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Old 06-26-2011, 08:55 AM   #1
gypsyrr OP
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IDAHO: Riding & Fly Fishing

I'll be in western Wyoming for about 5 weeks this summer. I have wanted to spend some time in Idaho, but am unfamiliar with the state. Please, could someone offer some suggestions.

What I'm looking for is an area that will have all four of the following within close proximity, so that I could set up camp for maybe a couple of weeks and enjoy riding, fishing, and camping.

1) fun roads for a road bike
2) fun roads for a dual sport
3) supreme fly fishing (public)
4) primitive camping

I could probably piece together #1 and #2 on my own if someone could tell me the best place to be for fly fishing. I'll have 4x4, plus a dirt bike with me, so don't be afraid to mention any high mountain lakes or streams. Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:24 AM   #2
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Kelly Creek. Primitive, supreme fishing, all dirt, great camping. Your search is over.
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abomb View Post
Kelly Creek. Primitive, supreme fishing, all dirt, great camping. Your search is over.
+1 on Kelly Creek-Black Canyon-Cayuse Creek.

The St. Jo river to the north, especially around Red Ives ranger station . To the South the Selway from highway 12 or the upper part accessed from Conner Mt all have spectacular scenery.
The upper Selway is also on the Magruder Corridor Rd, and that is a must do.
Henry's Fork and others in southern Idaho

Have fun.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:00 AM   #4
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What part of western wyoming? The bighole mountians and the southfork of the snake river are supposed to be supurb flyfishing (although they have been running the river really high this spring, don't know the current state of the fishing). The teton pass and pine creek pass are a really good road ride, right outside of jackson, and into idaho. The south fork also has a good trail system for dirtbikes and atv's with primitive camping. It can become crowded on weekends though. If head 2-3 more miles the the west you will be in the challis, stanely area.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:35 AM   #5
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What part of western wyoming? The bighole mountians and the southfork of the snake river are supposed to be supurb flyfishing (although they have been running the river really high this spring, don't know the current state of the fishing). The teton pass and pine creek pass are a really good road ride, right outside of jackson, and into idaho. The south fork also has a good trail system for dirtbikes and atv's with primitive camping. It can become crowded on weekends though. If head 2-3 more miles the the west you will be in the challis, stanely area.
PM Idahosam, too... he's into the ride and fish scene.
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:29 PM   #6
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Kelly Creek and the Saint Joe are in N. Idaho and will be quite a trek for you from Western WY.

You want to base out of the area from Rexburg/Ashton/Island Park, or Driggs/Tetonia. My preference is Island Park.

From Island Park: fish the Henry's Fork, Buffalo River, Fall River, Bechler River, Firehole, Yellowstone, Beaverkill, Madison, Big Hole River, Ruby River, Jefferson River, etc. If you pick this area, stop at TroutHunter in Last Chance and ask for advice regarding access and patterns.

From Driggs: fish the Upper Teton, South Fork of the Snake (in Idaho, or around Jackson) and more.

I can provide tons more info if you want/need it.
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:46 PM   #7
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Thank you all very much. I'm taking notes.

Normally, I base out of Dubois, WY and fish some high mountain lakes
along the Continental Divide (nice dirt riding there too), Brooks Lake,
the Wind River along Lawyers College Rd., Jakey's Fork, Pelham Lake,
Horse Creek, and a favorite.... Double Cabin.

I've fished the Gros Ventre just south of the Tetons
and the Greys River, and Granite Creek, south of Jackson. And I've fished the Snake in Idaho too, but only from a drift boat.

I'll be there in the height of tourist season which is why I usually go to the lesser known areas where not so many tourists gather. I kinda want to stay away from Yellowstone and Tetons because of the crowds. So I'm looking for little known places.

Is the Kelly Creek area crowded in summer? If not, and Kelly Creek has everything I want, I might just by pass Wyoming this year and spend my time in Idaho instead. Maybe fish my way from the Driggs area to northern Idaho.

And any recommendation on flies would be nice too. I'd like to tie some up before I leave, or at least bring along the materials needed to tie some in the evenings.

Thanks...... and of course, more recommendations are welcomed.
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:54 PM   #8
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and.... is that road out of Headquarters, Id (County Rd. 247/Beaver Creek Rd.) paved or dirt? And CR 250 through the NF; paved or dirt?
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:30 AM   #9
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Cayuse creek

Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsyrr View Post
and.... is that road out of Headquarters, Id (County Rd. 247/Beaver Creek Rd.) paved or dirt? And CR 250 through the NF; paved or dirt?
The road out of Headquarters is paved to the North fork at Aquarius and then upstream several miles, then gravel . There was just an article in the Lewiston Tribune about road closures this summer. They will be working on the Beaver Creek road for several weeks ( with closures ) then the other Idaho route into the North fork, the French mountain road ( paved out of Pierce for 20 miles)will be closed and the other will be open. The Beaver creek road and the French Mountain road hit the river about 50 miles apart so you want the French Mountain road if you want to get upstream to Kelly creek.
Though I would guess that your rod would be out pretty soon after you hit the river since an above average fisherman will find big fish everywhere on the river and there are incredible spots all along the river.

Another route in to the North Fork of the Clearwater and Kelly creek is from superior Mt over Hoodoo pass ( 7000') and into the upper north fork in Black Canyon.
When someone says how beauticul it is at Aquarius, I always tell them that the river gets better all the way to the top of Hoodoo pass.

The most interesting route is from the upper Lochsa , over part of the Lolo motorway and then down Toboggan ridge into Cayuse creek, which feeds into Kelly Creek. Very remote.

Try the upper Selway from Conner Mt, though the river is in Idaho. Upstrem from the ranger station is wilderness and then downstream you run into wilderness after about 30 miles? of river road.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:46 AM   #10
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Beaver Creek Road

I forgot about your note about road bike fun. The Beavercreek raod is very twisty most of the time as are all the roads into Pierce, ID.
Just beware of sand on the corners at times, or one of my favorites is when a rotting chunk of granite rolls off the hill and leaves a slug trail of granite BB's across the road about 6 inches wide, usually half way around a tight corner wher is makes for a little extra fun.

One of the fun parts is Greer Grade just off Hwy 12 coming up out of the mian Clearwater canyon. The switchbacks are tough to get right . I have the spiral hwy right in Lewiston to play with but the off camber turns on Greer are always a challenge.

French Mountain road is actually fun for a road bike if you like twistys with about 20 miles of turns marked at 15-30.

Hwy 12 and Lolo pass are fun and the Hwy 13 route to Elk City is better.

Some of the higher routes will be closed by snow into July this year.
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:50 AM   #11
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As for a recommendation on flies, they're usually not as bad as the mosquitoes, just pesky. If you use a repellent, a natural type is probably better than killer chemicals. Have fun!
ps...no report on the last trip?
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:01 AM   #12
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Idarider:

Thank you so much for that information. I need to add a DeLorme Topo/Atlas of IDAHO to my collection. Unfortunately, I can't find any at the nearby bookstores in my town, so I'll have to wait till I get further north and pick one up. I'm trying to find the places/roads you mention on google maps in the meantime. It all looks great. If I make it that far, I will be there the last of July and into the first couple of weeks in August.

I'm assuming dry flies will be the thing to use in those months, right?

Is the water you are recommending more of a stream than a creek? I prefer streams to rivers. However, I enjoy creeks too. My size is a limitation when it comes to big water. Just not tall or strong enough to handle some of those fast moving rivers, but wise enough to not try it alone, either.

I checked on your out of state licenses for the season: $98???? Wow! I didn't see any 4 weeek options or anything like that. Seemed the only option was 'per day' or season.


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Surely you know I'm talking about flies for fly fishing, right?

I didn't do a ride report the last two years because of the time it takes to do one. That plus, I spent most of my time camping in remote areas and did not have access to wifi to do a live report like I did in 2008 (Roamin' The Rockies: A Woman's Solo Adventure) And by the time I got home after 5-6 weeks of travel, I had too many other things happening, so I was just not able to devote any time to a ride report.

However because you asked, (although it does not belong here..... but I still don't have time to do a ride report because I plan to be on the road by July 11th this year)......... Here's a gallery of favorite memories from my 5 week trip last summer from Texas to NM, CO, WY, MT, SD, NE, KS, OK and back to Texas. Rockies' Faves

Here's a recap of one of my favorite couple of days.

camped under a full moon



Riding up to Double Cabin near Dubois, Wyoming to go fishing:



The water at Double Cabin



A little trout from that water:



The next day, riding along the Continental Divide and stumbling upon Fish Lake. I was glad I had a fly rod and gear packed because I ended up staying all day at this little mountain lake.

The Divide



Rest stop along the divide because a herd of antelope had just crossed my path. Plus, there were wildflowers for a bouquet for me.




The Lake







One on the line. I caught plenty, but only kept two for dinner that night. They were gutted, wrapped in sage found along the banks, put in a bag, loaded on the bike, then cooked at the Cowboy Cafe in Dubois, that evening.





I went back the next day and caught more. But gave them to an older couple fishing nearby.



Then riding past the lake and back to camp, I saw this beautiful scene.



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Old 06-27-2011, 04:07 PM   #13
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Wink KC Trail 567

Been going up to Kelly Creek & Cayuse annually for nearly 30 years...it's pretty epic. If you're willing to hike in a bit from the road access points your effort will pay off. It's gotten more crowded over the years, but that's a relative term.

Amazing wildlife up there..last year we spotted a Wolverine coming at us along trail 567 which I'm told is a rare sighting. I've seen two of the KC Wolf pack up near the Meadows...and come to think of it, fewer Elk & Moose in the last decade.

Another fun "sighting" was when my Dad & I witnessed a protective mama Otter attack a drunken, half drowned inner-tube jockey, in the deep pool at Clayton Creek. I can't believe they shot those rapids 1/4 mile upstream from there. I think he lost his beer coozie

If you are there in mid-late August, don't forget to bring Hopper patterns...but I bet you already knew that

It's pretty friendly for wading...I don't even bring waders anymore (when I backpack in) just boots and neoprene socks. I'll bet it's ripping full of water right now, but if you're there after Aug 1st you should be good.

Trailhead 567 shot looking upstream..

BTW, I've seen motorcycles on this trail before...not sure if they're legal? I've mountain biked it.. be forewarned about cliff exposure and deep troughs in the dusty soil from the more regular pack mule & horse travel.

Hope you have a great Idaho adventure!
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:09 PM   #14
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Yes, I know. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity for a little corny fun. I really, really like your attached photos. Your "Rockies" report was only about the fourth one I had read up until then so, needless to say, I was hooked. You should make that one into a book.
Be careful on your trip and try to leave a few trout for the bears, er, I mean, the other fishermen/fisherwomen.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:57 AM   #15
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Fish lake

Another Fish Lake
11455'6.68"W
4648'47.44"N open to fishing August 1, ( if the snow is gone) , in the past the trail has been open to motorcycles, check with the Clearwater NFS in Orofino, Id to verify that.

All of the streams mentioned are gentle and easy to fish, but with the big snow year it will be just a little later for some, end of July or so.

I will always be partial to the North fork of the Clark fork river where a friend and I needed to catch dinner or eat the back up dinner of turkey dogs and we got seven trout that included, Dolly Varden, Brown, Rainbow, Brook, and Cutthrout. Didn't know they would all live in the same stream like that. After the feast we both agreed that the Cutthroat was the best eating.
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