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Valley Visitors:  New Trout Fishing Traditions

By Mary-Park Forubs, Photos by Ryan Forbus

Traditions are fun because they are something to look forward to year after year. And a few years ago, we started a new tradition of heading out west from Georgia for an annual fly fishing trip—there are so many places to go trout fish across the West but Idaho now forever has our hearts. 

After visiting another famed fishing town on the east side of Idaho, we decided to make one last stop before our flight back home. We spent the morning cruising the streets of downtown Ketchum—buying way too many flies from the local fly shops—it’s a treat to peruse the fly bins—stocking up on all the flies we don’t get to use where we live. Initially we weren’t sure if we would have time to fish but it was a beautiful, sunny day and we couldn't resist so we decided to hit the Big Wood River as a way to squeeze in some last minute casts. 

We put on our wading boots and accessed the Big Wood in town—it was at idyllic wet wading flows. The chilled water was super clear to compliment the sunny afternoon. We fished a combination of our new flies—a dry dropper rig of Green Drakes or Parachute Adams as the top fly with a Zebra Midge, Perdigon, or Green Drake midge off the end as the drop. We had a handful of bites each, but neither were able to land one in the net. I blame the scenery for all the missed dry fly eats. 

Being from the Southeast – we fish a lot of tailwaters for trout, so the opportunity to fish a free flowing freestone river is always a treat. We felt excitement fishing the Big Wood River and a curiosity knowing when we come back in future years that the river could look completely different depending on the time of year and impact of runoff. 

During our quick afternoon—the Big Wood provided rising trout, vibrant cottonwoods and stunning canyon walls. We’re looking forward to returning and exploring the various sections of the river. 

About Valley Voices:

As we embark on restoring and protecting The Big Wood River, we invite you to join us in celebrating the voices that make up our community, amplifying the importance of the Big Wood River, and cultivating a shared commitment to its preservation. Together, we have the power to ensure that future generations will continue to find inspiration, joy, and a connection to nature along its banks.

Have a story of your own to share with us? Shoot us a message at 

Read our mission statement here: Discover Project Big Wood 



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