Snake River Video
Hells Canyon of the Snake River is some of the baddest, most intimidating terrain on the planet. It is at 8,000 feet deep and 10 miles wide, it is the deepest canyon in North America. This is "up and down" country, more vertical than level. There are many, many places where traveling just 200 yards along the river would involve scaling a 2000 foot vertical ridge. And the "shoreline" is often vertical to overhanging granite....or boulders the size of houses. With few roads and fewer airstrips, access is necessarily going to entail a lot of serious hiking OR using the river itself for access.
For purposes of fishing, in this case steelhead fishing, the home-grown jet sleds manufactured in Lewiston, ID at the lower end of the canyon represent the only reasonable alternative. Even with the best technology, it still takes a seasoned and experienced guide to navigate the obvious and hidden dangers of class four to five rapids.
These videos are offered as a taste of what running the canyon and fishing the waters looks and feels like. There are no fish caught or presented here. Each fisherman is let off to fish a given run in solitude...and most will catch and release their fish. This is a long way from the Pacific Ocean. While remaining the ever inscrutable and moody fish that steelhead are, up here they can often be pursuaded to chase and crash a skated or chugged fly. But no matter how good the fishing is...or isn't at that moment....it all remains secondary to just being deep in there and looking up.
Heller Bar to the guide's lodge
To see full screen, enlarge..........................................................HERE,
then go to HD "ON" and Stretch "ON"..............................Esc to reduce.
Heller Bar, at the mouth of the Grande Ronde River, is the end of the driveable road 30 miles upstream from Lewiston, ID. It is the take-off point for boat excursions going upriver and the take-out for trips coming down through the canyon. It is also the center of intense fishing pressure both from shore and boat.