Fly fishing for trout on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River with Aggipah’s fly fishing guides is primarily a summer activity.
The trout fishing season is open year-round, with some Middle Fork Salmon River fly fishing opportunity in late April or early May before the river begins to rise from snow-melt. At this time, since the access road to Boundary Creek is not yet snow-free, trips must fly into an airstrip along the river. In normal years, the Middle Fork of the Salmon River is too high to effectively fish from late May through mid-June. Fly fishing for trout is better at river levels below about four feet on the gauge, which in a normal water year means late June to early July on through the summer. In low water years, the river can be low enough to fly fish for trout throughout June, and fishing is good then.
River temperature during July and August
is typically mid-fifties through sixties, with about five degrees increase from daylight until mid-afternoon, and similar loss overnight. Salmon River temperature increases as the trip progresses, with loss of elevation, and also increases as the snow run-off decreases toward mid-summer. During the heat of the summer, late July to early August, the river temperature can reach 70, especially in low-water years. Trout fly fishing slows greatly at that temperature. However, 70 degrees is not an every-year event. July and August are the driest two months, with normally clear water. September is often touted as a good fishing month, and it is, but the chance of rain increases. With rain comes the chance of runoff from areas of recent forest fires, creating muddy, unfishable water. Often storms producing run-off are very localized, with a particular tributary causing the river to be off-color, but other tributary streams may be fishable. There are several tributary streams that are large enough to fish, with a trail along them.
In late September, we can bring shotguns and bird dogs for a cast-and-blast trip. After September, weather becomes pretty chilly for camping and whitewater, and there is little activity on the river. By late October, there is often ice floating down the river.