Ask Zimo: Upper Salmon River drift-boat fishing and on-river etiquette

pzimowsky@idahostatesman.comJune 19, 2014 



    Hey Zimo!

    We spotted a Here's rattlesnake taken June 7 at the base of Stack Rock.

    I thought some of your readers may need a reminder that rattlers do exist in the Boise Foothills.

    The one we spotted took us by surprise based on the elevation.

    Thanks for the continuing articles on the Great Idaho outdoors.

    JEFF LAVEY, e-mail

Q: We will be out there the end of June and would like to take a half-day fly fishing float trip. We will be staying in the Meridian and Lewiston areas. I do enough wading when fly fishing and would enjoy a float trip. Do you have any suggestions on setting one up?

STEVE CLASEN, Colorado angler

A: I'd definitely hook up with an outfitter on the Upper Salmon River near Stanley. They offer drift-boat fishing trips on the river and trout fishing is usually pretty good. And, you can't beat the scenery in the Stanley area.

If you go to, you'll see what I'm talking about. Another source is Also, the McCoy Tackle Shop in Stanley can give you a lot of information on fishing in the area. Go to or call 774-3377 for information.

If you are in the Lewiston area, I'd definitely head up to Lowell on U.S. 12 and fish the Selway and Lochsa rivers up there for cutts. Bring your waders and drive the highway along the Lochsa and pick out a few places to fish. You can also head up the Selway road and find fishing holes.

If you want to browse a little more on outfitted trips in Idaho, go to


Q: With the flows being low this year on the South Fork of the Boise River, it has given wade fisherman an unusual opportunity to fish the early season when usually they're shut out of the river because of high water.

Unfortunately, this has caused some conflicts on the river when people try to float and fish. Twice this season, I have had a raft float and fish right through my hole, casting right in front of me.

I'm not against rafts. In fact, I have a raft, fish-cat and canoe that I love to fish from. But personally, I think you should think twice when floating at low flows because it's impossible to not disturb the water where waders are fishing. And if you decide to float, please take the extra effort to be courteous to wade fisherman and leave their water alone.

You wouldn't walk into a hole, step in front of someone and cast, or sneak in and cherry pick a spot right below them. But essentially that's what people are doing when they fish through your hole.


A: You're absolutely right. Drift boat anglers should give wading anglers a wide berth, no buts about it. Wading anglers can only reach so much river and if a drift boater intrudes on the area where they are fishing, that's plain rude.

I'm a drift boat angler and I never fish an area where wading anglers are in the river. I usually float past them on the opposite side of the river, even in tight spots.

If the river is really tight where they are, pull the rods in and float pass them as quickly as possible.

Courtesy can go a long way.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service