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Clearwater River Steelhead Report 10/26/20

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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.


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Clearwater Fishing Report

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.

Thank you,

Kyle Jones

Clearwater Steelhead
Clearwater Steelhead
Clearwater Steelhead
Clearwater Steelhead
Clearwater Steelhead
Clearwater Steelhead

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Clearwater River Steelhead Report

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!

Clearwater River Steelhead

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Clearwater Steelhead

Idaho’s Clearwater is fishing great!

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!


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February the Best Month for Clearwater River Steelhead?

We often get asked, “what’s the best time to fish Idaho’s Clearwater River?” Often our answer is simply whenever you can get here, but specifically we look at the month of February as one of the absolute best times of the year to fish for the giant B-Run steelhead on the Clearwater.

February is typically when the Clearwater starts to become alive again. With Orofino, Idaho sitting at an elevation of just over 1000 ft spring starts to show in the Clearwater Canyon often long before the surrounding highlands. February also tends to kick off the Spring migration of steelhead that have overwintered both in the Snake and Clearwater Rivers . During the cold water periods of late November, December, and January most of the upstream migration stops and Clearwater steelhead look for deep slow moving water to wait out the cold, but as the water temps start to rise (usually during the last week of January and first two weeks of February) the urge to migrate again takes over. From now through April Idaho’s steelhead will make the final push of their already incredible journey back to their spawning grounds deep in the Selway/Bitterroot wilderness or to the hatchery they were born in.

During February we position ourselves near Orofino, Idaho where the North Fork Clearwater River meets the main stem Clearwater. Dworshak National Fish Hatchery is located here and we are waiting to intercept these fish as they gather near the hatchery of their birth. During February our number one used technique is side drifting bait and single egg imitations. This method allows us to cover lots of water and put our gear in front of lots of willing fish. During February its not uncommon for our boats to see double digit numbers of steelhead slide into the net. So, if you are getting some cabin fever, and ready to hit the water contact us today and lets get you out on a fantastic steelhead fishing adventure on Idaho’s Clearwater River.

To book your next Clearwater River Steelhead trip either give us a call at 208-669-1569 or click on the green Book Online button at the top of your screen. We look forward to spending a day on the water with you!


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Clearwater River Fishing Report

The rain is here and the water is up. The past week on Idaho’s Clearwater has been a little challenging due to the amount of rain our area say this past week. With that said we were able to fish every day this week and fishing was good overall. Most of our fish were caught in the Orofino area side drifting eggs and pegged beads. With the dirty water it seems like eggs take a slight advantage over the pegged beads, but we still picked up fish using both set ups.

For this week we expect water levels to drop daily, and the fishing should be fantastic. We normally see awesome fishing after a rain event. As the water clears up and the temperature drops look for fish to get into their normal November pattern. We should start to see more fish in the deeper holes, and also look for fish to be well distributed through out the entire river.

Unlike the past few weeks side drifting bait and yarn will be our go to for the foreseeable future. This is our absolute favorite way to catch these awesome Clearwater B-Runs. Big fish on light tackle is a rush.

All our Clearwater trips are done as employees of Reel Time Fishing


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Clearwater River Steelhead Report

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.