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Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Idaho on 12/12/2013 03:15:05 MST Print View

I plan to bike the new adventure cycling route in mid june (or later depending on snow pack). What is the fishing like in this part of Idaho. Are the trout plentiful, small, and hungry like in the Sierras? On the JMT, my intro to fly fishing, they seemed willing to bite on anything presented reasonably well.

It looks the the route is on dirt roads and trails in the neighborhood of the following towns:
Sun Valley
Warm Lake
Idaho City

Phil H

Locale: Northwest Iowa
Idaho on 12/14/2013 18:23:49 MST Print View

I've fished the wilderness southwest of Stanley, Idaho, for about 15 years. Lots of excellent fishing, but a significant hike to get to the best fish. We've ventured into the wilderness on foot as far as 20 miles from a trail head carrying ultralight 4 lb float tubes (Wood River and Wilderness Lite), waders, fins, and fly gear along with food, shelter, and clothing for a week. Highly recommended; an outstanding destination. One caveat--last September several of the areas in the vicinity of Stanley--and elsewhere in Idaho--experienced significant forest fires. So, suggest you check with the forest service before you finalize your plans for 2014.

In a typical year the trails in the Stanley area above 8,000 ft are passable on foot beginning in mid, sometimes late, July. I've been there the second week of September and been hit with snow. It is a short season. You mentioned bicycling, and of course, the wilderness is limited to travel on horseback or on foot only; no mechanized vehicles are permitted. Have a blast.

brian H
(B14) - M

Locale: Siskiyou Mtns
Sawtooths etc on 02/24/2014 16:37:41 MST Print View

what a great trip!

First, to state the obvious: the JMT is far from roads, and very low on fishing pressure! and you were constantly fishing to hungry, opportunistic feeding, mostly-wild trout.

on this route it would appear you will mostly be accessing waters available to the drive-up crowd. i would guess that the biggest diff will be a higher % of hatchery fish in many of these fisheries. However, with luck & some planning and short walks, it shouldn't be too tough to find some wild trout fisheries in smallish streams along the way.

Your route is a Reminisce for me...this is where i got hooked for a kid in the mid 70s, fishing the Salmon River near Obsidian [Population: 2]...our fam of 5 ate trout for a week, til we all got "sick of it", or so my mother says! I've been a wild trout worshipper since that day.

Have a great trip...and please share in the Trip Reports.po

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Idaho on 02/25/2014 07:49:38 MST Print View

Thanks for the info.

I hope to see a fair amount of back country on this route. There are optional single track sections that are reportedly several days long and fairly remote. I rode through Idaho on a coast to coast road bike tour and that is the limit to my experience there. So I am not that familiar with the area and do not yet have the maps so I am basing what I expect on comments by the guy who mapped the route (Casey Greene).

I will be posting a journal at:

Paul Lewer
(Idahoan) - M

Locale: Boise, Idaho
High Country Fishing in Idaho on 03/16/2014 21:16:10 MDT Print View


I have not fished let alone visited the Sierras/JMT. However, your description of the fishing has mirrored my general experience fishing high mountain lakes and streams in Idaho. I haven't seen a whole lot of bicycle traffic in the types of places I frequent, but that isn't to say that it might not be possible for a few of them.

The Sawtooth Mountains do not grow particularly large fish, but many contain small to medium fish that range from wary to eager. I'd be curious to know what exact bodies of water you plan on fishing. Based on that I can give you my experience and perhaps recommend alternatives that are in the right ballpark.

No matter what though - you're gonna have a blast.

I am a Boise guy, and it might be cool to meet up at some point before, during, or after your trip. Give me a shout!


Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Idaho on 03/19/2014 03:43:28 MDT Print View

I will probably fish mostly on the smaller streams as I come across them without much if any pre-planning. That said I am open to advice and might go over the maps later and post what rivers look like they are likely targets.

Paul Lewer
(Idahoan) - M

Locale: Boise, Idaho
Big Creek on 03/20/2014 21:57:36 MDT Print View


I wasn't thinking about Big Creek until I read your response. Really wild country getting there, even wilder once there. If you make it to Big Creek, I promise you won't forget it. Consider making a detour to hit it up. Looking forward to hearing about what else is on your mind. Some bodies that look good on the map and are impressive from the road don't hold many fish (such as the Payette River).


Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Big Creek on 03/21/2014 03:57:06 MDT Print View

It looks like Big Creek is not close enough to my route to hit it on my main bike tour, but still close by. I am not ruling out some mountain biking, backpacking, or car camping before or after the tour, so I will keep it in mind as a side trip. How much of an effort is it to get to?

Paul Lewer
(Idahoan) - M

Locale: Boise, Idaho
Getting to Big Creek on 03/21/2014 18:22:42 MDT Print View

You can either fly or drive into Big Creek. The going is slow just because the road is taking you into some serious country. But the road is maintained very well. Even a low clearance vehicle can get into Big Creek, though it may require moving the occasional rock that has rolled onto the road. Once in Big Creek, you can park at a trailhead which isn't too far from the airstrip. From here, you hike downstream toward the Salmon River and can start fishing almost immediately. I hiked down Big Creek during maybe the second week of June during the height of the salmonfly hatch. It was unreal. I think I might have seen one other fisherman between the trailhead and the confluence of Monumental Creek which is about ten miles downstream. Wild country. Very, very few people. Really good fishing (fish are both plentiful and fairly large).

Eric Jahn-Clough
(ejcfree) - F

Locale: off grid
Re: Big Creek on 03/22/2014 07:17:55 MDT Print View

Additional info-Big Creek is catch and release only. The hiking has very little elevation there.