Epic Trip Planning--E. WA, Idaho, Montana

#1
Hi folks,

So I guess I'm just kind of posting this to see if anyone has thoughts or suggestions. My brother and I (and hopefully another buddy who is new to fly fishing), are going to be making our semi-yearly fishing trip starting on Friday, and hitting up pretty much all new waters for us.

Here's our tentative itinerary:

Washington
San Poil River
Kettle River
Idaho
St. Joe
North Fork CDA
Kelly Creek
Montana
Rock Creek (been there a couple times)
Clark Fork

I've got my books and I've been doing my homework, but I just thought I'd see if anyone on the forum has any thoughts or suggestions they'd be willing to share about any of these rivers. Flies, access areas, whatever. No boat, so we'll be wading the whole time.

Also, I'd love to hear some fishing stories from any of these that people might have.

I can't wait to get going. 10 days of nothing but trout, beer, camping, and cribbage. Should be awesome.

Cheers.

Jason
 
#2
Damn, sounds like a whole lotta fun waters!

I don't have any tips or anything, but I would love to get a report on the Kettle when you get back. I'm headed up that way in a few weeks and was planning on taking my ff novice wife out one day to go after some trout. Heck, I'm looking forward to a report on all those places.

Hi folks,

So I guess I'm just kind of posting this to see if anyone has thoughts or suggestions. My brother and I (and hopefully another buddy who is new to fly fishing), are going to be making our semi-yearly fishing trip starting on Friday, and hitting up pretty much all new waters for us.

Here's our tentative itinerary:

Washington
San Poil River
Kettle River
Idaho
St. Joe
North Fork CDA
Kelly Creek
Montana
Rock Creek (been there a couple times)
Clark Fork

I've got my books and I've been doing my homework, but I just thought I'd see if anyone on the forum has any thoughts or suggestions they'd be willing to share about any of these rivers. Flies, access areas, whatever. No boat, so we'll be wading the whole time.

Also, I'd love to hear some fishing stories from any of these that people might have.

I can't wait to get going. 10 days of nothing but trout, beer, camping, and cribbage. Should be awesome.

Cheers.

Jason
 
#3
I am afraid that the Kettle will be a disappointment. this fishery has declined dramatically in recent years not many fish have been caught.
The San Poil had a huge natural disaster with a wind storm that blew down thousands of trees. The area has been declared a disaster area, camping may be a problem. The river itself may be fishable I don't know how many trees have been blown into the river. Triploid junkie lives in the area and may be able to help on this one.
jesse
 
#4
Hmm. Bummer.

I remember, now, hearing something about that wind storm. Might just have to spend a bit more time on the rivers further east. I've always wanted to get up and fish in that area.
 
#5
I'd do less river hopping and spend more time on rivers like the St. Joe. I've gone to the Missouri for the last three summers. Learn something new every trip, but still feel woefully uninformed about fishing that river. The St. Joe is a great river to get healthy on your dry fly fishing. I'd go to Spruce Tree and spend a few days hiking up river and wading/fishing my way down. Beautiful country and beautiful fish that like to rise to the dry fly.
 

BoneCollector

Lost my MARBLES!!!!!
#6
Kelly Creek should be good! There were lots of baby hoppers in my camp site a couple of weeks ago and they should be getting to be good size by now! I am headed back up there in a few days for another camping trip and I am really hoping that the hoppers are going off!

B_C
 

Vladimir Steblina

Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working
#7
I would skip Washington and go directly to Idaho. Big Tuna has it pegged.

If you like cutthroats stay in Idaho. In my time, the Joe and Kelly Creek fished better than the north fork of the CDA, but that was 30 years ago. I like Kelly Creek better than the Joe.
 
#8
The San poil is trashed with downed trees. My heart is heavy, as this is my favorite walk and wade river in all of Washington. Just when it made a comeback too. No walking and wading now. More like crawling. That was my favorite river to float my toon on. Guess I'll be spending the rest of the summer floating the kettle this summer .
 

Jim Darden

Active Member
#9
If you are wading the whole time it changes the answer. Skip Washington, maybe hit Kelly creek in Idaho. Then move on to Montana, skipping Rock Creek. For wading I'd recommend the Missouri by Craig, Yellowstone above Livingston, Beaverhead above Dillon, Big Hole below Divide, Clark Fork around Deer Lodge, Madison around Ennis, and the Bitterroot. That's based on spending Sept-Oct camping there for the last 20+ years. Believe me you can't hit them all in two months so you will have to pare your list down. The preferences are based on the size of the fish and ease of access. Hope that helps......
 
#10
I'd spend more time in Montana as opposed to Washington without skipping Rock Creek. It's a great stream once you go off first 8 miles of paved road. The Missouri is defiantly worth hitting. Best trout stream in the state (in my opinion) the dry fly game can be tough though....
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#11
Jason,

I don't think you can plan an epic fishing trip or epic anything. You can plan the best of potential adventures, but epic is the result of serendipitous happenstance. But it's hard to go wrong with a summer or fall fishing trip. Good luck.

Sg
 
#13
Jason,

I don't think you can plan an epic fishing trip or epic anything. You can plan the best of potential adventures, but epic is the result of serendipitous happenstance. But it's hard to go wrong with a summer or fall fishing trip. Good luck.

Sg
I agree--though I do hope to tip the odds in my favor of serendipitous happenstance finding me!

J
 
#14
Yeah,

I think I'm revising to possibly spending the whole time in Idaho. A few of those rivers in the panhandle area are looking mighty enticing. Might still go hit Rock Creek, only because I've been there a few times and it feels good to go back. We probably won't go much farther east than that this time around, mainly to conserve gas.

I really do appreciate everyone's ideas. Definitely a huge help, and good to know about the Kettle and San Poil. Too bad they are out of shape,
Although I've been thinking about doing a short Washington only trip in the fall, so maybe I can find some time for them then.

cheers,

Jason
 

Stewart

Skunk Happens
#15
Too bad about the San Poil.

Especially for a walk and wade trip, I'd want to add the Yaak River to that list. I'd also say it's a good area to consider bringing your bear spray with you.