What is a safe float for a beginner drift boater? I'm looking for steelhead.

I've done a lot of drift fishing on Washington rivers, but never gone steelhead or salmon fishing in idaho. I've rowed my new drift boat only a handful of times now so I'm looking for a beginner float that is fishy. Please help I'm dying to get one
Hi there, thanks for your question. Its great to hear that you are excited about steelhead fishing. Drift boats are a great way to chase these fantastic fish. Your options will be limited to your skills on the oars and where steelhead can currently be found. At this time of year (late winter), you best bet will be the Clearwater River near Kooskia near the confluence of the South Fork Clearwater. There are several easy floats from Kooskia down to Orofino. I suggest starting at Kooskia and floating down the Button Beach, or Kamiah. You could also float Kamiah to Long Camp. During the fall season (September - November) you should float the lower sections of the Clearwater from Cherry Lane to Lewiston.  For more access and boat ramp information for the Clearwater River, take a look at this very helpful guidebook pamphlet:   You could also try some sections of the main Salmon near Riggins. There is an easy float upstream of Riggins from Shorts Bar to Long Bar, and several downstream of Riggins as well. You may want to talk to a local tackle shop before heading out to get some better sense of the rapids in this area. There are some challenging spots that you don't want row a drift boat without being experienced.  Once you gain some more experience, check out the main Salmon around Challis and Salmon. These can be great spots and take just a little more skill, but are otherwise very drift boat friendly.  Good luck, and be sure to bring an extra oar, life jackets and typical safety gear.  Martin Koenig Sportfishing Program Coordinator
Answered on: 
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 11:36 AM MST