4-Day / 3-Night Chukar Season Opener (Mid-September)
When: Mid-September – This trip begins shortly after season opener (Third Saturday of September)
Where: Mackay Bar to Vinegar Creek, 23 miles (Salmon River, upstream of Riggins)
Spin or Fly – Fishing Gear: All rods and fishing tackle provided by your guide, personal gear welcome
Trip Length: 23 miles over 4 days
Departure Time: Jet boat pickup at Vinegar Creek around 8:00 am. Flight from McCall, Idaho may also be an option.
Ending Time: Around 2:00 pm on day 4
Meals: All included
Fish Processing: Idaho Adventures will clean and bag your fish for your trip home.
Age Restrictions: 7 years
Cost: $1,750 Each (Maximum of 12, minimum of 8 per trip)
Salmon River “River of No Return” Cast ‘n Blast
Your 4-Day / 3-Night Chukar Season Opener (Mid-Sept) Features:
Plan for the opener of chukar season! Chukar populations have been strong with limits of 8 birds per day. For the first couple weeks during the season Chukar generally hang near the river, but move higher as the season progresses. Well behaved hunting dogs are welcome.
We will float 23 miles over a 4 day period spotting chukar from the rafts while fishing for bass, resident rainbows along with 5 to 20 pound early run steelhead. These magnificent fish, fresh from the Pacific, begin arriving into the Salmon River in September so they’re fat and sassy and are sure to give you a thrill!
All our guides are licensed and experienced and are there to make sure that your adventure is enjoyable and safe. Idaho Adventures has been showing guests the wonders of the Salmon River since 1973!
Guests: Maximum of 12, minimum of 8 per trip.
- Jet boat: Vinegar Creek boat launch to Mackay Bar.
- Guides: 2:1 Ratio (Guest/Guide) per raft, plus gear boat(s).
- Tents: Private tents available.
- Fishing Gear: Provided
Steelhead Acrobatics and Strength Abound
Steelhead are an ocean-run rainbow trout with a reputation as a world-class freshwater sport fish. These fish are elusive and the most dedicated anglers spend countless hours trying to catch them. Our seasoned guides have set the standard for local knowledge and experience and feed their passion for fishing both on and off the clock. For our guests and guides, the true allure of steelheading is the journey. Yet, nothing quite matches the thrill of a steelhead’s hard tug of a 5 to 20 pound steely and then watching it leap and fight your line.
Where We Fish
Location: We fish upstream of Challis to 70 miles downstream of Salmon so we can follow the fish as they are moving. We can meet at our headquarters in the morning to begin your day of fishing or we can pick you up at your place of stay. See our fishing packages that include lodging and extended fishing days.
Itinerary – 4-Day/3-Night Chukar Season Opener
Chukar Season Opener (Mid-Sept) Thursday: Arrive at the Vinegar Creek boat launch site to meet your jet boat that will transport you 23 miles up the river, where your guides will be waiting to greet you and get you started fishing and chukar hunting.
River Time – Day 1-4 Float/Fish/Hunt: We will float 23 miles over a 4 day period spotting chukar from the rafts while fishing for bass, resident rainbows along with 5 to 20 pound early run steelhead. These magnificent fish, fresh from the Pacific, begin arriving into the Salmon River in September so they’re fat and sassy and are sure to give you a thrill!
Camps & Lodging – Day 1-4: Our gear boat will set up camp ahead of the fishing party each day conveniently allowing fishermen to maximize time spent on the river with their guide. Wall tents will be for our main dining and social area while guest will have their privacy in comfortable tents. “Catch of the day” and Dutch oven meals are among the highlights you will remember for years to come.
Planning Your Trip
We will provide you with directions to meet the jet boat about 8:00 am at Vinegar Creek. We can also discuss option to fly from McCall to Mackay Bar Ranch to meet the fishing boat.
- Highly competent and darn friendly guides
- One (1) waterproof river bag to store personal gear, plus two (2) small waterproof bags
- Complimentary drinking mug
- Fresh, healthy, delicious meals beginning with lunch the first day
- Plenty of drinking water and ice, lemonade, coffee, tea hot chocolate, limited supply of complimentary soda, beer, juice and dinner wine
- All camping equipment – tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camp chairs
Personal Gear you should bring….
- Good quality rain gear (jacket & pants) – Note: Rentals available from Idaho Adventures with advance notice.
- Polypro or fleece jacket (and pants)
- Sunglasses (polarized) with strap
- Warm hat/gloves
- 1 Pair of shorts, 2 pair of pants
- 2 short sleeve shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts
- 1 Pair comfortable hiking boots, (rough, rocky terrain)
- Socks, underwear
- Personal toiletries including biodegradable soap
- Small washcloth and towel
- Quart water bottle
- Camera, film
- Prescription drugs
- Idaho Fishing and/or Hunting License
- 8 or 9 weight spin and/or fly rod and rod case(s)
- Extra rod/reel
- Idaho Adventures does supply rods and reels for spin fishing for steelhead and salmon
- Idaho Adventures may also supply fly fishing gear upon request (most fly fishing guests have their own fly fishing gear, but not likely with spin fishing).
- Chest waders, wading belt & wading shoes
- Lures, flies, etc.
- Guides have a large supply of gear – (don’t forget to consider this item when you generously tip your guides!)
- Pliers, hook sharpener, etc. (guides will also have this equipment, but bring your own if you have it)
Idaho Fishing and Hunting Licenses: Once you leave Salmon there will be no access for hunting and fishing licenses. For advanced purchase and/or for additional information on fishing and hunting in Idaho contact: Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game – 800-554-8685 or 208-334-3700.
- Extremely well behaved hunting dogs are welcome, but please notify us prior to the trip. Keep in mind that flights to/from Salmon and on rafts have very limited space (no room for kennels). You will also be responsible for dog dishes/food, canine PFD and cleaning up after your dog.
- Shot gun & shells, usually 12-20-gauge guns with 5 or 6 shot loads, 1¼ oz, (100+/-rounds). Plugs not required, but bring gun oil and cloth to wipe your guns down in the evenings.
- Waterproof gun case (Idaho Adventures may have “loaners”)
- Hunting vest, orange hat, scarf etc…good idea.
- Water bottle(s)
Optional items to bring….
- Hard liquor, wine, additional beer and soda
- Small fanny pack or fishing vest
- Personal compact sleeping bag (please notify us if you are bringing your own)
- Small pillow
- Please keep your personal gear to less than 40 lbs.
- It helps if you bring your gear in multiple small, soft duffle bags and leave suitcases behind. If necessary, the company we charter our flights with into the backcountry will hold your empty suitcases until you’re off the river.
May to late September
The Salmon River Canyon is normally arid and warm from late May to late September with average daytime temperatures ranging from the 70’s to 90’s. Nighttime temperatures are cooler but comfortable, from the low 50’s to high 60’s. Summer water temperatures range from the 60’s to 70’s, perfect for rafting and swimming. May or early June is when river levels generally peak, but the Salmon is fed by enough tributaries to maintain a robust flow of water all summer long – even in low water years.
Spring and Fall
The weather in our area can be unpredictable. Warm days are just as frequent as chilly, wet ones and you may experience several types of weather in a single day. Temperatures will vary throughout the day – typically from the low 30’s into the 70’s. Some general rules of thumb apply: 1) Dress and pack with “layers” in mind – bring clothes that you can easily take on and off and “layer” throughout the day as conditions change. 2) Polypropylene and wool are always warmer (and lighter) than cotton. And, 3) It is always easier to stay dry than it is to get dry. So, plan to bring a good set of breathable, waterproof raingear.
Please let us know if you have any questions or need further information – We are always happy to assist in your pre-trip planning. E-mail: email@example.com or call Idaho Adventures at 208-756-2986 or 1-800-789-9283
Choose Your Idaho Fishing Trip
Steelhead Fishing Trips
- 1/2 Day
- 4-Day / 3-Night
- 6-Day / 5-Night
- Lodge to Lodge
- Steelhead & Chuckar
Cast n’ Blast
- 4-Day / 3-Night
- 6-Day / 5-Night
- 4 to 6 Day Lodge to Lodge
- Salmon River 1-Day Drift Boat
- Salmon River 3-Day / 4-Night
- Lemhi River 1-Day Walk n Wade
- Lemhi River 2-Day / 2 Night
- 2017 Custom Trips
“What an unbelievable experience! These steelhead are magnificent…this reminds me of fishing Alaska.”
Craig Johnson, Boise Idaho
4-Day / 3-Night Chukar Opener
Mid-September – This trip begins shortly after season opener (Third Saturday of September)
Price: $1,750 Each (Maximum of 12, minimum of 8 per trip)
Fishing & Chuckar Hunting
Competent, friendly guides
Complimentary drinking mug
Fresh, healthy, delicious meals
Snacks and beverages
3 nights camping
All camping gear
Free use of fishing gear