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The West’s Best Kept Secret

Guided Fishing on the Main Snake River

You may have heard that The Lodge at Palisades Creek now offers guided fishing on the “Main” Snake River.  After the South Fork of the Snake makes it’s way past the Lodge it eventually merges with the Henry’s Fork of the Snake at Menan and becomes the Snake River again.  While the naming is a bit confusing the fishing isn’t. The opportunities for trophy trout, bass, and even carp go on for a hundred miles or more.  This spring we partnered with long time TLAPC guide Larry “The Legend” Larsen and his guides at Snake River Fly Co. in Pocatello.  Here’s a description of the fishery from “The Legend” himself.

Snake River Trout
Snake River Fly Co. founder and guide Larry Larsen

The Fishery:

The Snake River below the confluence of the famed Henrys and South Fork near Menan , Idaho offers many quality and diverse angling opportunities.   

Idaho Falls to Blackfoot,  known by several as Project X,  this 30 miles of river runs through wandering cottonwood bottoms.  There are three distinct sections that make up Project X.  Gem lake to Shelly begins at the outlet of the Gem state Hydro project just South of Idaho Falls and flows approximately eight miles downstream to Shelly Park.   This stretch is typically best in late fall when the region’s large Brown trout begin to spawn.  Drift boats and Jet boats are used to access these trophy trout and anglers can expect to fish streamers and nymphs on 6 and 7 wt fly rods.   

Shelly to Firth,  This float begins in Shelly park and runs about 6 miles down to Firth high school.  Similar fishing seasons and techniques here.

Firth to Rose,  This section begins in Firth and runs 7 miles down to Rose bridge.   This stretch can offer some of the region’s best opportunities to catch large browns on streamers.  Fall is best, but in recent seasons we have produced many fish over twenty in March and April.  This section fishes a bit more consistent than the two sections above.  

Blackfoot to American Falls Reservoir,   This section the Snake offers multiple species as well as opportunities.  Anglers can float the Cherry plant to Tilden and see Brown, Rainbow, Cutthroat as well as Smallmouth Bass, Carp and Sturgeon.   Multiple Springs flow into the Snake that offer cold water species a cool oasis in late summer from warm water temps in American Falls Reservoir.  Feeding Carp haunt the shallows in this stretch that make for exciting chances at fish over twenty pounds on the fly.   

Tilden to McTucker,  This stretch has become one of our favorites for late summer spring creek style spot and stalk fishing for huge lake run Bows, Cuts and Hybrids.  Several fish near 30″ have been landed down here over the last several  years.  Late summer is prime time for this Jet Boat accessible fishery.   

American Falls Dam to Massacre Rock State Park.  This is one of the West’s best kept secrets.  Open to year round fishing as of 2012 or so, this river shines as one of the world’s best winter tail water fisheries.  Anglers can expect  water flows to drop in late October to create amazing walk and wade opportunities for huge Bows, Browns, Cuts and Hybrids.   During summer months and higher flows,  Fishermen throw nymphs and streamers for trophy trout and respectable Small Mouth Bass.  Trophy carp and even Sturgeon round out the mixed bag of this super river.

Drive time from TLAPC to Idaho Falls is 50 miles and 100 miles to Pocatello.  Pocatello is located 2 1/2 hours from SLC and Boise and offers Lodging as well as all full amenities.  Idaho Falls also offers Flights and is 45 minutes to the North of the majority of the angling sections.

Trips are arranged through The Lodge at Palisades Creek and guest can meet guides at Snake River Fly Shop located at 257 North Main Street in Pocatello. SRF is a 4200 sq foot full service fly shop located in Historic Old Town Pocatello.   There are many coffee, Breakfast and Lunch establishments located near SRF.   


Snake River Fly guide staff has many years experience on these waters and will provide everything needed for an amazing and different angling adventure. Larry “The Legend” Larsen is owner and head guide for SRF and as many may remember, spent many years at the Lodge guiding guest on the South Fork.  His time away from the lodge has been spent exploring the lower river stretches and developing our new guide program, building Snake River Fly and teaching fly fishing and tying in the Physical Education department at Idaho State University.   

Dave Raisch moved to Idaho from Ohio in the early 90’s in pursuit of his Masters degree in Ecology.  He discovered the amazing fishing near Pocatello and is still chasing the areas beasts.  His knowledge of areas rivers, fishes and hatches is superior and his willingness to make each guests experience unique and successful is key to our fishing program.

Snake River Brown Trout
Guide Dave Raisch

Tad Phelps is another mid westerner that found Idaho via higher education.  Tad went to Boise State and received his Master degree in Biology.  His emphasis was in Raptors which eventually led him to Idaho State where he finished his doctorate in fisheries ecology studying fish populations on the famed Silver Creek in central Idaho.     


Snake River Cutthroat trout
Guide Tadd Phelps


If you are interested in booking a day exploring the Main Snake give us call 208-483-222.  Rate information can be found here.