July 4, 2022

Idaho Steelhead Fishing Report

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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:

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 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.