maction17

Anyone fished the Salmon (Stanley, ID)?

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Headed back to some freshwater tomorrow- this time to a first-time destination: Stanley, ID. Anyone ever fished out there? I have a float trip scheduled for Monday, and wedding stuff before that. However, we're staying right on the river, and I definitely see some early mornings in the mix. Just looking to hear about some past experiences in the Sawtooths.

 

Cheers,

Mac

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It's an unbelievable place and i would love to help you get the most out of your trip.

What is the put in and take out points?

Where are you staying and how much time are you there?

 

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Thanks, Paul! We're fishing the Lower Canyon section, and that's about the best I can tell you. We're staying right in Stanley, at the Town Square. I think I have Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings to make the most of my time. Probably Friday and Sunday evenings, too.  I will have a wife, 18-month-old daughter, and mother-in-law (babysitter!) in tow, so I doubt I can swing ALL those times, but certainly some. 

Flying to Ketchum on Thursday, spend the night, then up to Stanley.  Float trip is with Salmon River Anglers.

Thanks again!

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In Ketchum you can fish Warm Springs Creek and the Wood River in the Ketchum City limits.  Access points to the Wood River are the base of Bald Mountain where the ski lifts are.  That's a popular spot but wade away from the bridge and you should be okay.  Also north of town at Adams Gulch, and a several BLM picnic sites are parking areas.  At the Town Park you can leave your car and gain access to the River there.   This is where I would recommend - going not may tourists park find that spot.  Out Warm Springs Road you can access the river by parking down by the condos, at the Warm Springs lift and of course further out Warm Springs on the NF you can access it virtually anywhere safe to park.  40 mins away is Silver Creek which was a GREAT trout spot has been hammered by the trout disease.  It's one of Hemingway's hunting and fishing spots.  It's a spring creek and it was loaded w 5-10lb browns and rainbows  trout that were difficult to hook and impossible to land on 3lb tippet. 

On Warm Springs and the Wood elk wing caddis, renegades, and that sort of thing work well I'm thing maybe 14's iirc.  There are 2 or 3 flyshops in town.  The biggest is called Silver Creek and it's right on Main St on the NE end of town.  (1 stoplight.)

 

I recommend Despy's for Mexican food; it's excellent.  The owner Jim Funk is a big fly fisherman and he usually comes to every table if he's there.  The classic dining spot is the Pioneer, but no reservations so that might be better on a Monday.  Don't eat pizza - no matter where it's from.  You will find a lot better selection of food in Ketchum, the market in Stanley has everything you need, but not much more so I would load up at Atkinson market on some lickys and chewys for the weekend.

The following picture is the Boulders which are northeast of Ketchum going towards Stanley.  I will be back w more later. 


 

 

IMG_0917 (002).JPG

Edited by Paul_M

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EXCELLENT POST!!

With all the whining about "spot burning" which goes on here...it's a pleasure to see one member actually helping another to some good places to fish.  Some would have blurred-out those clouds, fearing that they would give away a secret location.

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Paul this is awesome stuff. Thank you so much. I've been bouncing around my fishing routine in my head for the past few hours. 40 degree temp swings between day/night. I'll definitely plan on hitting Town Park before or after we make our way to Stanley.

 

Ditto what BillA said. This is classy.

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Anyhow halfway btwn Ketchum and Stanley is Galena Summit at the viewing area looking to your left you'll see the very headwaters of the Salmon River and the drop down into the Sawtooth Valley.   These were formally wet meadows which are now hay fields for cattle raised in the area.  75 runs parallel but not adjacent to the Salmon River but most of it is accessible by turning off the ranch roads.  

There is a lodge on the east side of the road called the Rocky Mountain Ranch and the have a pond full of giant trout.  I am not sure if non-guests can access the pond and if so there would be a fee.

There is a salmon hatchery on the river that takes visitors.  You might see antelope and Bear Valley turkey's aka Sandhill Cranes if you look carefully.  Bear Valley is northwest of Stanley and it's a giant complex of wet meadows which the cranes prefer to raise the chicks.   There are some beautiful lakes to the west of 75 Alturas, Petit, and the major tourist draw Redfish Lake.

The entire area is geothermal so there are tons of hot springs.  The Mountain Village motel has some that I believe for a couple $ you can use.  There are others on public land as well - no nudity like the old days.  

As far as fishing the Salmon I've never fished it, but the flies mentioned above will catch trout in any moving water in Idaho.  Another fly I thought of was a light Cahill 12-16...that's prob the best choice.  Ask for advice at the fly shop in Ketchum or look at the Idaho Mountain Express (online) I think there is a weekly fishing column.  The restaurant food in Stanley is not good and there are few choices.  You must visit Casanova Jacks on Ace of Diamond St right across from the Sawtooth Hotel in Stanley for a few cocktails.  

A trip to Lowman to see/fish/hot spring would be fun for all 4 of you.  The S Fork of the Payette is the one of the most beautiful rivers you'll ever seen.  The river is right off the road and you can park virtually anywhere and make your way to the river.  Kirkham Hot Springs and Pine Flats Campground are 2 places to use hot springs on the NF.

 

 

 

 

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On 8/2/2017 at 0:06 PM, BillA said:

EXCELLENT POST!!

With all the whining about "spot burning" which goes on here...it's a pleasure to see one member actually helping another to some good places to fish.  Some would have blurred-out those clouds, fearing that they would give away a secret location.

LOL!

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Paul, do you live over there in ID? I'm looking to do some steelheading this year, i'm just a few hours north. Bunch of people I know went to ID last winter and killed it. While I would prefer chrome fish, seems like the catch rate down there is pretty solid.

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Matt, I lived in the area in the 80's and have strong ties to the area so I'm moving back in a 2-3 years as soon as I retire.  I worked for the Forest Service and BLM for many years in Central Idaho  My buddy who is prob the best fisherman I've ever known does ok, but steelhead are far from plentiful.

What town are you in?  

 

 

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"but steelhead are far from plentiful"

Especially this year.  Lowest run, specifically of the Idaho fish, expected this year EVER.  We are under total No Keep regulations (on hatchery fish, natives have been protected for decades) on the whole lower Columbia for the month of August....and restrictions on NO Keep on fish over 30" thru September specifically to protect the few expected Idaho fish.  That is a first ever draconian regulation.  And, most of those Idaho fish are hatchery (Clearwater) fish.  Drought and poor ocean conditions are the identified culprits.

BUT....since prediction of returning steelhead runs are even more dicey than salmon (the "jack" index) they could have this wrong....and revise regs as things progress.  But, so far, the return is progressing as predicted.........thin and poorly.

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Back from Idaho. Stanley is a remarkable jumping off point, and I highly recommend it to anyone. It claims to have a year-round population of 63, but there's a killer bakery in town and a couple of good places to eat. They're gearing up for 50,000 visitors for the solar eclipse, which is absolutely nuts considering how small their infrastructure is. Anyway, the fishing report. 

 

Suffice it to say Western Slope cutthroat are thriving in the area and they love to play. We caught lots of cutties, cutbows, and rainbows, the latter of which are mostly stocked. We were even encouraged to keep a rainbow or two (which we never ended up doing). What I'll remember most about this experience: the slow rise/sip a cutthroat makes taking a dry fly. It's so fun to watch; very methodical, and it requires a very patient hook set. 

 

I fished Adams gulch my first opportunity, and they were interested in both caddis flies and hoppers. Thanks for pointing me in that direction, Paul. Ketchum was a little jammed up with people when we first arrived, so it was nice to step away from the crowd. 

 

Our float was on the Upper Main Salmon from Elk Creek to Torrey's, which is essentially the upper part of the canyon. It's a crystal clear freestone river, and my friend and I quickly lost count of fish. I'd say about 40 in the boat, mostly in the 8-12" range, with 4-5 in the 16-20". I'm completely sold on the area, and I'm seriously planning a multi-day trip now to do a 100 mile stretch on the Middle Fork.

 

I took some spotty footage on the GoPro and manage to capture a couple nice fish on film: 

 

Attached are the guide's flies and that last rainbow I pulled in on the take out.

 

IMG_3110.JPG

IMG_3113.JPG

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