Fly fishing is a quintessential part of the Idaho experience, and Sun Valley is one of the best places in the state to enjoy this pastime, offering unique experiences for anglers of all levels of experience.

With incredibly diverse flying fishing opportunities, this area is home to expansive rivers and creeks—each with its own character and challenges. Sun Valley provides a perfect opportunity for novice anglers to learn the sport in a beautiful and scenic setting. For those with more experience, Sun Valley offers a chance to test your skills on some of the most challenging waters in the world.

Natural Retreats is here to get you started. Here are some of our recommendations:

Silver Creek Preserve near Sun Valley, Idaho at sunset
Fly fishing from a drift boat.


When the crowds have thinned and the fish are still biting, you should cast your line—consider a fall fly fishing excursion. Considered a mecca for fly fishing enthusiasts from all over the world, if you want to beat the crowds, September, October, and November are the ideal months. The weather is cool and comfortable, and the water is crystal clear. With various species to choose from, you could find yourself reeling in sizeable trout, salmon, or even steelhead.

So whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, grab your rod and reel and head to Sun Valley this fall for some of the best fly fishing of your life.


The Sun Valley area is home to four extraordinary waterways, each offering its own unique fishing experience. Silver Creek is renowned for its monster brown trout, while the Big Wood River is a haven for healthy rainbows. The Lost River is home to vibrant cutthroats, and the Salmon River is a hotspot for bull trout and salmonoids. Combined, these famed Idaho rivers and creeks make the Sun Valley area a true nexus of freshwater fly fishing. Get ready for an unforgettable fishing experience.


Close up portrait of a  fly fisherman's hands as she works the line and reel. She is wearing a green cotton gillet,waders, a patterned sweater and a mustard coloured scarf. Colour, horizontal format photographed against a calm sea with lots of copy space. Photographed on location at Nordfeld Strand on the island of Møn in Denmark.
Fishing tackle. Man selecting fly fishing lure from his collection in box.  Selective focus.


Fly fishing is a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of the Idaho scenery as well as the challenge of the sport. There is nothing more relaxing than spending a day on the river, but before you do that, there are a few must-haves to pick up before heading out on your next fly fishing trip.


  • FLY ROD AND REEL: Before you can be a successful fisherman (or woman), it’s important to choose the right rod and reel for you. The type of fish you are trying to catch will determine the type of rod and reel you need. For example, if you are fly fishing for trout, you will need a different rod and reel than if you are fly-fishing for bass. There are many kinds of fly fishing rods and reels on the market, so it is important to do your research—by looking online at fly fishing forums where experienced anglers can offer guidance. Still unsure? Consider purchasing these items or renting them from a local fly shop with the assistance of a salesperson or fly fishing expert. With a little bit of knowledge, you can pick the perfect rod and reel for your next fly fishing adventure.

  • A SELECTION OF FLIES: You will need a specific selection of flies in order to attract the fish you are attempting to catch in Sun Valley. There are many different types of flies, and the type you use will depend on the kind of fish you are trying to catch. Picking the perfect fly can be difficult, but it is important to consider the type of fish you are trying to catch and the conditions of the water. If you are new to fly fishing, there are many resources available to help you choose the right fly, including fly fishing guides (more on this later). With a bit of practice, you will be able to select the best fly for any situation.

  • THE RIGHT GEAR: Pick up some waders before you start your big fishing adventure. Waders help to keep you dry and comfortable while you are fly fishing. They also provide some warmth in colder weather—especially in the fall when the waters are cool. Typically made from breathable fabrics, waders allow you to move freely while casting your line. Stay dry, comfortable, and mobile so that you can focus on catching fish!

  • FLY FISHING LICENSE: An Idaho fly fishing license is required for all anglers 14 years of age or older and can be obtained at any Idaho Fish and Game office or online at the Idaho Fish and Game website. A fly-fishing license entitles the holder to fish in any open water in Idaho as well as to possess any fish caught. Special fishing permits are needed for some activities for both residents and nonresidents fishing for salmon and steelhead or planning to fish with two poles. The cost of an Idaho fly fishing license ranges for residents and non-residents, depending on the length of stay and what you plan to fish for in Idaho. For more information, visit the Idaho Official Government Website.

Once you have all of these things, you are ready to go fly fishing in Sun Valley!


Two Fly Fisherman Discussing Lures
A close-up image of a man tying a fish fly. Tackle box in background. Fly-fishing theme.


The perfect way to get into fly fishing is by hiring an experienced guide. Guides can offer guidance and advice on the basics of casting a reel, finding the best spots to fish at, or helping you improve your skills while learning a new technique like drift or dead drift. They’ll even take care of your landing so that all eyes stay ahead!

There are many advantages to using a fly-fishing guide. They can help you to save time, money, and energy. They can also help you to avoid making mistakes. However, there are also some disadvantages to using a fly-fishing guide. They can be expensive, and they may not always be available when you want them.

When choosing a fly fishing guide, it is important to consider your budget and your needs. Here are a few locally-owned businesses to choose from: