South Fork Salmon River Fly FishingFly fishing is a passion for some,  and a hard core, competitive sport for others.

Whatever score you keep when it comes to your love for fly fishing, don’t miss out.   One of the most unique, wilderness oriented fly fishing opportunities in the world starts at Mackay Bar Ranch and the pristine South Fork of the Salmon River. 

Mackay Bar Ranch is tucked in at the confluence of two rivers – where the clear blue waters of the South Fork of the Salmon River pour into the mighty Main Salmon, nesting in the embrace of the Frank Church “River of No Return” wilderness.

Fly fishing on the South Fork of the Salmon River is a place where capturing the sight of a shooting star is more likely than seeing another human in your midst.

Here in this unspoiled Idaho wilderness paradise,  your back cast action ~ throwing the rod and line backwards, and allowing the line to unroll in the air, before making a forward cast ~ is certainly a slow motion expression of zen, enjoyed by no other but you and your best fly fishing buddy.  Your fish tugs the line, bubbles up in a splash to take your fly, and the ensuing challenge, each moment of that space in time,  offers a sublime experience that cannot be found elsewhere.  Its pure bliss.

If you’re on a mission to find a new fly fishing destination that presents those moments of bliss, where you’ll find some of the most pristine waters on the planet earth, we invite you to experience the South Fork of the Salmon River as our pampered guest at Mackay Bar Ranch.     Fly fishermen with a passion for catch and release will find a backcountry wilderness ranch offering fine accommodations, home cooked hearty meals and warm hospitality, paired with the delicious buffet of fly fishing experiences you’ve come to enjoy.  The beauty and peace of this slice of Idaho is a rare privilege and incomparable to any other place else on earth.

Our fly fishing services are hosted out of our beautiful Salmon River backcountry Mackay Bar Ranch.  Any time of the day or night,  you feel, experience and see the rich beauty and the peaceful vibrance of nature and the sounds of the  Salmon River flowing by.  Close and just around the corner, the confluence of the South Fork of the Salmon River joins up with the Main Salmon.  We can take you by horseback to the South Fork with plenty of food, snacks and beverages, and a pickup after a fine day of fishing.  You’ll relax in our  main dining room,  where a hearty evening meal is served along with shared tales of the days adventures.

Or, you may want to kick it up a few notches and take advantage of the following deluxe package:

Deluxe Fly Fisherman’s Wilderness Experience

For the fly fishing team desiring to become more intimate with nature, immersed in a multi-day and night wilderness experience, we’ve put together a 4 day – 3 night experience (or longer if you wish).

We setup and stock a Deluxe Wall Tent with delicious ready meals & beverages above the pristine South Fork of the Salmon River.     The waters are crystal clear, all fish are catch and release, and some of the largest trout and other species of fish you’ll ever come face to face with, are on the South Fork of the Salmon River.  Mackay Bar Ranch is  just over the draw from where  your camp is setup.

The remoteness and low human footprint of our special reserve is undoubtedly a five star wilderness experience. 

If you’re interested in details of South Fork fly or spin fishing adventure, please contact us.

Dream about a magical,  wilderness fly fishing adventure all your life, OR EXPERIENCE IT FIRST HAND.   Back at home, your friends will await your return with spectacular stories of the wilds of Idaho Backcountry Fishdom. 

Call us to customize the experience you’ve always dreamed about.  Reserve your dates in advance to ensure we can accommodate your schedule.


The South Fork system supports populations of resident fish species, such as trout and char, and anadromous species.

The South Fork of the Salmon River drainage lies in central Idaho in Valley and Idaho counties. The drainage flows northerly through the Idaho batholith and enters the Salmon River at Mackay Bar.    Elevations vary from 9,280 feet msl at North Loon Mountain to 2,166 feet msl at the mouth.

The land is characterized by extreme changes in elevation and aspect within short distances. Topography varies from steep canyon lands to meadows. The Idaho batholith soils consist largely of weathered granitic sands and fines and are sensitive to disturbance. Precipitation averages 32 inches annually, with major storm events occurring about every ten years.

Resident fish species, including rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, bull trout, mountain whitefish, brook trout, lake trout, and a few small mouth bass species, occupy 515 miles of streams and 37 lakes.

Fishing on the South Fork Salmon River is catch and release.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Scroll to Top