Our Story

The story of Salmon River Tours and China Bar Lodge

Your Hosts

Jess and Brenda Baugh

We have raised our 3 kids on the river in Riggins, Idaho.  I started guiding fishing and raft trips 24 years ago.  Now we live at and operate the Ram House at Mackay Bar.  Living in the heart of the Idaho Wilderness is a dream we have always hoped would be available to us when our kids were raised and has now become reality.  We have always loved sharing our passion for the Salmon River and the wilderness no matter what experience your looking for. Living and fishing in Idaho’s back country my whole life gives me a great appreciation and knowledge of the area, it’s fish and it’s history to share with our clients.

Why Choose SRT

Extraordinary Experiences

Our location in Riggins Idaho and the Lodges are in the heart of the most primitive and beautiful wilderness making this the perfect location to experience the best outdoor adventure Idaho has to offer.

SRT/MRO operates year around and is permitted and licsensed for more river miles in the Idaho wilderness than any other outfitter. This gives us a better chance to get you to the best fishing in Idaho. The experience of being in Hells Canyon or on the Salmon River the “River of No Return” watching Eagles, Big Horn Sheep, Elk and Deer is something very special.

Since 1947

China Bar Lodge began as a patented mining claim that got its name from Chinese gold miners who spent a couple years reworking the property after white settlers had moved on in the 1800’s.

Later, in the 1930s Clyde and Don Smith picked the location as one of their bases for outfitting fishing and hunting trips. Salmon River Tours was started when Don’s son Bob in 1947 continued the family business on the Salmon River. Then in 1989 Mike McLain took over the business from Bob Smith then sold to Jess and Brenda Baugh in 2016. 

For the past 25 years Jess was working as a guide and outfitter on the Main Salmon, Lower Salmon and Hells Canyon for rafting, drift boat fishing and jet boating.  Combining Salmon River Tours and Mountain River Outfitters for the best outdoor adventure available in Idaho.