North Star’s outfitted sportsman trips feature all the same amenities as our other river trips, but are focused on the spectacular Snake River fishing and in season upland game bird hunting Hells Canyon provides. The Wild and Scenic section of the Snake River lies at the bottom of Hells Canyon in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area and can only be accessed on foot or by boat, by permit only. Best time of the year for these 4 and 5 Day guided fishing trips is late August through October. Cast & Blast trips start the 3rd weekend of September and are minimum 5 Days up to 7 Days long. Spring salmon run is generally in May.
Our Hells Canyon fly fishing vacations and Cast N’ Blast trips provide jaw dropping volumes of small mouth bass, rainbow trout, steelhead and salmon runs, as well as deep sea style fishing for land locked, protected white sturgeon. North Star owner Jacob Warren and our guide crew are Idaho natives who have grown up hunting and fishing in the heart of Idaho. Whether you are looking for the perfect guided fly-fishing trip, back country chukar hunting trip, or any combo of spin casting, top water bass fishing, or Idaho salmon fishing trip, we can design the perfect guided fishing and hunting trip for you. Personal and catered to exactly the type of fishing or hunting you desire.
Spend all day fishing the best accessed places on the river from an oar raft. Guide to guest ratio is 2 to 3 fishermen per boat/guide. Our gear boat rows ahead, finds a campsite for each night, and has camp set and waiting for you when you pull in after a full day of fishing. We provide fishing gear, flies, and tackle, but you are welcome to bring your own personal gear if you prefer. See our Fishing Trip—Logistics page for what is provided.
The phrase we hear most often from our guests on our fishing trips is, “Why didn’t you tell us it was this good?” And we chuckle, shake our heads, and reply “We DID!” The fishing is always good, but we tend to schedule most of our trips mid-August through October, with September being the golden days for guided fly fishing and spin cast trips. Top water fishing small mouth bass with a fly rod is one of our favorite things to do in Hells Canyon. The fish are many and eager to hit what catches their notice. They fight over flies and chase each other down trying steal the others meal. Beginner fishermen and women can expect to catch 30 fish, at least, a day. Intermediate to advanced fishermen and women can expect to catch upwards of 100 fish a day.
Every good fisherman knows that fishing for trout takes a bit of finesse and a good tactics. Although slightly more elusive than the bass in Hells Canyon, the trout fishing is completely worth the effort-the fish are as big and beautiful as the canyon itself. Our guides know just where they are and exactly how to hook them. We will make recommendations on flies or lures, type and weight of line or tackle. Fly fish for the big guys, bring out your spey rod for some great spey rod fishing conditions.
These great white sturgeon are landlocked in Hells Canyon between Hells Canyon dam and the lower 3 Snake dams over 100 miles downriver. They no longer run to the ocean and back but instead have maintained a very healthy existence in deep waters of the Snake River. We fish them all the time, but maintain the strict standards for their protected status. Jacob and his brothers have been fishing these great giants out of the Snake River in Hells Canyon since they were boys, learning from their Dad, Jim Warren, once named the “Sturgeon General” in an article written by Andy Slough about his trip in Hells Canyon. Jacob has carried on the tradition, the biggest fish he personally has ever hooked on the river measured 10’ 2” and weighed close to 350 lbs. It took three hours to bring in.
The Chinook salmon runs happen in the spring (May/June) and fall (September/October), regulated each year by the Idaho Fish and Game based on number of fish returning up the river from the ocean. You can come out with the intention of salmon fishing, or spend time switching off between salmon fishing or bass and trout fishing. Often times we spot salmon moving up the river, powerfully negotiating the rapids and gathering at the base of small tributaries of the Snake River that we pass as we move down river each day. If a number of fish are being spotted, we switch gear! Big fish combined with a big river call for appropriate gear—Hells Canyon is a great place for spey rod fishing.
You will be surprised by the fall trout fishing these waters sport and fall Chinook salmon fishing and steelhead are an exciting bonus late in the season. Fishing with a salmon tag is required in addition to your Idaho or Oregon fishing license. You can fish these types of fish even our standard spin cast gear and lures. Heavier weight line and lures is encouraged. North Star outfitters Jacob & Tricia as well as their guides will make specific recommendations as to what works best and we can even preorder your fishing box for you.