Taking a step back in time, when Lewis and Clark passed through Idaho on their way to the Pacific in 1805, Idaho's rivers and streams supported about 4 million wild salmon and steelhead (ocean-going rainbow trout). Just an hours drive to the north lies the headwaters of the Salmon River home to one of the most primal fishing experiences anywhere with native Chinook salmon and steelhead trout runs. Idaho's salmon and steelhead journey further inland than almost any other migratory fish. Born at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains, the smolt are flushed nearly 1,000 river miles to the Pacific Ocean where they grow to upwards of 40 lbs and 4 feet long. After spending 1 to 3 years in the ocean, they use their acute sense of smell and the earth's magnetic fields to find the mouth of the Columbia River and make the heroic 1000-mile-long journey back to the place they were hatched.
Sun Valley still supports the kind of fishery you might have imagined existed back when Lewis & Clark first made their trip through Idaho. Four extraordinarily diverse waterways sit anywhere from a stones throw to an hour drive away a hold a diverse species of fish. Find monstrous brown trout in Silver Creek, healthy rainbows in the Big Wood River, vibrant cutthroats in the Lost River, and apex bull trout & salmonoids in the Salmon River. Combined, these famed rivers/creeks make the area a true nexus of freshwater fly fishing.