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