Beginning in September, the Lower Salmon River Canyons become arguably the best steelhead fishery in the Pacific Northwest. Boasting beautiful, distinct, and dramatic canyons, it is truly a sight to behold. The fish are feisty and aggressive, making for some of the most exciting steelhead fishing on the planet. The Salmon River carries both A run summer steelhead and Idaho’s world famous B run steelhead. Fish can grow to 20 lbs and can sometimes get to 40+ inches! Our expert staff has the equipment and knowledge to give you the best chance at feeling one of these magnificent fish at the end of your line. There’s nothing else like it!

Our Single Day Steelhead fishing trips are all day excursions. You can expect to enjoy between eight and ten hours of guided fishing. We generally concentrate our fishing on the river sections above and below the town of Riggins, ID. We have many different float options to give our guests the best odds at catching fish, all while having the best experience possible. Single day trips start around dawn/sunrise at a meeting point agreed upon with your guide, who will communicate with you based on current river and fishing conditions. Anglers will enjoy our deluxe, ultra-comfortable drift boats while floating through the breathtaking Salmon River corridor. Salmon Raft utilizes modern, state of the art fishing equipment to make sure our guests have the best tools for the job at hand (which is of course battling powerful steelhead). Guests are also welcome to use personal fishing equipment, if that is preferred.

We are more than happy to accommodate any style of fishing, including traditional gear/bait fishing as well as fly fishing. For more information on specific equipment and gear recommendations, please check out our “Gear Lists” tab. No matter what your angling skill level is, we will utilize the best spots on the river to suit your abilities.

Non-alcoholic beverages and a delicious lunch spread are provided and included. We’re happy to save room in our cooler if you’d like to bring your own alcoholic beverages.

Rapids along our day trip sections consist of mostly class II some class III whitewater. We reserve the right to carefully select the appropriate watercraft to make your trip as safe and comfortable as possible.

Rates:

  • One Drift Boat (1 or 2 anglers) – $450
  • One Drift Boat (3 anglers) – $550

Seasons & Techniques

Techniques for fishing for steelhead on the Salmon River is somewhat dictated by time of the year, weather trends, and river flows (please see Trip Dates tab). Our season generally begins in mid-September and runs through the end of March. Our expert guides are capable of guiding you no matter what your preferred method is, however we suggest booking your trip during the best time of year for that technique.

Fly Fishing with Swung Flies with Spey/Switch Rods

If your preferred technique is to swing flies using a two-handed spey fly rod, we suggest booking your trip during the timeframe of mid to late-September and early to mid-December. September and October present the best opportunities to fish dry lines and dry flies. As the season progresses and the water temperature continues to drop, our guides like to utilize sink tips and sometimes larger flies. Although we would love to catch steelhead on nothing but dry flies, conditions and weather often dictate the most effective way to fish.

Fly fishing is our specialty and preferred method. If you are new to the two-handed fly rod scene, we encourage you to join us for a couple of reasons: Our guides are the fishiest guys/gals on the river, and they are great at giving casting lessons and feedback. With a bit of guidance and input, we promise to boost your confidence to fishing more consistently and effectively. We’ll make sure to fish the best spots on the river that suit your abilities.

Gear fishing

Gear fishing using plugs, bait or a combination of both can be utilized throughout the entire fishing season. This season begins in mid-September and runs through March.

Gear Lists

Included with trip:

  • Rods and reels
  • Flies/Tackle/Bait
  • Cooler
  • Lunch
  • Non-alcoholic beverages, including fresh drinking water
  • Fish filleting
  • Dry bag for your extra clothing layers and belongings
  • Skilled guide service
  • River safety equipment

Not included (gear furnished by our guests)

  • Valid Idaho Fishing License with Steelhead Tag
  • Waders (Fly fisherman only)
  • Wading boots (Fly fisherman only)
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Appropriate clothing for the day (lots of layers)
  • Rain Jacket and Rain Pants
  • Chapstick
  • Water bottle (reusable, we’ll supply drinking water to refill)
  • Additional alcoholic beverages to supplement our supply
  • Personal fly rods and reel (optional)
  • Personal flies (optional)

For specific rods, fly lines, fly patterns, and other gear details specific to our fishery, please give us a call.

In general, single-day trips are offered daily from late September through March, pending river and weather conditions. Refer to Seasons & Techniques tab for more details.

In an effort to provide the best fishing experience possible to our guests, advance reservations are always required and based on availability.

Rates:

  • One Drift Boat (1 or 2 anglers) – $450
  • One Drift Boat (3 anglers) – $550

Our Promise to You

Salmon Raft values each and every guest and we promise to work our hardest to gain and keep your trust for your first and future fishing adventures. We promise to communicate with efficiency and clarity. When it comes down to it, we will do whatever it take to keep your business and satisfy you as our guest.

Deposits & Balance Due

Trip DurationDeposit AmountBalance Due Date
Single Day50% of trip cost30 days prior to launch date
Multi-Day50% of trip cost30 days prior to launch date

A non-refundable deposit confirms and secures your space on a trip. If reservations are made within the balance due date time frame, full payment is required to secure your space. Deposits are applied towards the final balance.

A 3% Bureau of Land Management usage fee is charged on every trip. This fee goes directly to the BLM to help pay for river management, facility maintenance, and river cleanup.

Deposits and payments made to Salmon Raft are non-refundable. Please understand that once you commit to a trip date, we lose the ability to sell those reserved spaces to other guests. We strongly encourage the purchase of trip insurance in order to mitigate the potential loss due to cancellations for personal emergencies. In most cases, our first effort will be to reschedule your trip for a future date.

Cancellation Policy

We float rain, snow, or shine! However, if Salmon Raft cancels your reservation due to river flows, extreme weather, BLM or Forest Service mandates, or other conditions beyond our control, all payments made to Salmon Raft will be returned if your trip cannot be rescheduled. Unfortunately, we cannot be held responsible for expenses incurred as a result of such cancellations or date modifications (i.e. travel expenses, lodging reservations, etc.).

Salmon Raft reserves the right to choose or modify all launch sites and take-outs, trip mileage, as well as watercraft choices without notice based on river or weather conditions.