Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Imnaha River Oregon
The Imnaha River is a 64 mile-long tributary of the
Snake River in Oregon. The entire river is designated
Wild and Scenic. It flows through some very rugged
canyons from the Eagle Cap Wilderness of the Wallowa
Mountains. Fly fishing the Imnaha River provides some
very good opportunities for both resident trout as well as
steelhead. The only nearby settlement is the village of

On its way to the Snake, the Imnaha River flows through
the Wallowa–Whitman National Forest, lots of private
land, and three special management areas: the Eagle
Cap Wilderness, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area,
and Hells Canyon Scenic Byway.

The Imnaha River is open for steelhead fishing from the
town of Imnaha down stream.  Steelhead usually enter
the mouth of the river in September. By October you can
usually find them in the first 20 miles of the lower section
of the Imnaha River.

Access is provided from a very rough unpaved road that
follows the river down stream to the Crow Creek Bridge
about five miles from the river's mouth. A trail follows the
lower five miles of the river from the bridge downstream.

Currently, the Steelhead season runs from September
through April 1 and only adipose clipped fish may be
kept. You will find some Chinook Salmon in the river
spawning that should be left alone.

The lower river also has a good population of large
rainbow trout. The upper section of the river, above
Imnaha, has a good population of rainbows, but they run
smaller than those downstream. The upper section of
the Imnaha River is a very good small stream fishery with
little pressure from anglers. There's excellent access in
the upper section in the Wallowa-Whitman National

Season vary according to the species. Check the current
High water can be a problem but if the flows are okay,
rainbow trout fishing can be good..
Fly fishing the upper section of the Imnaha River for
rainbows is good throughout the Summer.
Fly fishing the Imnaha River is good during the Fall.
September is the beginning of the steelhead season.  
Wintertime is prime time for steelhead although access
may be difficult under bad weather conditions.
Type of Stream

Steelhead (Wild and Hatchery)
Chinook Salmon (protected)
Rainbow Trout (Wild)

Small to Medium

Northeast Oregon

Nearest Towns

Varies by species. See current

Generally good depending on the

Non-Resident License
State of Oregon

National Weather Service

USGS Stream Flow Data:

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Flies
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Imnaha River Fly Fishing Report:
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
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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U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Priority Mail.  
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