Here at our first stop to fish we are about 500 feet north of Shorty Canyon on the west bank of the Salmon River at an elevation of about 1300 feet in North Central Idaho. The temperature is still in the low 30s at a little after 11:00 AM, but we have a bright sun and a cloudless sky and the day is bound to warm up.
Shorty Canyon is approximately four miles north of the beach at the headquarters of Killgore Adventures in White Bird where we began our trip nearly an hour ago. Canyon walls at this spot climb to elevations exceeding 4400 feet on both sides of the river. They are mostly terraced and interlaced with steep gullies, sheer cliffs, scattered trees and shrubs. The landscape is pretty brown this time of year with occasional spots of reddish bushes, green moss and a rare sprout of green grass in protected areas.
The Snake River is about 10 miles to the west. The two rivers flow north side by side for many miles until they are joined when the Salmon River flows into the Snake a few miles south of Lewiston. In some places the two rivers are as close as five miles apart. At other places they are separated by as much as 20 miles.
A series of ridges separate the two rivers, some climbing to more than 4,600 feet in elevation. Topographic maps show a few roads meandering among the canyons, saddles and ridge tops that would be fun to explore on another outing.
The three other members of our party are fishing while I’m shooting stills and video of them for a video project. They are hoping to catch steelhead and I’m hoping they succeed.
For more on Hells Canyon, the Snake and Salmon rivers please visit our web site starting at our North Central Idaho page.