A limey seeks advice

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by alldayeveryday, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. Morgan
    I would suggest hiring a guide for a day, soaking up as much information as you can from him, and keep checking back at this site, and try to get some of us to take you out, it shouldnt be too hard to get a few of us to take you to some nice spots.

    Asking if fishing is good in september is like asking if the pope wears a funny hat. The rivers will hold a lot of steelhead, king salmon (where legal) and the beginnings of the Coho Salmon run, along with super-charged trout on a feeding frenzy, and just about everything else that swims will be hungry and willing to take a fly.

    For literature, try finding a copy or two of Northwest Fly Fishing Magazine, or Washington Hunting and Fishing News, both have good informatin that will give you the basics for the area.

  2. Start on the Olympic Penn. Fish the Hoh. Drive south until you get to the Columbia river and then turn east hitting every every tributary of the Columbia until you get to Idaho. You might be able to do that in three weeks if you didn't stop for food, gas or sleep.


    "Everyday that you wake up and decide not to go fishing...is one less day you'll go fishing." Forrest Maxwell
  3. IMHO,
    I would make it a point to include Idaho, and Montana if you have that much time! Start on the Missouri, Fish Spring creeks, desert lakes, and mountain streams along the way. Only to end on our beautiful west side rivers fishing for SRC's, King Salmon, and late summer run Steelies.

    If I was you, I include Yellowstone. and work my way up and over. I love that section of the world, including the Gallatin valley, Henry's fork, roll throught the Ketchum area, hit the Grand Ronde, move straight North to the St. Joe, then work over through Pend Orielle and the Okanogan Highlands.... hit the west side of the Cascades, and end on the Olympic Peninsula!

    That would rock!

  4. There is so much country to cover, you could spend weeks in any one place. Are you looking to fish more of the famous trout rivers or looking to find a quiet little stream? Are you looking for trout or for salmon or steelhead? Are you more interested in lakes or rivers? How much driving do you want to do? Are you wanting a tast of the big cities or would you rather enjoy the quirks of small towns?
  5. Hi Guys,

    Thank you very much for all your kind responses. I would say we are more interested in fishing for trout on a mixture of rivers. We already fish for Salmon and 'Sewin' (welsh for Sea Trout) in the UK and are looking for great scenery and remoteness. The only big cities i hope to see are on the first and last days!

    Thanks again.
  6. I'm with Skinny on this one. You should probably narrow down your scope a bit. There are lots of options in September you have to choose from so maybe pare them down to the top 4 or 5 on your list.

    Some thoughts for that time of year:

    British Columbia
    1. Beaches = Salmon or searun cutthroat trout
    2. Coastal Rivers = Steelhead, searuns and maybe some early salmon
    3. Lakes = Central BC has some outstanding trout fishing in September.

    Washington & Oregon
    Similar to BC plus throw in some east side rivers such as the Yakima (trout), the Deschutes (trout and steelhead) and the Grand Ronde (steelhead).

    Trout and more trout. The Snake (Henry's Fork, South Fork, etc.)Lochsa, St. Joes, Clearwater, Kelly Creek....the list goes on and on.

    Let us know your emphasis and we can probably give you a better answer.
  7. My suggestion is that you spend more time in Montana and Idaho if you're primary interest is in fishing for large trout in remote places. The western side of Washington is home to nice trout, but in my opinion, doesn't compare to the scenery and trout fisheries of Montana and Idaho.

    In Montana, check out Rock Creek, Clark Fork etc..
    In Idaho, check out the South Fork of the Snake, the Henry's Fork of the Snake.

    I'll try to recall some other great rivers and destinations.
  8. If this is your first visit to the western US, you probably aren't prepared for how BIG the country is. While we're happy to give you tips on lots of places to fish, getting from one place to another will take time, in some cases, LOTS of time.

    To maximize the amount of time you spend fishing and minimize time spent driving, it might be best to narrow down your target to a more manageable area (like eastern Washington, northern Idaho and western Montana) and then focus on it, saving the rest for another visit.

    "Age is a terrible price to pay for wisdom." ~ Anonymous
  9. I need to add to Saltchuck's Idaho list with only one entry. If Limey is going to drive a Winnebago, he really ought to hit the North Fork of the Coeur D'Alene. Be sure to drop in at Cook's Auto Repair in the town of Coeur D'Alene before driving out to the river. Richard Cook, the owner of the auto shop, also owns an RV park on the river and fishes the stretch by his park ("Yeah, I brought 30 fish to hand last night..."). There are also lots of places further up into the C&R stretches of the river where an RV can pull out to park off the river. Just be careful of the ruts. Beautiful freestone up there!
  10. The obvious destination given your trip requirements is Idaho/Western Montana, as others have suggested. You'll want to be flexible to ensure the rivers you've chosen have good water levels, but that is only a minor concern and nothing to worry about.
    There are so many options, here are a couple online resources to help you get started:
    The 'Wilderness Adventures Flyfisher's Guide' books are a fun read and are available for all western states. I too recommend Northwest Fly Fishing Magazine. Planning this trip should be about as much fun as the fishing itself.

  11. Morgan,

    There are really some great suggestions here...

    I also fly over the pond from Germany to Washington about once or twice per year. The book mentioned in the last post has been extremely helpful to me. You can get it at amazon.co.uk for a few British Pounds. There are books on most of the Western States from the same series.

    I agree with other forum members: Western Washington is stronger on the searun varieties and Eastern Washington boasts mighty trout stillwaters. A tad farther inland (Montana, Idaho, culminating in the Yellowstone area) is where the legendary river and stream trout action starts.

    If you drive from Seattle east, hit the Yakima River on the way.

    Here is a link to the guide book mentioned previously.

  12. A BIG thank you for all the suggestions and emails. No disrespect to Washington State but we have decided to go for Montana and Idaho. We were under the impression that this was too late in the season for Montana and Idaho, i am pleased how wrong we were! I am going to get to work researching all the names and places suggested and try and come up with a route to follow - should be fun.

    A couple more technical questions - i will be bringing over tackle and probably flying into Seattle and then getting an internal flight to Missoula. In the post 9/11 environment (RIP) what are the regulations like on planes - will they refuse to ship rods, hooks, scissors etc?

    Slightly 'out of left field' but does anyone know where we might hire a camper van type vehicle - more than likely in Montana.


    Thanks again,


    P.S Excited!
  13. You'll be alright transporting rods but you should be ok if you pack up your scissors etc. in your luggage.

    September will be prime for fishing large terrestrials, grasshoppers, beetles, ants, etc.. If I were you, I'd get everything tied ahead of time because once you're there, you won't want to do anything but fish.

    I would also recommend that you hire a guide at least for a few days so that you can really get into some pristine areas. The view is always different when you float!
    That said, you'll do fine if you want to hike around.

    Another suggestion is that you check out Glacier/Waterton National Park. There is great fishing around and in the park and I guarantee you won't find anything prettier!!! You'll also be very close to the world famous Bow river in Alberta Canada, it's known for it's big browns. Although it's not the greatest, attached is a picture of one of the lakes around Glacier. Check out rivers like the Flathead and the Black Foot and Little Black Foot to name a few. You will be in bear country so don't pack peanut butter sandwiches!

    Keep in mind that the drive (depending upon where you are) from Idaho to Montana could be 8-10 hours. There is enough fishing to keep one busy for a lifetime in Montana and/or Alberta Canada. If it were me, I'd probably bypass southern Idaho, although it has some fabulous fishing only because there is so much today/see/fish in Montana.

    One last thing to consider it that there is an american holiday the first week in September called labor day. It's traditionally the last big holiday of the summer and people will jam some of the campgrounds. You'd be wise to get reservations well ahead of schedule so that you don't find yourself without a place to camp.

    Maybe I'll see you there...
  14. Cruise America rents a large variety of Class A and Class C motor homes. They are located in Fife, about 1/2 hour south of Sea-Tac. I have used them in the past with no complaints. You could then: grab hwy 18/90 and be fishing the Yakima that evening, spend the night and fish it again at daybreak. Head east and hit Ceviche's spot;evening and next morning. Missoula is around 200 miles away from there. You might even be able to drop off the motorhome in Montana, or... sorry it's your trip, NOT mine! P.S. what IS a W*nker?!
  15. Skinny, great picture. Got that same one framed at home with my me,my wife and her cousin and husband. They were raised in Kalispell.
  16. First, you have the right idea about time: September (after Labor Day, when the kids go back to school) is probably the best time of year to outdoors in the West. Mosquitoes and flies are mostly gone, crowds are much less, the weather is typically glorious (although it is high country, so the weather can be ...).
    You won't be able to fish all the great places, but you'll be able to hit a lot of highlights. And don't be intimidated by the distances. A motor home will save you a lot of time checking into and out of motels. Yellowstone National Park, aside from its wildlife, thermal wonders, and spacious vistas, is a concentration of some of the best trout streams and lakes in America. The Henrys Fork in Idaho, perhaps the best trout stream in our fair land, is less than an hour from the park. Silver Creek and other fine streams near Sun Valley are just a few hours farther; the famous trout rivers of s.w. Montana are even closer. Eastern Washington and eastern Oregon (great trout lakes, famous steelhead rivers) are a half-day's drive away.
    If you keep food locked in your motor home, bears won't be a problem. Crime is always possible, but unlikely. Never leave your vehicle unlocked, or worse, with the motor running!
    A nine-foot rod with a variety of 6-weight lines will be your workhorse. You'll have a lot of fun with a 3- or 4-weight (7-9 feet). And if you can afford it, a 7- or 8-weight rod (9-10 feet) will be valuable for steelhead, salmon, and Is-this-wind-ever-going-to-quit?
    You may not be familiar with float tubes/belly boats. They are your affordable, portable entry to limitless trout fishing in smaller lakes. You really should get one for each of you.
    Man, do I envy you! And as you return to England, you'll envy us. Tight lines!
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  18. Thanks guys.

    Our planning moves on apace. We will now travel in early September, after Labour Day, and fish for the month.

    We may start east of Boise (we have long lost relatives there – grandmother’s sister emigrated from Wales in the 1920s) in Picabo area, then go to Henry’s Fork and move East to Montana towards Missoula fishing – Slough Creek etc. A friend also owns a ranch on the Ruby river in montana (Madison County I think) – ever heard of it?,

    Sadly, we will have to leave Washington for next year although that Umpqua river looks wonderful and I saw some pictures of Oregon which had me drooling. Its just that salmon and seatrout fishing is what we do anyway on the rivers of Wales and we have in mind that special purity that is upstream hatch matching on wild trout streams.

    We are both very excited albeit it's quite a time ahead. I'm sure we will have a fantastic time, meets loads of people, fish some great water and generally unwind.

    Thanks again,

  19. The upper Ruby is a nice smaller stream to fish with relatively easy wading if you access at the right spot. A 3-wt rod is perfect, and it's a nice break from fishing some of the more crowded (relatively speaking) big water in that area. You might even catch a grayling. The lower river should give up a few pigs at the access point below the dam. Probably will be excellent fishing right on your friend's property.
  20. If you are going to begin your trip in Boise, take Interstate 84 east, then the Highway 20 turnoff at Mountain Home, towards Sun Valley for the shortcut to Picabo.

    Coincidentally, this also takes you by one of the finest streams in Idaho – the South Fork Boise River. You get there by taking the turnoff to Anderson Dam off Hwy 20. The river begins at the base of the dam and is beautiful canyon water with campsites etc. The water level may be dropped by Labor Day and the dry fly fishing will be awesome. You may be too early for the famous "Pink Albert" hatch however.

    Silver Creek at the Silver Creek Nature Conservatory near Picabo is experiencing hard times. The river is silting over and the hatches are not nearly as prolific as they have been in the past. It is so dire that the Conservatory is talking dredging – a serious solution indeed.

    If you continue on Hwy 20 and turn north onto Hwy 93 in Arco (after passing through Craters of the Moon National Monument), you can drive along the Salmon River north into Montana where you will pick up the Bitteroot River and fish it almost all the way into Missoula.

    September will still be hot during the day and the fishing will be in the early mornings and late evenings. October is the best time for this trip if it can be arranged, particularly if you decide to fish Yellowstone Park, the Madison near Ennis, or the Henry's Fork near Last Chance.

    Make sure you see the flyshops in West Yellowstone. There must be a good dozen of them and all famous!


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