It’s salmon fishing season here in Idaho. That means the rivers that run through Hells Canyon, like the Snake and Salmon Rivers, are flush with these beautiful and delicious fish. While these fish may be a mainstay for many fishermen in the area, they can be a little challenging to catch if you lack the skills and knowledge to do so.

Lucky for you, the river outfitters and anglers at Killgore Adventures in White Bird, Idaho have more than their fair share of salmon fishing experience. That’s why we’ve offered up these four helpful hints so you can improve your chances of catching some salmon the next time you’re in Idaho.

#1: Get Your Gear in Order

Like many river pursuits, preparation is key when it comes to catching salmon. Create a detailed checklist with everything you think you might need and run through it several times before you head out to the water. You want your bait, line, rod, and rig. To save time, and so you can get fishing faster, make sure everything is tied together before you leave. Additionally, don’t forget about bringing along your permits and licenses to fish in Idaho.

Your fishing essentials are largely focused on your rod and reel but don’t forget to pack a change of clothes with you. The weather in Hell’s Canyon can be unpredictable sometimes. That’s why it’s vital to have an extra layer with you even on the sunniest of days. Long sleeves shirts and wide-brimmed hats also serve to keep your skin protected from the sun.

#2: Make Sure Your Lures are Alluring

Longtime salmon fishers know that one of the best ways to lure the fish in is to use roe as bait. However, other fishermen are now using cut bait. This is simply just a strip of fish attached to the end of the line and is usually a bit of meat from a herring or smelt.

But just like meals at a restaurant, presentation is key. Make sure you offer your catch something flashy at the end of a red line. Salmon are most often found in low light conditions meaning they live in deeper and darker waters. Having something that flashes at the end of your line is a great way to attract the fish. To make your lure more attractive, make sure you’re using a red line. This is because red is the first color to dissipate in water, meaning the fish will not be able to see it.

#3: Time it Right and Cast on Cloudy Days

They say that timing is key, and that’s truer for salmon fishing than you might realize. There are peak times to go salmon fishing. These times are roughly one hour before or after the high and low tide. That’s because salmon like to face the incoming tide flow. Additionally, other times to improve your chances of catching salmon are during dawn or dusk.

We all love a day in the sun but you’ll find that you have more luck on your salmon fishing adventures on an overcast or cloudy day. That’s because salmon prefer low light conditions. Not only are cloudy days better for the fish but they’re more advantageous for you as well. In lower light conditions, they are less likely to see your shadow on the water or realize that your lure is bait.

#4: Bring a Camera

With the right preparation and maybe a little luck, you can land a truly spectacular salmon. We all love a good big fish story, but we live in an age where any story can be countered by “pictures or it didn’t happen.” That’s why it’s important to have a camera at the ready. Snap a quick photo of your catch along with something to give it a sense of scale and you’ll have something to truly wow your friends and family when you get home.

Adventure Fishing Trips in Idaho

It’s time to elevate your fishing experience. With Killgore Adventures you’ll be treated to more than just a trip to the local fishing hole. Blast your way through class 3 and 4 rapids, see a wide variety of wildlife and get expert insights from our licensed river guides. Sign up for your salmon fishing adventure today.