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Pete Erickson Shares the Best Places to Fly Fish in Southern Idaho

Last updated February 29, 2024 by Totally Boise

Pete Erickson is a celebrated fly fishing guide who began his journey with fishing by transitioning from a burgeoning career at Microsoft to become a renowned fly fishing guide in Jackson Hole. Eventually, he relocated to Boise to pursue a teaching career while continuing to prioritize his passion for fishing. This leap from the world of technology to the tranquility of riverbanks was driven by his profound love for nature and the art of fly fishing. Pete has a passion and joy for fishing while also having a deep respect for the Boise fishing community; however, he is always willing to share his favorite rivers and lakes for locals who are on their own fishing journey.

Idaho's Premier Fly Fishing Destinations

Idaho offers a diverse palette of fly fishing experiences, each with its unique challenges and rewards. From the urban accessibility of Parkcenter Pond to the remote and rugged beauty of the South Fork of the Snake River, these waters provide both novice and expert anglers with unparalleled opportunities to engage with the sport. We explore the significance of each river and how they contribute to Pete Erickson's legacy as both an angler and a guide.

However, as an honorable fisherman, Erickson doesn’t get too specific with his recommendations. “As a professional fly fishing guide, I usually make it a policy not to disclose exact fishing spots, just to be fair to anglers that have spent a great deal of time and effort exploring and researching those exact fishing spots"

The Best Fishing Spots Along The Boise River

The Boise River, flowing through the heart of the city, offers a unique challenge to anglers due to its lower fish populations. This makes it an excellent location for honing skills and practicing precision. Pete Erickson frequents the river from "high bridge '' down to "Eagle Island," finding joy in the pursuit of large wild trout, including browns and rainbows, as well as small trout and white fish. The river's ability to serve as a training ground for European Grayling competitions highlights its significance to competitive anglers like Pete in the fly fishing community. The Boise River, with its urban accessibility and challenging conditions, serves as a perfect example of the rich angling opportunities within the city's limits.

boise river

Iconic Sun Valley Fishing Spot

The Big Wood River in Sun Valley stands out as a staple trout stream for Pete Erickson and is renowned for its clear, beautiful freestone and abundant populations of nice-sized wild rainbows and some wild browns. This river has served as a crucial practice site for Team USA, preparing for competitions in the clear freestone rivers of Spain and Portugal. Pete guides the Wood for Silver Creek Outfitters sharing his expertise and passion for this magnificent river with anglers looking to experience one of Idaho's most iconic trout fishing destinations.big wood river

Silver Creek's Spring Creek Challenge

Silver Creek near Picabo, Idaho, represents the pinnacle of spring creek fishing challenges in North America, if not the world. Known for its spectacular early morning Trico and all around technical dry fly fishing, Silver Creek has been a critical training ground for Pete Erickson, preparing him for the most challenging fishing situations across Europe. Again, guiding for Silver Creek Outfitters, Pete introduces anglers to this bucket-list fishing experience, showcasing the intricate and rewarding nature of Silver Creek's ecosystem.

Henry's Fork River: A Personal Favorite

Henry's Fork River, near Last Chance, Idaho, holds a special place in Pete Erickson's heart as his favorite trout stream in all of North America. The Railroad Ranch section, in particular, captivates him with its beauty and the quality of fishing it offers. This river encapsulates the essence of fly fishing for Pete, providing both a sanctuary for personal reflection and a challenging technical environment for pursuing the art of dry fly angling. Henry's Fork's reputation as a premier fishing location is well-deserved, offering both seasoned and novice anglers a chance to experience the best of what Idaho has to offer. Pete guides the Henry's Fork for WorldCast Anglersout of Victor, Idaho.

Parkcenter Pond: A Hidden Gem

Often overlooked, Parkcenter Pond is a testament to the quality of fly fishing that can be found in Idaho's urban environments. It's here that Pete sharpened his skills and prepared him for small lake competitions in Scotland, Portugal and Czech Republic, catching small stocked rainbow trout and mastering the art of bank fishing—a perfect microcosm of the larger fly fishing world. 

The Majestic South Fork of the Boise River

The South Fork of the Boise River, with a "blue ribbon" trout stream, offers anglers a chance to battle with large rainbows in a setting that is both challenging and breathtakingly beautiful. Pete's favorite section below Anderson Dam is a fly fisher's dream, providing the perfect backdrop for late summer afternoons spent casting tan caddis patterns.

pete erickson tetons

Boise’s Legendary Fisherman, Pete Erickson

Pete Erickson is not just a local legend; he's a world-renowned master of fly fishing. His achievements on the global stage, including his status as the 2023 world masters champion, highlight not only his personal talents but also the quality of Idaho's waters as a training ground for international competition.

Mentorship and Conservation In Boise: Pete's Legacy To Fishing in Idaho 

Beyond his personal achievements, Pete's greatest contribution to the sport may be his role as a mentor and advocate for conservation. Through guided trips and personal instruction, he shares his deep knowledge and passion for fly fishing, inspiring others to not only improve their skills but also to understand and protect the delicate ecosystems that make the sport possible.

Guiding Idaho’s Next Generation

Pete's guided trips, from the serene waters of Idaho to the wild landscapes of Patagonia, are more than just fishing excursions. They are immersive experiences that connect anglers with the natural world, teaching them the value of patience, respect, and conservation.

The Unique Fly Fishing Community in Boise

At the heart of Pete Erickson's story and the fly fishing community in Idaho is a deep love for the lakes, rivers and streams that crisscross the state. These waters are not just venues for sport; they are vital ecosystems that support a diverse array of life. Through Pete's eyes, we are reminded of the importance of preserving these natural resources for future generations to enjoy.

Idaho Fly Fishing Guru

Idaho's rivers, each with their unique characteristics and challenges, contribute to the state's reputation as a fly fishing haven. Pete Erickson, through his expertise, passion, and dedication, serves as the perfect ambassador for Idaho's fly fishing culture. His journey from tech to teaching and trout, coupled with his achievements and advocacy for conservation, inspires anglers worldwide to explore Idaho's waters.

Whether guiding on the Big Wood River, sharing the challenges of Silver Creek, or expressing his love for Henry's Fork, Pete's story is a testament to the beauty and complexity of fly fishing in Idaho. Whether you are looking to take on a new hobby or the challenge of fly fishing, we encourage you to spend time on the Boise river and local lake spots to give fly fishing a try. Who knows, you might find an outdoor adventure that you love.




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