St. Joe at St. Maries

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Hooknrelease, Aug 15, 2002.

  1. Hooknrelease

    Hooknrelease New Member

    Sep 23, 2001
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    monroe, wa, sno.
    I am planning on fishing the St. Joe river near St. Maries, Idaho at the end of the month and have never been there. I have a few questions I was hoping that some of you will be able to answer. Is the river wadeable in most places? Are there decent campgrounds in St. Maries to stay at? Finally I was wondering if there are decent (good fishing and not too crowded) access points off the main road. I am willing to hike a bit but I do not have a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Thanks for any help. LRH.
  2. pwoens

    pwoens Active Member

    May 18, 2004
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    Spokane, Washington, USA.
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    The Joe is a good place to fish. I would not even bother staying at or near St. Maries however. The fishing around there is not as good as farther upstream. The main road (basically a back woods highway) follows the Joe for a long ways. Take it atleast past Avery Idaho. No need for a 4 wheel drive. The river for the most part is wadeable, of course with exceptions as you go. What most people do is pull off the road into the well used parking spots and fish the holes. It has been getting more and more crowded in the last 5-10 years so it is turning into a combat fishing zone unless you hike the tribs' or fish in between the parking spots.

    There is camping all along the Joe above Avery. There are established campgrounds with poopers and then there are some "primitive" sites, basically meaning you have a fire pit and a place to pitch your tent. Most primitive sites are somewhat close to the road so if you have any kids and/or animals you will need to take this into consideration. Rule of thumb for the Joe: bring a western bee pattern in several sizes, a few drys like royal coachman and "the Joe special" (purchased in Wallace Idaho if you go over Moon Pass), and of course some woolies. Its been a couple of years but these patterns were fairly productive.

    I would however suggest driving a little further and go to Kelley creek instead, if you have the time. It is not that much farther and the fishing is 100 times as good. Either way good luck and have fun .