Streams Outside of Yellowstone National Park
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

01/16/09

Fly Fishing the Teton River, Idaho

There are two Teton Rivers - one in Montana and another in Idaho. The one in Central
Montana is formed in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the one in Idaho is formed in the
Teton Mountains. Today's article is on Idaho's Teton River.

The Teton River is a tributary of the North Fork of the Snake River and flows into the
stream near St. Anthony, Idaho. It drains an area of the Teton Mountains and flows
westward through the Teton Basin for a total length of about 75 miles. Once the river
leaves the mountains, it enters the flat country of Idaho potatoes where is has carved
its way to the snake river.

Most of the river flows through private property. It can be accessed at a few bridges and
it can be fished from a boat, provided the water levels are acceptable. Some areas of
the river offers white water rafting, so it is not all calm water. Most anglers use a
pontoon type water craft as opposed to the traditional drift boat, although some
sections can be fished from a wooden drift boat. It strictly depends on the section of the
river.

In its uppermost parts the Teton is a meadow stream. Some of the water comes from
numerous springs along its route. Most of the water flows through private property in
this section, so the bank fishing and wading is limited. There are several boat ramps
along the rivers course. There are several campgrounds in the area. The small towns
of Driggs, Tetonia and Victor are located in the area of the Teton River.

When the river flows from the upper valley, not far below Harrop's Bridge, it enters a
canyon that is very inaccessible. This section consist of white water that can be difficult
to negotiate. I won't get into the details of the history of it, but the area at the end of this
canyon was once the site of a lake formed by a earth made dam. It broke in 1976 and
eleven people lost their life as a result.

The fish are mostly cutthroats and rainbows. Cutbows, or hybrids, are also present
along with some brook trout in its upper reaches. The larger fish are in the canyon
section of the river. Because of the changes in the flows of the river, from a meadow
stream to a canyon stretch, the river has a wide variety of aquatic insects. The springs
along the way also contribute to this diversity. In short, the Teton River has a lot of
different species of mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies that include most species that
are found in this area of the western United States.

If it were not for the Henry's Fork and the South Fork of the Snake River being in the
same general area of Idaho, the Teton River would be a much more popular fly fishing
destination than it is. It is a beautiful river. With the Tetons in the background, it would
be difficult to imagine anything else. Our one day of fishing this river from the banks,
produced several nice fish. I would expect that drifting the river would produce even
more and be the best way to fish it.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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