Idaho Real Estate >> ID Real Estate Specialist


The Salmon River of Idaho - "The River of no Return"

Yes, the Salmon River was dubbed "The River of no Return" but I have been there more times than I can count and I have returned every time LOL.   Everyone knows that real estate is a demanding business with "Stress" being it's middle name.   Back in 1990 my friend and stock broker at the time took me along with his dad to Shepp Ranch along the Salmon River and my life has never been the same.

Whenever life gets overwhelming to the point that I need a break I gather some friends of mine, mostly from my office and make the trip to SalmonIdaho  which is about 3 hours north of where I live.   Riggins is a small little town of about 400+ people and I mean it that if you blink your eyes when you drive through you will miss it.  One thing you cannot miss is the beauty of this heaven on earth as you see the "Little Salmon" river run through the heart of this little paradise.

The Salmon River runs 425 miles through some of the most beautiful country God created  The river drops more than 7,000 vertical feet between it's headwaters above the Sawtooth Valley to where it meets the mighty Snake River at 910 feet.

The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area is a national protected wilderness area located in Idaho. It was created in 1980 by the United States Congress as the River of No Return Wilderness Area, and renamed in 1984 as the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area in honor of U.S. Senator Frank Church, just before his death.  The Salmon River is part of this wilderness area.  Many say Alaska is the last great frontier.  Many of these people have never been to the wilderness area of the Salmon River.

We stay at a log hotel that sits on the banks of the Little Middle Salmon River in Riggins.  Our routine means we get into town anywhere between noon and 6:00 p.m. and meet for dinner in downtown Riggins.  After dinner with hang out at the 2+ man hot tub of our hotel and tell "Big Fish" stories.  We have been known to still be there at midnight laughing until our guts hurt.  We usually rent 2 or 3 rooms with several staying in each room. You want to make sure you don't sleep in the same room as someone that snores a lot, LOL.


We rise 5:00 a.m. and meet for brunch.  We then walk outside and breath some of the most wonderful mountain air known to man.  We then make the trip which is about an hour long up alongside the Little Salmon River.  Our vehicle journey ends when we cannot travel anymore by vehicle and we park there.  We then are picked up by a jet boat and our outfitters River Adventures LTD. to begin our Steelhead fishing. Once on the jet boat be prepared to see some of the most incredible scenery you will see in your lifetime.  Cliffs so steep that can only be maneuvered by Big Horn Sheep which you will see plenty of plus dear and mountain lion.  If you plan on hiking this terrain be prepared to stay there a week!  Several guides will take you on jet boating and float trips all summer long.  There are also places to go white water rafting and you better bring another pair of underwear because you will need to change them several times! LOL



I have been making 2-3 trips yearlyto Riggins, Idaho and the Salmon Riversince 1990.  Several of us from the office started going several years ago.  Wendy from our office has always wanted to go ‘Fishing with the boys" and no one ever invited her which saddened her.  Well in 2004 I decided to invite Wendy to "go with the boys" on one of our fishing trips.  Wendy caught her first big Steelhead and she had a grin from ear to ear. She has gone Steelhead fishing every year since that first trip and now takes a group of women fishing each year to what is known as "Women with Bait" and they have an absolute ball.  Picture a group of 15-20 women on 3-4 jets boats with no make-up on and saying everything they wanted to say at the office but could not!





That first year was a delight to see Wendy catch her first steelhead. She was just has happy when I landed a 42" beautiful rainbow colored Steelhead of my own.  It is hands down the most beautiful fish I have caught in all the years I have been fishing the Salmon River.  Wendy kept reminding me how pretty my fish was and I kept reminding her of how proud I was of her.  Seeing the smile on Wendy's face was like seeing the face of a child when they see their presents under the tree on Christmas Day.


The beauty of the Salmon River cannot be overstated.  Shepp Ranch where I first stayed in 1990 is an awesome place with cabins and a rustic restaurant/meeting room that serves the best food in the west hands down.

The Polly Bemis story is something else.  If you have not read the story of this incredible woman I highly recommend you do so.  It is an incredible story of survival and courage.  You will go right by the Polly Bemis Ranch on your way up the river.

Mackay Bar is a favorite of many from around the world.  I have heard of people from as far away as Europe and Asia making the trip to the Salmon River so they can see a piece of this heaven on earth.



Marketed By: George Tallabas - Boise Idaho Real Estate Agent - Associate Broker 
with RE/MAX Advantage, Canyon Counties #1 Brokerage in sales and listings
specializing in Boise Idaho Real Estate and Southwest Idaho Real Estate.

Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes

Comment balloon 12 commentsGeorge Tallabas • April 28 2007 12:29PM


Great post, George.  My dad fished on the Salmon River when he was young.  He grew up in Challis and my grandfather was the bait /general store owner there.  You live in a beautiful state.

Posted by Valerie Baldwin, Harvey, Gresham Oregon Real Estate (John L. Scott Sandy) about 12 years ago
Thank you so much Valerie...yes we are blessed to live in a beautiful state. Have a wonderful weekend.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 12 years ago
George! Your a Dog Man! I'm envious of you having such a beautiful place to fish then you have to rub it in by showing a picture of yourself with this humongous Fish!
Posted by Danny Smith (DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES) about 12 years ago
LOL...thanks Danny.  God has just blessed me beyond words my friend. Have a great weekend.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 12 years ago
What a scenic and beautiful place.  Then you also get to fish.  Wow, I bet you love doing all that!
Posted by Cynthia Sloop (Community Association Manager) about 12 years ago
I have been to the river of no return 3 times, for 6 day rafting trips each time with Gary & Paula Mosier, I taught Thai Massage at  ttime and taught workshops on the riverbanks. Wow was that ever a great time.
Posted by Michael Eisenberg, Bellingham Real Estate Guy (eXp Realty) about 12 years ago
Thank you Cynthia...yes dear we are blessed in Idaho
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 12 years ago
Good for you Michael...yes, I feel bad for those that have never experienced what you and I have.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 12 years ago
George, another wonderful Idaho post.
Posted by Sue Argue, NH Home Stager (Staged First Impressions) about 12 years ago
Thank you so much Sue...have a wonderful day
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 12 years ago

WOW, look at that fish!  This makes me hungry.  This also would make a good advertisement for the tourist industry.  ;^D 

Some day I will have to visit your beautiful home state!  


Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) about 12 years ago
LOL...thank you so much Doreen.  Yes Idaho is Gorgeous. Have  great evening!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 12 years ago