View Full Version : Where oh where to go? Help!!

01-03-2008, 02:53 PM
:confused: My friend Steve and I are trying to decide where we want to go next summer on our annual trip. Last year we went to Montana and fished the Bitterroot, Clark Fork, and Rock Creek. The year before that we went to Oregon and fished the McKinzie, Deschutes, and Matolius rivers. This year we would like to spend our time fishing smaller streams. We might float one day, but would really like to fish streams we can wade like Rock Creek. I am looking for suggestions. We are open to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah. We want to be on public lands to avoid trespassing issues. Please help with suggestions regarding rivers and guides.

Thanks so much,

01-03-2008, 04:06 PM
this may not fit in with your plans, but considering that you wish to fish smaller (maybe quieter) waters, you could consider a trip Northeast. the west is obviously wonderful, but I feel too many people overlook the famed rivers of the east as destinations. Pennsylvania, the catskills, the battenkill.... These aren't the wildest, most remote places with the biggest fish. they lack the ruggedness and thrill of the western waters, but they do provide something else; a sense of history. not to say that doesn't exist out west. it certainly does. however, for me, these streams provide a certain charm, coupled with a haunting feeling. much like the feeling of say, being in an old house.

David Knapp
01-03-2008, 06:02 PM

Colorado has some excellent places as well. Are you willing to do a pack/backpacking trip or do you want to stay close to civilization?

01-03-2008, 06:57 PM
Though I've not had the pleasure but a trip I'm planning one day when the wife gets out of grad school -Durango Colorado - both small stream/creek, high alpine lake opportunities, big water drift not to far off..I have some friends that go there yearly, could you some guide info...

01-03-2008, 07:34 PM
I have to second Durango. That is really the only western trout destination I have ever been to, but it was amazing. Lots of small streams in and around town and just about an hour south of there is the San Juan tailwater. Or you could make the drive over to Pagosa Springs and hit the upper San Juan. Wonderful place, small town, friendly people, excellent food, you can't go wrong.

However, I have heard lots of good things about the waters of southern Idaho around Hailey and the Big Wood River.


01-03-2008, 11:02 PM
:smile: Thanks for the suggestions.

Plateau, I think I am a little too slow now to escape from Grizzlies. I like backcountry trips in the GSMNP, but the wild west is a little too wild for me. I will stick with a hot meal and warm shower at night out there.

01-03-2008, 11:58 PM
Yellowstone, Yellowstone, Yellowstone!

I guess I'm biased. But it's not just me, a lot of people love it (I think Plateau Angler feels this way too, from what I've read in his past posts). Even without the fishing, the animals and geology make Yellowstone a real-life Disney World to me. One caveat is that if you are a type-A personality and can't stand to get behind a bunch of cars looking at a coyote, Yellowstone's crowds can get on your nerves. Luckily, Yellowstone is like the GSMNP in that it's really pretty easy to get away from them. The animal gawkers don't bother me much; I often pull over and gawk with them.

If you exclude the back country and big waters, there is still all the good fishing you can handle. So you can still have your hot meal, shower, and bed. If you do a float trip, you have some of the best options in the world for that, including a float on the Madison, Yellowstone, or Henry's Fork. And there are hundreds of wadeable streams (how small do you want?).

Here are 2 good books that cover many of those small waters:

Fishing Yellowstone National Park by Richard Parks
The Yellowstone Fly-Fishing Guide by Mathews and Molinero

If you think you are interested, I can give you more info. I'm not an expert on Yellowstone, just a big fan. Good Luck!

01-04-2008, 09:55 PM
Geysers boiling, buffalo looking over your shoulder, summer snowfall, magnificent wonder, and trout. What more could you want in one experience. I have been to Yellowstone three times and it's never enough. The northeast section of the park toward Cooke City is not that crowded, and Cooke City is a good place to stay, though not very big. Slough Creek, Lamar, Soda Butte, and Pebble Creek are there to mention a few. Walk a little gain a lot.

01-07-2008, 03:14 PM
:smile: Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Sorry, I have been so long in replying, but I have been laid up in the bed sick for a few days.

I have fished Yellowstone several times. I love it too, but I think we would like to avoid the crowds. You probably cannot eliminate them, but you can sure go to places with less vehicle traffic. I want to go back to Yellowstone again some day, but we are looking for something more out of the way for this trip.

01-07-2008, 04:21 PM
I'd have to agree with ttas67. I spent 2 weeks last summer in Vermont and New Hampshire. I had a great time fishing in both states and was very surprised in the lack of crowds. I fished larger rivers all the way down to small mountain streams. I also feel this area is completely overlooked.

David Knapp
01-07-2008, 06:10 PM
If you're wanting something a little more out of the way, then I'll echo the responses from Waterborn and chemeangler. Soutwest Colorado has a LOT to offer...everything from huge trout on technical tailwaters (with crowds...) to lots of small to medium size streams that don't get much pressure at all... Durango would be a great base and I might also suggest Gunnison as a great small town with tons of fishing around...

01-07-2008, 06:20 PM
Spent a week in AUG 07 in ID; Frank Church Wilderness was great. Flew into Big Creek and stayed 3+ days, but it could have easily been a week. Is a lot to fish in Stanley/Ketcham area as well. If I was going again would try to hit mid to late JUL. There is a report on this somewhere on the msg bd. Watson

01-09-2008, 09:24 AM
:smile: Thanks for all your input. We are going to look into southern Colorado. We are still considering going back to Montana or trying Utah. Flights are pretty reasonable to Denver and Salt Lake, but getting to Montana is a little more costly. It's only money, right?;)

01-10-2008, 09:14 AM
YELLOWSTONE.. stay in Silvergate or Cooke City you won't find crowds there. Float the Madison with someone out of BRF and then stay up in the NE corner of the park. I like to treat myself and stay at the Lake hotel a couple of nights.

Durango would be my second pick (sometimes my first).. lots of small water to fish. some nice water basically runs right thru Telluride. If you go to Durango do the Silverton/Durango train ride. Absolutely awesome! Make reservations as early was you can it fills quickly.

01-14-2008, 11:39 PM
I love Montana. Start at the Gallatin River by Squaw Creek just outside of Big Sky for some great small stream fishing next to the Gallatin. I never saw another fisherman in the 4 years I went out in the summer. Then I would work my way towards the Madison. My uncle and I stopped at least a dozen times on our way because we saw streams from the road, and there weren't any public land issues because you are in the Park. The only thing we had to worry about was bears.
Where ever you go out there I am sure you guys will have a blast.
Make sure to post some pictures of the trip.
Have fun and be safe