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.

Local Resources

Fly Fish McCall

Riggins, ID, United States

Fly Fish McCall has offered guided drift boat Steelhead fishing on the famous Salmon River for over twenty years. We love what we do, and because of this we are the best! All our trips start at Riggin...

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McCall Angler

122 E. Lake Street
McCall, Idaho 83638

Valley and Adams County’s Premier Fishing Outfitter with over 20 years of guiding experience. Providing guided fishing on local waters and into the backcountry. Also, doing floats on the Payette...

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Ponderosa State Park

1920 Davis Ave, McCall, ID, United States

Beautiful Payette Lake is the centerpiece of Ponderosa State Park, located in the heart of one of Idaho’s most popular year-round destinations. Hike and bike on your own or with a guide, listen ...

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River Adventures Inc.

122 South Main Street
Riggins, Idaho 83549

We specialize in fishing trips and historical tours by jet boat on the Salmon River “River of No Return” and Snake River in “Hells Canyon”. Enjoy Sport Fishing for Steelhead, Salmon, Sturgeon,...

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Drift West

122 E Lake Street
McCall, Idaho 83638

Drift West is a consortium of outdoor enthusiasts, explorers and avid fly anglers. Our goal is to provide a boutique experience to our clients, booking world-class trips to fabled trout waters, world-...

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Mountain River Outfitters

411 Main St, Riggins, ID, United States

Mountain River Outfitters, LLC is Idaho’s premier whitewater and fishing outfitter. Owned and operated by Jess and Brenda Bough out of Riggins, the family has committed their lives to providing ...

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Salmon Raft

184 Industrial Loop
McCall, Idaho 83638

We love being a **McCall-based whitewater rafting** company! The Salmon River, in all of its 400+ miles of damless beauty, is a special place that everyone should see, and it’s easy to do from M...

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