The South Fork Lodge is a beautiful, high-end Western lodge built directly on a dramatic bend of the world-famous South Fork of the Snake River in scenic Swan Valley, Idaho. This stunning wilderness location offers a perfect blend of rustic elegance, outstanding activities and exceptional hospitality. The unique setting and luxurious amenities provide a truly memorable experience for both anglers and non-angling guests. The South Fork of the Snake stretches for approximately 65 miles and is regarded as one of the best tailwater, dry-fly fisheries in the United States. South Fork Lodge offers unique guided fishing experiences as well as guided land-based excursions into the surrounding Big Hole Mountains.
LOCATION: Swan Valley, Idaho
SEASON: April through October
CAPACITY: Maximum of 48 guests
CLOSEST MAJOR AIR HUB: Idaho Falls, ID (IDA)
TARGET SPECIES: Cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: Idaho fishing license
CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO 888-777-5060 INTL 01-1-406-585-8667 info [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com
Natural Retreats South Fork Lodge offers what we feel are among the nicest amenities and accommodations that you will anywhere in the world of fly fishing. They call it “rustic elegance,” but we can promise you that the Lodge is much nicer than just about any fishing operation that we've ever seen. The Suites and Deluxe Suites are spacious, beautiful, and provide you a quiet, comfortable, and relaxing environment. All of the individual rooms are located just a short walk from the Riverside Bar and Grill and its outdoor patio. The Deluxe Suites are housed two separate two-story log cabins overlooking the Lodge’s casting pond. These ten private cabin suites collectively represent the Lodge’s finest accommodations. Some of these rooms feature connecting doors that create a room situation perfect for larger groups or families who wish to be together during their stay. Deluxe Suite amenities include either two queen beds or one king bed with luxury bedding, an in-room fireplace, large bathroom with whirlpool tub and heated floor, private patio or balcony, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, and wireless internet access. Guests interested in more privacy may be interested in The Residence. Situated on the riverbank a mere 75 feet from the river, the Residence connects you with the surrounding wilderness and provides an intimately comfortable, private retreat for up to six (6) people. With four (4) bedrooms, a large living room, kitchen area, game room and deck, this is the ideal option for families, two or three couples, or groups of friends.
The Lodge also has the Fishermen's Cabins (three adjacent one-bedroom cabins- all ground floor) located behind The Outfitters, right on the river. The cabin rooms each feature one queen bed and one twin, with windows facing the river. For the ultimate canyon experience, The South Fork Overnight Camp is the ideal option. The Camp is located along a remote section of the South Fork that is inaccessible to motorized traffic and offers anglers a chance to spend the night relaxing in a true wilderness setting. Guests will be treated to freshly prepared meals and sleep on comfortable cots in spacious wall tents set up by their professional staff. This is a great add-on to a standard week at the lodge, and the setting and location of the camp is amazing. All rooms have high-speed wireless internet access for guests who need to check-in with the office or keep up with the outside world.
Food and Beverages
The food and the menu at Natural Retreats South Fork Lodge may be the best in the entire State of Idaho. The Lodge's main dining room menu features local ingredients and regional seasonal fare that includes grilled Rocky Mountain bison ribeye, prime center cut filet mignon, slow-roasted pork prime rib with crimini mushrooms, lighter pastas, signature soups including smoked trout chowder, refreshing salads with lobster, brie quesadillas, and their world-famous macaroni and cheese. The Lodge's Riverside Bar & Grill also provides guests with one of the region's finest wine lists, and the wait staff's exceptional service rounds out an evening to remember. The dining room itself is amazing, with soaring, floor-to-ceiling windows providing panoramic views of the South Fork, magnificent cottonwoods, drift boats with fishermen, and passing wildlife. Lodge guests will enjoy an intimate lodge atmosphere that includes a full service bar, all to be enjoyed with fellow anglers, guides, and outside guests.
Typical Length of Stay
Trips and packages of any length can be arranged, from single day trips through The Outfitters, to multi-day family packages, to full-blown corporate retreats. Whether you’re looking for a quick weekend trip or a week-long Idaho fishing package, we can make it happen. Please contact Yellow Dog for all information and options.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
There are many options for the non-angling guest (or the angler looking to take a day off from fishing) to enjoy in the surrounding Targhee National Forest and the Greater Yellowstone region. The Lodge can easily set you up with a day of golfing, biking, hiking excursions, hunting, whitewater rafting trips, horseback riding, and many other recreational activities.
Internet / Communications
Internet access is available at the Lodge. Most cell phones work in Swan Valley.
The South Fork of the Snake River hands-down offers some of the best dry fly-fishing in the country. Natural Retreats South Fork Lodge itself sits on the banks of this river, which has been widely recognized as one of America's greatest tailwater fisheries. One of the advantages you enjoy while staying at the Lodge is the head start you have over other anglers in starting your day of fishing on the river. In fact, one of the river’s most important access points is a mere two hundred yards from where you meet your guide in the morning. Other anglers may need to drive for an hour or more to get to the same stretch of water. This advantage not only gives you an edge but also provides for a more relaxed start to your day.
All guides at South Fork Lodge are accomplished fly fishermen, excellent instructors, and experienced boatmen, and all will work hard to provide you with a quality experience tailored to your specific requests. They guide on the South Fork of the Snake, the Blackfoot River, the Main Snake, American Falls Reservoir, and Palisades Reservoir. The Lodge can also arrange a day on the Henry's Fork through their sister operation Henry's Fork Anglers. Each Lodge package and fishing trip can be customized to include exactly what you are looking for.
The South Fork of the Snake is the Lodge’s home river, and there are approximately 64 miles of river from Palisades Reservoir to the confluence with the Henry's Fork. Every mile offers excellent trout fishing. The "Upper" South Fork starts at Palisades Dam and ends at the Conant Valley boat access. This section encompasses approximately 15 river miles and is the most accessible. From the Irwin access, the river opens up as it meanders through Swan Valley. The side channels and the shallow riffles offer excellent wading opportunities and some of the best dry fly fishing on the river. Lower down, the "Canyon" is the section of the South Fork beginning at the Conant Valley boat access down to the Byington boat access. The float from Conant to Cottonwood is about 15 miles, so once you're in the canyon, you're in for the day. South Fork Outfitters is also able to offer guests use of their private access about 12 miles down from the Conant boat ramp. This ramp assures that your day in the canyon is not rushed, and you can experience some of the most beautiful country East Idaho has to offer. Below Byington, the nature of the river once again changes and flows through a cottonwood forest. This stretch of river covers approximately 25.5 miles.
Boats and Equipment
Guides at Natural Retreats utilize McKenzie-style drift boats. With regards to gear and equipment, South Fork Lodge has a full service, specialty fly shop that is equipped to handle all your fly fishing needs. The shop features flies, waders, rods, reels, tackle and accessories from the best manufacturers in the industry. Rest assured that when you arrive for your fishing trip the Lodge will have everything you'll need. If you would rather rent gear before buying, they have an excellent selection of rental rods, waders and boots.
How To Get There
The closest major airport to the Lodge is the Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA), located 38 miles away in Idaho Falls. The other nearby option is the Jackson, Wyoming (JAC) airport. Both airports usually require a connection in either Salt Lake City (SLC) or Denver, Colorado (DEN). The drive to the Lodge from Idaho Falls is approximately 45 minutes. From Jackson, it is about an hour and a half. Rental cars are available at both airports, or Yellow Dog will be happy to arrange a shuttle to drive you back and forth to the lodge.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
A shuttle service is available, but many visitors prefer to rent a car allowing for a scenic trip to Jackson or even Yellowstone National Park. Check-in time is after 4PM on your arrival date, and check-out time is 11AM on your departure date.
An Idaho Fishing License is required for anyone age 14 years and older. Your license is included in your package rate. However, you will need to present a valid driver’s license or state ID to obtain a fishing license.
Yellow Dog offers a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or travel [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.
Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. Seasonal rates outlined below are per person and based on double occupancy. All rates are listed in US dollars. Please contact Yellow Dog for further details.
HIGH SEASON RATES (JULY - SEPTEMBER 16)
5 Nights / 4 Days = $3,377.00
4 Nights / 3 Days = $2,601.00
3 Nights / 2 Days = $1,825.00
2 Nights / 1 Day = $1,086.00
5 Nights / 4 Days = $3,586.00
4 Nights / 3 Days = $2,776.00
3 Nights / 2 Days = $1,965.00
2 Nights / 1 Day = $1,180.00
MID-SEASON RATES (JUNE & SEPTEMBER 17 - 30)
5 Nights / 4 Days = $3,123.00
4 Nights / 3 Days = $2,420.00
3 Nights / 2 Days = $1,717.00
2 Nights / 1 Day = $1,015.00
5 Nights / 4 Days = $3,395.00
4 Nights / 3 Days = $2,638.00
3 Nights / 2 Days = $1,881.00
2 Nights / 1 Day = $1,124.00
LOW SEASON RATES (MAY & OCTOBER 1 - 15)
5 Nights / 4 Days = $2,499.00
4 Nights / 3 Days = $1,938.00
3 Nights / 2 Days = $1,376.00
2 Nights / 1 Day = $815.00
5 Nights / 4 Days = $2,769.00
4 Nights / 3 Days = $2,154.00
3 Nights / 2 Days = $1,538.00
2 Nights / 1 Day = $923.00
- Number of nights lodging as specified in package
- Number of days of guided fishing as specified in package (two anglers per boat)
- Rental gear and equipment (flies, leader, tippet)
- Idaho fishing license
- All meals
- House beverages from 5 PM - 10 PM
- Housekeeping, food/beverage gratuities
What's Not Included
- Transportation to and from the Lodge
- Gratuities for guides
- Fly shop purchases
- Top-shelf beverages
- Alcohol while fishing or in the Lodge bar after 10 PM
- Lodging and sales taxes
"Natural Retreats - South Fork Lodge in Swan Valley, Idaho satisfied our September outdoor adventure in paradise. The Lodge is everything a luxury Western lodge can possibly offer and more. Just before sundown we spent each evening on the outdoor patio overlooking the Snake River winding from here to there sipping on our drink of choice and yummy appetizers. Our entertainment: Mama moose and baby grazing in a nearby meadow, fly fishermen and some women floating down and casting enthusiastically for hungry trout waiting under a submersed snag or grass overhang, eagles swooping down, catching and munching on Cutthroat trout. Our room was quiet and comfortable, our guides were attentive and knowledgeable (Dirk and Sue) and the food - including lunches - were amazingly delicious. Uplifted by the entire experience. Thank you Bob and staff!"
- Kay B. (Lake Tahoe, NV)