North Fork of the Coeur d’ Alene River

Northern Idaho hosts a plethora of beautiful wilderness— basically any direction you drive you are likely to come across some beautiful land on the banks of a river or lake. Living in Spokane, the drive to Northern Idaho is easy and certainly worth it when you find great places to hike, camp and fish.

This week I was able to find a new spot. In an effort to relax in the middle of a hectic week, my boyfriend and I packed up the fishing poles and headed east. On the banks of the North Fork of the Coeur d’ Alene River we found some great spots to relax and do a little fly-fishing. While it’s not too far from Coeur d’ Alene, it feels very secluded.

North Fork of the Coeur d’ Alene River

The first location we stopped at was about four miles off the main road— even that far out there was not a lot of traffic. We ended up about eleven miles off the main road. About half way in, the road does get a little rough, but it’s worth it.

There are endless spots to swim and fish along the river, but I wasn’t about to get in the water more than I needed to as it was 65 degrees and overcast, but I would imagine when the weather is pushing 100 degrees it would feel nice. There are some coves along the way that would make great swimming holes and there’s lots of places to park near the water and walk down.

North Fork of the Coeur d’ Alene River

The water on this stretch of river is incredibly clear and you can see the fish swimming around as you cast, deciding whether it’s a good idea to go for that fly or not. In our case, most of them decided against it. Idaho apparently has some smart fish. We caught a few small cutthroats at the first spot but nothing dinner-worthy. For me, it’s more about being in a beautiful place than catching fish anyway. Not sure my boyfriend was on the same page.

The second and third fishing locations we stopped at were equally beautiful and, by early evening, the clouds were beginning to burn off and the sun was peaking through them— the reflection off the water was stunning.

By this point in the day, I had had enough fishing and opted for a walk along the shorelines to explore. If a fish doesn’t bite in the first 15 minutes, I generally get bored. Not a sport for the impatient.

There was one point during my exploration, while climbing over a downed tree, when my camera decided it wanted to go swimming. Luckily, a small bush just above the water caught it. Reaching down to pick it up, I crossed my fingers, hoping the jump hadn’t been fatal. Luck was on my side and it survived. Turns out zippers are good for something.

North Fork of the Coeur d’ Alene River

Even though most of the day was overcast and we kind of struck out on fishing, it was still a peaceful place to spend our day off. I highly recommend it if you’re ever in the area and are feeling like fishing, swimming or even just taking a long, beautiful drive along the shore— just make sure you have a high-clearance vehicle and that you secure your camera before climbing over trees.

North Fork of the Coeur d’ Alene River



If you’re looking to make your excursion to the North Fork a multi-day adventure, there are also many great camping spots along the river, though I haven’t had the chance to test them out yet.

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