steelhead fishing

Idaho Chinook Salmon Update 4/25/12

Here's good news for all you Chinook salmon anglers!  The Chinook salmon are starting to pour over Bonneville Dam. 

Based on the number of PIT tagged fish that have come over Bonneville Dam to date (4-25-12), our model projects that we will have a good salmon run this year.  The actual run size projection for each of our release sites (sites we release our smolts) are provided in the table below.  If the salmon keep coming back like they are, these run estimates will only continue to climb.  Based on these counts, fishing should get real good in around three weeks in the Lewiston area, and about five weeks in the Riggins area depending on flows.  If flows maintain above 40,000 cfs in the Salmon River, it could take considerably longer for these fish to get to the Riggins area fishery.

Who will be the first to catch a salmon in Idaho?  - Joe Dupont, Clearwater Regional Fish Manager

Upper Salmon River Steelhead Report for 4/22/12

Besides giving many of us our first sunburn of the year, the beautiful weather we had this past weekend also managed to just about shut down the steelhead fishing. The warm weather caused the Salmon River to rise and muddy up. Not surprising, this resulted in some relatively poor fishing. Anglers did succeed in catching some steelhead in section 19, but they definitely had to put in their hours to catch them. Steelhead fishing on the Upper Salmon remains open until April 30. As of today (4/23) the Pahsimeroi Hatchery trap has captured 7,164 hatchery steelhead, and the Sawtooth Hatchery trap has captured 1,646 hatchery steelhead.  - Brent Beller

Upper Salmon River Weekend Steelhead Report for 4/15/12

The steelhead fishing this past weekend dropped off some compared to the previous one. While the hours per steelhead caught last weekend were below 10 hours in each section, they were near, or above, 10 hours this weekend. The most popular spots for fishing are still just downstream of the Pahsimeroi River and the Yankee Fork. We have ceased creeling downstream of section 17, but the few anglers who are still fishing between North Fork and Salmon, in section 16, are catching some steelhead.   - Brent Beller

Upper Salmon River Weekend Steelhead Report for 4/08/12

This past weekend most anglers were found around or upstream of the Pahsimeroi River. The majority of anglers were found in section 19. The hours per fish caught were very good for all sections that were creeled. Angler presence around Salmon dropped off significantly though. Fish were being picked up around Salmon but not in very large numbers. Very few anglers were found downstream of the Colston  Access Area. The fishing above Salmon, especially in section 19, should continue to be good for the next couple of weeks. Most likely, the tail end of the steelhead run is approaching. As of today, the hatchery returns to Pahsimeroi are 4,522, while 721 have returned to the Sawtooth trap.   - Brent Beller

Upper Salmon River Steelhead Summary 4/01/12

This past weekend the steelhead fishing picked up in a few sections. Unfortunately, the river then rose and clouded up a bit Saturday night. The river sections where anglers were having the best success this weekend were sections 17 and 19. Both of those sections were at or below 10 hrs per steelhead caught. Section 16, downstream of the Lemhi River, also had a very good catch rate, but not many anglers were in that section so we didn’t end up with a very large sample. As expected, the majority of anglers were found either around the Ellis/Deer Gulch area in section 17 or near the mouth of the Yankee Fork in section 19. Fishing should continue to be strong for at least the next few weeks and hopefully we can experience some good weather to close out the steelhead season.   - Brent Beller


Upper Salmon River Steelhead Summary Report 3/25/12

Some good weather finally appeared this weekend and the anglers really responded to it. Angler effort in both sections 17 and 19 picked up dramatically, and there were quite a few anglers in the other sections as well. Unfortunately, the steelhead did not respond as well to the good weather. Steelhead were being caught in all sections, but the hours per fish caught were not great. No section was below 10 hrs per fish caught. Also, the Pahsimeroi Hatchery started seeing fairly large amounts of steelhead moving into the trap late last week. As of Friday approximately 200 steelhead per day were in the trap.   - Brent Beller

Upper Salmon River Weekend Steelhead Summary 3/17/12

Fishing this previous weekend was pretty slow with the exception of two locations. The narrows downstream of Shoup continued to produce fish, and anglers near the mouth of the Yankee Fork also started catching them at a pretty good rate. Unfortunately, the rest of the river was not as kind to anglers. The poor weather during the weekend definitely affected the amount of anglers that were out. It possibly could have affected the steelhead, as well. The precipitation that we received caused the river to cloud up a little and rise a noticeable amount. Hopefully with some better weather, the river conditions will stabilize and fishing next weekend will improve.   - Brent Beller

Upper Salmon River Weekend Summary 3/11/12

Fishing this last weekend dropped off slightly from the previous one, but the hours per fish caught were still fairly good. Poor weather on Sunday also affected our data because it limited the number of anglers who were out fishing. The best fishing was again found downriver of North Fork in sections 14 and 15. Hopefully we will soon observe the catch rates improving upstream which would indicate that the steelhead are beginning to move upriver. We did not have data from section 18 this weekend because of limited personnel, but angler pressure in that section did pick up and steelhead were being caught. We will attempt  to have data for all sections again next weekend.     - Brent Beller

Upper Salmon River Weekend Summary 3/04/12

Angler success this last weekend improved in all river sections. The majority of anglers were found downstream of North Fork, but activity also increased near Ellis and steelhead were even caught in section 19. Assuming that the river stays relatively clear and doesn’t muddy up then we are expecting the fishing to only improve this coming week.   - Brent Beller