Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Payette River - South Fork - Idaho

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon #18-22 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
February Midges Afternoon #18-22 Black Beauty, Zebra Midge
Winter Stoneflies All Day #18-20 Winter Stonefly Nymph
March Blue Wing Olive Afternoon #18-20 BWO Emerger, Pheasant Tail Nymph
April Blue Wing Olive Afternoon #18-20 BWO Dry Fly, Hare's Ear Nymph
May Salmonfly, Golden Stonefly Afternoon, Evening #6-10 Rogue Foam Stonefly, Chubby Chernobyl
June PMD, Green Drakes Morning, Afternoon #14-18 PMD Cripple, Green Drake Cripple
July Caddis, Yellow Sallies Evening #14-16 Elk Hair Caddis, Yellow Sally Stimulator
August Caddis, Tricos Morning, Evening #14-22 X-Caddis, Trico Spinner
September Mahogany Dun, October Caddis Afternoon, Evening #14-18 Parachute Adams, October Caddis Pupa
October Blue Wing Olive Afternoon #18-20 BWO Emerger, Parachute BWO
November Midges Afternoon #18-22 Ruby Midge, Top Secret Midge
December Midges Afternoon #18-22 Griffith's Gnat, Disco Midge

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

South Fork of the Payette River is exceptional for its fly fishing spots in Idaho. It’s not just the variety of fish species but the picturesque scenery that adds charm.

Here are the best spots for fly fishing:

  • Sawtooth National Forest: This location provides some fantastic opportunities for catching almost every type of fish, including rainbow trout, brook trout, and cutthroat trout.
  • Lowman: This region offers opportunities for bigger fish, especially during the early summer season. An ideal spot for enthusiasts who wish to hook the mountain whitefish.
  • Pine Flats Hot Springs: A unique spot where you can relax in warm springs while waiting for the fish to bite. Mostly ideal for rainbow trout.
  • Canyon stretches: These are perfect for white water fly fishing. Rainbow trout are the most common catch.
  • Best Access Points

    The South Fork of the Payette River is an ideal location for fly fishing. It provides numerous access points, each catering to a unique fishing experience.

    • South Fork Lodge: This dedicated fly fishing lodge is the most convenient access point, offering guided trips and equipment rentals.
    • Deadwood River confluence: Located near Lowman, this spot is known for its high population of trout.
    • Swinging Bridge: Reachable by hiking trails, this area provides an adventurous fishing experience in the pristine river stretch.
    • Whipstaff Bend: Access the river at this point by a two-mile hike from the Highway 21 bridge. Expect to find Cutthroat and Steelhead here.
    • Kirkham Hot Springs: A casual spot that’s less crowded, perfect for those who prefer solitary fishing.

    Remember to check local regulations and always practice catch and release to preserve the fish population.

    Local Fish

    • Rainbow Trout: This species is prime target for anglers on the Payette River because of its abundance and willingness to take flies.
    • Westslope Cutthroat Trout: These are also quite popular and are native to Idaho. The South Fork Payette River provides an excellent habitat for them.
    • Brown Trout: While not as common as Rainbow or Cutthroat, Brown Trout can still be caught on the South Fork Payette River and can provide a feisty fight.
    • Bull Trout: Known for their large size, catching a Bull Trout on the fly is a real thrill for anglers. However, they are catch-and-release only.
    • Brook Trout: Although, they are not native to the area, Brook Trout have established populations in the South Fork Payette River.
    • Mountain Whitefish: This native species can be a fun secondary target for fly anglers on the South Fork Payette River.
    • White Sturgeon: Although not typically targeted with a fly rod, adventurous anglers might try to land one of these giants of the deep.
    • Smallmouth Bass: In the lower reaches of the South Fork Payette River, anglers might encounter smallmouth bass, providing a different type of fly fishing challenge.

    About The River

    Snaking through the wilderness of Idaho is the crystal-clear Payette River – South Fork, a real gem that attracts nature enthusiasts worldwide. This beauty has a rich history that is just as captivating.

    Historically, the South Fork of Payette River served as a vital conduit for Native American tribes. They’d use it for transportation, fishing, and collecting precious minerals.

    Later, when gold was discovered in Idaho in the 1800s, the river bustled with gold rush adventurers. Miners flocked to its banks in search of precious nuggets, forever imprinting the river in the pages of history.

    • The river is now a paradise for rafters and canoeists, its thrilling rapids providing a fun challenge for all.
    • Its pristine waters teem with a variety of fish species, making it an angler’s dream.
    • The surrounding scenic beauty lends itself to wildlife viewing and photography.

    No visit to Idaho would be complete without experiencing the charisma of the Payette River – South Fork!, deeply woven into the state’s historical fabric.


    Recent Articles

    Hip Waders vs. Chest Waders: The Pros & Cons

    Hip Waders vs. Chest Waders: The Pros & Cons

    Hip Waders or Chest Waders? Choosing the right gear for fly fishing can make all the difference in…

    Tying a Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step-by-Step Fly Tying Instructions

    Tying a Pheasant Tail Nymph: Step-by-Step Fly Tying Instructions

    Welcome to fly tying: How to tie a Pheasant Tail Nymph! If you’re new here or a seasoned…