The odds of NOT catching a fish here are pretty slim. Early in the season, before the winter runoff raises the water level, we recommend the Payette River. In June as the water starts to come back down, Fish and Game will start stocking areas along the North Fork of the Payette and you can expect to catch trout and bass. The easiest way to fish along this river is from the shore.


Along the Salmon River, fishing by boat is the way to go. Whether by drift boat, jet boat or as part of a rafting trip, the Salmon River is teeming with opportunity. In the spring, Chinook Salmon are king. In the summer months, smallmouth bass are the fish of choice. When the weather turns cooler, steelhead fishing takes over.

If hooking a monster fish is your dream, the Snake River is your best bet. White sturgeon are plentiful here and can grow to be 12 feet long, weigh up to 400 pounds and live for hundreds of years. You can also catch plenty of bass and trout in the Snake.

No matter where which river you fish, the one thing you can expect is solitude. Minimal crowds and hundreds of miles of shoreline make it feel like you have the water all to yourself.


Pro Tip: Be sure to check the Fish and Game website for season dates, catch limits, and general rules and regulations if you strike out on your own. Those ages 14 and older will need a valid fishing license to drop a line. Additional fishing permits are required for salmon and steelhead.  Visit the Idaho Department of Fish and Game for full details: If you are new to fishing or unfamiliar with the area, we highly recommend working with an outfitter. These experienced guides can help you hone your fishing skills and get you to amazing stretches of water.

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