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This coming summer I'm planning on fly fishing Idaho for the first time.  As a general comment, I try to stay away from "famous" streams as I find them to usually be over-rated and crowded.  Small streams are great and even better if no other humans are seen during the day.

 

My current plan is to start in early July with streams that feed the Palisades Reservoir just west of Alpine, WY (eastern Idaho), then continue north/northwest hitting Big Elk and Rainey creeks.  I'll then get on highway 26 and in Idaho Falls take route 20 and 93 through the towns of Arco and Mackay (Big Lost River).  Then over to just north of Ketchum for the north fork of the Big Wood river.  Next would be Stanley and Lowman, Idaho for Marsh Creek and Deadwood River.  Down to Boise to visit friends for a few days and then head due north to eventually get to the Selway and Lochsa Rivers and Kelley Creek.  By this time it should be mid to late August and time to head home to North Carolina via Missoula, MT and Interstate 90.

 

Any suggestions on other streams to fish, little towns to visit, places to boondock that are near my route, sites to see, restaurants to not be missed, grocery stores, laundrys, etc. would be most appreciated.

 

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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I don't know the south part of the state really well and I am no fisherman, but I need to know ... Do you like:

 

Ghost towns

 

Hot springs

 

Mining relics

 

Lookout towers

 

Backcountry (4wd) routes)

 

I'll post a few links to get started and you can reply if your are interested in this stuff or not.

 

Steam dredge/ museum (near Stanley ID):

 

http://yankeeforkdredge.com

 

Elk City Wagon Road (Grangeville area)

 

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsm91_055711.pdf

 

Lolo Motorway (west of Lolo Pass, between Grangeville and Missoula. Lolo Hot Springs is just east of the summit, nice commercial operation)

 

http://www.idahostateatv.org/publications/Driving_the_Lolo_Motorway.pdf

 

Magruder Road Corridor (Elk City ID to Darby MT, best done in two days, REMOTE, bring extra gas, lifted 4wd recommended)

 

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsm91_055707.pdf

 

Public hot springs site:

 

http://www.idahohotsprings.com/hot_springs/public-idaho-hot-springs-map.htm

 

Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes mountain bike path (Near Avery and Wallace ID up north, LOTS of trestles, tunnels)

 

http://wallace-id.com/CdA_trail/

 

EDIT: I meant this one, the Route of the Hiawatha:

 

http://www.ridethehiawatha.com/the-trail

 

Custer Motorway Adventure Road (near Challis ID)

 

https://idfg.idaho.gov/ifwis/ibt/site.aspx?id=EC18

 

Ghost Town info:

 

http://www.ghosttowngallery.com/htme/map.htm

 

Twin Peaks Lookout (west of Challis ID, at 10,300 ft this is the highest active station in the Northwest,)

 

https://idaholookouts.weebly.com/twin-peaks.html

 

If your TV is stock you won't be able to do the serious back country routes, but with a lift and bigger tires you should be OK. There won't be any residual snow anywhere.

 

Remember that fires are the huge factor here in mid-summer and you should always have a planned escape route, don't drive and camp 30 miles back on a remote dead end forest road. If the smoke gets really bad you should have a planned alternative area to visit, further upwind. Sometimes it gets so bad you just want to get away entirely. You should try to check in every day that you have an Internet connection to see what is cooking:

 

http://www.idahofireinfo.com

 

Dust is always a big problem  when camping in Idaho, try to find spots away from and upwind from the dirt access roads.

 

Other than the dust, Idaho forest roads are normally well maintained regular gravel. In MT you may find some that are covered in big, sharp ballast and they will eat your sidewalls. 10 ply All-Terrain or Mud tires are highly recommended, or be prepared to deal with flats. 6 Ply tires are not good here, you will worry yourself sick about it. Sometimes it is many hours to services.

 

Make sure your trailer brakes are working well, there are a lot of steep grades here.

 

Always travel the back country with at least basic recovery gear, survival supplies and a gps locator or similar. Don't drive on secondary forest roads or ranch roads during or immediately after a heavy rain - while rare, a storm can make dirt roads impassible for a few hours until they dry out.

 

Bears: yes, both black and brown, bring protection, the big loud kind. But you are way more likely to encounter moose, and they are much more unpredictable. Just because you are outside their "area" doesn't mean you might not see a grizzly, or their huge tracks. Grizzly map:

 

grizzly-bear-distribution-map.gif

 

You might want to PM MontanaOliver and ask him to join this thread with some suggestions, he lives in Missoula and knows that area well. I don't know if he is a fisherman....

 

Sorry I can't offer specific RV camping advice since all my experience has been dirt biking, overlanding and tent camping up until last spring. A final caution, Idaho is the "Land of the Decreasing Radius Turns", so be very wary while driving along twisty river gorges. I like to zoom in my gps to 0.3 miles in those conditions so I don't get surprised by a dangerous curve.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Refer back to this thread from last year:

 

http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/western-fires/

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John,

 

This is great information and I'm interested in everything on the list you showed.  I'm not really a fisherman (although I do try sometimes), we do love exploring and it sounds like many of our interest intersect with yours.  If you have more information that you'd like to post, I'm working on a map in Google maps where I'm trying to capture all the various locations people have talked about in one easy (yet crowded) map.  If you'd like to see what I've got so far I'm happy to share it with you, I'd need your normal email so I can enter it in the share.  Just let me know,

 

Thanks,

 

John

John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

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Sounds like a marvelous journey Bill.  Between McKay Idaho and Ketchum is the Copper Basin.  I believe you might enjoy going up there and fish a fork of the Big Lost.  Plenty of cutthroat trout.  Also some good places to Boondock. There are a couple of Forest Service campgrounds in the area.

 

The North Fork of the Wood River is a very nice area to camp.  I have not fished it but sure it is productive.

 

Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

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Flyrod - I've already got both the north fork of the Big Wood and the Big Lost rivers on my schedule.  If you have specifics on either particular FS camp grounds or places to boondock I'd be appreciative.  Also, if you know anything about fishing off the Selway or Lochsa rivers it would be helpful.  The first half of my trip is just about full - coming into Idaho from the East and fishing over towards Boise.  But, I'm now working on the second half - fishing from McCall up towards Kooskia and out route 12.

 

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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I had a reply drafted on here and it “disappeared” in the digital black hole when I hit submit. I’m not going to re-type the info again. Mark

Mark, with this forum it is ESPECIALLY important to create a long post using Word or some other app, then submit it. I have lost count of how many posts have disappeared. The problem comes and goes depending on the latest system update, but it is extremely frustrating and it made me so wary that I never attempt to write over a couple of hundred words without saving it on my desktop for a while....

 

Maybe you could consider starting a new thread about maintained NFS and scenic boon-docking spots around your area. I for one am always interested in learning new places to visit, especially in western and central MT. I have lots of cool spots waypointed, but unfortunately many are completely inaccessible with an Ollie in tow. I would love a list of "tweeners" that are accessible by gravel or ranch roads yet not too rough or dangerous. The last thing I want is to have to back up down a twisty forest road....

 

Thanks.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Mark & John -

 

Sorry about the "black holes".  Hopefully when Matt and Jason release what they are now working on these types of things will be (almost) a thing of the past.

 

Since most Forest Service camp grounds have some type of toilet facilities AND have the availability of water, I tend to use them - at least some of the time - so that I can get fresh water for showers and the toilet and not fill the black tank.  Having said that, I also am always on the lookout for nice boondocking spots.  Besides the fact that they are generally free (and free is good) they can offer great views, less people, and more quiet.

 

The only one of these boondocking sites that comes to mind is just outside (East) of Dubois, WY.  No water other than out of the lake/stream but the pit toilet there is fairly well maintained.  There are other sites West of Dubois but they don't have toilet facilities and sites very near the Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone (North of Cody) that also don't have toilet facilities.  If anyone is headed that way I'd be happy to share these locations with you.

 

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Mark -

 

This is a bit weird but I just tried to PM you and the "Message" button does not appear on your page.  Not only that, but, a member search on the Forum for MontanaOliver yields no results.  Go figure!

 

Since I'm the one asking for the favor and information, I hate to ask, but, if you could PM me I'd appreciate it.

 

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Every year I leave for my fly fishing trip just after the July 4th holiday.  The primary reason for this is to make sure that fishing streams have returned to a more relaxed state after the major snow melt is over.  However, a secondary reason is to avoid the 4th of July business both on the roads and at campgrounds along the route as I travel West.  Unfortunately, this year, I really didn't study the calendar very well and set my trip to leave on the day after the 4th.  So far I've run into two and a half distinct problems with this - 1 - too close to the 4th and people are still camping and/or sites (such as State Parks) will not take a reservation for a single day - 2 - The 5th is a Thursday which means that I will be traveling on the weekend, also not good for getting camping reservations - 2.5 - I've run into a major event in a relatively small town.  It just so happens that the National High School Rodeo Finals are to be held in Rock Springs, WY the next week after I pass through.  Great I thought except for the fact that people and contestants are already arriving there the week before.  Luckily I was able to snag a reservation in Rock Springs at one of my not so favorite campgrounds (KOA).  So, it appears that I will be doing the WalMart/truck stop thing for most of the trip out.  Sure am glad I did some planning so that at least I have the location of these potential stopping places at hand.  Obviously it would be a bunch easier if I had a co-pilot on board, but, my normal co-pilot doesn't fish and I don't think that my fishing buddy will be joining me this year.  Should be a more interesting adventure than usual!

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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