Landon Shares Her Story of the 4th of July and Salmon River Days image: fireworks booth

Landon Shares Her Story of the 4th of July and Salmon River Days

Ten years ago, the best looking man I had ever seen told me about Salmon River Days. I was in no place to be making plans for the holiday weekend—Fourth of July was almost two months away and Salmon was 250 miles from where we were working together at the time, but, as I said, most handsome man I’d ever seen. It was my first summer in Idaho, and I had never even heard of Salmon. When the holiday rolled around, I had the weekend off, and the lure of  fireworks, a demolition derby, dunk tanks, and a parade down Main Street proved more than I could resist. I loaded up the rig and started the drive. Next thing you know, I was at Arfmann’s Four Seasons buying a USA t-shirt and some light-up sunglasses. This year the events start on Thursday, July 4, and continue through the weekend. There will be sidewalk sales, craft sales, and art shows in town; along with events out at the rodeo grounds. Fireworks will be after dark on Thursday, and the parade will follow on Friday morning. Friday night features live music at the Sacajawea Amphitheatre at 7:00 PM. Saturday brings a full day of activities, and the demolition derby starts at 6:00PM. The weekend will wrap up with live music at Sweetwater Hollow on Sunday night. Maybe I will even get to dance with that good looking man who hasn’t been able to shake me off after all these years. After several years together, I cannot remember our anniversary, but this year I will celebrate it on the Fourth of July. If you can’t make it down for Salmon River Days, keep an eye out for news of the Lost Trail Music Festival. This annual event falls on the July full moon weekend, which will be July 12th-14th in 2019. Along with a packed music line-up, there will be food, beer, hiking, camping, yoga, and art. For more information on Salmon River Days and all the things mentioned here, go to

Summer is Coming to the Salmon Valley

Summer is Coming to the Salmon Valley

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”   – Henry James, qtd. in A Backward Glance, Edith Wharton Summer is fast approaching and with it the pleasant leisure of the summer afternoon. Although many recognize the summer solstice as the official start to summer, the Farmers’ Almanac also references another date: the meteorological beginning. This beginning is based on the annual temperature cycle and occurs on June 1st. As someone who is continuously trying to fit everything in, I am going to advocate for that June 1st date. After all, there are a lot of summer events kicking off in June, and if we wait until June 21st, we will miss so much. It seems the Lemhi Valley Farmers Market also recognizes the earlier date as the 2019 opening day is Saturday, June 1st. There will be local produce, ready to eat goods, artisan crafts, kids’ activities, and more. The weekly market is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at The Veteran’s Memorial Park, rain or shine. While there, you may come across Jeremy and Jessica from Swift River Farm, a local outfit that just received their official Organic Certification! Swift River Farm also takes the hassle out of food packing for those of you who may be planning a river trip this summer. Visit their website, give them a budget, and they will take care of your produce needs! Speaking of boating, June also brings the annual Salmon River Fest at Sweetwater Hollow! Join the river community on June 7th and 8th. There will be two days’ worth of activities, including a community float, gear swap, film fest, and live music. Info on Facebook Kick off summer whenever you would like, but you’ll find me toasting the changing of the season on June 1st, with a crisp glass of rosé on a summer afternoon! Landon is an international travel guide and writer who is based out of Salmon, Idaho. Her work in the travel industry takes her to rivers around the Pacific Northwest, the Galapagos Islands, and Cuba. Her work as a writer mostly just takes her to a table in the back of a local coffee shop. She writes for television and creates online content. When not  working, she enjoys fishing, boating, and knitting.

The Idaho Town In The Middle Of Nowhere That’s So Worth The Journey Salmon, Idaho.

The Idaho Town In The Middle Of Nowhere That’s So Worth The Journey

Posted in Idaho January 31, 2018 by Emerson Curtright Located on the banks of “The River of No Return” and surrounded by several different national forests is the quaint town of Salmon. With a population of 3,112, this little town isn’t Idaho’s smallest. However, its remote location makes this place truly feel like its in the middle of nowhere. It’s easy for people to overlook how truly incredible this town is. Salmon contains many qualities that make it one-of-a-kind and although it can take a long drive to get to it, it’s totally worth the journey. The town of Salmon is the county seat for Lemhi County. Located on the eastern border of central Idaho, there’s a lot more to this town than meets the eye. Outdoor enthusiasts travel from all over the world to experience this town which sits on the edge of some truly awe-inspiring wilderness areas. J. Stephen Conn/Flickr In many ways, Salmon is your quintessential small Idaho town. The residents are friendly and it almost feels like the town exists in its own little bubble. Well, that’s partly because it does. Jimmy Emerson/Flickr Salmon is an isolated town which is completely surrounded by wilderness areas. In fact, it can be found right outside the largest protected wilderness area in the continental United States—The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. R Brown/Flickr Not only is the natural beauty of the area absolutely stunning, but this region also had an important role in Idaho’s history. The area is most noted for being a stop along the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the birthplace of their Shoshone navigator, Sacagawea. J. Stephen Conn/Flickr The town is currently home to the Sacajawea Interpretive Culture and Education Center which is dedicated to preserving the history of the expedition and the Shoshone-Bannock tribes. Visitors of the Center should definitely take a stroll through the historic 71-acre park located nearby. If you love being outdoors 24/7, Salmon is the place for you. There’s so much to explore and Idaho’s natural areas have never been more easily accessible. R Brown/Flickr Take a multi-day journey through the one and only Frank Church Wilderness. Or perhaps just a day-trip through the Salmon-Challis area. There are dozens of scenic hiking trails to choose from. The trick is choosing which one to explore first! With a name like Salmon, you can bet the town is also an ideal place for fishermen. The Salmon River is renowned as one of the best places to fish in the entire country. NOAA Fisheries West Coast/Flickr Fishing is open year-round on the Salmon River, and contains plenty of Rainbow, Cutthroat, and Steelhead Trout to go around. Whether you choose to go solo or use one of the town’s guides to navigate the region, you’ll definitely always remember your time on the river. It’s impossible to list all of the hidden gems you can come across in this region. That’s what makes this area so exciting. R Brown/Flickr Loon Creek is a delightful tributary which flows from the Salmon River in the Frank Church Wilderness. A hike along this trout-filled creek will yield in the discovery of a wonderfully remote hot spring. It’s private spots like this that remind us why it’s so great to live in Idaho. A popular option for hot springs enthusiasts is Gold Bug Hot Springs which is situated about 20 miles south of Salmon. Jocelyn Catterson/Flickr Located along Warm Spring Creek, the hot spring offers six different pools for soaking, all of which are fed by a waterfall. Although it’s considered a well-known hot spring, a small hike is required to reach it and it’s usually not crowded. Possibly due to its remote location, Salmon doesn’t really come up as a “hot” vacation spot like other areas of Idaho. That’s just fine, because its the pure peace and quiet of this charming town that makes it such an awesome place to visit. A. Davey/Flickr Have you been to Salmon, Idaho? Be sure to check out our list of the 15 Smallest And Most Isolated Towns In Idaho for more charming communities you probably didn’t even know about.

Even The Crazy Tourist loves Salmon, Idaho!

Even The Crazy Tourist loves Salmon, Idaho!

Another online travel magazine finds Salmon, Idaho and loves it! “Salmon is a town clinging to an old wild west identity without the roughness…” ranks Salmon #2 in 15 “Best Small Towns to Visit in Idaho“. – “The western themed architecture and untouched surroundings might just make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, especially if you’re a city slicker. You’ll have to venture over unpopulated and rugged terrain to arrive here if you come by car, but it’s worth it.Salmon is a great base for outdoorsmen, white water rafting, and is next to the Frank Church River of the No Return Wilderness Area. If you visit during winter, spend the days on the ski slopes, tucked into wooden cabins, and tasting comfort food at the town’s many restaurants.” Read the entire article here

Outside: Salmon River Steelhead FredThomas-2017 - Salmon artwork

Outside: Salmon River Steelhead

This is a featured article in 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 anyone think I wanted to cast at something that swam 500 miles inland to spawn in the Rockies? Plus, in the mid-1990s, there were very few steelhead returning to Idaho. Most anglers and some biologists professed that these fish would soon be extinct. I’m not a guy who buys into Kurt Cobain’s line that “it’s OK to eat fish ‘cause they don’t have any feelings.” If that were true, I ask, why do they often jump so high when you hook one? I think they feel pain. That doesn’t keep me from casting to them. But I also don’t think it’s right to harass a fish that’s on the edge of the endangered species list that swam 500 miles inland to keep its kind alive. Which made my decision to resist Idaho’s steelhead in the 1990s that much easier to make. One day, however, I pulled off Highway 93 between the towns of Challis and Salmon. I parked next to the river, put down the tailgate, and stared at the water. Right away I saw a large fish’s back slice through the surface, then another. This activity continued for 15 or 20 minutes, and I estimated that 30 steelhead were in this single pool. My natural angler’s reaction was to grab a rod and try for those fish, but I didn’t have a rod stashed in the truck, and wouldn’t have known if the steelhead season was open or not if I did. So I logged that experience to memory and promised to return. I also acknowledged that I’d likely been burned by local anglers who painted the possibility of catching an Idaho steelhead as an impossible task. This is a common angling ploy to keep the competition off the water and your own chances of catching a fish as high as they can possibly be. Encountering this kind of attitude is exacerbated when you’re known as a fishing writer and a swipe of a pen might summon the hoards. In the early 2000s, Idaho’s steelhead runs had recovered a bit and anglers were saying that fishing was “productive” if not really good. These steelhead arrive each fall, some as early as September, but the bulk come later, sometime in November, and they remain in the area into April. Fishing for them can be good from late September all the way into April, although the quality of these fish and their fighting abilities diminish as the season progresses. In 2006, I followed up on my promise to fish the Salmon and cruised from Ennis, Montana, to North Fork, Idaho, in February and met friends at a campground. By this time, I’d switched from single-hand rods to spey rods for steelhead, and the Salmon is a perfect size for using these long rods and casting techniques. In some places you can cast across the river; in the broad sections you don’t stand a chance. But to catch steelhead you have to cover a lot of water and spey rods give you the best chance to do that. At the time, I was going through a divorce and was as touchy as I’ve ever been. With a house and kids on the line, it didn’t take much to set me off. Consequences really had no bearing, as a man going through divorce often feels like self-inflicted pain will somehow alleviate the situation. The most common place to see people in this condition is on the road, running their socks off, as if at 40-some years old they had decided to try out for the Olympics. I talked to one guy who ran every morning right along a stretch of road where his wife and her new boyfriend would pass. Each time, as he tallied sub-six-minute miles, he’d see their rig, shake a fist and yell, “You’re a son of a bitch!” I wasn’t a screamer, but I ran every morning, never slept, never ate, and lost 25 pounds in about 30 days. And that’s when I landed on the Salmon. We camped near the river and rose early to stake out a long run where my friends had caught steelhead previously. Etiquette on a steelhead stream says one angler leads, makes a cast, and then takes a step or two downstream before making another. The other anglers file in behind, under the same conditions. Of course the first angler has the best chance of finding a grabby steelhead, but anglers following behind have an opportunity to catch a steelhead practically off the lead angler’s boots. On this run, I led. And just when I was about to reach the end of the run, right where some slick, shallow water dumped into a rapid, the line came tight. I felt a headshake — which meant I hadn’t hooked a rock — and yelled, “Yeah, got one.” I enjoyed the fight, which included a couple long runs, but there were five-foot-high ice shelves lining the banks and chunks of ice floating by, so this fish didn’t exactly rip up the river. When I got the fish to the bank, however, I had to