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Author Archives: Kyle Jones

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Snake River Spring Sturgeon

We often get asked what our favorite thing to fish for is, and I bet if you asked all of our guides you would get a different answer from each of them. One thing though that we all agree on is that Sturgeon Fishing on the Snake River in the Spring is an awesome experience.

Spring is a time of revival. The river canyon is waking up from its winter sleep and life is all around. Green grass can be seen on the hillsides where in only a few short weeks summer will be set in and the canyon walls will be locked into their dry brown look again. Just like the grasses and the birds, the sturgeon are waking up too. These fish have spent most of the winter in deep holding water feeding on whatever merger resources they can find, and now with the warming water they are on the hunt for food. Along with a search for food is an urge to spawn, and many of our fish are traveling the river system to find their spawning grounds.

Spring is definitely a movement period for these fish, and every day is an adventure in finding fish. It’s amazing how much some of these fish can move day to day, and equally amazing how some seem to stay in certain holes, content to live their lives in one sweet spot.

During the spring we often see some of our best fishing of the year in our Hells Canyon Fishery, as for some reason this time of year tends to concentrate a large number of fish in the general vicinity of Heller Bar. Spring is also a great time of year for our Southern Idaho fishery’s, but it tends to just mark the beginning of an awesome season.

If you are looking for a sturgeon adventure in Hells Canyon or southern Idaho make sure to get with us. We are full time professional fishing guides and we strive to make your trip special. We provide all fishing gear and even cook you a hot lunch on the boat.


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Hot Columbia River Walleye Action!

Fishing this past week for walleye on the Columbia has been absolutely fantastic. The water temps ranged from 45-47 degrees which means that the spawn is in full force. This means most of the larger fish are up shallow spawning, and can be difficult to catch, but this also means that you have the opportunity to find the mother load of smaller eater sized males staged in deep water adjacent to spawning areas. These smaller males don’t hang with the big females, as they can be food for the big girls.

Our best producing technique has been trolling worm harness and spinner blades. During the spring we don’t think there is a better method for putting a bunch of walleye in the boat. For a complete breakdown on how we apply this technique click here

As the spring progresses and water temperatures climb up into the 50’s we will enter the post spawn season on the Columbia. During this time walleye will disperse back to the sections of river they call home, and will aggressively start to feed to replace lost energy from the spawn. During the post spawn period we will start to see some larger fish in our catches, as age classes begin to be more mixed on food sources.

All in all we are into a great season here on the Columbia, and if you are looking to get in on some of the best eating fish on the planet make sure to book a trip with us.


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It’s Columbia River Walleye Time

Last week we started our Columbia River Walleye season, and things are off to a great start. We absolutely love fishing for walleye in March on the Columbia River as it gives us the best chance of the year to catch an absolute giant walleye. It’s not uncommon to catch fish well over 10 pounds on the Columbia during the pre spawn period, and the magical teeners are a constant reality.

During this time of year we often rely on fishing large walleye plugs like the Bandit Walleye Deeps. We fish these plugs in 10-25 feet of water. During March we are often searching for the big bite, and last week that big bite came right off the bat on Tuesday. We were probably a half an hour into one of our favorite trolls when the back rod slammed down and the battle was on. A few minutes later we slid the net under what would be our biggest fish of the young season. Weighing in at an even 13 pounds this Columbia River walleye was, after a few pictures and high fives, slid back into the mighty river to dump her load of eggs and hopefully give someone else the chance to shake her tail.

While the weather and conditions didn’t prove themselves to be perfect for chasing huge walleye we still managed to get 5-8 bites per day. Keep in mind that we were trophy hunting, and when actively looking for big fish we often give up on the chance to put lots of smaller fish in the boat. The fish pictured above ended up being the largest of the week, but we caught several other fish pushing the 8-9 pound mark.

We are super excited for the upcoming season and as the spawn progresses we will shift our ficus to loading up lots of eater size walleye. We will still find a few big fish, but our focus will change to loading the cooler instead of finding a big Walter for the wall.

April, May, and June are fantastic months, and trolling worms on spinner rigs will become our go to presentation. We will still troll plugs when the conditions permit, and there will be some great plug bites when Columbia River Walleye are focused on feeding on the conveyor belt of salmon smolt heading from inland rivers to the ocean.

If your interested in a walleye trip with us make sure to give our office a call at 208-669-1569 and Dani will fill you in on the particulars and get a date lined up for you. See you on the water


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Columbia River Walleye

Spring Fishing Opportunities

Columbia River Walleye, CJ Strike and Hells Canyon Sturgeon, American Falls Trout, and CJ Strike Crappie!

These are just a few of the options that we have right now to get you out on the water this spring with us. March is our official kickoff for our Columbia River Walleye season, and we couldn’t be more excited to chase these tasty and challenging fish. Walleye are one of the most sought after fish in the Columbia basin, and we cant wait to be out on the river chasing them.

March also means the giant white Sturgeon of the Snake River really start to wake up and feed.  We have already had some fantastic Sturgeon fishing the past month or so, and that will just continue to get better as the weather warms, and water temps make getting in the water for a glory shot even more enjoyable.  We are having great success on CJ Strike Reservoir located and hour south of Boise, ID as well as on the lower end of Hell’s Canyon near Lewiston, ID.  Both of these fisheries are a great way to get out on the water and enjoy one of the coolest fish that swims in our Idaho waters.  

March is also our kickoff for trophy trout on the Snake River near American Falls, as well as American Falls Reservoir.  March is one of the best times to spend a day in one of our drift boats fly fishing for the huge trout that call the Snake River home.  This is an amazing opportunity to try and break the 10 pound mark on some huge fish.  As March moves on and river levels rise with spring flows the power boat fishing on the river becomes the hottest bite around.  This is a fantastic fishery and its all catch and release with no bait through the Saturday of memorial day weekend.  The river fishery at American Falls is our bread and butter, and we would love the opportunity to show you why we love this place so much.  

Along with the Snake River at American Falls March also means its time to chase trophy rainbows on American Falls reservoir.  Last year Brett broke the catch and release state record with a 31.5 inch rainbow caught of the reservoir.  While this is a great fish its not even considered a monster on this system.  The huge Rainbows, Browns, and Rainbow/ Cutthroat Hybrids that prowl this huge reservoir are breathtaking, and we have the inside knowledge to put you on these amazing fish.  Along with awesome trophy opportunity we can also target the plentiful 18-24 inch rainbows that are amazing table fare.  the trout limit on the reservoir is 6 trout, although we only advocate harvesting rainbows and hybrids, as the natural reproducing browns and cutthroat are a true gems worth retuning to the river.   

Finally how can we forget the fantastic Crappie fishing at CJ Strike. In recent days the crappie are starting to break out of their huge winter schools and are now moving around much more. As of yesterday they are no yet on the banks in the spawning areas, but it might only be a matter of a week or so before we start casting to large schools of crappie. Nothing is more fun for the entire family than a day spent loading up on these tasty fish. Not only are they an absolute blast to catch, but they are also one of the best tasting fresh water fish around.


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Hot Sturgeon action at CJ Strike!

The sturgeon fishing on CJ Strike Reservoir has been nothing short of fantastic! The bite has been hot and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Yesterday was the last day of February and Brett’s boat hooked 17 and landed 14! CJ is arguably the best sturgeon fishery in the state and catching double digit numbers is common. If you are looking for an awesome adventure catching lots of huge sturgeon then book a trip with us. You won’t be disappointed.


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Clearwater Steelhead in the Snow!

Wow, the last few days have been interested. The Clearwater region has seen a tremendous amount of snow, and that has made things a little difficult. When conditions get like this chains become a necessity when launching and retrieving boats on snow and ice cover launches. Here is a major pro tip: don’t attempt snow and ice covered ramps if your not prepared, and when conditions are like this it’s not a matter of if you get stuck, it’s when, so be prepared and have a plan.

Despite last weeks cold temperatures and this weeks relentless snow we have still been catching some awesome fish. We are in the final 3 weeks of our Clearwater Steelhead Season and it’s during this period that we often catch some of our biggest fish of the year. The other bonus is that picture of big Steelhead in the snow are hard to beat.

Technique wise this seem to be the year of the plug. After struggling in the nasty conditions on Monday we switched up to pulling plugs tipped with shrimp yesterday and had a great day. My boat had 10 or so opportunities, hooked 8, and landed 6 beautiful Clearwater Steelhead.

Looking forward to the next few weeks it’s hard to tell what to expect. The forecast is calling for continued snow, although daytime highs are getting back up into the upper 30’s and low 40’s. I’m guessing plugs will continue to be a major part of our program until river temps warm up some and river flows come up, and with all the low level snow laying around we could be back to high flows and lots of drifting in a few days. At any rate we are excited for what these last few weeks of steelhead brings, as it will soon be over, and Barry and I will be moving on to chasing Columbia River Walleye. Please enjoy the pictures, and if you see us on the water make sure to say hi.


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Clearwater Steelhead Update

With a shot of cold weather settling in on Idaho’s Clearwater we decided to reschedule some of our trips over the next few days in an effort to make sure our customers have an enjoyable experience on the water. Single digit lows, and highs barely reaching the 20 degree mark make everything about steelhead fishing difficult, and puts unnecessary stress on our equipment. I know this first hand as a few years ago I launched the boat at three degrees, froze up a coolant line, and subsequently overheated my motor, causing the number one cylinder to blow into a bunch of little pieces. It was a 20k mistake, and stark reminder that sometimes it’s better to just stay home, then push back on Mother Nature.

The fishing on Idaho’s Clearwater has been a lot like steelhead fishing over the past few weeks. One day we will go out and land 6 or 7 and the next we might be struggling to put fish in the boat, but it’s the challenge that steelhead fishing presents that makes it so enjoyable.

Over the past month we have been spending most of our time and energy side drifting bait, and beads, as this is one of the most enjoyable ways to catch steelhead, and let’s our customers be the main participant, but as the latest cold front started to move in Barry and myself decided to stop pounding our heads against the wall and make an adjustment. We dug out the plug rods and decided to slowly pick apart the holes and see if we could force a few fish to bite. The results speak for themselves. The last 3 days the fishing has picked up significantly, and I attribute this to switching things up.

This week was just another reminder that often times switching things up can be a huge difference maker in the number of fish brought to the net. It also made a point clear that as Steelheaders we need to be confident in fishing multiple presentations to consistently put fish in the boat. So, going forward my advice is to keep an open mind, and never keep those plug rods too far out of reach.


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Great Winter Action on Idaho’s Clearwater

We just finished up a fantastic January on Idaho’s Clearwater River, and February is already looking to be even better. Over the last month we have seen some fantastic fishing, and although there were some days we struggled it’s was overall a great month of fishing for Idaho’s B Run Steelhead

We are very excited for February, as for us it represents the the final push of our steelhead season. We fish the Clearwater through mid March, and the last month and a half of our season can often be the best for putting a bunch of fish in the boat.

We are now in full on side drifting mode, as it allows us to not only put the rod in your hands, but it’s the absolute best way to put a bunch of steelhead in the boat. There is nothing quite like setting the hook into a pissed off steelhead. Over the last few weeks our number one rig has been pegged hard fish pills from Mad River Manufacturing. These pressured fish seem to prefer the small presentation and this set up has been hard to beat.

We have quite a few open dates over the next 6 weeks, so get in touch with us and let’s get you out on the river for a Clearwater Steelhead adventure, and enjoy the pictures below from an amazing month on the river.


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Fantastic Crappie and Sturgeon fishing at CJ Strike!

The absolute lights out winter crappie and perch fishing continues at CJ Strike Reservoir. Located only an hour south of Boise, Idaho this is a truly special place for anglers in southern idaho who are looking for a local get away close to home. One of the best things about CJ Strike is the diversity of this fishery. On any day we can target Crappie, Perch, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, huge White Sturgeon, and the ever present fantastic Rainbow Trout Fishery.

Lately our boats have been focusing on the Crappie, Perch, and white sturgeon. We had 2 boats out last Saturday and between them they took 200 crappie and caught and released 12 sturgeon, with the largest fish going 9’1”.

We have been finding all our crappie suspended over deep water. Most of the crappie schools tend to be suspend from 30-50 feet over both deep water flats, and deep water humps. On the flats the fish tend to be moving around a lot, and the schools come and go very quickly, but on the humps fish are tending to hold in the same area all day. This makes these bunches of fish very accessible.

We have also noticed that schools of fish that are more related to the bottom tend to have a bunch more perch in them and provide some awesome mixed bag fishing.

Currently we are finding fish in all parts of the reservoir. Most people relate the narrows as the epicenter of the crappie and perch fishing on CJ Strike, but we have been finding huge piles of fish up the Snake Arm as well. CJ is a huge place, so if fishing around other boats is not your cup of tea then get out and explore. You will be greatly rewarded. Below is a video of Brett giving a quick rundown on how he is targeting these large schools of fish.

We have boats available most days to get you out fishing, and the best thing about CJ is that it’s a year round fishery, so if your more in warm weather adventures make sure to get you spring and summer trips lined up now before we get super busy.

If your ready to book, or just want to talk to us about a trip, please give our office a call at 208-669-1569 or click the green book online button at the top of the page. We can’t wait to get you out on the water.


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Awesome Winter Fishing at CJ Strike

CJ Strike is arguably the crown jewel as far as winter fisheries go in Southern Idaho. Located an hour south of Boise, Idaho it is home to a fantastic winter Crappie and Yellow Perch bite, and can also produce some of the best open water trout fishing in the area.

Over the last several weeks we have been targeting the insane numbers of Crappie that have been filling live wells since last spring. During the winter months most panfish species (crappie, bluegills, and perch) suspend mid water column over deep water. We locate these huge schools of fish and target them by vertically jigging the same style of flutter spoons common to ice fishing.

Over the last two weeks the big schools of fish have been mostly hanging out in 30-50 feet of water over 70 feet of water. To locate these fish we cruise the 70 foot flats with our electronics until we dial in the area they are using. We then use the spot lock feature on our bow mount trolling motor to essentially anchor on the fish. This allows us to stay directly over the schools while we drop our gear into the zone. With multiple anglers fishing it’s nothing to put 50 + fish in the boat in a number of hours.

If you decide to get the boat out and head to CJ Strike a word of caution is warranted. This reservoir can get nasty fast in a very short amount of time. Make sure you plan your launch site accordingly so that if the wind does come up you can safely return to port. With that said this is a fantastic fishery that needs to be enjoyed. These huge numbers of Crappie won’t be around long, as crappie numbers are naturally very cyclicals and go through boom and bust cycles often. We are now in an amazing boom, so get out there and enjoy!

We run guided fishing trips year round on CJ Strike Reservoir. This crappie fishery will be on fire all through the spring, and we will be there catching and enjoying these tasty fish. We also fish for trout, sturgeon, and bass. The trout fishing is good now, and come spring and summer the Sturgeon fishing is amazing. If you looking to learn this fishery there is no better option than booking a trip with us. Our guides have the knowledge and are very willing to share their tips and tricks with anyone that wants to learn.