Hells Canyon is home to some of the best fishing in the Pacific Northwest—indeed, the best in the country. The Snake River is remarkably biodiverse, with many different species of fish swimming about for you to catch. Use responsible fishing practices as you complete your 2022 Hells Canyon fishing checklist!


You’re bound to catch a few bass on your Hells Canyon fishing trip, both largemouth and smallmouth. Bass are relatively small—usually about 2 or 3 pounds—but they spawn in large numbers, especially during the summer months. If you’re into bass-fishing, you’ll have a productive day on the waters of the Snake River.

Rainbow Trout

Bigger than bass but just as plentiful, rainbow trout are colorful prizes to reel in. Enjoy the best bounty between April and October, just as with bass. Head into deeper waters to catch more rainbow trout, and make sure you use the right lure.


Due to the catch-and-release fishery in Hells Canyon, you can find sturgeon in many parts of the Snake River. White sturgeon is the largest freshwater fish in North America, weighing up to 400 pounds—you could reel in a record-breaking catch! Just make sure to release it back into the river once you’ve measured and photographed it.


If you prefer unconventional fishing weather, pack your cold-weather gear and fish for steelhead in the colder months. The Snake and Salmon Rivers are both full of steelhead between October and March. For more expert guidance and fishing trips, ask River Adventures about a guided fishing tour.


One of the most popular and prized catches in the Hells Canyon area, salmon has been a valuable resource for locals for thousands of years. You’ll find plenty of wild chinook salmon in—where else?—the Salmon River as well as in the Columbia-Snake River basin. Salmon return to the rivers to spawn during the late spring and early summer, so plan your trip strategically!

This year, pack your fishing gear with purpose and head out to Hells Canyon. No matter what time of year you prefer to fish, the Hells Canyon area will have plenty of fish ready for you, from the prized salmon to the bountiful bass. Reel in your perfect catch this year—bring your A game and your 2022 Hells Canyon fishing checklist with you when you visit us at River Adventures.