Stanley, Idaho Fishing
Float Boat Guides
Mountain Lake Guides
Multi-Day Trips Guides
The Middle Fork and Upper Main Salmon Rivers are within easy striking distance of Stanley, Idaho. Both rivers offer endless opportunities for wade, bank, and float fishing as well as a variety of approaches from fly casting to trolling to spin casting to Spey casting.
With the region’s high mountain lake fishing and boat/bank fishing on its lower elevation lakes minutes from town, Stanley, Idaho is a fisherman’s paradise!
Some high mountain lakes, near-in lakes, and rivers are stocked by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, complementing the robust native fishery for which the Stanley area is known.
Contact a Fishing Guide in Stanley, Idaho
As an outfitter destination, Stanley, Idaho, has several excellent fishing guide services.
The benefits of hiring a fishing guide include that they:
- Make it less intimidating to learn by teaching first-timers to fish
- Can plan fishing expeditions that accommodate all ages
- Have an intimate knowledge of conditions day after day all season long, so they can always put you on the best water
- Know what types of fish are in season
- Can take you out on a boat to access certain parts of the river you can’t get to by land
- Are professional and friendly
- Know special rules for waters
What to Know Before You Go Fishing in Stanley
Do I need a fishing license if I go with a guide?
Yes! Each person fishing must have their license on them while fishing. Don’t be the one person holding up the rest of your group because you forgot to buy a fishing license. It’s a quick way to make enemies! Be prepared by purchasing a fishing license in Stanley or online ahead of time.
Is there cell service while fishing on the river?
While fishing in Stanley, whether floating down the river or fishing from the banks, you’ll see some of the most beautiful wild country in the nation. That is because it’s part of the federally reserved Frank Church River of No Return. One amenity of this extraordinary, secluded wilderness is “unplugging” since cell services are not always available.
What types of fish are in the Stanley area?
The Stanley Basin is home to renowned high-quality fishing running the full range of species, including:
- Brook Trout
- Bull Trout (catch-and-release)
- Chinook Salmon
- Coho Salmon
- Sockeye Salmon (Illegal to target)
- Steelhead (Illegal except for during the season)
- Sturgeon (catch-and-release)
- Tiger Muskie
- Rainbow trout, Westslope Cutthroat Trout, and Hybrid Rainbow-Cutthroat Trout
When is the steelhead season in Stanley?
The steelhead run on the Salmon River is the longest in North America. In March, when steelhead season is on in Stanley, you can find anglers gathering for the annual event through mid to late April. A few months later, into summer, rainbow trout fishing begins in late June and runs through August. For a complete understanding of what’s in season, ask your fishing guide, or check out the local fishing regulations .
What are the rules about steelhead fishing?
There are numerous intricacies regarding the regulations for steelhead fishing, which is yet another reason why it’s ideal to hire a fishing guide.
Some examples include:
- Licenses and permits depend upon being a resident or non-resident and age.
- You can no longer fish once you catch your limit — even for catch-and-release.
- Depending on the waters, barbed or barbless hooks are legal.
- Killing or retaining a steelhead snagged somewhere other than the mouth or jaw is illegal.
- If the steelhead has an intact adipose fin, it is native and must be released.
- Any salmon or steelhead that is kept must be killed immediately.
- The fish’s head and tail must be intact until the angler is onshore and done fishing.
Book a Guided Fishing Trip
If you are new, or even if you’re returning to fishing, hiring a guide can save you a lot of hassle by providing you with all the gear you need, feeding you lunch or snacks, and helping to keep you safe with their knowledgeable training. Additionally, a fishing guide can increase your chances of yelling “Fish on” since they know the best locations and what the fish are biting on. Our guides are hooked on fishing and aim to provide you with an exciting experience that exceeds your expectations and leaves you with memories for a lifetime!