FredThomas-2017 - Salmon artwork

Outside: Salmon River Steelhead

This is a featured article in BigSkyJournal.com written by Greg Thomas and illustrated by Fred Thomas from February 2017. I grew up along the Pacific Northwest’s coastal salmon and steelhead streams where it was easy to spot the rookie anglers: These were people who proudly posed for photos with fish that had begun the inevitable freshwater deterioration process, indicated by their dull gray scales, deep red sides, and soft bodies. Those were fish that experienced anglers allowed to swim past. We targeted fish that arrived on incoming tides and carried bright silver scales and bluish backs instead. These were firm fish and great fighters, and they were the best to eat. When I moved to Idaho in the 1990s, it was difficult for me to get excited about the area’s salmon and steelhead runs. If I’d lifted my nose at “darkish” coastal fish just a few miles from saltwater, what made … Continue reading

Boat fishing steelhead

Sixteens Hours in Salmon

This is a featured article in NRS’s Duct Tape Diaries by Emerald LaFortune from November 10, 2016. Salmon, Idaho is a lot of things. Gloriously podunk, an outdoor enthusiast’s hub, and the destination for your next steelhead fishing trip. A local by proxy, Emerald LaFortune gives you the beta needed to enjoy 16 hours fishing for steelhead in Salmon. You’ve already been fishing for seven hours and haven’t had a bite, with the exception of a suckerfish and a lot of cottonwood branches. The weather in central Idaho in November is usually pretty awful, and you might have a leak in the right foot of your waders. Luck might change by tomorrow but until then, there’s no need to hang out in your humid tent as it pours rain. After a long day of pretending “there’s fish in this river!” thaw your frozen fingers enough to operate the turn signal in … Continue reading