Access To The River
Access to the river improves the further upstream you go.
Just a half mile after the Conner Cut-Off Road on the left is the High Bank access. Here you’ll find gravel bars and easy access to the river. This is a really great place to start. Just 3.5 miles from the main stem, larger fish lurk in the deeper runs near High Bank.
Trapper Peak Job Corps
Primitive boat launch across a wooden bridge.
A highlight for us this year was discovering the Applebury access near the 12-mile mark. In past years we drove right by on our way to favorite spots. This year when our favorite spots were so-so, we pulled in and immediately started catching nice Cutts. Applebury has a couple of primitive campsites and a launch.
West Fork Boating Access
Here you’ll find an improved launch and angler paths up and downstream. We walked downstream and found fishing improved the further I was from the access.
A spot on the Bitterroot just for me? Probably not. Near the 16 mile marker, there is a pull-out with a street sign indicating Lisa’s Corner. Sweet water for sure! Find the path down the bank and fish upstream and the deep corner. From here on up, most of the riverbank is public with forest roads into good spots to dry camp and fish. Private land is pretty obvious, so avoid that.
Take the turn into the campground and pull over before you enter. Walk down the bank for access to some fishy spots.
Not signed, there is a forest road that leads to a couple of primitive campsites and a launch. Access the river anywhere along this bumpy road.
Above Painted Rocks Reservoir, the Alta Campground offers access to the small West Fork. Expect small cutthroat, rainbow, and brook trout here. If you are into Tenkara, bring your rod!