May 20, 2022

Idaho Steelhead Fishing Report

Steelhead Fishing Update – Our guides continue to find fish scattered throughout the Clearwater River system. We have seen days of 8 fish landed, with a few that wiggle loose, and days that are tougher with a few fish being put into the net. One thing we continue to see is the quality of fish being caught. Big hard fighting fish are the norm this season. We still have a good 6 weeks left in the season, with a possibility of adding a couple more weeks in March.

Snake River – Travis, Shane, and Jeff have all ventured to the Snake River this month and have found success in fishing for Steelhead and Sturgeon. Each day they were the only fishing boat on that section. Steelhead catch rates averaged about 5 fish to the boat. This section can be very hit and miss this time of year as fish come and go, but when its on, its on! During our slower steelhead days we always carry Sturgeon gear to keep things interesting. Shane landed 4 Sturgeon just a few days ago in-between landed 3 Steelhead. Remember, the Snake is a 2 Steelhead limit on IDAHO tags.
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Clearwater, Snake, Grande Ronde Steelhead Update

Clearwater, Snake, Grande Ronde Steelhead Update – After a few weeks of below par catching on the Clearwater River, we have seen an uptick of catching this past week. Saturday our Clearwater boat landed 10 big steelhead. Fishing pressure is much lower than in October and November, which will continue to help. Mild wet weather has helped keep the river at a good flow making fishing easier.

The Snake River tends to be hit and miss this time of year as fish continue to push through destined for the Grande Ronde, Salmon, and upper Snake. With very low traffic after November the Snake is always a great option when it comes to picking a river. One bit of good news we can share to you is that the Snake River limit on Idaho tags will increase from 1 steelhead to 2 steelhead starting January 1st.

The Grande Ronde fished well on our last trip out last week, our group of two hooked 8 landed 6 nice fish. They encountered no other anglers on the entire trip and saw herds of Elk and Mule Deer around almost every bend. Don’t forget we also offer a cast & blast option for this trip for $50 extra. There were a decent amount of shooting opportunities on our last trip.
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Snake River Steelhead Fishing Report

The Snake River has been kicking out some larger than average fish as well. Normally this river produces and average fish that is 6 to 8 pounds, however this season we are seeing an average size of 8 to 10 pounds. Catch rates have picked up on the Snake this past week. Low pressure combined with the bulk of the run showing up has helped this fishery produce 10+ fish a day.

Fall Chinook, Steelhead fishing report

GREAT NEWS FOR OUR FALL & WINTER FISHERIES

Columbia River Fall Chinook –
At the time of this writing, Bonneville Dam fall Chinook counts are 13,405 fish over the 10-year average. With these excellent counts we expect our Hanford Reach fishery to produce some great fishing. Currently set at a 2 adult fish limit.

Clearwater River Steelhead –
For the first time in many years we have good news in regards to our very popular Clearwater River Steelhead run. Based on Bonneville PIT tags, IDFG has forecasted the Clearwater return to be somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 hatchery origin fish. We have not seen these numbers since 2016. We are very excited to finally have good news to share about this great river. If forecasted numbers hold true, we will see no restrictions put into place this season.

Clearwater River catch & keep opens October 15th.

Snake River Steelhead –
Along with the good news for the Clearwater, we also have some good news for the Snake River fishery. Both IDFG and WDFW have set the Snake River steelhead limits at 2 fish, any size. Another positive is that the fish destined for the Snake Basin (Snake, Salmon, Grande Ronde, Imnaha) have primarily been larger 2-ocean fish (normally we see 80% 1-ocean and 20% 2-ocean fish, however this year we are seeing 80% 2-ocean and 20% 1-ocean fish). This means the fish you will catch should be much larger on average.

Snake River Steelhead is currently open for harvest and will pick up significantly by Oct 1. 

Grande Ronde River Steelhead –
Following the same basics as the Snake return, the Ronde will be open with a 2 fish limit. We will begin offering our remote lower river trip around Oct 20th. This is a very limited trip, but also one of our most rugged and scenic trips we offer. During waterfowl season we offer cast and blast trips.

WE ANTICIPATE THIS BEING A GREAT FALL AND WINTER FISHING SEASON AND ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO FISHING WITH YOU.

Snake River Steelhead – Cast & Blast on the Grande Ronde

Steelhead – Yesterday our Snake River boat hooked 15 steelhead before noon, landing 8. On Saturday our Grande Ronde River boat hooked 12 Steelhead, landing 10. Fishing continues to be very good with favorable weather and river conditions. Fishing should continue to stay excellent for the rest of the month. We are now offering Cast & Blast on our Grande Ronde trips for Geese and Ducks. Limit is 4 Geese and 7 Ducks per hunter.

Turkey / Steelhead Package – Our last turkey hunt was a slam dunk. A limit of 4 birds were shot first thing in the morning of the hunt. This package is combined with one day of steelhead fishing on either the Grande Ronde or Snake River and one day of turkey hunting at our partner lodge in Anatone, WA. Limit is 2 turkey per hunter either sex. Turkey season closes on Dec 31st.

LOOKING FOR A LAST MINUTE CHRISTMAS GIFT? Buy them a fishing trip! Reel Time Fishing gift certificates are on sale now and can be bought online and either emailed or paper mailed to you!

Snake River Steelhead Derby

Save the date November 30th, Heller Bar’s 1st annual Hells Canyon Steelhead Roundup. The 3 river tango on the Snake, Salmon and Grande Ronde rivers. A catch and release tournament decided by total inches with prizes awarded in these categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd male 1st, 2nd, 3rd female 1st, 2nd, 3rd kids 14 and under Biggest steelhead and biggest sucker. We have various guided trips all over the PNW, fishing gear, bucket raffles, as well as a shotgun and muzzle-loader. Heller bar is excellent fishing right now! We have guided boats available for this tournament sign up here *free BBQ included* Heller Bar Steelhead Tournament Sign -Up (https://form.jotform.com/93144275491157)

Reel Time Fishing is now offering Steelhead / Turkey combo trips. This is a package including one day of Steelhead fishing and one day of Turkey hunting on private land in Washington, also includes 2 nights of lodging in Anatone, WA. Pricing: Steelhead Fishing Trip: $250 per angler Turkey Hunt: $350 per hunter Lodging: $250 per night Meal-Add on: $35 per person / day.

Snake & Grande Ronde Steelhead Fishing Report

Snake River Fishing Report: The Snake River continues to fish incredibly well. We are averaging 8 to 10 fish a day. Saturday 26 steelhead were landed between 3 boats. The fish we are catching have been larger than average for the Snake. Side drifting has been producing the best. At lunch we have been landing 1 to 2 sturgeon averaging 7′ to 8′ including one day with a 7’2″ and 7’7″ double. There are plenty of fish around to have great successful trips!

Grande Ronde River Fishing Report: The Grande Ronde has been nothing short of epic. In two trips our boat has hooked 38 steelhead! In those two trips we have only encountered 1 other angler. Talk about a secluded fishing experience! Water conditions are absolutely perfect right now. This small river is an absolute blast to float and catch rocket hot steelhead. Not only are we catching great numbers but we are also catching bigger than normal fish for this system. Generally fish on the Ronde average 6 pounds, we are seeing an average of 8 pounders with a nice 12 pound hatchery fish caught Sunday. This is an extremely limited trip, don’t wait to book.

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.