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fishing middle fork salmon

Fishing the Middle Fork of the Salmon

World Class Trout Fishing…..


Are you an avid fly fisherman? Do you dream about catching a 21-inch trout? Well, fishing the Middle Fork of the Salmon is the place to do it. In the heart of the Frank Church Wilderness, the Middle Fork flows due north for 104 miles and is a world-class trout fishery. Designated as a Wild and Scenic River on October 2, 1968, and designated “Catch and Release” in 1973, the Middle Fork hosts a booming population of native West Slope Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout (Dolly Varden) and Mountain Whitefish. This river system, including its tributaries (over 100 of them), is a catch and release, no bait, single barbless hook fishing area. You must also obtain an Idaho Fishing license at The minimum age requirement for a license is 14 years. Those younger than 14 must be accompanied by an adult with a fishing license. You must always have your license on your person while fishing.

Best Season?

The best season for fishing on the Middle Fork is mid-July through October or once the river has dropped down to 2.5 feet or lower. For more information about gauging the river in FEET vs CFS, check out Flows. On the Middle Fork of the Salmon, fly fishing is optimal, reel fishing is possible, dry fly fishing is best!

When can you fish?

All-day every day! There is ample opportunity to fish at camp, from the rafts and any time we stop. The Middle Fork is teeming with midstream boulders, shoreline eddies, and crystal clear pools. At Canyons we provide a tackle box and rods with equipment to fly fish and reel fish, but if you are an avid fisherman we highly suggest you bring your own gear. Ours is designed for those new to the sport and interested in trying it out.

Dry flies that work best:

  • Elk or Deer Hair Caddis – 10- 16
  • Yellow, Orange & Green Stimulator
  • Madame X – 6 & 8
  • Chernobyl Ant
  • Salmon Fly – 6 & 8
  • Royal Wolff
  • Golden Stone Imitation – 6 & 8
  • Yellow & Red Humpy – 12 & 14
  • Royal Coachmen or Trude
  • Yellow & Orange Turk’s Tarantula – 6 & 8
  • Dave’s Hopper
  • Parachute Adams
  • Black Gnat
  • Ferddy 10
  • Irresistible 10-14

Nymph’s that work best:

  • Bead Head Nymphs
  • Hare’s Ear – 14 & 16
  • Prince Nymph – 16 & 18
  • Caddis Emerger
  • Brassies – 18

Other items you may want to have:

  • Polarized Sun Glasses
  • A few droppers for the deeper pools of the lower canyon
  • Floatant
  • Hemostat
  • Clippers
  • Tippet 3X, 4X & 5X
  • Leaders 4X

Come float on one of America’s most pristine rivers and fisheries! Fish to your hearts’ delight, share time with your loved ones and UNPLUG! The Wilderness is calling…..and who knows…..maybe you’ll catch an 18-incher!


About Greg McFadden

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