September 24, 2021

Idaho Steelhead Fishing Report

Need a last minute Christmas gift?

A Reel Time Fishing gift certificate is perfect for the fisherperson in your family! You can buy them online and they can be emailed directly to you upon checkout.

Click the link below to get started:

Steelhead Fishing Report:

Clearwater River – The Clearwater fished tough this past month. With cold, low water the fish went into their “winter” mode. When this happens a majority of the fish move into the warmer waters of the North Fork, push back down into the Lower Granite Pool, or hold in the slow deep holes. It becomes very hard to coerce them into biting. Despite the difficult bite we still managed to have a few good trips with nice fish caught. As the temperatures rise this week we expect the bite to turn back on. The “post-cold” bite is always epic and you don’t want to miss it.

Snake River – The Snake fished well up until Idaho Power resumed their water fluctuations at Hells Canyon Dam. When this starts back up each fall/winter it tells the steelhead to start moving. The bite was tough for the first few days after this cycle, but eventually those fish go back on the bite and it also brings new fish into the mix.

Grande Ronde – The couple of Ronde trips we ran were a bust as the river was icy. There are fish to be caught but the conditions were poor. This past week the ice has cleared and water temps have increased which should create a good bite. Our cast & blast trip is still offered until the waterfowl season closes January 26th.

We are looking for 1 to 3 anglers to join a single angler on December 28th for Clearwater River Steelhead. Contact Travis to book 208-790-4113

Here are some pictures from the past week on the Clearwater:

Clearwater River Steelhead Fishing Report

We have been running full bore on the Clearwater for over a month now. In October fishing started off hot with an average of 10 fish a day. Since the catch and keep season has opened catch rates have dropped to an average of 6 to 8 fish a day due to high fishing pressure. Mirroring the last two seasons, the fish we are catching have been big fatties with lots of spunk. Our average size has been up a pound or two over what we had been used to seeing in years past. With a healthy forecast of hatchery fish destined for the Clearwater catch rates should increase as more of these fish enter the river. We expect December and January to give us some excellent fishing.

Fall Chinook Fishing Opportunities

Columbia River Fall Chinook

Buoy 10 / Astoria – With a shortened season, seats for this fishery won’t last long. We are running on a very limited availability this year so be sure to get your trip booked before it is too late. This is one of the most popular Northwest salmon fisheries, where we intercept chrome-bright Chinook and Coho. We also offer a crabbing add-on to your trip.

Visit our Buoy 10 web-page for more info.

Hanford Reach –We will have boats operating the Columbia River along the famous Hanford Reach beginning Mid-September and will operate through the first week of October. With the lower Columbia operating on a shortened season we expect a better-than-average survival of Up River Brights to make it back to the Reach.

Visit our Hanford Reach web-page for more info.

NEW FALL CHINOOK SEASON ON THE CLEARWATER

For the second year ever, we will be allowed to target fall Chinook in the Clearwater River basin. Last year we had a blast catching these fish. Our guides use light-gear, mostly side drifting bait in the slower, deep pools. It was not uncommon for our boats last year to hook 20+ fish a day, with a good share of the fish weighing in the high-teens and into the 20+ pound range. With a better run expected this year we expect the same, if not better fishing.

Limit is 3 salmon a day, one being adipose “in-tact”, two being adipose “clipped”

Open Thur-Sun. We will begin fishing around Sept. 10th and continue into October.

Summer Salmon, Walleye

Now booking summer Walleye, Sockeye, Chinook. Walleye fishing takes place out of Lyons Ferry area on the Snake River. The Sockeye and Chinook fishing is out of the Brewster / Wells Dam area on the Columbia River. Sockeye and Summer Chinook fishing has been great with run numbers ahead of what was anticipated. We will be fishing for them for the next couple weeks. Contact us for details on this fishery.

We have boats available for most any day of the week.

Snake River Walleye, Kokanee Drop Camp, Fly Fishing School

SNAKE RIVER WALLEYE
Recent trips on the Snake River has produced good numbers of nice eating sized Walleye for our guests. This time of year we see a range of sizes from 12″ up to 30″+ fish. With the water cooler than normal we should see good fishing continue well into the summer.

FLY FISHING SCHOOL
With the Grande Ronde flowing higher and cooler than normal, we are able to provide bass trips later into the summer than we normally do. If you have ever wanted to learn how to fish with a fly rod, now is your chance. We will be offering a package where you will meet our guides the evening prior to your trip, they will teach you the basics of fly fishing, and then the next day you will float the Grande Ronde for bass. This is a great way to start out fly fishing. Dinner and drinks will be provided. Cost is $325 per angler.

DWORSHAK DROP CAMP
Dworshak Reservoir is a great place to camp and enjoy the summer. Kokanee fishing is excellent right now. We are offering a package where we will drop you and your guests off at one of the 80 remote camp sites on the reservoir the night before your trip. Our guides will pick you up in the morning at the camp and fish you all day for your choice of Kokanee, Smallmouth Bass, or a combination of the two. Cost is $250 each angler for fishing + $150 for the drop camp.

Sturgeon & Bass Fishing Report

Snake River sturgeon and bass fishing has been excellent. Many large Sturgeon being caught on our trips with smallies and catfish added in throughout the day. With summer finally arriving this week be sure to get on our schedule to get out and enjoy the open air and water.

Our Grande Ronde floats are in full swing with great success. With a cold and wet spring the river is higher and colder than normal, which will allow us to oerate these trips later into July than usual. Its not uncommon to catch 18-22″ smallmouth bass on this trip! We have very limited seats on this trip so book before we are full.

Snake River Sturgeon Fishing Report

SNAKE RIVER STURGEON FISHING ON FIRE!

Our recent trips have yielded some epic action! One trip we were blessed with 7 great hookups, landing 4 giants including a double with a 9′ and an 8’9″. This double was a thrilling ride as one fish decided to run up river and the other down. Once they decided to cooperate, they ended up wrapping up with each other, but the captain and crew were able to free them. It is not easy getting two large fish to the beach for pictures, but we made it happen and were able to make life-long memories for the Phillips family.

The other trip we had a father/son and they were able to reel in 4 monsters (9’1″ , 9’1″, 7’8″ , 7’6″) and broke one off that Captain Travis says was at least as big as the rest, if not bigger.

In between Sturgeon holes we have been stopping and fishing Smallmouth Bass, which has not disappointed. One trip we pulled 30 fish out of one hole and went home with about 25 nice keeper sized bass that were turned into fish tacos.

Asotin County has reached stage 2 so we are able to run full boats.

Grande Ronde Steelhead Fishing

We are now offering float trips on the Grande Ronde for steelhead! The Grande Ronde offers some spectacular steelhead water that is conducive to many types of fishing techniques. Drifting, trolling, bobber dogging and bobber & jig all produce very well. Our guides Travis and Jeff floated Friday with success. This trip is very scenic and relaxing with very little competition. We are taking bookings now for up to groups of 2. Seats and days are extremely limited.

Snake River Steelhead off to a great start

Snake River Steelhead & Sturgeon Our Snake River Steelhead fishing has gotten off to a good start. We have been running trips for the past 3 weeks with great success. We are averaging 8 Steelhead on per day, with an occasional 10+ day. We have been mixing up our trips with catch and release Sturgeon. It has been no problem catching as many sturgeon as our fisherman desire. Despite the lower than average run we have been having awesome days filled with plenty of catching. We have boats available most days.

Snake River Steelhead Fishing is OPEN!!

Clarifications on the 2019 / 2020 Steelhead season:

After many misleading media headlines we are here to clarify what is closed, open, limits, etc. Due to low B-Run counts a difficult decision was made to close the Clearwater basin to all steelhead fishing for the entire season. The Clearwater is currently open for Chinook and Coho retention until Oct. 13th.

The SNAKE RIVER IS OPEN FOR STEELHEAD RETENTION and will be all season. We will be moving all of our trips to the Heller Bar area. Fishing has been good the past week with boat catches ranging anywhere from 8 to 15 steelhead. Salmon retention will also be open until Oct 31st. The Snake River provides for a similar fishing experience. We side drift and backtroll just as we do on the Clearwater. The fish are scrappy and awesome to catch. We are also able to combo with catch and release Sturgeon, or just throw some Sturgeon lines out at lunch. The scenery is ten-fold to the Clearwater, as we fish the entrance to Hells Canyon. Where we fish is road-less surrounded by towering mountains with sheep, elk, and monster mule deer. The atmosphere is what makes this trip. The limit here is one steelhead ANY SIZE and 6 hatchery adult salmon (salmon closes oct 31).

As always our trips come with a hot lunch and all gear provided.