Fly Fishing Idaho, Lesser Known Bitch Creek River
Not only are Idaho’s rivers spectacular for fly fishing, there are also a plethora of streams that deliver beautiful native trout. Bitch Creek is one of those lesser known streams that is spectacular.
Idaho Fly Fishing at Bitch Creek Who knows how Bitch Creek got its name, but we Frenziers have our theory. There are 2 access points for fishing in Bitch Creek which I will detail more, but the only access point we usually fish for is very steep and a good hike to get down. Worse than the hike down, is the ridiculous hike. We’ve always said that once you get depressed you’re good, but it’s a bitch to get out. Hence the name Bitch Creek.
The river begins as two separate forks that eventually meet just before the Idaho border in Wyoming. North Bitch Creek begins just north of Moose Mountain. South Bitch Creek begins just north of Dry Ridge Mountain, both peaks in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. The two streams meander out of the mountains and eventually meet about 5 miles east from the Idaho / Wyoming border forming Bitch Creek. Just before crossing into Idaho, Jackpine Creek also empties into Bitch Creek. Once in Idaho, it is used as the border that separates Fremont County and Teton County. Traverse spectacular canyon settings before finally emptying into the Teton River northwest of Driggs, Idaho. Bitch Creek itself is only about 15 miles long. The north and south forks add an additional 8 to 10 miles, but the main fishing waters are only 12 to 15 miles.
Rental Bitch Creek is located in southeastern Idaho and originates north of the beautiful Tetons. It passes through a portion of the Jedediah Smith Wilderness before entering Idaho and continuing its journey through the Caribou Targhee National Forest. Needless to say, it is not lacking in beauty.
As I mentioned earlier, there are two main access points. The most prominent is on Highway 32, north of the burgeoning metropolis of Felt Idaho. Highway 32 is a connecting highway from Ashton, Idaho to Tetonia Idaho. To get there, take Hwy 33 from Rexburg, Idaho to Driggs and just before Tetonia Idaho, take Hwy 32 north. North of Felt Idaho Hwy 32 Bitch Creek sticks. There is a stop where you can park and walk to the creek, either upstream or downstream. Personally, I have never fished upriver. The second access point is a favorite of the hectic group and a place that has delivered some of the largest killer trout I have ever caught. To get here, take Hwy 32 from Ashton Idaho towards Tetonia and you will pass a small town called Drummond Idaho (famous for Drummond Bar). Just after Drummond, about 2 miles, you will see a dirt road to the south called 4350 E. It is recognizable by the two fence structures that line both sides of the road. It will look like you are entering a farmers yard due to the farms and sheds that you will pass by, but keep going and the dirt road starts to get narrower and eventually ends at the edge of a steep canyon. Looking down the canyon is a stark contrast to the large grain fields you pass by when you get here. Once here, you will see two converging water systems flowing into one over the canyon. This is where Bitch Creek empties into the Teton River. Even though I’ve been to this place many times, I still seem to get lost. It is a difficult place to find, but once found it is one of the best small stream fishing you will ever find. As a side note, please respect the properties of the landowners / farmers by staying on the dirt roads that allow us fishermen to access these beautiful locations.
Fishing Bitch Creek is unlike any other fishery I’ve ever been to. Access is difficult and the creek hike is even worse, but this all adds to the feeling that you are the only one miles from these fish that call you home. And you are probably alone, never seeing someone else’s face all day.
I first experienced this stream about 12 years ago when Marc Crapo took me there. Since then, I have tried to go every summer and have consistently pulled 17-18 inch Cutts out of this little stream. When I get to the confluence of Teton and Bitch, I always move upstream from Bitch. The creek has great pools and runs around every corner. If you don’t force yourself to stop, you may never leave due to the ‘just around the corner’ syndrome this stream creates.
The best time to fish is after spring runoff starting in mid-June. Yetter, Gene Simmons and I found out the hard way in Frenzy 1 in 2002. I have primarily fished below the surface with stonefly nymphs, primarily the famous Bitch Creek nymph. Standards like pheasant tails, hare ears, and prince nymphs always work well. The hopper patterns have also proven to be very productive.
If you’re looking for the perfect spot to catch big Cutts with virtually no pressure, Bitch Creek is your place.