A couple of years ago, SAO guides Ben Barger and John Bowling, began to fill my head with stories of monster fish out west in Idaho. I had never been to Idaho and honestly had never had any aspirations to do so either.
Each time they would tell me how I needed to make the trip out, I always had something else going on. The first year, we were already planning a return trip to California for Golden Trout. The next year, I was planning a trip to Alaska, so once again Idaho was just a part of discussion. This year, it came up again in conversation and low and behold, I didn't have plans to go anywhere and desperately wanted to.....Thus the trip planning began.
Being a high adventure kind of guy, I immediately started studying Idaho and surrounding areas to see what the possibilities were outside of the obvious waters that John and Ben had fished. In short order, I was as giddy as a young boy who just got his first bb gun! I couldn't believe how much reputed water lay inside the Idaho lines, not to mention just across the state lines. It sounded like the perfect opportunity to film the second volume in "The Adventures of Flybum!"
With excitement, I quickly formulated a plan to see just how many new species of trout could be added to the list of species I have caught in my career. This would certainly call for a lot of driving and the covering of a lot of water, but I think we were game for the challenge.
BEN & PATRICK PREPARE TO CATCH THEIR FLIGHT TO IDAHO
After a long days flight and a midnight arrival in Boise, we made the quick drive to Don's house. Don is a fly fisherman that Ben and John met on previous trips to the area who has become a good friend. Having now spent a week with him myself, I can understand why they have enjoyed his camaraderie so much! After a much needed nights sleep and some quick errands for license and some other last minute supplies, we were hitting the road for our first destination about 6 hours out.
PATRICK LOOKS OUT ON THE IDAHO LANDSCAPE
WHILE HEADING FOR SALMON, IDAHO
BEN BARGER LOOKS OUT OVER A COUPLE OF MEADOW
STREAMS AS THEY CONVERGE....YES IT HAD TROUT IN IT.
As we headed out across northern Idaho, my mind was amazed at the wild beauty of this place! I'm sure you have had preconceived ideas about areas before you have traveled there, and I was no different. The only thing was that it didn't look like what I thought it would. Nevertheless, it was stunning to look upon!
THE MOUNTAINS OF IDAHO AS WE HEAD TO THE
NORTH FOR OUR FIRST DAY OF FISHING.
Along our drive, we followed two rivers quite extensively and that was the Payette River and the Salmon River. Both are well known rivers in their own right and are equally as beautiful!
THE PAYETTE RIVER FLOWS THROUGH A DEEP GORGE.
ANOTHER MOUNTAIN SHOT ON THE DRIVE.
BREATH TAKING FOR SURE!
After driving for quite some time, we finally got to place where the road and the Salmon River found each other. About that time, we decided that it was time to wet a line...even if just for a little while. We didn't have a whole lot of extra time, but we couldn't hold back any longer.
DON OVERLOOKS A BEAUTIFUL SECTION OF WATER
So, after having exercised all the restraint we could muster up, we finally folded and decided to give the Salmon a shot before finishing up the final leg of our drive for the day. We just couldn't wait to get our hands on some fish!
PATRICK RIGS HIS ROD AND
PREPARES FOR HIS FIRST IDAHO FISH
DON TRIES TO DECIDE WHICH RIG TO GO WITH
WADERED UP AND READY TO GO.
HERE FISHY, FISHY, FISHY
After all of us wetting a line and getting some smaller bows to kick off our trip, we were ready to make the push to Salmon, because our tomorrow was going to be a treasure hunt. I don't know about you, but I am all about treasure hunts...especially when they are fish!
PATRICK DOUBLE CHECKS THE MAP
AND GUAGES THE ETA IN SALMON
After a long day of flying and a subsequent day of driving, we couldn't wait to go find the first three species on our list of trout we had never seen, let alone caught. The next day would prove to be an amazing adventure and a successful one at that! Westslope Cutthroats, Bull Trout, and Columbia River Basin Redbands here we come!
Until part two...
Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Steelhead Alley Outfitters