"The best trout fishing (in Idaho), in my experience, is on the St. Joe, reached by Interstate 90 from Missoula or Spokane, and then over the Bitterroots on gravel roads. I shouldn't give this up; my two fishing brothers are going to kill me for this. But in sections of the St. Joe the trout are so easy to catch you want to give them pointers on dodging the cheap fly. They're cutthroats, some as big as 18 inches. They don't fight as much as rainbows, but they're abundant, and rise on cue to any decently presented dry fly. Trout Unlimited called the St. Joe the best cutthroat trout fishery on the west side of the Rockies."
- New York Times, "The Last Wilderness" July 1, 2007
The St. Joe River is a Blue Ribbon trout fishery that starts its journey high in the Bitterroot Mountains and travels 130 miles through Idaho before emptying into Lake Coeur d’Alene. The St. Joe is protected by Congress through the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and Idaho Fish and Game has implemented fishing regulations that have nurtured this river into one of the finest trout fisheries in the West. ROW has exclusive commercial outfitting rights on a large stretch of this river, which allows our guides to access water rarely fished by anyone other than locals.
The legendary Saint Joe is a classic Westslope cutthroat trout fishery. With a tremendous population of native cutthroat trout, the St. Joe allows fishermen of all levels to land numerous fish ranging from 8” to 22”. This freestone river's emerald-tinted waters flow over shallow cobblestone flats into rock-studded pocket pools and there are riffles around every bend. Fly fishing season on the “Joe” opens in late May and the cutthroat remain very active throughout the fall. This classic Idaho fishing river offers a variety of different hatches including Stone Flies, May Flies, Caddis, and Terrestrials.
ROW's expert fly fishing guides will help you choose your flies and will put you in position to haul in plenty of cutthroat trout. Fish eagerly rise to dry flies all day, and typically 85 percent of the flies used on the St. Joe are dries in a variety of patterns. Thirty trout a day regularly happens on the St. Joe.
ROW offers float trips on the lower stretches of the river, and walk-and-wade trips on the upper stretches. The St. Joe is a true gem of North Idaho fly fishing. Loaded with wild cutthroat and rainbow trout, it is North Idaho’s best-kept secret. ROW has been guiding on the St. Joe since 1986, longer than any other fly fishing outfitter.
Be sure to ask about our fly fishing package options for Idaho, Montana and Oregon.
Permits & Licenses:
ROW Inc., doing business as ROW Adventures, is proud to be an Equal Opportunity recreation service provider and employer under permit from Idaho Panhandle National Forests. All our operations and facilities are operated on a non-discriminatory basis. ROW Inc. is bonded and licensed by the State of Idaho Outfitters & Guides Licensing Board.