Middle Fork Salmon Fly Fishing GUIDE Fly Fishing


Whether it is your first-time fly fishing or you are a seasoned fisherman, we are here to answer any of your Middle Fork Salmon fly fishing questions. If you don’t have your own gear and want to try your hand at fly-fishing, let us know and we will outfit you with everything you need except an Idaho fishing license. 


It is always important to be prepared with the proper gear when heading into the backcountry. For our fly-fisherman, beginners or veterans, we’ve put together a suggested list of the gear you may want to bring on your Middle Fork vacation. 

  • License | You can purchase an Idaho fishing license at fly-fishing shops in Stanley or Boise. Licenses are also available on-line or by phone at 1-800-554-8685. Kids 14 and older must have a license. If you are taking a September fishing trip you will want your license to cover all the days of the trip. If you are on a summer rafting trip and won’t be doing a lot of fishing, get a license for the middle days of your trip.

  • Rods | Any fly rod that is balanced for line weights 4-7 and lengths 8-9 feet will set you up for success. Make sure the rod is in an unbreakable case. Avoid bringing classic or collector rods. Our Orvis rods are 8 to 9 feet in length with 4 or 5 weight line.

  • Lines | The basic fly line should be a floating type with a double taper or weight forward. The fly line should be matched with the rod. Behind the fly line should be enough backing (18 to 20-pound test Dacron) to fill the reel.

  • Leaders | Most people bring a couple of 4X or 5X leaders. Bring a spool of 4 or 5-pound tippet material as well.

  • Sunglasses | Eye protection is important. We recommend polarized sunglasses with a lanyard for spotting fish through the reflective glare of water.

  • Hat | A wide-brimmed hat comes in handy for protection from the elements and the occasional misguided fly

  • Tools | Bring a fingernail clipper, or “angler’s clipper,” for trimming leader and tippet. Small needle nose pliers, or similar tools, are helpful for “debarbing” hooks. Middle Fork regulations require that all barbs on hooks be flattened.

  • Flies | See our recommended flies below and read about our guides tips for choosing the right fly here.



Depending on the time of the year, the Middle Fork of the Salmon River flows can vary greatly. Although fly-fishing is excellent throughout the season, conditions are best once high water has subsided. Towards the latter part of the summer rafting season, temperatures typically cool and fishing gets even better than it had been.

Discharge, cubic feet per second, last 30 days

Graph of DAILY Discharge, cubic feet per second