The trailhead is an hour outside of Idaho Falls on Highway 26 below the dam at Palisades Reservoir. The trail, maintained by the U.S. Forest Service, is free. So is parking. Just make sure you have a fishing license and enough gas for the two-hour round trip drive.
Hikers and horses share the trail, but only anglers are in the water for the fishing season that opens July 1. The creek’s clean rush holds Yellowstone cutthroat trout from four to 14 inches. A small dry fly on the end of a light four-weight fly rod is your best shot, but watch your back cast. The trees tend to grab your fly more often than the fish do.
Fish your way up the creek hitting deep pools, boulder backsides and shaded bends. The creek never runs far from the trail so hop out of the water when you need to navigate on dry land.
If you are ambitious, hike four miles up to the first of two lakes. That’s where the current calms and you can lay line on quiet water. Listen for wildlife at the lakes. The willows around your fishing hole are taller than you so you will hear the moose coming long before you see it.
MORE SUMMER TRAVEL QUESTS
38) Cast Up a Creek in Idaho