People move to Idaho for a variety of different reasons. It’s a beautiful state with terrain and landscape as varied as the people that live here. Idaho is full of a rich history, and it’s an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Idaho has some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States, some of the best skiing in the world, and some of the best fishing in the world.
If fishing is your life, and sneaking away for a weekend of fishing the many streams, rivers, and lakes is your idea of a perfect weekend, Idaho is the place to live. Your “I’d rather be fishing” bumper sticker will fit right in. With the thousands of miles of rivers in Idaho, you’ll have plenty of fishing opportunities. However, if you want the best fishing, there’s only one river, and barely any rivers in the world can compare.
Henry’s Fork of the Snake River
The Snake River is a massive river system, with tributaries and forks all across Southeast Idaho. There is one fork of the Snake River that gains more attention than any other though, and that’s Henry’s Fork. Rivers are often defined by their source, but they are also defined by the terrain they flow through. And that’s where Henry’s Fork wins. It’s essentially six rivers in one, and is arguably one of the best trout fishing rivers in the world.
Henry’s Fork begins as a spring, starting just above the Island Park Reservoir. It’s fed by a giant spring system, and winds down through incredible grasslands. It finally turns, and flows through volcanic rock. These are the Coffeepot Rapids. The upper river of Henry’s Fork is an incredibly valuable spawning river for trout. Where the river feeds into the reservoir, you can try and catch some truly astounding trout.
This section of the river is fast. It’s a 3-mile stretch of the river that feeds from the Island Park Dam. It can be difficult to wade, but there are plenty of parking areas where you can walk into the water. Box Canyon is a popular drift boat section of the Henry’s Fork. The river here is full of trout, with an estimated 3,000 trout per mile. Box Canyon is a fisherman’s paradise.
Harriman State Park
Leaving Box Canyon, Henry’s Fork slows down as it enters 10 miles of grasslands. A full seven miles of the river cuts through Harriman State Park. This section of Henry’s Fork features some incredibly tricky fishing. That doesn’t stop fisherman from coming from all corners of the world to test their mettle here. The diverse insect population is incredible here, and there is no other place that can compare. Coupled with the currents, this is some difficult fishing. However, it’s worthwhile, as there are some huge trout here.
The next 20 miles of Henry’s Fork flows down through a canyon. This section of the river is filled with whitewater and waterfalls, but it does provide some great places for pocket fishing. This is where Upper and Lower Mesa Falls are.
Stretching six and a half miles from the Ashton Dam to the Chester Dam, this strip of Henry’s Fork is incredibly productive. You’ll find great fishing here from late winter and into early July. This part of Henry’s Fork is great for catching trophy rainbow and brown trout.
Lower Henry’s Fork
This is the final stretch before Henry’s Fork joins the Snake River. Fall River joins Henry’s Fork here, and the majority of the river is easy to wade here. However, access can be limited. Apart from catching nice trout, this is also a great place to spot some local wildlife. You’ll be able to see Bald Eagles, moose, and more.
Living to Fish
Living in Idaho is largely a lifestyle choice, and it’s the perfect match if you love fishing. Idaho has some incredible fishing, as shown in Henry’s Fork. When you talk about fly-fishing, everyone will talk about Henry’s Fork. The diversity of the river is virtually unmatched, and it’s one of the best places in the world to fish for trout.
After you’ve settled into your new home, unpack your tackle. You’ll want to head out as soon as you can to fish Henry’s Fork. Get ready for some incredible fishing, along an incredible river. You’ll probably never want to leave. Good thing you live in Idaho.