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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kyle has now switched gears from Fall Salmon and is now spending all his time fishing Steelhead on the Clearwater and Snake Rivers. Last week was our first full week of steelhead fishing for the year and things have started out great. We fished all week on the Clearwater. Currently the water is very low and clear, so our tactics have changed a little bit from our normal side drifting program. We are still drifting eggs, yarn, and beads, but we have been spending a large portion of our day pulling plugs.
Plug fishing in these conditions allows us to present our gear to the fish before the influence of the boat affects the fish. By setting out the “wall of death” 75 feet below the boat we are able to drop our plugs into every little nook and cranny that these big steelhead like to hide.
Low and clear conditions are also a great time to fish with a float and jig. By positioning the boat above potential steelhead holding water we are able to drop small jigs into fish well before the boat gets there.
Fishing has been decent with most of our fish being caught before lunch. The steelhead action will improve greatly as we get some fall rains and a little more water in the river. With more water we will again go to side drifting as our number one technique, but in the mean time we are having fun hunting these fish with multiple techniques.
We have openings this week and plenty of open boats and seats in November. All of our Clearwater dates are done as employees of Reel Time Fishing so get in touch with us for available dates and we will get your trip all set up. Our office number at 208-669-1569 is the best way to reach us.
This past week we had a few days of really great fishing and a few days we struggled. The weather this past week was particularly brutal and the days we struggled we were ultimately just fighting the cold and wind. Most of our fish this week were caught side drifting cured eggs and pegged corkies. We fish pegged corkies instead of beads as the rig seems to drift better than a hard plastic bead. During the frigid temps we also like to back troll divers and Shrimp and plugs. This give us a chance to slowly present our baits and keep ourselves warm by the heater.
With the weather improving drastically this week we should see some fantastic fishing. There are an absolute ton of fish in the Clearwater system and fishing should be very good now through March. The last two weeks of January and the first two weeks of February are my absolute favorite time to be fishing the Clearwater! Out of all the 20+ fish days I have had 80% have happened during this time frame. My boat has some openings over the next few weeks and we would love to get you out to see some of this fantastic fishing.
All our Clearwater trips are done as employees of Reel Time Fishing and all final booking will be done through Reel Time. Give us a call or text at 208-861-0654 for availability. For more information on the Clearwater River Steelhead fishing trips we offer click here!
Also to see our all our past ( or Current) Clearwater River Steelhead Fishing Reports Click Here.
Cold weather means hot fishing on Idaho’s Clearwater River. Fishing this past week has been fantastic. Yesterday both Reel Time Fishing boats had double digit days. My boat yesterday put a total of 11 fish in the boat for three anglers with a total of 6 keepers. All our fish were caught side drifting yarn and eggs single pegged corkies, with eggs being the hotter of the two set ups.
Despite the colder temps the months of January and February are my absolute favorite months of the year for putting lots of big B Run Steelhead in the boat. We have a bunch of available dates over the next few weeks so if you are looking to brave the elements and potentially have the best day of Steelhead fishing in your life get in touch with us. For more information on the Clearwater trips we offer click here
All our Clearwater River Steelhead Fishing trips are done as employees of Idaho outfitter Reel Time Fishing. Contact us for availability and information, but final booking with go through Reel Time.