Steelhead Fishing Report

Steelhead fishing report and news

Written by Toby Wyatt

Toby has been a fishing guide for 32 years. Toby grew up chasing big fish on area rivers. Toby was voted one of the top 25 guides on the west coast by Salmon & Steelhead Journal. He has also been featured in numerous magazine articles, radio programs, T.V. fishing shows on the Columbia River to the Clearwater River.

Posted February 7, 2023

Steelhead Fishing Report Page, Please Come Back to See Latest Updates

Are you ready to make your Steelhead fishing dreams come true? Get the latest scoop on Steelhead hot spots stretching from Washington to Idaho. Whether it’s casting a line in the legendary Columbia River or its tributaries. Plus, some prime spots on the Clearwater Rivers and Snake River. Get ready for an epic angling experience with Reel Time Fishing.

Updated | January 1st, 2024

Location | Clearwater River near Orofino

Clearwater River Fishing Report Predictions for 2024

Over the past month, we have been consistently catching an average of 6 Steelhead per day, with an even split between hatchery and wild fish.

There have been a few exceptional days where we’ve caught double digits. It appears that there are abundant fish in the system, and we are eagerly awaiting the ideal conditions to prompt a more active bite.

Last year, this occurred around the beginning of January and continued for several weeks, resulting in double digit catches daily. Currently, we are primarily side drifting, but we are incorporating trolling when necessary.

steelhead fishing on the clearwater near orifino in 2024
fisherman holds a large steeelhead cought on the clearwater river 2024<br />

Updated | February 7th, 2023

Location | Clearwater River near Orofino

Fishing Remains Stellar on the Clearwater River

We have experienced one of the best steelhead seasons in 20 years. River temps are currently on the rise as we are experiencing a warming trend causing a bit of snow to melt.

This is usually a signal for the steelhead to move into the Clearwater and make their way towards Orofino Idaho and Dworshak national fish hatchery. February is poised to be possibly our best month for fish catch rates.

We provide poles, bait, and tackle and look forward to 8 hours of fishing.

Clearwater River Steelhead Fishing

Updated | December 16th, 2022

Location | Clearwater River

17 Steelhead Landed Between 2 Reel Time boats.

Fishing on the Clearwater River has continued to be great. We are picking up a lot of fish in the lower and middle sections of the river which is a good sign for what is to come in January & February.

There seems to be a lot of fish willing to play, we have started to slowly transfer over to drifting with great results. The river is incredibly quiet and should remain that way until after the 1st of the year. January & February are going to be excellent catching!

steelhead fishing on clearwater river

Updated | November 17th, 2022

Location | Clearwater River near Lewiston ID.

October Provided Some Epic Steelhead Fishing

October provided some epic catching, some of the best our guides have been a part of in more than 5 years. The catch & release season provided all our guests with opportunities to land some chunky B-run’s. Many days with catch rates into the teens and some into the 20’s.

As we continue to fish during the harvest season which opened Oct 15th, catch rates have dropped some due to increased traffic and currently we are working through our first cold snap that has dropped the water temps 4-5 degrees this week. We are still seeing 5-12 hook ups a day. A warming trend is in the forecast and we expect the fish to become more active again in the coming week. The entire river is full of fish as all our guides have noted “rollers” in almost every fishing hole. Traffic generally calms around the holidays, which makes for better opportunities to get in while the river is a little quieter.

The fish this year are beefier and fatter than what we’ve seen in years past. We have measured some 38″ that scaled out at 20 pounds. Usually, Steelhead don’t hit the 20-pound mark until they are at least 40″ long.

Grab some buddies or family and come on down to the Clearwater River near Lewiston to get in on this great steelhead season. Click the button below to book:

fisherman holding a steelhead
Steelhead fising in clearwater river

Updated | October 19th, 2022

Location | Clearwater River near Lewiston ID.

Steelhead Fishing Report on the Clearwater River

Big & bright Clearwater River Steelhead on the bite right now!

Our fleet has been fishing the Clearwater River exclusively the past couple of weeks for this year’s great run of B-run Steelhead. During the harvest season which ended Oct 14th, the river was crowded, and we were very busy, however our guides were managing to put our guests on some nice fish. Now that we have fallen into our new Catch & Release season, traffic on the river has diminished substantially and Steelhead have continued to pour into the river. The past few days our boats have hooked into 10+ Steelhead each every day. We have been seeing some absolute brutes this year!!

Don’t miss out on this great time of year. The catch & release season always provides us with the best action of the year. If you are wanting to harvest, we still have room after the harvest season reopens Nov. 10th.

Clearwater River Steelhead Fishing Report 2023
Clearwater River Steelhead

Updated | September 26th, 2022

Location | Clearwater River

Clearwater River B-Run Steelhead Update

We are excited to be able to share with you this season’s forecast of B-run Steelhead destined for our most popular Steelhead fishery, the Clearwater River. Data from an Idaho Fish & Game run update on 9-21-22 shows an excellent return of Clearwater bound Steelhead over Bonneville Dam. As of the update, an estimated total of 29,000 Clearwater River B-run Steelhead had already passed Bonneville Dam, with 30% of the run yet to come. A quote from the report states “If this projection is accurate, only 2010 had a larger return when compared to the previous 12 years, and it would rank as the 7th best hatchery return ever to the Clearwater River basin ever.”

Our guides are already on the Clearwater River catching the early return of Steelhead and we expect a good push of the bigger B-runs to start showing in numbers around the 1st of October. If survival from Bonneville to the Clearwater is good, we should see one of the best seasons in almost a decade.

With the catch & release season now during the highest migration period for the B-run Steelhead, we expect Oct 15 to Nov 9 to be some of the most epic catch & release fishing we’ve ever experienced. If “catching” is on your list and “harvest” not as important, we recommend booking during this period. For the anglers who would like to take some fish home, we expect Nov 10th (1st harvest day after 3 weeks of C&R) to be an opener on steroids. We currently have multiple boats open on Nov 10th and the days following. If nicer weather suits you better, we do have a few select harvest days left available in early October before we go into the C&R period.

We have single boats booked Oct 4th, 5th, & 10th if you are another single or smaller group that wouldn’t mind joining another angler already booked.

 

beautiful steelhead fish
Large Steelhead fish

Updated | January 18th, 2022

Location | Clearwater River & Snake River

Clearwater and Snake River Fishing Report for Steelhead

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 in 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.

snake river steelhead caught

Frequently Asked Questions about our fishing trips

HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN I BRING ON MY TRIP?

The legal max boatload is six anglers, but with six full time guides available we are able to accommodate large groups of more than six people.

IS LUNCH/DRINKS PROVIDED ON MY TRIPS?

We do provide a BBQ lunch and drinks on all Clearwater, Snake, and Dworshak trips. Lunch and drinks ARE NOT provided on any of our Columbia River or Grande Ronde river trips.

HOW MANY HOURS ARE WE ON THE WATER?

Look forward to at least 8 hours of fishing unless you book a half day trip, then look forward to 4 hours of fishing

DO YOU PROVIDE ALL THE GEAR WE NEED TO FISH?

Yes, each guide is fully equipped with top-notch rods, reels and bait to ensure success on your trip.

DO I NEED TO PRE-PAY OR PLACE A DEPOSIT DOWN TO HOLD MY SPOT?

We require a 50% deposit at the time of booking, final payment must be made in full 10 days prior to your trip. We do not offer refunds for cancellations or head-count changes made inside 10 days of your trip.

DO YOU CLEAN AND FILLET OUR CATCH?

Yes, all of our guides will clean and fillet your catch unless otherwise specified.