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Fly Fishing the Lochsa River Idaho
The Lochsa River a 70 mile long tributary of the Middle
Fork of the Clearwater River in the Clearwater National
Forest. It begins in the Selway Bitterroot Mountains and
flows to Lowell, Idaho where it joins the Selway River to
form the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River.

The Lochsa River has a good population of Westslope
Cutthroat trout along with some rainbows, a few bull
trout and mountain whitefish. At times steelhead and
Chinook Salmon can be found in the lower part of the
river.  Wild salmon and steelhead runs have been
reduced by downriver dams, and it is only legal to fish
for steelhead and salmon in those years when the State
set open dates for these species. It is illegal to fish for
Bull trout.

The word "Lochsa" means rough water and is
pronounced "lock-saw". It is a National Wild and Scenic
River. It is better known for its whitewater than fishing.
Never-the-less, fly fishing the Lochsa River can be
great. The cutts average about 12 inches and go up to
20 inches and over.

Access o the Lochsa River is plentiful and easy.
U.S.Route #12 follows much of the river. There are
several Forest Service campgrounds along the river as
well as numerous access locations.

From the Wilderness Gateway Campground upstream
the Lochsa River is "catch-and-release", barbless hooks
only. The river is in close proximity to the trail that Lewis
and Clark took looking for a northwest passage in 1804.
All of the Lochsa is within the boundaries of National

You have to use extra caution wading and accessing the
river in some areas. Many places requires a climb down
very steep banks. Much of the water is too deep to
safely wade, especially during the higher water level
times. There are some areas, mostly near  
campgrounds, that are easy to access.

The area has lots of wildlife including deer, elk, badgers,
wolverines and puma. There's enough cats that there's
a season on puma hunting in the area.

The Lochsa River is truly a unique fly fishing experience.
You will probably see only a few other anglers, if any. It
is one of those sleeper trout streams hidden among the
many other fine trout streams of northern Idaho.

The season starts Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.
The best fishing takes place after the Spring runoff, from
April to June.
Summertime is the best time for fly fishing the Lochsa
Early Fall also presents some good fly fishing
The lower water usually fishes best during the winter.
Type of Stream

Westslope Cutthroat (native)
Rainbow Trout
Bull Trout (Illegal to fish for them)
Mountain Whitefish
Chinook Salmon

North Central Idaho


Nearest Towns

General Idaho season


Non-Resident License
State of Idaho

National Weather Service Link

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle & Trout
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Lochsa River Fishing Report:
Coming Soon
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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