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Clearwater Fall Steelhead Update

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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Idaho’s Clearwater River is off to a Great Start.

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.