Flowing through the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area in North Central Idaho, the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River is one of the original eight rivers protected by Congress through the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. Fly fishing these crystal clear waters in the fall will have you chasing hoards of trophy-sized steelhead. Both the size and aggressive tendencies of the fish in the Clearwater have made it one of the most popular steelhead destinations in the country. Large stimulator patterns, streamers, and nymphs are all effective flies for these large trout. Plug fishing is also a popular way to track down these monsters. In the middle of the hot season, you might choose to target the smallmouth bass that resides in these waters. The Clearwater is a wide, gentle river and perfect for a relaxing day of fishing. ROW guides offer a one-day basic fly-fishing instruction trip that departs from the River Dance Lodge in Syringa, Idaho from June through August.
- Duration: Full-day trips
- Season: June - August
- Minimum Age: 12
- Begins In: River Dance Lodge, Kooskia, Idaho
- Ends In: River Dance Lodge, Kooskia, Idaho
Formed by the confluence of the raging Lochsa and scenic Selway rivers, North Central Idaho's Middle Fork of the Clearwater River is home to both single and multi-day Idaho fly fishing trips. There is remarkable steelhead fishing in the lower stretches of the river that one can take advantage of from October through March.
The Clearwater flows from the Montana border through Idaho until it joins with the Snake River in Lewiston, Idaho. Fly fishermen recognize the Clearwater for its incredible run of steelhead every fall. This is the river of the Spey cast, and if you've never tried this two-handed fly casting technique, this may be just the trip for you. Fly fishing on this river introduces you to an abundance of nicely sized fish. We also give our guests the opportunity to plug fish, another popular technique for catching these impressive fish. Our fly fishing instruction guides and catch-and-release practices help you catch plenty of fish while respecting the steelhead and the incredible journey they make by traveling hundreds of miles up and down the Snake and Columbia rivers to complete their circle of life.
Rainbow trout also reside in the majestic waters of the Clearwater. Trips that target this native species usually depart from Memorial Day till July 15th and then from August 20th through September. There is a healthy population of fish that range from 10" to 24". Dry flies are a popular choice for many anglers, but nymphing can also be a functional and productive method for catching these amazing fish.
As the waters begin to warm around the middle of July, we encourage our guests to target the fun, aggressive smallmouth that also live in these waters. One can choose to either fly fish or throw out plastics and jigs with a spin rod. These fighters are an east coast favorite and are becoming a more popular species to target in western rivers.
The impressive Middle Fork of the Clearwater River is surrounded by the 1.3 million-acre Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area. Portions of this wilderness are temperate rainforest, and some of the plants found here are also found on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula. A fly fishing day trip floats you through thick cedar, fir, and larch forest, and the riverbanks are covered with emerald ferns, spongy mosses, huckleberries, and mountain spray.
Single-day fly fishing instruction trips are available. Lodging/fishing packages are available on the Middle Fork of the Clearwater through River Dance Lodge, Idaho's adventure resort and meeting place for fly fishing trips on the Clearwater.
Be sure to ask about our fly fishing options for Idaho, Montana, and Oregon.
Permits & Licenses:
ROW Inc., doing business as ROW Adventures, is proud to be an Equal Opportunity recreation service provider under permit from the U.S. Forest Service. We operate under special use permit from the Clearwater National Forest. All our operations and facilities are operated on a non-discriminatory basis. ROW Inc. is bonded and fully licensed by the State of Idaho Outfitters and Guides Licensing Board.