North Fork & Middle Fork, Boise River
The Boise River, that we see flowing here in town, is formed by the confluence of two forks above Arrowrock and Lucky Peak Reservoirs; the North Fork of the Boise River (approx. 50 miles long) and the Middle Fork of the Boise River (approx. 52 miles long). The South Fork of the Boise River may get all of the attention, but these smaller freestone streams are a couple of gems in their own right. Accessible via Middle Fork Road, towards the old mining town of Atlanta, and several roads outside of Idaho City, these rivers are only about 1.5 - 2.5 hours away from Boise, depending on road conditions.

The roads to these beautiful streams pass through forests of Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Fir, interspersed with lush river bottoms, meadows, granite outcroppings, and sections of steep canyon walls. These two rivers provide countless miles of pocket water, riffles, and pools. Anglers fishing these waters have an opportunity to catch a variety of wild trout, including Rainbows, Cutthroat, Whitefish, and Bull Trout. The rivers are open all year and there are a good variety of seasonal bugs, including stoneflies, mayflies, caddis, and even the occasional salmonfly. Basic attractor-type fly patterns and terrestrials, such as beetle, ants and grasshoppers, tend to work well in the summer, while in the spring and early fall many fisherman find that the streamer fishing can be very productive. There are also a number of smaller tributaries that can afford some good fishing when the water levels are “right”.

The roads into these areas can be “questionable” in the spring and late fall, so it’s always a good idea to check with the local ranger district before heading out. Locals will also tell you that the journey into these streams can sometimes be downright bone jarring. It usually helps to have a good vehicle, with good shocks, and perhaps even 4-wheel drive. The campgrounds can get busy during the summer, but most of the time it is well worth the drive and there is usually plenty of water to fish. The Upper Boise River Basin is a beautiful place to explore and we are lucky to have it as another fine resource for our local and visiting anglers.


For current stream flow information, CLICK HERE.