Fly Fishing the South Fork Payette River

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The South Fork of the Payette River is one of the great fly fishing rivers in Idaho. It runs only 45 minutes from Boise. Rarely do you see any fly Anglers on this 55 mile stretch of freestone river. This is a classic dry fly river that is ignored by most local fly anglers because of their lack of understanding of the river and how to fish it effectively. Twenty fish days are not out of the ordinary. Learn where to fish and where not to fish. The river consists of an upper section and a lower section and each section has its own pace.

Payette River

The myth around the South Fork of the Payette River that has been swirling around Idaho is that the South Fork Payette River does not have any trout in the river or very few trout in it. Some of our fishery agencies here in Boise will tell you the same story. The facts are the South Fork Payette River is one of the best dry fly fishing rivers in Idaho.

That myth has kept many anglers away from the river which in a way gives you the whole river to yourself to fly fish unmolested by any other anglers for the day. Few rivers in Idaho can boast being a more picturesque or beautiful river.

There is lot to learn about the South Fork Payette River before you can have the success of a 20 fish day. After 23 years of fly fishing the South Fork Payette River I have learned many of the secrets of the river that I will share with you so you won’t have to spend 23 years on the river to learn. When you look at the length of the river, 55 miles, you would think that’s a lot of river to fly fish. But the real secret is where not to fly fish. For much of the river it flows through canyons and is only in the sun for short periods of a 24 hour day. Learn the best time of day to fly fish the river and the successful flies that we use to catch them.

Another myth is that the South Fork Payette River has only small trout in it. Indeed there are quite a few small trout in the river; however the river holds many large trout from 13 inches up to 17 inches. There are various techniques and strategies we use to find these big fish. We are truly blessed to have a trout stream with the magnitude of the South Fork Payette River running less than an hour from town. If you haven’t fly fished the South Fork Payette then this class will get you up to speed.