First Experience – Women with Bait Steelhead Fishing Tournament

Women with Bait Steelhead Fishing Tournament. Susan Olson with Bait Boy and her steelhead catch

I was recently invited to fill an empty spot on a steelhead fishing adventure to the Salmon River outside of Riggins as one of my friend’s prior attendees was unable to make the trip. My friend had arranged to participate in the Women with Bait Steelhead Fishing Tournament held each year in Riggins.

This was my first time. There are six slots available per boat and the boat is provided along with a captain and a “bait boy” – yes, that is what they refer to him as. Three of us were professional women from Boise, one was retired, one was a school teacher from A-Rock Oregon (look that up on a map), and one was a school teacher from John Day Oregon.

We all converged upon Riggins Friday evening and stayed at the delightful Best Western right on the river complete with a hot tub and swimming pool as well as pleasant hosts. We were on the river with our poles in the water by 8:30 AM on Saturday morning. We had until 5:00 PM sharp to land our fish.

It was a tough day of fishing with muddy, cloudy water and rain, snow, and wind but we powered through and the heaters within the covered shelter on the boat gave us refuge from the elements and time to warm up and devour our snacks and beverages as the captain gave us a wonderful tour of the river in search of the perfect fishing spot.

We saw big horn sheep and at least 100 head of beautiful elk along the hillsides throughout the day. In total, we landed 4 fish. Mine was 33 inches and I caught it at 4:10 PM. You could call it a day of a thousand casts. It was completely worth the effort and the thrill of reeling that fish in and landing it on the boat made it all worthwhile.

It was an adventure I might not have otherwise thought to take had a friend not shot me the email invite. I would do it again in a heart beat.

Guest Blogger Susan Olson

  • David Johnson

    sounds like a great experience