steelhead

Clearwater Steelhead Fishing 3/22/15

Clearwater Catch 2015

The South Fork of the Clearwater had a lot of anglers fishing along its banks this past week. Saturday had a high count of 114 anglers on the South Fork. We observed anglers fishing as far as mile marker 23 on highway 14. Many anglers are in drifting boats. It is also the area we documented with the highest amount of effort. Fishing has dropped off on the main stem (river sect 03) and the North Fork (river sect 05) but both areas still have good catch rates. The little Salmon River had the next highest effort and catch rates were good as well. The main stem of the Salmon River had very low effort but river flows were high which impacted effort and catch rates. So if you do not want to deal with the crowds the main stem of the Clearwater or the North Fork might be good areas to try.  Check Harvest Report for more details. - Jaime Robertson, Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region

 

Upper Salmon Steelhead Report 3/22/15

Steelhead fishing on the upper Salmon River this past week was tough for anglers fishing below the town of Salmon. Anglers were primarily found in location codes 17 and 19 downstream of the Pahsimeroi and Sawtooth Hatcheries, but angler effort did remain relatively high downstream of North Fork. Interviewed anglers did not report catching any steelhead in location code 14, downstream of the Middle Fork. In location code 15, downstream of North Fork, interviewed anglers averaged 103 hours per steelhead caught and 360 hours per steelhead kept. Interviewed anglers fishing below the Lemhi River, in location code 16, also had to put in many hours to catch a fish and averaged 178 hours per steelhead caught or kept.

The fishing improved upstream of the Lemhi in location codes 17 through 19. Interviewed anglers in location code 17 averaged 27 hours per steelhead caught and 43 hours per steelhead kept. Upstream of the Pahsimeroi, in location code 18, interviewed anglers averaged 39 hours per steelhead caught and 136 hours per steelhead kept. The best fishing this week was again found upstream of the East Fork in location code 19. Interviewed anglers in this area averaged 8 hours per steelhead caught and 12 hours per steelhead kept.

Water conditions on the upper Salmon River were beginning to improve towards the end of the week, but cloudy water conditions still exist throughout the drainage. The best water clarity was observed in location code 19. Flows have remained fairly stable for the past few days and are above average for this time of year. Currently the Salmon River through the town of Salmon is flowing at 1,940 cfs which is 166% of average for today’s date. Water temperatures in the mid to upper 40s were observed in all location codes with the exception of location code 19 where the water temperature was in the lower 40s.

As of March 19th, the Pahsimeroi Hatchery had trapped 1,865 steelhead, while the Sawtooth Hatchery had trapped 571 steelhead. Additionally, Kid’s Creek Pond in Salmon was stocked with 150 adult steelhead on Friday, March 20th.  - Brett Beller, Fisheries Technician, Salmon Region

Clearwater Steelhead Fishing 3/16/15

Anglers in the Clearwater Region experienced some of the best catch rates observed so far in the Spring 2015 Steelhead season. The catch rate of 5 hours/fish was documented on the Clearwater River below Orofino, South Fork of the Clearwater River, the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam and on the Little Salmon River. Anglers on the North Fork of the Clearwater produced a catch rate of 7 hours/fish.

Early in the week, river flows were low to average with clear water clarity. Through the week, flows increased and water clarity became cloudy due to rain. High flows and muddy water conditions were observed by Sunday afternoon on the South Fork of the Clearwater and the Little Salmon River. For more details go to the Harvest Report- Amanda Schmidt, Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region

Upper Salmon River Steelhead Fishing 3/16/15

Steelhead fishing this past week on the upper Salmon River was relatively slow compared to previous weeks. Warm temperatures and high winds over the weekend resulted in increased river flows and poor visibility downstream of the East Fork. Angler effort remained high with most anglers found either downstream of North Fork in location code 15, near the Ellis area in location code 17, or downstream of Stanley in location code 19. Interviewed anglers in location code 14, downstream of the Middle Fork, averaged 9 hours per Steelhead caught and 106 hours per Steelhead kept. Upstream, in location code 15 interviewed anglers averaged 20 hours per Steelhead caught and 61 hours per Steelhead kept. In location code 16, upstream of North Fork, interviewed anglers averaged 19 hours per Steelhead caught and 40 hours per Steelhead kept. Upstream of the Lemhi River, in location code 17, interviewed anglers averaged 35 hours per Steelhead caught and 54 hours per Steelhead kept. In location code 18, upstream of the Pahsimeroi River, interviewed anglers averaged 55 hours per Steelhead caught and 83 hours per Steelhead kept. Location code 19, upstream of the East Fork, was the one area where catch rates remained good throughout the weekend. Interviewed anglers in location code 19 averaged 6 hours per Steelhead caught and 10 hours per Steelhead kept. Although flows upstream of the East Fork increased considerably over the weekend, the water visibility remained clear until Sunday afternoon when it began to cloud up.

As previously mentioned, the water conditions on the upper Salmon River are currently not very favorable for Steelhead fishing. The visibility is poor downstream of the East Fork and cloudy upstream. Additionally, flows have steadily increased for the past few days. Currently, the Salmon River in the town of Salmon is flowing at 1,580 cfs which is 142% of average for today’s date, while the Salmon River just downstream of the Yankee Fork is flowing at 1,210 cfs which is 290% of average for today’s date. Along with flows, water temperatures have also increased with temperatures in the mid to upper 40s recorded downstream of Salmon and temperatures in the low 40s recorded upstream of Challis. Water conditions can change rapidly this time of year and given the upcoming week’s forecast, there is a chance that river conditions may improve by this weekend. For an up to date condition report anglers can call the Idaho Fish and Game Salmon Regional office at (208) 756-2271. For harvest details, go to the Harvest Report - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician, Salmon Region

Clearwater Steelhead Fishing Report 3/13/15

South Fork Clearwater Steelhead 2015

Above average weather temperatures and lots of sunshine made for a beautiful weekend for anglers in the region. Although stream flows were above normal for this time of year, catch rates were fantastic. The best catch rates were documented on the Little Salmon River at 5 hours per fish caught. Anglers also did very well on the South Fork Clearwater over the weekend. Check Harvest Report for more details. - Amanda Schmidt, Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region

Clearwater Steelhead Fishing Report 3/05/15

Above average weather temperatures and lots of sunshine made for a beautiful weekend for anglers in the region. Although stream flows were above normal for this time of year, catch rates were fantastic. The best catch rates were documented on the Little Salmon River at 5 hours per fish caught. Anglers also did very well on the South Fork Clearwater over the weekend. See more details in the Harvest Report. - Amanda Schmidt  Fisheries Technician, Clearwater Region

Steelhead Fishing on Upper Salmon River 2/17/15

This is the first upper Salmon River weekly steelhead fishing report for the spring 2015 season. Reports will be issued each Monday until the close of the season.

During the past week, the Salmon River was recovering from unusually high flows that occurred over February 6th and 7th. These flows also greatly reduced the river’s visibility through February 12th. The river did clear up by this past weekend though, and the current water conditions are much better. Daytime river temperatures are in the mid to upper 30s and the river is running at 1,350 cfs through the town of Salmon, which is approximately 124% of average for this time of year.

For mid-February, the upper Salmon is very open. The Deadwater ice jam went out on the night of February 6th. The road downstream of North Fork is mostly clear of snow and ice, although there are a few corners that remain slick. Large rocks have fallen onto the road in numerous areas, and anglers are encouraged to slow down in these areas and use caution when choosing where to park. Additionally, all boat ramps between the Pahsimeroi River and North Fork have been cleared of ice and are ready for use. The Corn Creek ramp is also open and jet boats are running down river.

The steelhead fishing over the past week was good once the water conditions improved and the catch data suggests that the Steelhead are quite spread out across the drainage for this time of year. In location code 14, downstream of the Middle Fork, interviewed anglers released two steelhead, which resulted in a catch rate of 14 hours per Steelhead. Upstream, in location code 15, interviewed anglers caught a total of 66 Steelhead which produced a catch rate of 5 hours per Steelhead and a harvest rate of 11 hours per Steelhead. Interviewed anglers in location code 16, between the confluences of the North Fork and Lemhi Rivers averaged 13 hours per Steelhead caught and 19 hours per Steelhead kept. Upstream of the Lemhi River, in location code 17, interviewed anglers averaged 16 hours per Steelhead caught and 78 hours per Steelhead kept. In location code 18, upstream of the Pahsimeroi River, interviewed anglers averaged 10 hours per Steelhead caught and 26 hours per Steelhead kept. No angler interviews were obtained for location code 19, upstream of the East Fork Salmon River, although a few anglers were observed fishing upstream of Clayton.

Got To Harvest Report for more details.  - Brent Beller, Fisheries Technician, Salmon Region

Clearwater Steelhead Fishing Report 2/8/15

Fishing conditions and catch rates on the Clearwater River downstream from Orofino were good during the week but diminished over the weekend. On Saturday, cloudy water conditions were observed and water clarity decreased as water levels began to rise. By Sunday afternoon and the river flows reached 22,900 cubic feet per second causing swift and muddy water conditions with floating debris. The North Fork of the Clearwater was the most popular and productive fishing area over the weekend for both boat and shore anglers who were avoiding the muddy water conditions on the mainstem. On Sunday morning, approximately 100 anglers were observed fishing on the North Fork by IDFG personnel. The South Fork of the Clearwater was not monitored during the week, but anglers reported that they had caught more fish during the week days before water conditions began to become less favorable over the weekend. Saturday afternoon, flows on the South Fork began to rise and on Sunday water conditions were high and muddy. The majority of success over the weekend occurred as high upstream as the Mt. Idaho grade. Very little effort was observed on the Salmon River downstream of Riggins over the weekend due to the high muddy flow coming from the Little Salmon River. Most of the effort occurred above the mouth of the Little Salmon in river locations 12 and 13. A majority of the anglers checked from location 13 were anglers on guided trips. - Amanda Schmidt. Fisheries Technician, Idaho Fish & Game Clearwater Region