A Fly Fishing Paradise – Selway River Idaho

Fly Fishing Idaho

I’ve fished quite a few places in Idaho and fly fishing the Selway River in Idaho has to be at the top of my list!  The Selway River in Idaho is an untouched 45 mile stretch of river that is unparalleled in scenery.  They only allow 1 boat per day to float this section.  They then open up this section to the public August 1st every year, but most years that late in the season is virtually impossible to float (unless one kayaks) because the water level is so low. It took us three days to float camping each night on the shores and cooking up some glorious meals.

This year we actually launched August 3rd and had a four man rowdy crew consisting of Yetter, Gary, Nate Blanchard, and I.  This was my first time rowing (Nate and I took turns) and it was a cherry experience, especially when the oar jousted me off the rock into a Class IV rapid (check the vid to see chubbs bald head hanging on to the raft).

The native cutthroat trout and small steelhead fry were endless on the end of our hooks.  This year we did see some Chinook Salmon that were about to exit this life’s journey.  There are also steelhead and bull trout that frequent these waters.

Below are some pics and a few videos I did using imovie on a Mac.  Look out Spielberg!

Here is our excerpt on Fly Fishing Idaho’s Selway River:

The Selway River is located roughly 50 miles West of Darby Montana (SE Montana) in the Bitteroot Selway Wilderness. From Darby travel south to West Fork Road (HWY 473), then when it forks stay right on Nez Pearce Road (FR 468). You will traverse some rugged country, but after a scenic route you will arrive at the Paradise Campground/Paradise Guard Station where White Cap Creek enters the Selway River.

The River
As I previously mentioned, the Selway River is more widely known for it phenomenal white water rapids that attract thousands annually. It is a float and camp experience like no other. The Selway can be one of the most challenging whitewater rivers in the United States and it’s probably THE toughest for which to get a permit. From Paradise Guard Station to Selway Falls the river drops for 46 miles an average of 28 feet per mile creating a most technical whitewater experience. The many Class IV rapids will challenge any boatman at any level. This river requires a high level of whitewater skill and experience. The number of launches are regulated from May 15 through July 31. Post-season August runs are possible in high-water years.


This year we brought some sinking line to hit those deep holes for bigger trout.  We fished 70% of the time with dries on top of the water.  Renegades, BWOs, Wulf Royale (as we like to call it), and Parachute Adams were the ticket.  We did end up throwing some scandalous streamers and clousers that caught some bigger fish.  Both ways were pretty much non-stop action and a ton of fun.

Here are the pics and Vids!















































































































































Of all the letters to go out at the Sky Motel.









































































































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One Response to “A Fly Fishing Paradise – Selway River Idaho”

  1. Mark Says:

    So I was wondering, are you suggesting that the Selway is floatable after August 1st by your average Yahoo with a pontoon (assuming some portaging), or are you suggesting that even after August 1st you better be able to handle Class IV water regardless of the time of year? Great pictures and video!


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