No need to rewrite any of this river/steelhead report from Amy Sinclair at Exodus Wilderness Adventures in Riggins. She covers all the bases:
“The weather here in the Salmon River canyon has been true Idaho weather. One day we have balmy 48 degree weather and the next we are in the midst of a blizzard. Much of December and early January was filled with snow storms (in Riggins) and during the Christmas to New Year break there was more snow upriver than in McCall at 5000’ elevation. One day there was 6” at Short’s Bar in the parking lot and closer to a foot at Spring Bar…I don’t think in 14 years of living in Riggins that I have ever seen that much snow at this elevation.
“Much like our weather the December and January fishing has been very much hit or miss which is expected this time of year. Just like the weather, one day the river is free of ice (downriver of Riggins) and two days later the eddies and boat ramps are iced up and slush ice is flowing in the river. As of Thursday morning, January 9, from the Riggins City Boat Ramp to White Bird the river and ramps were free of ice. Upriver is a whole different story and this is because of the upriver canyon aspect which sees little to no sun during the winter months. As of Saturday, January 11, you could put a boat in at Short’s Bar or Island Bar but all further upriver ramps were iced over and at Kelly Creek and Van Creek there were ice bridges that span the river. They are in fact so thick animals are using them to cross the river.
“Based on the weather forecast predicted for the Riggins area during this week, down river access should stay open with little to no ice problems and allow for fishing opportunities. However, as weather can change quickly, you should contact a local tackle shop, friend or fishing outfitter for the current river conditions before heading up to Riggins during this time of year. If you want to ensure your most productive fishing opportunity (upriver or downriver) plan a trip between early February to mid March as this is considered the prime of the winter fishing on the Salmon River in Riggins.”
To learn more about Exodus go HERE.