A limey seeks advice

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!
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,



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.


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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!

Hi Guys,

I was hoping you can help me. My Father and I are thinking of a trip to Washington (and maybe Idaho) to fish in September 2004. We are couple of British fly fishermen looking for adventure! The plan is to meet up with my Dad somewhere (he will fly in from Barbados, me from London), hire a winnebago and drive around fishing as best we can. We would like to fish public waters and fishing lodges and generally relax and have a good time. Any advice would be much appreciated – places, necessary tackle, etc. We are also thinking of Idaho, but I am starting to realise the sheer amount of fishing you guys have, so we might stick to Washington. The whole trip would be about 3-4 weeks.

Finally is this a good idea? Can it be done relatively easily with good fishing, great scenery, relative safety, decent food etc. Is September any good? We don't have a huge budget but it will be one of those trips of a lifetime so we are willing to spend a reasonable amount of £££, if that is what it takes!

Any help would be advice, good articles etc would be fantastic.

Tight Lines!


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