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It’s almost July, and that means Summer Chinook and Sockeye

The month of July will find us on the Upper Columbia River chasing summer Chinook and Sockeye. This is such a great opportunity as we have the best limits of the year. 2 adult chinook in addition to 2 sockeye is our daily limit. We often catch both Chinook and Sockeye on these trips, and there is nothing better than salmon fishing in July. Such a great time of year as we ditch the rain gear for shorts and sandals, and get a full day of fishing in before it gets too hot. 

We have openings for this fantastic fishing, so don’t hesitate to contact us and let’s get you summer plans all set up.


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Clearwater Spring Chinook still going Strong!

Sitting here typing this email the Clearwater is definitely blown out, but it gives me a chance to give everyone an update on the awesome fishing we have been experiencing. Over the past month we have been having one of the best Spring Chinook salmon seasons of recent memory. We are filling our boats with both fish and happy customers on a daily basis, and it just so good to be experiencing this fantastic season here at home.

The best part about it all is that this Clearwater Spring Chinook season is far from over. With the awesome number of fish, and high water we are almost definitely looking at another two weeks of salmon fishing here on the Clearwater before we head out for the summer and make our yearly salmon camp on the Upper Columbia. 

We are looking to get back out on the Clearwater this Wednesday, and fishing is going to be incredibly good. The best part is we have boats open almost daily for the next two weeks, so if you are interested in getting in on our Spring Chinook season make sure to give our office a call today and let’s get you booked.


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Drano Lake and Wind River Spring Chinook

Barry has been down in the Columbia gorge since the 20th of April and has been fishing for Spring Chinook on Drano Lake and the Wind River. The fishing started a little slow, but this past week has been nothing short of fantastic. With passage of Spring Chinook over Bonneville looking great, especially considering the dismal returns of the pst few years, this fishery will continue for the at least the next few weeks.

While there are quite a few different ways to rig up for Drano Lake, and Wind River Spring Chinook, Barry has been doing best fishing prawn spinners with 3.5 Colorado blades. For flashers the stand by chrome pro trolls have been getting plenty of work, and have also been the top producers on his boat. For an in depth look at how he rigs his prawn spinners make sure to check out the video link below

How To Rig Prawn Spinners for Drano Lake Spring Chinook

Barry has a few seats open this week and through the weekend, so if interested make sure to call our office at 208-669-1569.

Next week we will be kicking off our Clearwater Spring Chinook season in Idaho. We still have quite a few open slots to fill from May 10th – The first week of June (if the season lasts that long). Watch for updates from Idaho’s Springer season over the next month.


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Spring Chinook Season is off and Running

Barry is currently down in the Columbia River gorge near Hood River, Oregon fishing Drano Lake, and the Wind River. I was awaken this morning by our first Spring Chinook of the 2022 season!

Barry will be fishing this area for the next 2 1/2 weeks, and it’s such a great opportunity to catch these wonderful fish. It’s amazing how good a spring chinook tastes on the grill, and once you have experienced it you will definitely understand why we crave this fishery so much!

If traveling to the Columbia river gorge is just a little too far that’s ok because our flagship fishery, Idaho’s Clearwater is just about to kick off. We are currently booking dates starting the 15th of May, but if a good push of fish comes up a little early we will be here. The Clearwater Spring Chinook Fishery is our absolute favorite of the year, and is the catalyst that got us into the salmon guiding lifestyle.

We have opening for both Drano Lake, and the Clearwater here in Idaho, so don’t hesitate as this is a fishery that goes very quickly once the fish arrive.


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Clearwater River Spring Chinook

Idaho Announces Clearwater Spring Chinook Season!

You read that right! We are going to have a Spring Chinook season on the Clearwater in Idaho. Yesterday Idaho fish and game announced the starting date and regulations for our Idaho Spring Chinook seasons. We are extremely excited for this news, as it has been 3 years since we have had any sort of meaningful Spring Chinook Season on the Clearwater.

Spring Chinook will open for fishing 7 DAYS A WEEK!!!!!!! on April 23rd, 2022. We are forecast to have the best return we have seen since 2015. Limits are 4 salmon with only 1 being an adult, and with good ocean conditions this last year we hopefully will also see a bunch of Jack Chinook. You can take a look at IDFG’s press release by clicking the following link. https://idfg.idaho.gov/press/fg-commission-sets-chinook-season-open-april-23-clearwater-snake-and-salmon-rivers

Although fishing will open the end of April, we often don’t see fishable numbers of Chinook in the Lower Clearwater until the 10th of May, and the exact run timing is totally dependent on when fish begin to migrate up the Columbia. At this point we are opening our books 7 days a week to Spring Chinook bookings starting the 15th of May. This season is one that goes very quickly and when fishing gets good it is often not open long. Hopefully we will be fishing through at least the end of May. If it looks like we will have some earlier opportunity based on run counts at Columbia River Dams, we will open up additional dates as necessary. In addition if fishing conditions permit we will also be offering late morning / early afternoon start times in an effort to run a few more trips during this short season.

Spring Chinook are our absolute favorite fish of the year. Their table quality is surpassed by nothing, and Spring on the Clearwater is a great time of the year to be on the water. We hope that you decide to come experience this great opportunity with us.

If you are looking to get out sooner to chase Springers we will also have Barry fishing Drano Lake and the Wind River in the Columbia River Gorge. We will be fishing this area from the last week in April through about the 10th of May, so don’t hesitate to give us a call and lets get a Spring Chinook trip planned for you.

Clearwater River Spring Chinook
Clearwater River Spring Chinook
Drano Lake Spring Chinook
Drano Lake Spring Chinook
Snake River Spring Chinook

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How To Rig Up For Sturgeon

Just wanted to take a chance to share with everyone a recent video we uploaded to our YouTube Channel. In this video guide Joe Weisner, one of the fishiest dudes we have ever met, give a quick rundown on how he rigs up for sturgeon on the Snake River in Southern Idaho. Keep in mind we are fishing from boats, and this rigging may or may not work well for bank anglers. We have landed hundreds of fish with this set up, and it works very well for us.


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Huge Regulation Changes Coming for Clearwater Steelhead!

Sitting here today at my dining room table I have to say I’m glad I’m not out on the river. We are in the middle of a late February cold snap and the temperature here at my Deary, Idaho home was a balmy -1 degrees yesterday morning. Today things have warmed up a little, and by the weekend we should be seeing some much more normal temperatures. Saturday the 26th of February will most likely be my last day on the Clearwater for our 2021/2022 season. While we look to close one season, we are looking forward to lots of trips chasing Walleye, Trout, Crappie, Perch, Salmon, and Sturgeon both in Southern Idaho and the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon. I also wanted to take a moment to look at some MAJOR changes coming to our steelhead season on the Clearwater starting this fall.

For the past 30 plus years the Steelhead season on Idaho’s Clearwater River has pretty much remained the same. We have had a very simple to understand season structure where the river was catch and release for steelhead through October 14th with catch and keep season opening on October 15th and running through the entire rest of the season. Starting Fall 2022 everything changes!

For the Fall of 2022 Clearwater anglers will have drastically different regulations then they have been accustomed to. Keep season for Steelhead will now open September 10th and Run through October 14th, then from October 15th through November 10th the Clearwater will be catch and release only for Steelhead. This is a drastic change in how we operate our Fall. October 15th – November 10th has traditionally been our busiest time of year. We are prepared to make the adjustment, and these changes will actually offer some really exciting opportunities!

Clearwater anglers will now have the opportunity to fish for and keep Steelhead early in the year when their table quality is at its peak, and in addition we will be able to very effectively target both Fall Chinook and Steelhead during the same trip. In all honesty for a lot of years it never made sense to me why we could keep steelhead on the Snake, but if we moved into the Clearwater they were off limits.

Like everything in this industry we are constantly having to make adjustments, and we will adjust and hopefully thrive with these new regulations. Will this be frustrating? Will we get tired of answering questions and doing Fish and Game’s job of educating our customer and the public about this regulation change? The answer to these questions is a resounding yes, and all I can hope for is that in three years when regulations are re-visited, that we don’t enter a cycle where a few interest groups are able to convince fisheries managers that regulations should be changed again. This change in steelhead season will have absolutely 0 impact on harvest numbers, and will in fact allow Clearwater anglers the ability to harvest more steelhead bound for other Idaho and other Snake and Salmon River destinations.

Our plan moving forward for 2022 is to bring more of our Fall Chinook business home to the Clearwater where we will be able to target both Fall Chinook and Steelhead. Our Fall Chinook limit will once again be 3 adults and unlimited jacks, combine that with a Steelhead limit of 2 hatchery adults, and the possible addition of 2 Coho and it becomes very obvious that early Fall on Idaho’s Clearwater will be the place to be. I am excited to be able to fish all Fall from home. I always fish better when home every night, and the Elk and Deer in our home units better be ready as my archery season, that I had given up to fish the Hanford Reach, will be fully active again. All in all we are used to constantly changing runs, regulations, and angler preferences, this regulation change will be no different and we will be here excited to show our customers how awesome Idaho’s Clearwater is in early Fall. We hope you will be as excited as we are and willing to embrace some new opportunities!


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Clearwater Steelhead

Is January the “Best” Month for Clearwater Steelhead?

January on Idaho’s Clearwater River is without a doubt the most overlooked month of the year when it comes to catching great numbers of B-Run Steelhead. Over the years we have consistently had our all our top days for the season during January.

Lots of fish in the system, consistent and often times warming water temperatures, holding fish, and generally lower pressure are a few of the reasons the month of January has been our most consistent fish catching month. Despite the sometimes challenging weather conditions January is typically much more mild on the Clearwater then the surrounding areas. We often see high’s in the lower 40’s and some years we see weather warmer than that. Combine warmer temperatures (than December) and generally better water conditions from low level snow melt, and we get a winning combination for fish catching.

If you are looking for a mid winter fishing trip, and are looking for some of the best fishing of the year, make sure to give us a call and lets get you out on one of our boats. Chances are after experiencing the Clearwater in January you will come back for more.

During this time of year we will often use multiple techniques to put you on fish. Plugging, side drifting, and bobber dogging all get the nod depending on what river conditions are doing and which method has been producing the best. Yes, the weather can be cold, and we understand that when the snow is falling fishing is not on the front of most folks minds, but we think the Clearwater is just the thing to cure that cabin fever, and make some lasting memories. So, bundle up, head out and jump in a boat, you wont regret it!

Check out the video below and make sure to give us a call to get in on this awesome fishery!


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2022 Spring and Summer Salmon Forecast is Out: We are cautiously optimistic.

Category : Uncategorized

This past week Columbia River fisheries mangers released their preliminary forecast for Columbia River Spring Chinook, Snake River Spring/Summer Chinook, Columbia River Summer Chinook, and Sockeye. If initial predictions hold true, we should have more fish available in just about every fishery we fish then last year. Although the forecast isn’t great by any means, what it does mean is that we will have some great opportunities to fish for some of our favorite fish of the year.

Looking at the above image there are a few key areas I want to focus on. While these numbers obviously are not “great” by any means, they do indicate that some of our favorite fisheries will have fish to catch.

The first area of the chart above I want to look at is the prediction for the Snake River Spring/Summer portion of the run. These are the fish we pay the most attention to as they return to the Clearwater, Salmon, and Hells Canyon areas. I grew up fishing our home waters for these fish, and with numbers like these we should definitely see some sort of season, although as we have seen in the past, this isn’t always the case. Hopefully enough of these fish make it up river and we can finally have a season here at home.

The second place I want to focus on is the Columbia River Summer Chinook Forecast. While this forecast is down from last years forecast it is actually higher than last year actually run. These are the summer Chinook we chase in July and Early August. This is one of of favorite fisheries, as there is nothing quite like putting the boat in with shorts and sandals. July on the upper Columbia is just a great fishery that needs to anyone’s list.

Finally let’s look at the sockeye numbers. This is probably the thing I’m most excited about. Notice the improvements in the sockeye numbers from last year. We had a great although short sockeye season last year, and with number like these we should have a full sockeye season on the upper Columbia. The other point I want to make is that we saw more small sockeye last year then I have ever seen in the upper Columbia! These were jack sockeye that came back a year early, so in my opinion this forecast is actually low, and I expect to see a bunch more sockeye then predicted. Hopefully I’m right, but regardless we have a great sockeye season ahead of us on the upper Columbia.

If anyone is interested in fishing any of these fisheries with us make sure you get in touch with us early. Often times if you wait until the actual season dates are announced we are already booked. For season that we are sure if season structures, we will pencil you in for your dates, and when the season dates are announced we will call for payment.


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Clearwater Fall Steelhead Update

While we are currently in the last few days of our Columbia River Fall Chinook season, but we can’t help be excited for our upcoming steelhead season. Steelhead on Idaho’s Clearwater is our bread and butter, the reason we call Clearwater Country home, and our absolute favorite time of year.

October 1st is the unofficial kickoff for us on the Clearwater. Idaho’s Clearwater is catch and release only for steelhead through October 15th so the first few weeks of October will see us focusing Fall Chinook, Coho, and Catch and Release Steelhead. This two week period is one of our absolute favorites of the year and the catch rates can be incredible, and the crowds can be lite.

While much has been published this year about the plight of steelhead migrating up the Columbia, it’s not all doom and gloom. Counts of B Run Steelhead crossing Bonneville Dam have only been slightly lower than last year, and if you were paying attention last year we had a great season on the Clearwater.

With numbers similar or slightly lower than last year we will definitely be fishing steelhead on Idaho’s Clearwater. While we may have to wait and see what our limits might end up being, the fact remains that we will be fishing, and really if you feel like you have to kill a steelhead to enjoy this fishery, then we really feel you are missing the point. These big Steelhead are absolutely incredible, and a picture will last a lot longer then a few fillets in the freezer.

Our favorite time of year is approaching, and we are booking fast, so if your interested in a Steelhead trip with us make sure to give us a call at 208-669-1569 and let’s get your trips planned.