Questions To Ask Your Outfitter—What Is The Difference?

Deciding on the best guided rafting or fishing/hunt trip for you is difficult when faced with numerous options.  This page is designed to give you standard questions to ask the Hells Canyon and Salmon River outfitters you are considering.

Is the Owner/Outfitter Actively On The River?

North Star—YES. Either Jacob or Tricia or both try to be on every river trip each season.

What Is Included In The Trip Price?

  • 3% Forest Service or BLM Use Fees Included?
    North Star—YES. All fees are figured into our advertised price. No sales tax or other taxes apply.
  • To the river and back shuttles?
    North Star—YES. We pay special attention to make sure the logistics work for you.
  • Lodging – 1 night before the river trip?
    North Star—YES. Price includes a hotel room in McCall, Idaho that we book for the night prior to your launch date.
  • Sleeping bags and personal waterproof duffel?
    North Star—YES. We provide a sleeping bag and 2 personal waterproof gear bags/person.
  • Fishing gear?
    North Star-YES. We provide enough fishing gear for everyone to share

Do you specialize on these rivers?

North Star—YES.

Often times a company may have been in business 35 years but their guides only do a couple Hells Canyon trips a year. Being a small, owner operated Company, we focus on the Snake and Salmon rivers, have run 100’s of trips on these rivers, and have guides who solely have trained and worked for us on these rivers. We know every camp, every riffle, every hole, and have seen nearly every possible water level which affects the changing rapids.

What Style of Trip Do You Operate? Does The Outfitter Set Camp?

North Star—First Class/High Service. Guides carry gear, load boats, gear boat runs ahead to set camp so it is waiting , ready when our guests pull in after a full day on the river.  We run a very first class high service trip geared to meet the individual needs of each guest in the best way we can and still provide a quality group experience for everyone. Our gear boat rows ahead and finds each nights camp, setting tents, chairs and gear for our guests. This means our guests and guides don’t need to rush downriver, instead having time to lounge at lunch, fish, do side hikes, stop and swim. When you role into camp that evening, everything is set and waiting for you. Our guides take care of loading gear, cooking and cleaning up, leaving you time to just enjoy your river vacation. You can participate as much as you wish.

What Is The Daily Schedule Like?

North Star—Flexible.
We see outfitters that only make certain stops and they do those on every trip. We know the river well and can design each trip for our guests. Which hikes to take, camps to make, pictographs to see, we sturgeon fish, make time for our guests to fish from the boats as we float, stop and eat lunch when people get hungry. Basically, we are on river time.

Where Does Our Trip Start And End? What Activities Are Available There?

North Star—McCall, Idaho, a tourist town with tons of options for extending your vacation.
McCall is a little alpine mountain tourist town set on the edge of Payette Lake. Home to many hotels, resorts and lodges, little shops, coffee houses, and restaurants. Hike, mountain bike trails and roads, kayak, water ski or jet ski, sail and more!! McCall is a summertime mecca of outdoor activities, gorgeous scenery, and weather.

What Kind of Equipment and Boats Do You Use?

North Star—We provide a oar boats, paddle rafts, and/or inflatable kayaks on every trip. Hyside self bailing rafts and kayaks. Oar boats give you the chance to ride along, view scenery, and fish. We always try to make sure everyone has the opportunity to trade between paddling (kayaks or paddle boat) and riding in an oar boat. Paddling is based on ability level. We also make sure that our equipment is clean and in good working order. We upgrade our equipment as often as possible.

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