Fly Fishing, Scenery, Riding
This is our most popular combination fishing-travel trip. We start at the South Fork Teton trailhead in preparation for a 13 mile day. The day begins by climbing up and over athe spectacular Headquarters Creek Pass (7,200 ft) then dropping a gradual grade down to the North Fork Sun River. This travel day is full of fantastic vistas of the massive Sun River valley and headwaters 30 miles away or more. This time of year it's not unusual to see elk and black bear along the Headquarters Creek valley. The day ends at our Gates Park camp, on Gates Creek, just upstream from the Sun River.
You will spend 2 nights at the Gates Park camp. From here, you can fish large sections of the upper North Fork. This is a remote corner of the Bob Marshall, so you likely will not see anyone else on the river. The fishing this time of year is spectacular all along the North Fork, so you can't go wrong picking a stretch. Many of our fishermen report getting upwards of 60 trout in a single day on dry flies! That's a whole lot of fishing action. The river itself is beautiful and around every bend is a new hole and another batch of hungry fish waiting for you. For those that want to ride or hike, there are many options for day rides or hikes from Gates Park, including the Bear Top Lookout, Biggs Creek Flats, Rock Creek, and others.
The third day we pack up and head down the North Fork to 10 miles to Glenn Creek, where we camp on the Sun River banks. The ride down the river is a gentle grade meandering through forest glades and broad meadows. The camp area is in a broad meadow with immense views. We'll spend 2 nights at this camp. The North Fork is a larger stream here as it's picked up several tributaries. This is a superb fishing camp with lots of open water to try. This section of river is characteristic of a broad valley river, meandering gently back and forth across the valley. The holes are deep and the water crystal clear. The fly fishing here is also outstanding with plenty of water to spread out and enjoy. For those that want to ride or hike, the Glenn Creek cmp is unmatched for options. Being that we are in the middle of a broad valley gives us a lot of areas to ride including Elk Hill, Two Shacks Flat, Glenn Creek, etc.
On the fifth day we ride down the North Fork then up the South Fork of the Sun to Pretty Prairie, about 12 miles. This is another picturesque ride through scattered forest and broad meadows, with some great views along thte ridges above the rivers. Our campsite for 2 nights at Pretty Prairie is outstanding. We camp right on the South Fork river, at the edge of a large meadow running along the river. This campsite is also rich in opportunity for the fishermen and non fishermen. The river is larger here than the North Fork, but still easily crossed on foot. The fishing is just as good, and there is a whole lot of river to explore. Riding and hiking options are also rich, either right from camp, or possibly exploring the West Fork natural salt licks, or maybe Prairie Creek.
The final day is a 7 mile gradual climb along the South Fork to the Benchmark trailhead. This is an easy day that passes through a mix of old burn, new burn, forest glades, and smaller meadows.
This trip is rich in opportunity for fishermen and non-fishermen. There are enormous opportunities each day for riding and hiking and exploring. Of course, the trip is designed for an exceptional fly fishing experience and you will not find anything similar in North America. Each lay over (non traveling) day is set up for fishing a different stretch of river, and on most travel days you'll have the opportunity to fish in the afternoon as well.
Of particular interest, due to the absolute remote nature of the Bob Marshall, there is zero light polution, and near perfectly clear skies. The deep evening star gazing is intensely beautful, where you can see brilliantly our evening constellations, the Milky Way galaxy, and numerous shooting stars. This is a unique and rare opportunity to see our night time sky in a way you've not seen it before. The days are long out here, so plan on staying up late as sunset is about 10pm.
The weather this time of year is hot and dry. Expect days in the 80's and nights in the 50's. We get the ocassional thunderstorm, but rarely extended rain or cold fronts. You won't need a heavy coat, but a sweater for cooler nights and early morning is a good idea. Riding pants or blue jeans are important, and a hat for sun protection is also recommended. This is a peak season for horseflies and mosquitoes and as we will be near water most of the time it is wise to bring appropriate coverage and repellent. Wading boots/shoes with traction on slick rocks is a must, as well as riding or hiking boots. You won't need much more than that for foot wear. The fishermen will need lots of flies! Additdional detail in the attached pdf documents will help you identify other important gear.