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South Fork Lodge: Unmatched Angling Adventures on the Snake River

Flowing 1,078 miles before it empties into the Pacific Ocean, the Snake River is a natural wonder of the Pacific Northwest. Along the way, this mountain-cradled waterway showcases sensational fishing and scenery at its South Fork in Idaho. Cast off on this world-famous fly fishing river and experience an unmatched angling adventure. 

There’s no better place to reel in the trophy trout than  South Fork Lodge, which features not only some of the finest dry fly fishing in the state, but some of the best in the United States. The awe-inspiring area is called Swan Valley and the river is ideal for both novice and veteran anglers, with fishing taking place in drift boats during the summer months, before the water level recedes a little enabling wading during the fall. 

Experience some of the best high-end fishing encased in the high walls of the South Fork’s breathtaking canyon stretch. This journey begins on the Conant boat launch located at the foot of the South Fork Lodge and embarks off on a full day of adventure. Winding 12 miles through rock formations formed more than 12 million years ago, this fish-filled water is teeming with brown, cutthroat, and rainbow trout, some of them measuring up to 20 inches.    

As you float down the scenic river, guests will be treated to views of natural splendors like the Cottonwood Gallery, the largest riparian cottonwood gallery in the west. When autumn arrives, the walls of the forest light up with vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges that are exclusive in the magnitude of size for the west. You’ll also encounter majestic wildlife that includes 126 bird species, moose, deer, elk, mountain goats, mountain lions, black bear, river otters, beaver, and minks. 

“The South Fork Canyon is a truly magical place, and of all the rivers I’ve fished, this is the place that means the most to me,” Natural Retreats Vice President of Outfitting Jonathan Lancaster said. “Every year, it teaches me something new, and I see it as the finest dry fly fishery in the country.” 

When you’re not floating down the canyon stretch of the river, fish on the almost 70 miles of river within easy reach of the lodge, where a diverse array of fish and wildlife highlight your trip. No matter what you’re looking for, the expert guides are there to share hot-spot secrets and idyllic landscapes. In addition, the lodge offers a stellar outfitting and fly shop to kit you out for a perfect day on the river.

“The South Fork of the Snake certainly earns its reputation as one of the top fly fishing destinations in the world,” South Fork Lodge Retreat Manager Jim Nielsen said. “Whether it’s fishing big foam bugs to eager Yellowstone cutts in the early summer, PMDs in the riffles in July and  August, or the thrill of the chase from a monster brown after your streamer in the fall, the South Fork is the place to be in any season. We have the most experienced guides on the river who will make sure beginning fly-fishers as well as seasoned anglers have the trip of a lifetime. Every section of the river is special in its own way, with every bend in the river more spectacular than the last, but make sure to plan enough time in your stay to experience the Canyon section – this dramatic stretch, accessible only by boat, is not to be missed.” 

If you’d like to do a little more exploring, visit the nearby Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Then swap exploration for relaxation in the luxurious lodge, which features a rustic yet refined experience right by the river. A dining room and riverside bar and patio are just outside your door, offering a great atmosphere to swap fish tales. 

Featuring world-class dry fly fishing, breathtaking scenery, and an unforgettable Snake River canyon experience, South Fork Lodge is your base camp for unmatched angling adventures.