COME DO IDAHO THE RIGHT WAY!
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      RIVER BOAT FISHING

      BACKCOUNTRY FISHING BASICS PT. 2

      There are few things more peaceful and gratifying than spending a few hours fishing. Those moments are even better when you’re the only one out fishing at your favorite spot. But frontcountry fishing can get busy fast, and soon your secluded spot is overwhelmed by families and weekend warriors. When you want to get away from the crowds and have a pure fishing experience, it’s time to take to the hills and go on a backcountry fishing adventure. In our last blog, we introduced you to some of the basics you needed to know in order to get out in the wilderness and go after new and exotic fish. Today, Killgore Adventures will offer a few more tips for you to follow when backcountry fishing in the Hells Canyon area.

      RELISH THE ROLL CAST

      Front country fishing can follow a specific strategy or pattern. You’ve followed the same strategy using the same casting techniques with the same equipment to bag more than your fair share of fish. But the techniques that work in the frontcountry may not work in the backcountry. To catch backcountry fish like you mean it, you’ll need to master the roll cast. Rolling your line across the water’s surface keeps it from getting caught on plants and reeds that are along the banks of the rivers and tributaries in Hells Canyon. Put the backcast on the back burner for a little while, and practice the roll cast instead.

      • Feed 20 to 30 feet of line from your reel. Keeping the tip of your rod over the water, wave the rod back and forth to move the line through the guides.
      • Raise your arm up so that your thumb is level with your forehead. Position the rod at a roughly 45-degree angle. The line should fall neatly beside you.
      • Focus on a target and position your elbow to aim at it.
      • Brace your arm to fix the anchor in the water and then rotate your arm from the elbow in a quick snapping motion.
      • Swish your wrist down, pushing your thumb to flick the line at the end of the cast.
      • You can practice by snapping your elbow both left and right, and try flicking your wrist at harder and softer speeds. This will help you master the roll cast.

      COOK YOUR MEAL RIGHT THEN

      After mastering the roll cast, you can start catching fish with abandon. But unlike the frontcountry, you have to be cognizant of just how much you’re catching. After all, unless you’ve hiked a cooler in with you, you really don’t have anywhere to store your catch. Out in the wilderness, you’ll want to enjoy your catch by the end of the day.

      The smaller size of backcountry fish make them difficult to fillet, so you can save time and effort and just cook the whole fish. Just make sure to clean your fish, removing its entrails, and washing off and slime and blood in the water. You can gut the fish by cutting its belly at the throat and continuing down to the anal fin. Cut just below the jaw, then pull the jaw and the attached innards down toward the tail. Cut out the bloodline, and your fish is dressed, ready for the frying pan.

      Cooking your catch is simple. Coat the entire fish in olive oil or melted butter and toss it on your frying pan. If you packed in spices, try some garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Cook the fish over a medium heat or until it’s flaky, and then enjoy! The scales will sluff off the fish with the heat, so there’s no need to try and remove them. Pick out any bones you might encounter and dispose of them responsibly. When you’re done, take any remaining guts, bones, or scales and either pack them out with your trash or place them along the water’s edge for natural predators to enjoy.

      Looking to get a true backcountry fishing experience? Sign up for a fishing adventure with Killgore Adventures and pursue fish like salmon and even sturgeon. Book your tour today!

      STURGEON FACTS

      While we run adventure fishing trips up and down Hells Canyon for most of the year, there’s one season, in particular, our team waits for with baited breath; sturgeon season. These immense river monsters are an unforgettable part of our adventure fishing trips, and catching one is often a crowning achievement for anglers. While we at Killgore Adventures have caught our fair share of these massive fish, they are still shrouded in mystery. So, brush up on these bony fish before your riverboat fishing trip with us!

      STURGEON ARE TRULY ANCIENT

      In examining the fossil record, scientists have found that the evolution of the sturgeon dates back to 245 to 208 million years ago in the Triassic period. In the millions of years between then and now, the sturgeon has changed relatively little. Unlike most fish that have a layer of scales, sturgeon have a layer of bony plates, called scutes, covering their head and there are rows of bones that cover the length of their body. Catching a sturgeon is like a time-traveling experience to an age where everything was as massive as the mighty sturgeon.

      STURGEON HAVE UNIQUE DIETS

      For such huge fish, sturgeon are pretty picky eaters. Their diet is made up of mostly shells, crustaceans, and small fish. That’s because most sturgeon are anadromous bottom-feeders. That means that sturgeon migrate upstream to spawn, but largely live their lives feeding in river deltas and estuaries, often cruising at the bottom of rivers where the temperatures are cool enough for them.

      STURGEON ARE ACROBATIC

      We’ve all seen smaller river fish like trout leap out of the water, landing with a small splash. But when a sturgeon does the same, the result is an enormous crash! Sturgeon are known to launch themselves completely out of the water, landing with a loud splash. Fishers have reported hearing the crash of a landing sturgeon as far as a half-mile away. Scientists aren’t sure why sturgeon do this, but they have their guesses. It may be a form of communication to keep groups of sturgeon together, or it might be a way to catch flying prey. Others suggest that it’s part of the reproductive cycle of sturgeon. The leap may be a mating display or a way to spread their eggs further.

      STURGEON CAN GROW TO ENORMOUS SIZES

      Sturgeon are famous for their large size, but few people understand just how big they can get. Sturgeon live for a very long time, and they never really stop growing. They live an average of 50 to 60 years and range from an average of 7 to 12 feet in length. The largest sturgeon ever caught was in 1827 in a Volga river estuary in Russia. This female sturgeon was nearly 3,500 pounds, and 24 feet long. While it’s likely you won’t find any sturgeon that large in Hells Canyon, you’ll have the chance to catch some truly huge fish out there.

      The sturgeon is the kind of fish that needs to be seen to be believed. The best way to take in these incredible creatures is on a riverboat fishing adventure through Hells Canyon. Book your tour with Killgore Adventures today!

      SAFELY TRAVELING ALONG A RIVER

      While Killgore Adventures has an impressive safety record, and our jet boats make it easy to travel along Hells Canyon safely, it’s never a bad idea to be familiar with some tips for traveling along a river safely. In today’s blog, we’ll show you some of the best ways to safely enjoy your next river adventure.

      SELECT THE RIGHT OUTFITTER

      A quick search in google for something like “Hells Canyon river trip” might yield dozens of rafting or boating companies, all promising you a great time and unforgettable memories. But promises will only get you so far, and in reality, you should spend less time looking at their marketing, and more time inspecting their licenses and insurance. The best river outfitters will have clear liability procedures and will be able to produce a safety record for you when asked. You’ll also want to find an experienced outfitter, one who has been traveling in the area for several years and is familiar with the nuances and peculiarities of that particular section of the river.

      ALWAYS WEAR YOUR PROTECTIVE GEAR

      This one should be obvious but isn’t always. If your river outfitter provides you with gear like a helmet or personal flotation device, it’s important that you keep this gear on until your outfitter tells you it is safe to take it off. Similarly, make sure the gear is always properly fitted and on. Don’t leave the chin straps of your helmet dangling, or the clips on your life vest unbuckled. Should you go overboard, the gear won’t be able to offer its full level of protection if it is half-off or undone.

      MAKE SURE YOU’RE WEARING RIVER READY CLOTHING

      If you’re taking a whitewater trip, expect to get wet. Depending on the time of year, the water may be colder or warmer than you expected. For colder temperatures, you might consider a wetsuit, splash jacket, and river shoes as they help to cut the chill. Many outfitters can rent these pieces for a small fee, or even include it with your base price. Conversely, if the water is warm, and it’s a sunny day, dress appropriately. You’ll want to wear clothes that dry quickly but cover your arms and legs to protect them from the sun. Don’t forget to put on sunscreen and sunglasses.

      MAINTAIN CONTROL OF YOUR PADDLE

      As much as your boat, your paddle is your clearest connection to the river itself. Holding it, and using it properly ensures that you can move quickly and accurately through the water. At the top of the paddle, you’ll find a “T” shaped grip. One hand should always be holding onto the T grip, while the other holds somewhere on the paddle’s shaft. If you were to let go of the T grip, you might hit a fellow paddler.

      STAY IN THE BOAT

      We all love a nice dip in the water every now and then, but we can assure you that you’ll enjoy your whitewater river trip much more if you stay in the boat. Don’t try and jump out and into the river. Should you be ejected from the boat while going through some rapids, or after hitting a rock, don’t panic. You’ll likely just pop right out next to the boat. Simply grab onto one of the ropes on the side of the boat, and your group will help you back in. If need be, swim aggressively toward the boat. Should you find yourself far away from the boat, swim aggressively toward the nearest embankment.

      LISTEN CAREFULLY TO YOUR RIVER OUTFITTER

      As you travel, your outfitter or river guide will give you commands. It’s important that you listen carefully to their instructions and do exactly as they say. Not only will your experience be more enjoyable, but your teamwork will keep you and your fellow paddlers safer.

      Ready to explore the rapids of Hells Canyon? Killgore Adventures offers a variety of ways to do just that! Whitewater rafting tours get you up close and personal with some of the toughest rapids in the canyon. For those looking for a leisurely tour, look into one of our jet boat tours. And for the serious anglers, a riverboat fishing adventure is perfect. Book your tour today!

      5 REASONS TO TAKE A GUIDED FISHING TRIP ON THE SNAKE RIVER

      If there’s one thing that defines all anglers, it’s a sense of independence and pride. A DIY attitude extends from rod and reel to the end of your hand-tied fly. Some might chafe at the idea of hiring a fishing guide for a trip out on the Snake River, but it’s a better idea than you might first realize.

      HERE’S WHY YOU’LL WANT A GUIDE ON THE SNAKE RIVER

      Hiring a fishing guide for your next Snake River adventure is never a bad idea. It makes your trip more fun, more accessible, and you’re more likely to catch “the big one.” Don’t quite believe us yet? Here are some other great reasons.

      #1: YOU’LL LEARN MORE FASTER

      Amateurs and experts alike should always approach fishing with a growth mindset. After all, the more you know about fishing, the better you are at it. Working with a fishing guide is a great way to learn new skills about fishing in general, as well as specific tips and strategies to catching fish that are native to a particular region (for instance, the huge sturgeon that patrol the depths of Hells Canyon).

      With years of experience, a fishing guide can offer you insights into improving your casting, which things to focus on when you feel a tug at the end of your line, and also how to just relax and enjoy the experience more.

      #2: YOU DON’T NEED TO BRING YOUR OWN GEAR

      When compared to other sports and hobbies, say vintage cars, fishing is cheap in comparison. But that doesn’t mean you want to spend a bunch of money to replace worn out gear or buy new gear all the time. Fortunately, guided river trips often come with a gear rental option.

      This is a great choice for those who don’t want to put undue wear and tear on their own gear or simply lack the right gear for the particular fish you’re pursuing, or the conditions your angling in. When the fishing guide provides all the bait and tackle, you can be sure it’s the right tool for the job.

      #3: YOU DON’T NEED YOUR OWN BOAT EITHER

      Even the most casual of anglers have daydreamed of owning their own boat someday. For some, that dream might become a reality more quickly than others. But if you’re the type who can’t quite swing a boat, traveling with a fishing guide is a great way to get access to a professional quality one easily. With Killgore Adventures, you can travel on our jet boat ensuring access to even the most difficult to reach parts of the Snake River.

      #4: YOU’LL EXPLORE NEW WATERS

      Unless you’ve been on the Snake River before, or you know a guy who knows a guy who knows the best spots to fish, you’re likely going to be limited in where you go along the Snake. But a fishing guide can take you to the best spots for fishing for your particular quarry. You’ll get to see parts of the river that few others know about.

      #5: YOU’LL MAKE LASTING MEMORIES

      When it comes down to it, working with a fishing guide on the Snake River opens up so many more opportunities than just going by yourself. Your fishing guide will take care of much of the logistics of the trip, so you can spend more time focusing on reading the waters and baiting your hooks. With less mental clutter, you can fully immerse yourself in the experience, creating memories that are sure to last a lifetime, and that will lead to stories you can share with your friends and loved ones.

      Because at the end of the day, that’s what a great fishing trip is about. It’s not so much what you catch, but how you caught it. It’s about the bond you share with the friends you brought along with you, and the wisdom you gain from your fishing guide.

      BOOK YOUR GUIDED FISHING TRIP ON THE SNAKE RIVER TODAY

      Convinced now? We thought that might be the case. Killgore Adventures offers guided fishing trips through Hells Canyon, taking you up either the Salmon or Snake River in pursuit of fish like trout, steelhead, bass, and even sturgeon. Book your fishing adventure today!

      TIPS FOR CATCHING SALMON IN IDAHO

      It’s salmon fishing season here in Idaho. That means the rivers that run through Hells Canyon, like the Snake and Salmon Rivers, are flush with these beautiful and delicious fish. While these fish may be a mainstay for many fishermen in the area, they can be a little challenging to catch if you lack the skills and knowledge to do so.

      Lucky for you, the river outfitters and anglers at Killgore Adventures in White Bird, Idaho have more than their fair share of salmon fishing experience. That’s why we’ve offered up these four helpful hints so you can improve your chances of catching some salmon the next time you’re in Idaho.

      #1: GET YOUR GEAR IN ORDER

      Like many river pursuits, preparation is key when it comes to catching salmon. Create a detailed checklist with everything you think you might need and run through it several times before you head out to the water. You want your bait, line, rod, and rig. To save time, and so you can get fishing faster, make sure everything is tied together before you leave. Additionally, don’t forget about bringing along your permits and licenses to fish in Idaho.

      Your fishing essentials are largely focused on your rod and reel but don’t forget to pack a change of clothes with you. The weather in Hell’s Canyon can be unpredictable sometimes. That’s why it’s vital to have an extra layer with you even on the sunniest of days. Long sleeves shirts and wide-brimmed hats also serve to keep your skin protected from the sun.

      #2: MAKE SURE YOUR LURES ARE ALLURING

      Longtime salmon fishers know that one of the best ways to lure the fish in is to use roe as bait. However, other fishermen are now using cut bait. This is simply just a strip of fish attached to the end of the line and is usually a bit of meat from a herring or smelt.

      But just like meals at a restaurant, presentation is key. Make sure you offer your catch something flashy at the end of a red line. Salmon are most often found in low light conditions meaning they live in deeper and darker waters. Having something that flashes at the end of your line is a great way to attract the fish. To make your lure more attractive, make sure you’re using a red line. This is because red is the first color to dissipate in water, meaning the fish will not be able to see it.

      #3: TIME IT RIGHT AND CAST ON CLOUDY DAYS

      They say that timing is key, and that’s truer for salmon fishing than you might realize. There are peak times to go salmon fishing. These times are roughly one hour before or after the high and low tide. That’s because salmon like to face the incoming tide flow. Additionally, other times to improve your chances of catching salmon are during dawn or dusk.

      We all love a day in the sun but you’ll find that you have more luck on your salmon fishing adventures on an overcast or cloudy day. That’s because salmon prefer low light conditions. Not only are cloudy days better for the fish but they’re more advantageous for you as well. In lower light conditions, they are less likely to see your shadow on the water or realize that your lure is bait.

      #4: BRING A CAMERA

      With the right preparation and maybe a little luck, you can land a truly spectacular salmon. We all love a good big fish story, but we live in an age where any story can be countered by “pictures or it didn’t happen.” That’s why it’s important to have a camera at the ready. Snap a quick photo of your catch along with something to give it a sense of scale and you’ll have something to truly wow your friends and family when you get home.

      ADVENTURE FISHING TRIPS IN IDAHO

      It’s time to elevate your fishing experience. With Killgore Adventures you’ll be treated to more than just a trip to the local fishing hole. Blast your way through class 3 and 4 rapids, see a wide variety of wildlife and get expert insights from our licensed river guides. Sign up for your salmon fishing adventure today.