fbpx

Author Archives: Kyle Jones

  • 0

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.


  • 0

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.


  • 0

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.


  • 0

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.


  • 0

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.


  • 0

Starting 2021 in Style! Steelhead on Idaho’s Clearwater!

Today was my first day of 2021 on the river and I couldn’t have been happier about how things went today. Every year my family and I take off to see family for the holidays, and while our days are spent gathering with family and doing some fantastic bird hunting, there is still the draw that brings me back to the river. See 10 days off the water is a LONG time in my world, and I’m always apprehensive on how the day will go. When you spend your life on the water and suddenly the routine is broken it always feels a little strange to “get back” into it.

I’m blessed to have an awesome team and great contacts that keep me informed on what’s happening on the river while I’m gone. Their help is such a blessing, and it’s hard to imagine being able to jump right back into it without having a great team. So, with some great intel, and some earned river knowledge I decided to go with the basics, and fish a stretch of river I know better than most people know the streets in their neighborhood.

What I found today was a great way to get back on the river. Idaho’s Clearwater was in the perfect “steelhead “green” and although we didn’t put up record numbers, we were able to get into fish in all the places they should have been. Side drifting egg imitations, and corky/yarn/shrimp combos were the ticket today. My absolute favorite way to fish this time of year is to side drift. It allows us to cover a bunch of water and pound holes over and over again picking out the biters.

Fishing should remain good all the way through the first half of March. It’s a guarantee we will see some changes and challenges during the next 2 1/2 months, but there is no doubt the second half of the Clearwater Steelhead season is numbers time. Our highest hookup dates always fall sometime between now and the end of February.

We still have some great dates open, but we have been taking lots of calls and filling lots of dates the past few days, so if you are interested in fishing with us this winter/Spring make sure to give Dani in our office a call at 208-669-1569 and she will get you all set up with myself or Barry. Either way you will be in good hands.

Check out the pictures below, and most of all I wish you all a happy new year, and while there are so many challenges ahead of us always remember that God’s got this and trust in him is the only way to truly have peace

Kyle


  • 1

Clearwater River Steelhead Report 11/30/20

We took most of last week off for the holiday, but we had boats out a few days. The fishing last week was on the slow side. There were fish to be caught, but it was a grind. I was back on the river Saturday and put a few in the boat, but today things really started to heat up. Today was the best egg bite I have had all month. It was so nice to get into a good batch of fish side drifting.

Below is our weekly steelhead video report. Please make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel while you guys are there, and if you have any questions please make sure you leave us a comment.


  • 2

Clearwater River Steelhead Report 10/26/20

This week we had some ups and downs on Idaho’s Clearwater River, but by the end of the week the entire River was fishing fantastic.

The week started out slow, as we had a bunch of rain and river levels quickly rose and water quality suffered. We struggled for a few days but still managed to find some willing fish every day on the water. By the end of the week the water had cleared up and fishing was again going great.

This week we caught fish both drifting bait and single egg imitations, but we did most of our damage late in the week backtrolling plugs and diver and shrimp. Friday and Saturday we found fish in most tail outs we fished, and the key was to cover a lot of water to find pods of fish that were grouped together. Some water was empty and some was loaded!

This week we are looking at some great fishing conditions. The water was high last week, but because of cold temps over the weekend the River has stabilized. Water temperatures will also stabilize this week as we should see some fab weather by Wednesday.

All in all the River looks to be setting up for a fantastic November. We have quite a few open dates in November and with the help of a great teammate, Barry Howard, we are able to run multiple boats every day. Get in touch with us now and let’s get your November and December trips lined up.


  • 0

  • 0

Opening Day on Idaho’s Clearwater River

Today, October 15th 2020 was the traditional opening day of Idaho’s catch and keep season on the Clearwater River. Today is a much anticipated day and signals a changing of the season for us. From today through March our focus on the Clearwater is Steelhead! B Run Steelhead are amazing fish.

We had a fantastic day today despite some challenging conditions. Over the last week the Clearwater region has received quite a lot rain, and for the past few days the army corps has been messing with the flows out of Dworshak Reservoir. This caused some early season high water conditions and we started out our day with flows well over 10,000 Cubic Feet/ Second. This is double the flow we normally see this time of year.

Lucky for us we have been guiding on Idaho’s Clearwater for the past 13 years and we relied on that experience to come up with a winning game plan. Our key to success today was backtrolling Yakima bait Maglips. When the water is up or rising on the Clearwater our steelhead kick their migration into hyperdrive and use the higher flows to cover some river miles. This makes the slow presentation of a backtrolled plug your best bet to consistently put fish in the boat under these conditions.

The Clearwater will most likely be a backtrolling game for the next few days, but as the water comes back to normal levels the side drifting bite should be fantastic.

We have two boats operating on the Clearwater and currently we have open dates, so if your interested in some big Idaho Steelhead make sure to give our office a call and Dani will get your trip all set up.