Northern ID vacation

MuleyFever

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Thought I would ask since there are a lot of members here from the area.

The wife and I are trying to find something to burn a week of vacation on. We have never been to northern ID or Western Montana. Anyone have any thoughts on places to stay and where/when would be the best time to get into some good fishing (hiring a guide or shore fishing)? Towns to visit or places to see. This would be more sight seeing and not a hiking trip. We would probably stay in some house rentals or hotels rather than camp. Time line is anytime in the next few months, end of July to October. Open on time to hit good fishing or avoid crowds but before it gets too cold for the wife to enjoy being outside.

I thought it may be fun to start around Coeur d’Alene and end by Flathead lake. Maybe drive the main road through Glacier before heading home. Plan would be to spend 5-6 days doing the trip, not counting travel from UT and back.
 

jimh406

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Western MT
Just some thoughts ...

Both CDL Lake and Flathead Lake have guided fishing trips. I'd check with the guides to see when they think is a good time to fish. You could also take a jet boat ride or rafting trip in Idaho/Montana.

Going to the Sun Road in Glacier requires a Reservation if it is open. If you don't already have a Reservation, they open up Reservations the day before. If you plan to hike Glacier, be aware they have Grizzlies, so bear spray is recommended.

You probably have time to order a Montana guide. https://www.visitmt.com/plan-your-trip/montana-guidebooks

If you loop back by Lolo Pass, there are hot springs to see/visit. You could also go by Riggins and Hells Canyon.

Do pay attention to how far your driving stretches are. There are long stretches with not much other than scenery. That's fine but can cause anxiety while you are hoping to find the next fueling stop.
 

axeforce6

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Mar 30, 2022
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If your going to be around flathead lake, you have to check out Whitefish. Great little town.
 

Jesse Jaymes

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Boundary Co. Idaho
I'd second Hell's Canyon. It's something very different than what you'll get elsewhere. Pay for a jet boat tour. CDA habitat looks very similar to Kalispell, which is right next to Whitefish-the whole area will look pretty much the same. Everything will be pretty crowded (relatively). Priest Lake is rather secluded and you may have more fishing opportunities there with slightly less people. Mick Duff's brewery in Sandpoint is dog friendly and usually has a firepit and live music outdoors on Friday nights, along with corn hole (giggle) and the like.

If you're in CDA on Friday and having drinks, I think they have turtle races at a bar downtown....something you wont see elsewhere.

Never done the Hiawatha bike tour, but have wanted to for over 12 years I've been in the area. Might be 15+ miles, all on a slight grade downhill. Old rail bed I believe. Shuttle and bike rental on scene.
 

Jesse Jaymes

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Boundary Co. Idaho
Didn't read you have til October. Many places will be nearly Ghost Towns after Labor Day. Would recommend the Hiawatha bike tour if it's Sept-Oct.

Will be Kokanee runs in a handful of streams in both NIdaho and W. Montana. Believe fishing legal in both states. Snagging in MT I think. Neat to see runs of mini Sockeye....deep red with green heads and hooked jaws....just limited to 14" or so.
 

NorthIDHunter

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I tell everyone who comes to Idaho to visit that they have to take time for a jet boat ride up the Snake River or Salmon River. Rides either start in Lewiston or up river at Heller Bar. I have been blessed enough to do it multiple times and every time is incredible. I can't add much insight to the fishing as I don't have any first hand experience up here just yet. There is a tackle shop near me called Becker's Tackle Shop, might be worth giving them a call.
 

Jesse Jaymes

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Did you stay at Priest Lake? I was looking at some stuff there and it looks like a nice place to be for a few days.
Amenities in Old Town, ID. New supermarket which is clean and nice. Once you commit to Priest it's probably a 60 mile loop up and back on either side of the lake. West side will have gas and a few stores. Less on the east side. More of an FYI to prepare.
 

MTtrout

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Western Montana
CDA is a great town to visit and that area has some real nice lakes. Kinda pricey but it’s fun to rent a boat and head out on the lake. You can rent kayaks/canoes as well if you don’t bring your own. If you have experience rowing and trailer hitch you could rent a raft in the $100-$200 range and float your wife down a river. Most rivers have shuttle services to use for a fee. I’ve never been to Hells canyon but a jet boat ride sounds sweet! If you end up visiting western MT I could give you some great options for sight seeing, fishing, and the like.

Also, depending on your route or how much you want to detour, Stanley/Ketchum or Jackson Hole are great if you plan your trip in the fall when tourists season dies down.
 
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