The Middle Fork of the Salmon River has incredible fishing opportunities due to its clear water and the lack of upstream dams. All fishing on the Middle Fork has been catch and release since 1973, which has allowed the trout population to thrive. There are additional fishing opportunities in the many streams that feed the Middle Fork.
This river provides instant gratification for beginners to fly-fishing. The water is incredibly clear allowing you to see the fish move to your fly. Experienced anglers will have no problem catching multiple trout each day.
What You’ll Catch
Cutthroat, rainbow and Dolly Varden trout are all native to the Middle Fork, but the latter are now extremely scarce. Fishing is superb from about the third week in June throughout the summer. September is particularly good for fishing as the water is at a lower flow with cooler temperatures causing the fish to become aggressive as they pack on winter weight.
Fishing and Rafting
You can fish from the oar boats throughout your rafting trip as well as from shore in camp or quick hikes up the river’s many side creeks. ECHO guides are great resources for pointing out the best spots. We also offer a dedicated fishing trip every September or you can opt to add a private fishing boat and a fishing guide to accompany any rafting trip.
What You’ll Need
Fly-fishing is definitely the way to go on the Middle Fork as most trout are surface-oriented, and only artificial flies or lures (no live bait) and single, barbless hooks are allowed. McCoy’s Tackle Shop in Stanley is a great place to pick up flies and check out current fishing reports before heading out on your trip.
How It’s Regulated
Since the Middle Fork is federally protected, there are various regulations to adhere to in order to preserve the area. Idaho Fish and Game has a great website to direct you on where to buy licenses, tags and permits as well as which species are threatened and therefore protected.