I recently had the honor of experiencing the 2014 Orvis Lodge of The Year, the Lodge at Palisades Creek in Irwin, Idaho. Situated on 22-acres of riverfront paradise along the South Fork of the Snake, at Palisades Creek, the lodge caters to anglers, hunters and vacationers of all walks of life. My family and I choose it as a place to call home for one night following a Yellowstone road trip and you might say we never wanted to leave.
For starters, the grounds are beautiful making excellent use of the location/acreage. There are 10 cabins, a fly shop, Liar's Den for games and if needed TV, plus a dinning room, breakfast bar and numerous gathering areas for bigger groups or corporate retreats. My family and I ended up in the A-Frame house which boasted 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. It was the kind of cabin/home we could easily call home forever!
The A-Frame is the largest of the accommodations on the property featuring a private bridge over Palisades Creek to access it, as well as a large deck perched above the South Fork of the Snake. From the deck, I watched large rainbows and brown trout holding in the current below, watched osprey dive for trout along the river and I also watched the occasional driftboat float by with anglers trying to catch a fish of their own.
Entering the A-Frame or South Fork House, you will immediately be welcomed by a personalized letter/packet, well-stocked fridge and a cabin feel that just keeps growing on you. We then entered a large hallway leading to the master bedroom in one direction and a living room the other direction. The master featured a king bed as well as a sitting room and of course a bathtub in the adjoining master bath.
In the living room, I found two large sofas, outsdoorsy decorations, and french doors leading to the large deck and the best view on the South Fork of the Snake. Back inside, vacationers will find a decorative fireplace and a spiral staircase leading to a smaller room with two beds, perfect for my two little ones. There's also another large bathroom making this house perfect for a family or a couple couples to call this place home for a few nights or full week of adventure.
The staff was very gracious as well. Manager Justin Hays took care of all loose ends and made my family as well as others staying at the lodge feel like members of his family. The wait staff, fly shop team, housekeepers, fishing guides and chef go out of their way to make sure you have everything you need. The food was delicious including plates like fillet, halibut, salmon-- you name it. Pair the great dinner options with a made-to-order-breakfast menu, and you feel very special.
The lodge also features a fly shop and team of knowledgeable fishing guides if you are into fishing as well. My son and I took a drift with Jaason Pruett, the lodge's head guide, and he too showed us a fantastic time catching 32 fish in a matter of hours. Pruett is by far one of the best guides I've ever teamed up with in my 15 years of outdoor writing. He catered to our needs showing my son a number of tips and pointers to help the 8-year-old improve on the fly. He also gave Barrett a rowing lesson and sent me up a few side channels where I caught five to six fish a channel.
As another bonus, the Lodge at Palisades Creek also offer a small private pond where guests, including my son, can tie into 18- to 26-inch trout. What a great place for somebody to catch a big fish and hone their skills on fighting big fish. As for the South Fork of the Snake, the fishing is awesome, but to read about that part of this adventure, you'll have to watch for the Winter issue of Sierra Fisherman coming out in a couple months or log on to Orvis News for a sneak peak.
For more information on the Lodge at Palisades Creek, call (208) 483-2222 or (866) 393-1613 or click www.palisadeslodge.com or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you like these reviews and articles, click on the subscribe button near my picture at the top of the page and you will be e-mailed a link when I write a story.