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 Salmon, Idaho 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.
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