Trip Report Idaho Panhandle early Fall. Camp/Fish

Dan Sells

Active Member
Hey Friends.

I meant to post this trip report last week but a streak of dog and Family emergencies got me Side tracked.

September’s final weekend had a bleak outlook so my Buddy Dave and I decided to get one last river trip. This time we made our first trip to the NF CW and a popular tributary with a female name that many of you have probably heard of.

We came in the back door Via Superior MT. And drove the 50 ish miles through the Lolo N. F. , over Hoodoo pass into the CW N. F.

After the 3/4 hr Drive from Spokane We arrived at the Campground and set up. Aside from a group of elk hunters camped next to the toilet we had the place to ourselves. My tent was about 15’ from the bank.

After a quick setup of camp we set off with some intel from a local Fly shop and some good directions. We promptly found the Wrong spot and scrambled a bank.

I immediately pissed off a Kokanee and scooped it up. My first.

Dave Caught one too. It was really cool seeing these things darting around , fighting upstream. A few casts later, broken rod tip on my 6 weight. Back to the car for my 5 wt. 61E3B303-9530-4EDC-8E8F-0966CA6B837B.jpeg
We also caught a Few Westslopes. I apologize ahead of time for the amount of Grip n grins coming but my buddy Dave is newer to fishing, was incredibly stoked and most pics were taken with sending to his family in MS in mind.
We both Caught some whitefish too. Pound for pound the strongest fighting fish in this River. C333610E-F6E7-46AD-847D-CF46F189EB22.jpeg

After a few methods it appeared Nymphing was the name of the game and we had a pattern that every fish seemed to be hungry for. With some tired arms and no idea how many fish we caught. We headed back to camp ate and Drank some Ice cold beers and went to sleep.

Woke up to rain. It didn’t bother the fish. This one took my last pink San Juan. I tied on a red one and held my breath. He ate it. The pink one was in his tail. All colored up and pissed.
After a quick session right near camp. We headed a little further down stream towards the forks.
After some rain and a little slower fishing we had lunch and regrouped.
We set off to find the area we were told about and we definitely found it.
A few holes down I was fishing a tailout something really cool happened. I caught my first bull. Nymphing. E653B310-6C6C-42C2-A4EF-2E101B1883AE.jpeg

Look at Dave’s turmoil.
Apparently the bulls were hungry because I caught another one. I don’t condone posing fish on rocks. This one was pretty upset with me and ended up on the bank. The larger nymph I had further up on the rod ended up in my pinky and I already had my phone out so I snapped this picture as quick as I could and let this fish take its time recovering in almost still water. The rock doesn’t help keep the fishes scale protection in very good shape. If you can keep your net over the water. Do it.

On the third morning we were greeted with more rain. And we took a drive over deception saddle then down to the forks and back up the NF.
We caught a few good Cutthroat in the AM and by the afternoon the sun came back
I have no idea how many westslopes we caught on this trip. But a little after this picture I found another bull hungry for bugs.
When I had this one hooked I could see the white fin edges and told Dave I had another bull on. He spun around in the water and in his excitement he slipped and took a cold bath. Luckily we were close to the car. He went and changed while I drank a beer and felt guilty that I’d caught three bulls while Nymphing and he hadn’t. Dave got back and on the next run Dave got lucky and casted his line in front of a hungry bull and my guilt was lifted.
After this fish we caught a few more Westslopes and with sore arms and leaking waders we decided it was time to head home.

Today I woke up to 4” of snow falling in three hours , trees down and lots of mud. Take me back.
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Dustin Bise

Hot-spotting Sheriff.
i was all loving it until the bull trout on the rock. they are up there to spawn. no mater the circumstance thats poor form. they really shouldnt be removed from the water even if idaho says its "ok.". other then that it looks like a killer trip

Dan Sells

Active Member
i was all loving it until the bull trout on the rock. they are up there to spawn. no mater the circumstance thats poor form. they really shouldnt be removed from the water even if idaho says its "ok.". other then that it looks like a killer trip
That placement wasn’t exactly planned. Phone out. Very spirited fish in the net. Went to snap a picture of the release and it ended up rocketing the wrong way. Onto the bank. Hook in my pinky. Phone was already out and I lost blood so I snapped a pic. I let it recover in pretty much completely still water. I considered not posting the picture honestly because I didn’t feel good about this encounter . But sometimes things go the way you intend. I didn’t attempt to photo many fish on my own after this.

Dustin Bise

Hot-spotting Sheriff.
it happens man, i get it. if it were me, i would have skipped the rock pic on the public forum because its not leading by example. esp when it looks "posed" with the rod

Guy Gregory

Active Member

lovely pics of one of my favorite places. Yes, #keepemwet is desirable, yeah, stuff happens. Bulls are especially tender, especially here, now, even more next year.I’m glad you love this place, let’s love it even more.

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