The St. Joe River starts on the Montana border and picks up fishing pressure and fat rainbows as it drops toward Lake Coeur d’Alene. The best trout are in the catch-and-release section east of Avery, where bait is prohibited and large attractor dry flies like Humpies, Royal Wulffs and Stimulators are the top late-summer patterns. Downstream from Avery, nymphs, dark-colored spinners and worms take the larger trout. Access is a cinch almost anywhere from State Route 50, upstream of Avery. The cutthroat population decreases as the Joe drops toward Calder, where rainbows and bull trout dominate. Also try the St. Joe’s tributaries, such as Marble Creek. Contact: Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Lewiston (208-799-5010); Blue Goose Sporting Goods, St. Maries (208-245-4015).
St. Joe River