MemberDecember 15, 2019 at 2:20 pm
A buddy and I are looking to trek a flycraft out west from the southeast this upcoming summer. We both have limited experience fishing in MT, ID, and WY but primarily fish in NC and TN. We are looking for a 2-4 day float trip in mid to late July, preferably where we see the least amount of people. Any insight or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
troutmadnessGuestDecember 15, 2019 at 2:20 pm
Try the wind river near Thermopolis WY. Browns up to 30 inches in there and not hammered like most rivers out west. It’s actually the upper Bighorn but not crawling with guides and boats. Probably not a 3 day float though. The best thing to do would be to just drive to Wyoming with an open mind and scout around. Conditions fluctuate and planning specifics this far out can get you in trouble. Also I wouldn’t make a multi day trip your priority and don’t ignore the lakes.
RockTroutzGuestDecember 15, 2019 at 2:20 pm
If you can get a permit, the Smith River in MT is awesome. The Gunnison River, in CO, is another great place. Yet again, a permit would be the issue. Virtually any river with the least amount of people will likely require a permit.
LostWulfGuestDecember 15, 2019 at 2:20 pm
I think least amount of people and July is going to be tough.
A float down the one of the forks of the flathead river might be a good choice. There will certainly be plenty of people but less then the popular rivers. The popular rivers will be bumper boats that time of year. I’ve done the middle fork and it is very scenic and fishing is excellent that time of the year. I think the north fork is the least traveled but I can’t confirm that, I’ve only heard other people’s stories.
gc4lifeGuestDecember 15, 2019 at 2:20 pm
Float the Yakima in WA state. Flows are always good, fish get nice and fat, and it’s always fun to adventure in a new state.
And as a MT resident, I’d recommend putting the Smith kind of low on the list. That permit isn’t easy to get, and the amenities are definitely lacking compared to other rivers. If you’ve only got a few days, I’d really try to maximize them on permit-free water.
Ictguy21GuestDecember 15, 2019 at 2:20 pm
How are your skills on the oars? The Colorado River from State Bridge to Dotsero might be worth looking into. It’s a 45 mile stretch and while you’ll probably see a few other boats it won’t be insane like the Pumphouse stretch right upstream. There’s also some amazing camping spots especially on the lower half.
It does have some decent rapids that demand respect though. Usually listed online as ll+ but myself and a raft guide buddy scouted one that looked like a legitimate class lll at low water.
Might not be be your best option in the west but I think it’s worth considering!