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Fly Fishing The Bear River Idaho
If you have never heard of the Bear River, check this  
out. The Bear River is approximately 490 miles
long. It flows through three states - southwestern
Wyoming, southeast Idaho, and northern Utah. It is the
largest tributary of the Great Salt Lake. It's the longest
river in North America that doesn't flow into a sea.

The Bear River originates in northeastern Utah from
several short forks on the north side of the Uinta
Mountains. The main stem Bear River starts at the
confluence of two of its main tributaries, Hayden Fork
and Stillwater Fork. The Hayden Fork starts north of
Hayden Pass near Hayden Peak. The Stillwater Fork
starts in the Middle Basin plateau at an elevation of
about 10,000 feet. One of the Stillwater Fork's
tributaries is Main Fork which starts in Hells Hole,
another high elevation plateau.

From its source in Utah, the Bear River flows across the
southwest corner of Wyoming near Evanston along the
Utah-Wyoming state line. It turns to flow through Bear
Lake Valley in Idaho, near Montpelier where it receives
additional water from Bear Lake Outlet Canal that drains
Bear Lake on the Idaho-Utah border. The river turns
again at Soda Springs and flows past Preston where it  
re-enters northern Utah.

Six major forks form the Bear River, two of which is
mentioned above, Haden Fork and Stillwater Fork.  
There are four others.

The East Fork of the Bear River flows into the Bear at
the East Fork Campground on SR #150. The East Fork
is the largest headwater stream of the Bear and is a
major spawning ground for Bonneville Cutthroat Trout.

State Route #150 follows along the Hayden Fork of the
Bear River. There are three campgrounds along the
road near the water.

The West Fork of the Bear River is a very good
cutthroat trout stream. Access is available from Coalville
or on Whitney Road off of State Route #150.

Mill Creek is the other major tributary and it too can be
accessed off State Route #150.

The Oneida Narrows Reservoir Tailwater provides some
of the best trout fishing on the Bear River. Highway #36
out of Preston, Idaho, crosses the Bear River not far
below the dam. Mink Creek enters the river just below
there. You can access the Bear river there and fish
upstream or downstream.

Water is released from the reservoir without notice and
can quickly raise the water level, of a great deal of
caution should be exercised. The water has some nice
runs and riffles downstream of the Mink Creek
confluence. The tailwater is stocked with rainbows and
provides some excellent fly fishing opportunities. There
are plenty of large rainbows up to 18 inches.

Seasons follow the general Idaho fishing season.
After the runoff, fishing is usually good.
Summertime is the best time for fly fishing the Bear River.
Fall, especially the early part of Fall, presents some
good opportunities.

Fly Fishing Gear Tackle and Trout Flies
Type of Stream
Freestone and Tailwater

Brook Trout (wild)
Rainbow Trout (wild and stocked)
Cutthroat (wild and native)
Brown Trout (some areas)

Northern Idaho

Small to Medium

Nearest Towns
Preston Idaho

General Idaho Season

Good but some requires hiking

Non-Resident License
State of Idaho

National Weather Service Link

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with the dates you will be fishing this
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you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

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