The Salmon is a finicky little class II(+) river that's tough to catch, but fun when you do. It forms where the Jeremy meets the Blackledge River and runs through the hemlock-covered hills of the Salmon River State Forest in central Connecticut.
The Salmon is usually an early spring trip, but warm weather and snow melt gave us the opportunity for a late December run. The gauge was iced up, but we estimated that the river was around 1,000 cfs. At this level, most of the rocks were buried and there were long wave trains that were a blast to ride. The minimum for a whitewater run is 500 to 600 cfs. The Salmon is also a great river for canoe poling at lower levels.
We put-in on the Jeremy River just south of Route 2 on Route 149. This adds about a mile of nice class II rapids to the trip, but requires a tough portage around an un-runnable dam.
The toughest rapid on the river is a broken dam just upstream from the covered bridge at Route 16. This rapid consists of 3 drops - each around 2 feet. The usual route is through a slot on river right. You can scout the dam from river right.
Hiking, fishing and picnicking at Salmon River State Forest
From Route 2 take Exit 16. Follow Route 149 south for 3 miles. Turn right onto Route 16 west. Follow Route 16 west for 2 miles and turn right on to Comstock Bridge Rd. There is a parking lot by the covered bridge. This is the take-out.
To put-in on the Jeremy River - back track on Route 16 and Route 149. There is a parking lot on the left just before you reach Route 2.
To put-in on the Blackledge River - back track on Route 16 and route 149. Take a left on River Road. Put-in is about 1 1/2 miles at the River Road bridge.
AMC River Guide - Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island
AMC Classic Northeaster Whitewater Guide by Bruce Lessels