Salmon River Fly Fishing: An Incredible Experience

salmon river fly fishing

Are you looking for a fly fishing experience with a challenge, and beautiful scenery? You should try fly fishing on the Salmon River! Salmon River is one of the best steelhead fisheries in the United States. The rivers that are part of the Columbia River System provide a great habitat for salmon species such as Chinook, Coho and Pink.

This article is a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about Salmon River Fly fishing. You will learn about:

  • When is the best time to catch salmon?
  • Salmon River fly fishing equipment: the best gear for salmon river fly fishing
  • Salmon catching techniques
  • Fly fishing techniques for salmon
  • How to reach the best Salmon River spots
  • Salmon fishing spots

So, let’s get started!

Best time to fish for salmon

Let’s discuss when to plan a Salmon River fly-fishing excursion before we get into the specifics. The fall is the best time to fly fish for salmon. It usually begins in September and lasts until November or early December.

The combination of cooler temperatures and increased river flows creates a variety salmon seasons. During this time, many anglers gather at the Salmon River to try their luck at catching these fish.

Best Equipment for Salmon River Fly Fishing

It is important to have the right equipment when fly fishing Salmon River. The following items are required:

  • Fly Rod: A fast action fly rod with an eight to ten-pound weight is perfect for fishing in the Salmon River. This rod is ideal for fly fishing in the Salmon River, as it allows for longer and more accurate casts.
  • Fly Reels: The best reels for salmon fishing are large arbor fly reels with 200 yards of backing. You may want to select the reel based on species and size.
  • Fly Line: The most popular fly line for salmon fishing in the Salmon River is a weight-forward line (WF). It has a rating of nine to ten. Be sure that the line is durable and strong.
  • Leaders: To provide the best presentation, a leader should be long, tapered and around nine to 15 feet tall.
  • Tippet: If you are fishing for kings, you will need at least a 0X King Salmon tippet.
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Salmon Catching Techniques

To catch the salmon, you will need to use a variety of tactics. These include:

  • Sight Fishing – The best time to catch this fish is in the early autumn season. Generally, the water temperature is warm and low during this period. The fish will therefore be visible in the water.
  • Swing fishing is a popular technique when fishing the Salmon River. Cast upstream with a two-handed pole and let the current carry the fly downstream in a 45-degree arc.
  • Drift Fishing is best done when the water level is higher. Drift fishing allows your bait to drift naturally with the current. This increases your chances of catching salmon.
  • Streamer fishing: This is the best technique for catching larger salmon.

Fly Fishing Salmon Techniques

Here are some techniques for fly-fishing salmon that work:

  • The rod is pulsated upwards in order to lift the fly from the water. When it falls into the water it creates an attractive movement which attracts salmon.
  • Stripping: Stripping is a short, quick and irregular pull of the line. This mimics the escape of baitfish to trigger an aggressive feeding response in salmon.
  • Dead Drifting is a method where a bead is used and the fly drifts with the current.

How to get to the best salmon river spots

You would need to park, then walk a short distance to reach the best Salmon River spots. Here are some things to consider before you go through the Salmon River.

  • The Salmon River outlet offers boat launches.
  • There are a few access points to the highway. It is best to bring a GPS or map with you to help you find specific points.
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Salmon Fishing Spots

Salmon River fishing spots include:

  • Pineville: This is a great spot for Chinook salmon in the early and late fall.
  • Altmar Pool is one of the best pools for catching steelhead salmon, Coho salmon, and Chinook Salmon.
  • Orwell Pool: This pool is a great place to catch steelhead and Chinook Salmon.
  • Long Bridge Pool: This pool is located near the Salmon River Hatchery. It offers a variety of steelhead and Coho Salmon fishing opportunities.

This guide will make your next Salmon River fly-fishing trip one to remember.


Fly fishing in the Salmon River offers anglers a chance to catch a variety of salmon species. The scenery is stunning, it’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and you can catch all kinds of salmon. These tips are useful for Salmon river fly-fishing.

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