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
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
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
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
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.