Little Salmon River Fishing Report

Scenic and wild, the Little Salmon River is a tributary of the Salmon River which is the longest free-flowing river (425 miles) within one state in the lower 48. Resident species are Bull Trout, Westslope Cutthroat, and Rainbows.

Things to Know

  • Fish species in the Little Salmon River: Steelhead, Chinook Salmon, and Rainbow. Consult the Idaho Fish & Game regulations for seasons, limits, and Special Rules for the region.
  • Any person 14 years of age or older must have a valid license or permit to fish in Idaho. Resident children under 14 years of age need not be licensed and may have their own separate limit. Nonresident children under 14 years of age if not licensed, must be accompanied by the holder of a valid fishing license and their fish must be included in the license holder's limit or the child may purchase their own license and have their own limit.
Featured Fishing Trips
Guided Fishing Trips
/ Angler
1 angler
On Sat, Aug 12 2017 - Mon, Aug 20 2018
6 days
Fishing Waters:
Trip Details Fishing the Middle Fork of the Salmon River with Helfrich River Outfitters is truly the trip of a lifetime. The river that has it all, the Middle Fork of the Salmon possesses ... moreamazing beauty, wonderful fishing, natural hot springs, vast geologic and anthropologic history, and great hiking opportunities. Our six-day, five-night Middle Fork of excursion, guests will experience daily changes in scenery as the river winds its way through granite canyons, dropping three thousand feet in elevation. Each day offers its own unique beauty with the last two days spent in the third deepest canyon in North America, Impassible Canyon. The sheer, white granite walls of this chasm tower overhead as the contrasting sparkling emerald waters of the river tumble along the bottom of its immense walls.

The Middle Fork of the Salmon is renowned for its healthy fishery of native Rainbow and Westslope Cutthroat Trout. The first ever catch and release stream in the country, this highly protected river provides a sanctuary for an average of 2,400 fish per mile.The Middle Fork is 100 miles long, running through the largest protected wilderness in the contiguous 48 states. The crystal clear emerald waters of this amazing waterway add an extra twist to the fishing with the ability to see the fish, even deep in the river. The clarity of the water gives the illusion of fish suspended in the water at all levels of each pool. The Middle Fork is the pinnacle of dry-flyfishing rivers. 

Guests ride down the Middle Fork in comfort and style in the front of our custom drift boats. These boats are the ‘Cadillacs’ of the river with comfortable padded seats and seat backs, along with a padded casting brace to keep one balanced while fishing. No need to wade, these boats are very maneuverable and tailor-made to access the very best fishing spots; and our guides know exactly where those spots are. Each drift boat accommodates two guests and one guide. Boats are equipped with all of the necessary fishing rods and tackle, stocked drink cooler and all requisite safety equipment.

River Accommodations

Camping with Helfrich Outfitters on the Middle Fork is better labeled as ‘Glamping’, or glamorous camping, because of the deluxe accommodations that are provided at every campsite. Upon arriving in camp each afternoon, guests can expect everything to be set up and ready for them to enjoy. Each of our spacious tents accommodates 2 guests with comfortable cots and air pads for sleeping. The site is equipped with dining tables, lounge chairs, a hot shower, warm water wash station, hand washing facilities, a privacy toilet, ice and cocktail table, and a complete kitchen.

When guests arrive in camp they can pick a tent, grab a cold drink, munch on appetizers, relax and enjoy activities around camp. Each trip is focused on the customer’s interests and guides are available to lead activities by request. The afternoons and evenings provide plenty of time for additional fishing, swimming, hiking, artifact hunting, photography, playing games, soaking in hot springs, reading a good book with toes in the water or just relaxing and watching the river float by.

The gourmet food on the Middle Fork makes this trip even more inviting. All meals are prepared in Dutch ovens and on the barbeque over open coals. Fresh baked Dutch oven breads, made from scratch, are prepared each day along with top quality meats and fish. Each meal is sure to please and are all accompanied by plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Duel entree dinners and a wide variety of side dishes provide great options at each meal. If there is any room left in ones stomach after the evening’s premier event, a delightful dessert is sure to follow.

Riverside lunches of freshly made salads, fresh fruits and rich sandwich spreads are prepared each day on a shaded river bank. Lunch stops are a great time to relax in a lounge chair in the shade, go for a swim, lay out for a sun tan, read a good book or explore the surrounding area.

6 days and 5 night packages - Cover 100 miles of river and are available from June through early september.

5 days and 4 nights packages - Are available starting in late August. Just as early July is known as the best time to fish the Middle Fork, September is very comparable. The water is beginning to cool down and the fish get more active. Come enjoy the world class dry fly fishing of the Middle Fork while surrounded by beautiful fall colors. September is also loved my many as the best time of year on the river because of the lack of visitors to the river this time of year.


Fishing licenses are not included in the trip cost.

Additional $4/day Recreation Enhancement Act Fee will be charged on all Middle Fork trips.

Lower water levels later in the season may require trip launch location to change. These trips require an additional flight in to a backcountry airstrip. Additional flight costs are not included in trip price. All booking and arrangement details for these flights will be handled for you; it is easy and affordable. Fishing rafts may be used in place of drift boats during these low water conditions. 
/ Angler
1 angler
6 days
September can be one of the most invigorating times to fish the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. As summer closes, the clear waters begin cooling down, the heat subsides, and the river ... moreis emptied of floating traffic. And as the temperature cools, the water gets lower and slower – ideal fishing conditions.

As the water cools, the wild cutthroat follow their native instincts to start packing on weight for the difficult winter looming ahead. September is their last chance to gorge themselves on large terrestrials and tasty surface hatches before the winter doldrums of midge subsistence sets in.

Our September fishing trips are smaller and more personable than our Summer trips. As the days start to get shorter and we have the whole Wilderness nearly to ourselves, these trips take on a nostolgic and sportsman/sportswoman's vibe.

This is a special time for both guides and guests on the Middle Fork; our guides are excited to row you through the best Cutthroat fly fishing waters in the West. You will find them to be both knowledgeable leaders and wonderful companions, whether they’re sharing an exotic presentation technique, helping to improve an angler’s casting skills, cooking up one of our favorite dishes, or telling lively stories around the campfire.
Additional Information
Is a tributary to the Salmon River
Salmon River
51 miles
576 sq miles
Game Fish Opportunities
Current Forecast
Water Flow
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Fishing Quality
Water quality

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