Idaho Fly Fishing

loading map - please wait...

ID - Big Lost River: 43.655842, -113.345749
ID - Big Wood River: 42.991158, -114.456474
ID - Coeur d'Alene River: 47.549884, -116.358604
ID - Lower Henry's Fork Snake River: 44.017448, -111.583069
ID - Upper Henry's Fork Snake River: 44.322083, -111.450203
ID - Lower South Fork of the Snake River : 43.127205, -111.031219
ID - Middle Fork Clearwater River: 46.247688, -115.640778
ID - Silver Creek: 43.330704, -114.089630
ID - South Fork Boise River: 43.340675, -115.479378
ID - St Joe River: 47.250340, -116.023003
ID - Upper Lost River Drainage: 43.997723, -113.772011
Calder: 47.274300, -116.188500
Anderson Lake Outlet: 47.466008, -116.764967
Bear River (Black Canyon): 42.543062, -111.798296
Ben Ross Reservoir: 44.521678, -116.448818
Big Cottonwood Creek WMA: 42.304554, -114.010052
Big Lost River (Lower): 43.940864, -113.650183
Big Lost River (Rothwell): 43.847084, -113.442395
Big Lost River (Stennett): 43.859385, -113.471346
Big Lost River (Upper): 44.017836, -113.989321
Big Wood River - Magic Reservoir (Rock Creek): 43.328322, -114.398713
Big Wood River - Magic Reservoir (Sheep Bridge): 43.329676, -114.359694
Big Wood River - Magic Reservoir (Stanton Crossing): 43.329473, -114.321027
Billingsley Creek (North): 42.835906, -114.893050
Billingsley Creek (South): 42.827909, -114.885119
Birch Creek: 44.139695, -112.897957
Birch Creek (Kaufman): 44.230874, -112.975789
Blackfoot Reservoir (Hopkins Landing): 42.885830, -111.630145
Blackfoot Reservoir (Pebble Beach): 42.954764, -111.639606
Blackfoot Reservoir (Poison Creek): 43.024479, -111.710458
Blackfoot River Park: 42.821206, -111.552430
Blackfoot River WMA: 42.828622, -111.348340
Blue Mountain Meadow Pond: 44.501079, -114.238987
Boise River (Airport): 43.692183, -116.633007
Boise River (Dixie): 43.730941, -116.886618
Boise River (Eagle Hatchery): 43.676603, -116.403477
Boise River (Immigration): 43.781724, -116.970959
Boise River (Lansing Lane): 43.684940, -116.573654
Boise River (Martin Landing): 43.811585, -117.022211
Boise River (Midland Road): 43.686875, -116.593418
Boise River (Takatori): 43.797988, -116.992664
Bonner Lake: 48.727880, -116.111798
Buffalo River (Buffalo ADA): 44.426390, -111.368890
Bull Run Lake: 47.529636, -116.480460
Caldwell Ponds: 43.690459, -116.708429
Camas Creek: 43.337177, -114.598750
Camas Creek - Magic Reservoir (Moonstone): 43.335607, -114.432950
Camas Prairie Kids Pond: 43.344636, -114.771688
Campbell Pond: 46.543399, -115.871463
Carey Lake WMA: 43.333749, -113.921163
Cartier Slough WMA: 43.824746, -111.917540
Chase Lake: 48.457522, -116.828504
Chesterfield Reservoir: 42.883257, -111.953286
Clearwater River (Beardy Gulch): 46.444143, -116.847399
Clearwater River (Five-Mile Creek): 46.355106, -116.163677
Clearwater River (Gibbs Eddy): 46.479529, -116.752599
Clearwater River (Upper Hog Island): 46.446967, -116.860446
Clearwater River, Lower (Cherry Lane): 46.512085, -116.683506
Clearwater River, Lower (Lower Hog Island): 46.444809, -116.887354
Clearwater River, Lower (McKays Eddy - Myrtle): 46.497271, -116.728413
Clearwater River, Middle (Ahsahka): 46.500787, -116.316086
Clearwater River, Middle (Clearwater Hatchery): 46.504967, -116.329873
Clearwater River, Middle (Lenore): 46.506488, -116.548816
Clearwater River, Middle (McGill Spur): 46.500521, -116.374666
Clearwater River, Middle Fork (Kooskia): 46.136027, -115.956574
Clearwater River, North Fork: 46.505691, -116.316923
Clearwater River, North Fork (Ahsahka Bridge): 46.504110, -116.322266
Clearwater River, Upper (Button Beach): 46.166593, -115.995530
Clearwater River, Upper (Greer): 46.392620, -116.177255
Clearwater River, Upper (Longcamp): 46.276260, -116.097690
Clearwater River, Upper (Zans): 46.418174, -116.205626
Cocolalla Lake: 48.138688, -116.602503
Condie Reservoir: 42.210255, -111.863417
Cour d'Alene Lake (Loffs Bay): 47.557360, -116.826967
Cour d'Alene Lake (Mica Bay): 47.599496, -116.859508
Cour d'Alene Lake (Rockford Bay): 47.508934, -116.899529
Cour d'Alene River (East of Rose Lake): 47.538255, -116.471430
Crane Falls Lake (Cove Arm): 42.965868, -115.838491
Crowthers Reservoir: 42.204438, -112.255024
Crystal Lake: 48.176029, -116.879722
Crystal Springs Pond: 43.061814, -112.655166
Daniels Reservoir: 42.350164, -112.440124
Dawson Lake: 48.781072, -116.237776
Day Rock Pond: 47.514633, -115.897755
Deep Creek Reservoir: 42.208284, -112.173828
Deer Creek Reservoir: 46.625173, -115.779569
Devil Creek Reservoir: 42.300671, -112.206207
Deyo Reservoir: 46.367537, -116.011607
Dike Lake (Blackfoot Reservoir): 42.844566, -111.602367
Dog Creek Reservoir: 43.024485, -114.742783
Duff Pond: 43.698309, -116.592689
East Fork Rock Creek: 42.563389, -112.790554
Elk Creek Reservoir: 46.772175, -116.174787
Emmett Airport Pond: 43.854044, -116.535333
Fall River: 44.018350, -111.570421
Filer Ponds: 42.583385, -114.612304
Fish Lake: 44.903792, -116.216588
Foster Reservoir: 42.122877, -111.842006
Fox Creek East: 43.650369, -111.166850
Fox Creek West: 43.655570, -111.178453
Freeman Lake: 48.222962, -117.032909
Gaver Lagoon: 43.338619, -114.147156
Glendale Reservoir: 42.127922, -111.808275
Granite Lake: 48.006239, -116.689038
Grays Lake Outlet: 43.135371, -111.496520
Hauser Lake: 47.769365, -117.017850
Hawkins Reservoir: 42.511926, -112.331520
Hayden Lake (Sportsman Park): 47.811201, -116.698152
Hayden Pond: 44.838249, -113.663486
Henry's Fork (Ashton Reservoir): 44.111649, -111.455327
Henry's Fork (Beaver Dick): 43.825269, -111.905182
Henry's Fork (Box Canyon): 44.417000, -111.394700
Henry's Fork (Chester Dam): 44.018063, -111.582373
Henry's Fork (Chester Wetland): 44.019245, -111.584019
Henry's Fork (Fun Farm Bridge): 43.982569, -111.624114
Henry's Fork (Jump Off Canyon): 44.108732, -111.438178
Henry's Fork (Last Chance): 44.370924, -111.402472
Henry's Fork (McCrea): 44.462500, -111.400560
Henry's Fork (Mill Creek): 44.447890, -111.426196
Henry's Fork (Ora Bridge): 44.070506, -111.508301
Henry's Fork (Red Road Bridge): 43.928482, -111.778145
Henry's Fork (Riverside): 44.266774, -111.456232
Henry's Fork (Stone Bridge): 44.109567, -111.337808
Henry's Fork (Vernon Bridge): 44.051455, -111.539908
Henry's Fork (Warm River ADA): 44.109554, -111.337828
Henry's Fork (Warm Slough): 43.870289, -111.864711
Henrys Lake (Frome Park): 44.650132, -111.437018
Henrys Lake (South Shore): 44.615592, -111.417170
Herrick Reservoir: 44.377067, -115.982717
Horsethief Reservoir: 44.511419, -115.917912
Indian Creek Reservoir: 43.385958, -116.009987
Island Park Reservoir (Buttermilk): 44.432500, -111.426110
Island Park Reservoir (Island Park): 44.419418, -111.398069
Island Park Reservoir (West End): 44.375837, -111.531597
Jewell Lake: 48.138769, -116.722733
Jim Moore Pond: 43.683608, -112.116467
Jimmy Smith Lake: 44.165134, -114.395482
Johnson Creek: 48.138983, -116.228615
Johnson Reservoir: 42.110450, -111.808321
Kelso Lake: 48.011600, -116.709869
Kids Creek Pond: 45.167899, -113.890393
Lake Pend Oreille (Clark Fork Driftyard): 48.173605, -116.231854
Lake Pend Oreille (Denton Slough): 48.193097, -116.246609
Lake Pend Oreille (Garfield Bay): 48.188053, -116.437320
Lake Pend Oreille (Hawkins Point - Pack River): 48.282788, -116.378804
Lake Pend Oreille (Pringle Park - East Hope): 48.239163, -116.293446
Lake Pend Oreille (Sunnyside Park): 48.279835, -116.383360
Lamont Reservoir: 42.104751, -111.814458
Lemhi River (Hayden Creek): 44.867631, -113.624575
Lemhi River (Lemhi Power Site): 45.174645, -113.881381
Lemhi River (Lower): 45.156400, -113.817995
Lemhi River (McFarland Recreation Site): 44.802565, -113.567240
Lemhi River (South): 44.939671, -113.638866
Little Camas Reservoir: 43.340886, -115.387227
Little Lost River: 44.103122, -113.238753
Little Payette Lake: 44.926805, -116.042819
Little Salmon River (Boulder Hole): 45.204759, -116.312272
Little Salmon River (Fall Creek): 45.223305, -116.320936
Little Salmon River (Hazzard Creek): 45.180647, -116.301141
Little Salmon River (Pasture Hole - Mile Post 192): 45.382509, -116.351027
Little Salmon River (Rattlesnake Creek): 45.266882, -116.341744
Little Salmon River (Trail Creek): 45.185926, -116.302321
Little Salmon River (Upper Bluff - Mile Post 190): 45.363122, -116.359496
Little Wood River (Bear Tracks Williams): 43.144791, -114.061754
Little Wood River (Preacher Bridge): 43.190208, -114.019075
Lowman Nature Pond: 44.115913, -115.408282
Lucky Friday Pond: 47.472950, -115.762872
Mackay Reservoir (Dam): 43.951793, -113.672633
Mackay Reservoir (Lower): 43.963475, -113.702734
Mackay Reservoir (Upper): 43.967926, -113.710709
Magic Reservoir (Lava Point): 43.290479, -114.388964
Mann Lake: 46.370000, -116.850000
Marinac: 43.902629, -113.616824
McArthur Lake WMA: 48.520821, -116.441773
McTucker Pond: 43.035816, -112.649283
Minidoka Pond: 42.570873, -113.646995
Montpelier River WMA: 42.325803, -111.243227
Moose Creek Reservoir: 46.874329, -116.420021
Mormon Reservoir: 43.280586, -114.802328
Mosquito Flat Reservoir: 44.520482, -114.433285
Moyie River: 48.970457, -116.170204
Mud Lake WMA (North Boat Ramp): 43.897972, -112.389094
Mud Lake WMA (South Boat Ramp): 43.871962, -112.408650
Murtaugh Lake: 42.462280, -114.167654
Northwest Passage Pond: 45.004849, -116.063351
Oneida Narrows Reservoir: 42.274241, -111.743666
Oster Lakes (Hagerman WMA): 42.766004, -114.876492
Oxford Reservoir: 42.278671, -112.011136
Paddock Valley Reservoir: 44.206542, -116.593223
Pahsimeroi River: 44.620271, -113.974734
Payette River (Birding Island North): 44.008574, -116.812789
Payette River (Birding Island West): 44.008928, -116.831489
Payette River (Blacks Bridge): 43.989249, -116.796782
Payette River (Falk Bridge): 43.952676, -116.717613
Payette River (Fifty-two Bridge): 43.978161, -116.776643
Payette River (Greenbelt Pond): 44.082435, -116.951003
Payette River (Horseshoe Bend Mill Pond): 43.934398, -116.185581
Payette River (Plaza Road Bridge): 43.921969, -116.443804
Payette River, South Fork (Alder Creek): 44.070554, -115.946012
Pend Oreille River (Hoodoo Creek): 48.157889, -116.752590
Pend Oreille River (Morton Slough): 48.180593, -116.714373
Pleasantview Reservoir: 42.214052, -112.362994
Ponderosa Pond: 42.570620, -113.790042
Portneuf River (Crane Creek): 42.724219, -112.207838
Portneuf River (Edson Fichter Nature Area): 42.821637, -112.403315
Portneuf River (Lower): 42.642030, -112.003817
Portneuf River (Mikes Place): 42.750609, -112.002122
Portneuf River (Upper): 42.709510, -112.013689
Rexburg Nature Park: 43.834795, -111.801290
Robinson Pond: 46.209624, -116.082230
Rose Lake (Sportsman Park): 47.553493, -116.458530
Rose Lake (Watson Road): 47.554738, -116.459538
Round Lake - O'Gara Bay Road: 47.375075, -116.736924
Rowland Pond: 44.919097, -116.012794
Salmon River (Bayhorse Recreation Site): 44.385493, -114.260722
Salmon River (Bobcat Gulch): 45.365425, -113.964922
Salmon River (Carmen Bridge): 45.229098, -113.891693
Salmon River (Challis Bridge Recreation Site): 44.469988, -114.199654
Salmon River (Colston Creek): 44.753116, -113.995698
Salmon River (Cottonwood Recreation Site): 44.668284, -114.079710
Salmon River (Cronks Canyon): 44.728898, -114.003766
Salmon River (Deer Gulch): 44.703022, -114.043468
Salmon River (Elk Bend): 44.904233, -113.968940
Salmon River (Ellis North): 44.691171, -114.049686
Salmon River (Ellis South): 44.686991, -114.056102
Salmon River (Ellis Walking Easement): 44.701070, -114.051553
Salmon River (Fourth Of July): 45.359310, -113.945361
Salmon River (Gold Creek): 44.111821, -114.862369
Salmon River (Island Park): 45.176861, -113.899080
Salmon River (Lemhi Hole): 45.187146, -113.893179
Salmon River (Lime Creek): 44.922664, -113.962702
Salmon River (Lower McKim Creek): 44.810353, -114.009592
Salmon River (North Fork): 45.405393, -113.995205
Salmon River (Pennal Gulch): 44.545093, -114.179231
Salmon River (Red Rock): 45.347518, -113.920771
Salmon River (South Butte): 44.247991, -114.455928
Salmon River (Tappan): 44.591963, -114.192401
Salmon River (Tower Rock Recreation Site): 45.312350, -113.906243
Salmon River (Upper McKim Creek): 44.797328, -114.003799
Salmon River (Waddington Creek): 44.932144, -113.961822
Salmon River (Watts Bridge): 44.632194, -114.146142
Salmon River, Lower (Campbell Flat): 45.686506, -116.308277
Salmon River, Lower (Lightning Creek): 45.465656, -116.307106
Salmon River, Lower (Long Gulch): 45.614257, -116.276038
Salmon River, Lower (Maynard Hole): 45.597226, -116.273224
Salmon River, Lower (Twin Bridges): 45.660565, -116.291994
Sand Creek Ponds: 44.213959, -111.617647
Sawtooth Kids Pond: 44.150864, -114.882909
Sawyer Ponds: 43.851325, -116.517854
Shepherd Lake: 48.185600, -116.524298

Download the DIY Fly Fishing App to get turn-by-turn directions to access points shown on the map above. 

Spend less time looking for places to fish and more time fishing!

Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

Every state seems to be known for something and when it comes to Idaho's claim to fame it's all about adventure and outdoor activities year-round. As soon as spring rolls around it's all about the blue-ribbon trout fishing opportunities here. The trout streams are superb and for many people they are unmatched. It's not just the streams, however; there are also reservoirs and lakes just brimming with a wide variety of fish. Besides trout anglers love the challenge involved with catching the great king salmon.

An interesting fact about Idaho is that it is the only state that is landlocked in the west of the country that also offers steelhead and salmon. Of course one of the most incredible parts about your fishing experience here is the fact you are surrounded by sheer beauty when it comes to the scenery.

So let’s get right to it and take a look at the top spots for fishing and some tips you can use when planning your fly fishing adventure, such as the perfect time to visit, what to pack, and when the hatches take place each year.

​Where to Go?

Usually the first thing you ask when setting up your fly fishing adventure is, "What is the best place to go?" Well here's an answer you may not be expecting, in Idaho there is no "bad" place. In fact many call this the best state in the west for fly fishing. What makes Idaho very unique is that the government owns a whopping 65% of the land in the state, keeping it protected and pristine and ideal for fishing. And not to worry, the non-government owned land is also accessible in many areas and just waiting to be fished.

While there are well-known places all across the state, the eastern section seems to be the most popular area for fly fishing. This is where you'll find the South Fork of the Snake River and Henry's Fork of the Snake River, both incredibly well-known among anglers. Here’s a better look at these and other places to go in Idaho.

South Fork of the Snake River

This area is located in the Swan Valley of Idaho and is ideally visited during the summer months. This area is found right below the Palisades Dam and is a canyon with no road access. You'll be catching trout here, and it is best enjoyed by floating on a boat/raft. This one is a fairly easy stream to fish and features small-sized riffles and waves. The South Fork is almost 60 miles in length and winds and slithers around; it makes for a really interesting journey. Keep in mind the water speeds are a bit much for wading, as is the water level. Instead opt for tail-water fishing.

Henry's Fork of the Snake River

When it comes to the most well-known areas this particular area of the Snake River is a gem and a real star among anglers. In fact this trout stream has been voted number one in the whole country. This one is just teeming with large trout such as browns and rainbow. If you like dry fly fishing, this is the place to be. It is located in a floodplain area of the high-desert. Expect spectacular scenery, a gentle river, and tons of greenery. It’s got a really serene feeling to it. This area is open spring, summer, and fall but is usually best in the summer. The most popular section of the Fork runs from Island Park Dam to Riverside take-out. This area runs alongside a highway, making it very accessible. If you plan on visiting Henry's Fork, bring your waders or a boat for floating.

Kelly Creek

Kelly Creek is another gem, which is located in the northern part of the state. It is in the Clearwater National Forest, with the nearest city being Pierce. Kelly Creek features ideal opportunities for catching cutthroat trout. Catch and release regulations are in effect here, so it's important to be aware of this. As well, you will need to use artificial lures and flies. Typically the area is pretty quiet so if you like solitude when fly fishing this is the place to find it. Just like most areas in Idaho, fishing can be done spring through fall, but August and September tend to offer the best conditions for anglers.

Yellowstone National Park

The famed Yellowstone National Park runs through Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana offering fly fishing opportunities for each of the states. Within Idaho this part of the park is quite gentle as it is a plateau. You'll still see all the mountains surrounding you, and you'll have a variety of rivers and streams to choose from. To reach these areas you'll need to hike to them, and taking proper precautions is essential. The wildlife in this park includes such animals as elk, moose, bison, deer, cougars, mountain goats, wolves, and grizzly bears. This isn’t to say you can’t do the hike – just be prepared and be mindful of your surroundings.

The area is open from spring through to fall, but summer and fall are usually the best time for fishing. The nearest city to the park is Cody. Typically you'll find cutthroat trout in the waters of the park, but there are others.

Additional Places

Idaho has such a wealth of places to choose from, there are other options such as Silver Creek, the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River, the South Fork of the Boise River, Silver Creek, and St. Joe River. All of these are favorites among anglers so you can expect great conditions at each.

​When to Go?

While the season may differ slightly depending on where you are heading, typically the fly fishing season begins in mid to late May across Idaho. The reason this is often seen as the real start of the season is because this is when the first significant hatches occur. Spring is ideal for dry fly fishing. Then, come summer things step up even more and you can add floating and wading to your options.

The hatches will be even more plentiful during the summer months of July and August so visiting the smaller lakes and rivers can work out well. Finally at the end of the season the temperatures will start to cool down, not just with the air but the water temperatures. There are still great conditions for fry flies and wading, and many find this is the best time for streamer fishing. Hatches start to taper off, and by the end of October they will be finished. Depending on the location you choose to visit, fall may actually be the best time of year for fly fishing.

The hatches will vary depending on what region of the state you are visiting, but as a generally rule you'll find the most occurring the months of June, July, and August. Pretty much everything tapers off by mid-November. With that said there are some regions that see hatches year-round. It is the midges that can continue all year.

​What You Will Need When You Get There?

Before packing your gear it’s important to be aware of the regulations where you plan to be fishing. There are a number of rivers, streams, creeks, and lakes that only allow artificial lures and flies, so it’s important to know this in advance. If you're unsure of what flies to pick, matching with the current hatch is the best plan. You can always visit local fly shops to find out more about what is popular and what is in season.

While you don't have to spend a fortune on your rod and reel, you do want to opt for ones that will fit the conditions of the state. Experts suggest you aim for a fly rod that is between seven to nine feet and has the fly reel mounted right to the rear seat of the rod. As for your fly line, one that is six to 10 feet should be adequate. This has a bit to do with where you plan to fish.

For those who are 14 years of age and older you will require a fishing license or a permit in order to fish in Idaho. This goes for non-residents as well. You can get yours through the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. This is also where you can find more information on regulations and special permits that may be required. Limits can change from year to year, as can the requirements and regulations. Even if you’re a resident who is familiar with the rules, it’s best to brush up on them each year.

Idaho is a state filled with natural beauty, friendly people, and outstanding fly fishing opportunities. It’s the kind of place you can build a whole fishing getaway around and be extremely pleased with your choices. Anglers are encouraged to get out there and explore the wide variety of lakes, rivers, creeks, reservoirs, and especially the blue-ribbon trout streams.