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
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
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
The steelhead fishing this last weekend on the Upper Salmon River appeared to be highly variable. Anglers were having good success on Saturday, especially downstream of North Fork in section 15, but by Sunday the fishing had cooled off considerably. The creel data for this weekend was collected by only one employee though, so we were light on data for sections 16-18. It is very likely that the fishing was better then what the data reflected for those sections. Deadwater is officially out, and has been for about a week now, so we expect the coming weekend to be very busy in section 15. There is one other thing worth mentioning. The boat ramps that had been closed due to the ice jam have now all been cleared of ice and opened. Good luck fishing! - Brent Beller
On February 16, 2012 the Idaho Fish and Game Commission increased the bag limits for steelhead in sections 15 through 19 on the upper Salmon River from Long Tom Creek – about three-quarters of mile upstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River – to a posted boundary about 100 yards downstream of the Sawtooth Hatchery.
Effective February 16, for the remainder of spring 2012 steelhead season, the limits are six steelhead per day, 18 in possession and 40 for the 2012 spring season.
On April 13, 2011 we were fly fishing the Main Salmon between Challis and Ellis. Twelve fish in the boat!
- Mikel Mcintosh
Slightly warmer weather this weekend allowed more anglers to come out then the previous weekend, and they had more success. Fishing actually improved this weekend with the hours per fish caught dropping or holding steady in all sections. The season is definitely slowing down and beginning to wrap up, but as long as above freezing temperatures continue to persist and keep the slush ice away, the fishing should remain solid.
Also, this will be the last report issued for the Fall 2011 season.
More than 250 steelhead will be stocked in the Boise River on Thursday, November 10, the first of four planned stocking efforts during the next few weeks. The fish will be stocked from Glenwood Bridge to Barber Park. Additional stockings are planned for Thursday, November 17, Tuesday, November 22 and Thursday, December 1, weather permitting.
Because of their size - six to 12 pounds - the actual number of steelhead stocked will depend on the capacity of the tanker truck hauling the fish from Oxbow Hatchery on the Snake River.
Anglers hoping to tangle with one of the hatchery steelhead need a $12.75 steelhead permit and a fishing license. Barbless hooks are not required for Boise River steelhead fishing, unlike other steelhead waters.
All steelhead stocked in the Boise River lack an adipose fin - the small fin normally found immediately behind the dorsal fin. Boise River anglers catching a rainbow trout longer than 20 inches without an adipose fin should consider the fish a steelhead. Any steelhead caught by an angler not holding a steelhead permit must immediately be returned to the water.
Steelhead limits on the Boise River are three fish per day, nine in possession, and 20 for the fall season.
Hours per steelhead caught increased this past weekend (November 12) compared to the previous weekend (November 5), most likely due to the cold weather. Experienced anglers are finding plenty of open access areas and good fishing for this time of year.
* The values shown are unexpanded sample data and estimates of fishing effort and success.
** Before October 15, steelhead fishing upstream of Memorial Bridge of U.S. Highway 12 at Lewiston is catch-and-release only.