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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This past week was our first full week of fishing back home on Idaho’s a Clearwater River. Although the steelhead season is still catch and release through October 15, Fall Chinook and Coho are open for retention Thursday – Sunday.
Our boats have been out daily this week and fishing has been very good for both Steelhead and Chinook. We are seeing fantastic numbers of steelhead already spread out between Lewiston and Orofino, and the morning bite has been very good for Fall Chinook on the deep salmon holes.
Catch and keep steelhead is coming fast and we are so excited to be targeting our favorite fish in our favorite places.
We have been home from the Oregon coast now for about 10 days and in that time we have spent some great days fishing for Fall Chinook on the Clearwater and Snake Rivers out of Lewiston, Idaho. Although we love to fish in Astoria it just doesn’t quite measure up to our local fisheries and sleeping in our own beds. The confluence as we call it is one of our favorite fisheries and we can’t be more excited to be catching fall Chinook at home in Idaho.
The confluence is a unique fishery as the cold clear waters of Idaho’s Clearwater meet the slightly stained warm waters of the Snake River. The Clearwater this time of year is often running at around 50 degrees when it meets the hot 70 degree water of the Snake. These are the conditions that allow this fishery to thrive. Migrating salmon and steelhead bound for the Snake, Salmon, and Clearwater rivers seek this cold water refuge. While the Clearwater fish tend to shoot straight up the Clearwater, the Snake and Salmon River fish hold up, hang out, and wait for water temperatures on the Snake to cool down before continuing their migration, and it’s these holding fish that provide us with fantastic fishing.
For salmon the confluence is primarily a troll fishery although there is a strong following of bobber and shrimp fisherman that do very well for steelhead, and also catch a few salmon while targeting steelhead. We absolutely love to troll and this fishery is a trollers dream. Our go to set ups are almost identical to the other troll fisheries we fish throughout the Columbia River Basin. We fish 360 style flashers with superbaits or spinners as our lures of choice, and all of this is easily accomplished without the use of downriggers.
When targeting salmon in the confluence we tend to try and keep our gear within about 5 feet of the bottom. Utilizing lead cannon ball weights and line counter reels. Our go to depths the past few outing have been to run 12 ounces of lead at 30 and 35 feet on our line counters, and 8 ounces at 50 feet. Water depth ranges in in the confluence from 25- 40 or so feet and the above numbers do a great job of having us in the zone at all times.
Another thing to keep in mind when fishing at the Confluence is that trolling speed is your friend. These Chinook seem to like a fast troll, and we want to see a deep thump on the rod telling us that our flashers are working well. If your not getting that deep thump, then speed up. Also speed can be used to raise and lower your gear when trying to fish over shallower humps. If you need your set up to raise up just simply go faster and get your gear up and over the hump. Often times these speed changes are really what get these salmon to bite.
Like we stated before this is one of our favorite fisheries and the flat calm waters of the Snake and Clearwater Confluence are a great place to hone your salmon skills. So, grab some canned tuna, a handful of 3.5 Colorado Spinners, and your favorite superbaits and get out on the water.
Had a great day today on the Clearwater River working for Reel Time Fishing! It’s looking like at least the upper river will be open this next week. Kyle has open boats the 14th, 15th, and 16th this week. Give us a call at 208-669-1569 and let’s get your trip set up.
Fishing on Idaho’s Clearwater River continues to be very good. We are seeing lots of great fish. We are getting half our fish on cured eggs in a few different cures, and the other half on tuna wrapped Flatfish. It’s looking like fishing will remain good for a few more weeks so get in touch with us and let’s get your adventure set up!