The Northwest's Premier Outfitter offering guided fishing trips on Idaho's Clearwater and Snake Rivers, American Falls Reservoir, CJ Strike Reservoir, Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir, and the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon.
Category: Fishing Reports
Up to date fishing reports from Jones Sport Fishing
It’s been a strange year to say the least on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River. As I’m writing this we are in the midst of a pretty darn good Fall Chinook Run, and while fishing was absolutely on fire here early in the season, it has since cooled off, and been downright tough on some days.
We too have had our struggle days, and Barry and I have been very frustrated a few times this season. For the past few years the downhill trolling program has been absolutely on fire here, and we entered this season thinking that we would see more of the same, and while early in September was great, it didn’t take long for that bite to absolutely hit the skids. So, instead of just pounding away and hoping each morning would be better then the last we decided that there had to be a better way. We made some adjustments.
A little over a week ago we made the full on switch from downriver trolling 360 flashers to what is now considered an old school technique, we went backtrolling. We dusted off the plugs, shined our divers, grabbed the eggs, and went to work. We haven’t looked back since. For some reason this year backtrolling divers and eggs, and plugs has just been the best way for us to catch fish. Now that doesn’t mean other methods are not working, it just means that we have finally found consistent action after making the switch.
Backtrolling is how I cut my teeth on this fishery and it has been such a blessing to be able to fully commit to one of my absolute favorite methods for catching salmon. We are now more relaxed, our gear is in the “slots” longer, and we are catching more fish than we would if we had stayed the course. Now, I’m fully aware that the only thing consistent on the reach is that things change, and after writing this it may just be that we see an incredible downhill trolling bite, but for me, I have a little over a week left in this fishery before I head home for the Clearwater, and I’m going to spend my days relaxed and running my favorite plugs through some of the best water on the river. don’t be afraid to do the same.
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.
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.
Brett Jones, owner and manager of our southern Idaho operation was on a afternoon trip with good friend Jeff Fetters of Fetters Custom Rods, when he hooked something big! As Brett got the fish close to the boat he realized he had something special. Jeff, in true walleye tournament form quickly scooped the monster up with the net. After a quick measurement the huge rainbow was sent back to the lake to continue growing and is still out there for someone else to put their hands on. Congratulations are in order as Brett is one of the the best and most accomplished anglers we know, and to see his name next to a state record is a special treat.
The video below shows the excitement just after the fish is landed and being released.
American Falls has long been known as a big fish hot spot. To anglers that know these waters a fish like this is no surprise. Jones Sport Fishing holds an Idaho Outfitter license for American Falls Reservoir, and Brett would be more than happy to show you exactly how he targets the huge fish that roam this large reservoir.
On this weeks Tip Tuesday we are going over how we rig up our Kokanee Cut Plugs to catch more salmon. Over the past three years we have experimented with a number of different hook configurations to try an get the best performing hook setup. What we have settled on two different set ups that seem to give about an equal hook to land ratio. The first is a single #4 treble rigged behind eight 4mm beads, and the second is two #1/0 Owner Cutting point octopus hooks. The two hook set up is also rigged behind eight or so 4mm beads. The purpose of the beads is to set the hook just behind the cut plug, an to let the lure spin freely on the line enabling it to spin faster that it would if it had to spin the hooks an the lure. Check out the video below to get all the details on how we rig these awesome little lures. Also make sure to check out our other tip videos on how to make you a better salmon fisherman.
Idaho’s Clearwater continued to fish well this week. The cold overnight temps made things a little difficult at times as dropping water temperatures slow upstream movement and make the fish less aggressive. We were able to find fish all week by targeting likely steelhead holding water that was just out of the main current flow, often times picking fish up out of “frog water” on the very inside portion of the run. When faced with cold water conditions we prefer to fish bait. Both cured roe and shrimp were our baits of choice this week, and multiple fish were caught each day on both. One of our major keys to success during this time of year on the Clearwater is to add lots of scent to our eggs and shrimp. Some of our favorites are the anise/krill and the krill from Super Dipping Saucy, but we also use lots of mikes shrimp oil, and special mix from SmellyJelly.
Fishing will continue to be good this week, and the change in weather patters should begin to bring water temperatures back up to normal levels. As water temps rise the fishing will continue to improve. With the mild winter, and long range forecast it looks like this is one of those years that we will be fishing the Clearwater deep into March. When conditions allow we often see some fantastic steelhead fishing in March.
We still have quite a few day available and for those interested in booking a trip with us we encourage you to give our office a call, or to check out or availability by clicking the Book Online button at the top of the page, and as always if you are enjoying our content please share it to your social media accounts. Every share, like, follow, or subscribe we get goes a long ways in helping our small family business.
Fishing on Idaho’s Clearwater River remained good this past weekend. Water levels and river clarity continued to improve all week and by mid week the entire Clearwater was fishing. This time of year we focus most of our effort around Orofino, as there are often large numbers of fish starting to congregate near Dworshak National Fish hatchery. Most all our fish were caught side drifting egg and yarn combinations, or pegged beads.
For anglers who love to fish the South Fork of the Clearwater we heard some good reports form that area and it sounds like quite a few fish have moved into the system. Floats and jigs along with floats and beads tend to fish very well up there this time of year, also people fly fishing with indicators and egg patterns tend to do very well.
If you are interested in booking a trip with us we run power boat trips on the Clearwater from Orofino to Lewiston. We still have some openings and we are booking trips through the middle of March. Click the big green book online button or give us a call. We would love to get you out on the water with us!
After the recent rains the Clearwater is back in shape and the fish are snappy! We had some great fishing the last two days, and lots of open dates now through the 10th of March. February is one of our favorite months and it’s great to be out on the river as the days are beginning to last a little longer, and the sun finally has a little warmth to it. Idaho’s Clearwater is know for big fish and we have been seeing lots of 15 pound plus fish this season. Now is the time to book if you are looking to get that late winter steelhead trip in on the Clearwater!
It’s been a full week straight of fishing for us on our 2019 Hanford Reach Fall Chinook season. This week has seen its ups and downs, but we are definitely on fish and we have had the opportunity to limit each of the past 4 days, some days we have pulled it off and other days we came in a fish or two short.
This is one of our absolute favorite fisheries of the year, and there is nothing quite like spending an early fall day on the Hanford Reach. The weather this time of year makes for some amazing days spent on the water.
All our fish have been coming on the downstream troll. We have been doing equally well on both superbaits and spinners pulled behind pro troll flasher.
Our program goes roughly as follows, remember there are a lot of times we may fish deeper or shallower depending on the situation. Bow rods with 12oz at 30′ (these often start much shallower, but when water depth allows we run these suspended all day) middle rods 12oz at the same depth as the bottom (if it’s 35 feet deep these rods are run at 35 and so on) back rods 10oz at 10 feet deeper than the bottom depth ( if in 35 Feet the line counter is at 45 and so on).
We also still have some openings for this year. Our open dates for Kyle’s Boat are as follows.