Fishing Idaho's Rivers & Streams

So many great trout streams, and so little time. What's a person to do? Consider a fishing trip to eastern Idaho, the epicenter of awesome trout fishing in the Rocky Mountains. Take at least a day to fish the Henrys Fork, a spring-fed stream that's chock full of 20-inch-plus rainbow trout. Guides will show you how to catch those wily fish. The South Fork of the Snake River is close by, with many large native cutthroat trout and fat browns. Other lesser-known streams have surprisingly good fishing in the same region, such as the Teton River.

Near Stanley, the Middle Fork of the Salmon River flows through a mile-deep canyon for 100 miles. Feisty native cutthroat trout in the 14- to 16-inch range eagerly bite dry flies all summer long. Bigger fish can be found in key tributaries. It's all catch and release. Check for outfitters who specialize in fishing trips to maximize on the fishing experience. In northern Idaho, the St. Joe River and various sections of the Coeur d'Alene River are the better-known fly fishing gems.

Hells Canyon of the Snake River offers one of the best guided fishing trips imaginable in Idaho. Fishing deep pools next to scenic cliff walls, you'll catch small-mouth bass and rainbow trout all day long, but you might also catch a big steelhead or a fall chinook salmon in the fall. Hells Canyon even has tasty catfish. Or, you can gear up to catch a rare white sturgeon, which often are more than 6 feet long. Idaho's fishing guides take anglers on sturgeon fishing trips on several other sections of the Snake River as well, near Boise, Nampa and Weiser.