the sport of fly fishing.
FISHING LICENSES ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL GUESTS WHO DESIRE TO FISH
Make sure before you go on the river though, that everyone that is required has a fishing license from Idaho Fish and Game. You can either buy that at many vendors in Boise or Stanley before your trip. All fishing is catch and release and restricted to single barbless hooks with no live bait. But be sure to get a copy of the current regulations before you go on the river to see if anything has changed.
THERE ARE SEVERAL DIFFERENT HATCHES ON THE MIDDLE FORK THAT ARE QUITE IMPRESSIVE
In late June there is a Salmon Fly Hatch that is just really impressive. Caddis are on and off all summer and then as summer progresses from late July in through August and September, really grasshoppers are the food of choice. We recommend that most fly fishermen use a four or five weight 8 or 9 foot fly rod with a floating line and just any kind of standard western dry fly patterns work pretty well, anywhere from like a size 8, 10 or 12. We recommend things like Royal Coachmans, Renegades, Yellow Humpys, Adams are irresistable, Caddis, Orange and Royal Stimulators, Joes Op, really fish pretty well, Mother Minnows around a size 8 when its fished just below the surface also an excellent choice. A Mother Minnow pulled deeper through the holes on the bottom part of the river have also been known to be pretty effective for the bull trout or Dolly Parton.
SPIN FISHING IS ALSO A POPULAR PASTIME ON THE MIDDLE FORK
Spin fishermen would probably want to use something like Silver Foxes, a number 2 spinner, anything that’s silver and brass like a Panther Martin, a Daredevil and alot of swivels. We definitely recommend that you bring a good selection and a great supply. Its always a good idea to pack your rods in a hard case.
FISHING THE TRIBUTARIES OF THE MIDDLE FORK SALMON RIVER
As far as great places to fish on the river (and pretty much the whole thing is excellent) there are several tributaries that are really really worth considering on your trip. One is Loon Creek itself. Now if you’re focused on fishing, a great place to camp is at Shell, Loon, or Cow Camp and even possibly White Creek and then spending your evenings and mornings hiking up and fishing Loon Creek. Camas is a second tributary that is excellent. You can either camp right at Camas or request …. Big Creek itself is probably one of the best places on the entire river to hike up and fish. It’s absolutely excellent. There aren’t really any good camps to camp at to access Big Creek except for Last Chance which isn’t a very good camp and really only adequate for a small group.
Many many people treasure the memories of the days fishing on the Middle Fork as some of the best days of their lives. I hope you catch a ton of fish and have a wonderful time.
CONTACT ADVENTURE SUN VALLEY WITH YOUR QUESTIONS
If you have additional questions about fishing on the Middle Fork Salmon River, please don’t hesitate to call me personally at 208-507-1012 or send an email. Before our season begins, I’ll always answer promptly. While we’re on the river, our office will answer any emails and I’ll respond to calls once we’re off the river. No matter how you decide to communicate, I’d like to make sure your experience in planning your Middle Fork fishing expedition is as rewarding as the cherished memories you’ll take away with you at the end of your vacation with Adventure Sun Valley.
Your host, Brad Frei