This is the first upper Salmon River weekly steelhead fishing report for the spring 2016 season. Reports will be issued each Monday through the end of April.
Creel personnel began interviewing anglers on Friday, February 19th. Due to road conditions, limited time was spent conducting interviews downstream of Shoup over the weekend. No interviews were obtained in location code 14, and no interviewed angler reported catching a steelhead in location code 15. Downstream of the Lemhi River in location code 16, interviewed anglers fished for 47 hours and did not report catching a steelhead. Interviewed anglers upstream of the Lemhi River in location code 17 did well and averaged 10 hours per steelhead caught and 18 hours per steelhead kept. In location code 18, upstream of the Pahsimeroi River, interviewed anglers averaged 7 hours per steelhead caught and 9 hours per steelhead kept. No angler interviews were conducted upstream of the East Fork in location code 19.
The Salmon River is currently flowing at 1,200 cfs through the town of Salmon, ID which is 110 percent of average for today’s date. The river’s temperature over the weekend was in the upper 30s in all location codes. Water condition varied greatly depending on the fishing location. Downstream of the Deadwater ice jam, the river had poor visibility due to the gradual breakup of the ice jam. Upstream of the ice jam the water condition improved slightly but was still poor due to muddy flows from the Lemhi River. Upstream of the Lemhi River, the water condition was good.
The Deadwater ice jam has receded to the Deadwater boat ramp and will likely go out sometime this week. The river downstream of Deadwater typically takes up to two days to begin clearing up once the ice jam goes out. All boat ramps between Salmon and North Fork will be cleared of ice this week.
The Salmon River road is currently passable downstream of Shoup, but road conditions are potentially hazardous. Due to snow slides and falling rock, anglers are advised to take care when driving and choosing areas to park or fish. Additionally, anglers should be cautious of the large ice shelves on the bank in areas where the ice jam occurred. These shelves can collapse at any time and caution should be taken when fishing near them. - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician II, Salmon Region