Salmon River Fishing Report

The Salmon River has cleared up above and below Challis. The water is not isn’t crystal clear, but has several feet of visibility. There isn’t much shelf ice when you get down to where the Pahsimeroi River enters the Salmon. Above that point , there is still quite a bit of shelf ice. The Salmon is jammed with ice at Watts Bridge and the access at the boat ramp at the south end of town, with a lot of open water in between. It will probably be a least a couple of weeks to clear the river completely. Fish are being caught where there is open water with spoons and large flies. Water flows are currently 632 CFS. This photo was taken at McNabs yesterday.

Salmon River Fishing Report

westfkyank20160924_164503Steelelhead fishing  on the Salmon River has been a little slower than last week. Let’s just blame it on the weather for now. Fishing was a little slow for this time of year this past few days, but that’s fishing – it can be that way and that’s especially true when steelhead fishing . Do not despair! There will be more fish showing up. They are just a little slower this year getting here. They are also going to be fewer fish, but plenty to fish for. Depending on sections , catch rates right now are 35hrs per fish below Middlefork,up to 20 hrs below the Lemhi.

Still think smaller flies for now and light weight spoons (no more the 1/2 once. Maybe in blues , greens and copper. With flies I perfer darker ones this time of year- blue/black, purple,greens, with some copper or silver flash to them.

Trout fishing has been good on the upper Salmon river and not many people are fishing. Most are out hunting, so may take advantage and not be crowded. October caddis,stonefles and streamers are working. Standard Panther Martins, Mepps and Roostertails will work, but also fish these in mored subdued colors in brass, copper, yellow or black.

Salmon River Fishing Report



Steelhead Fishing on the Salmon River has improved over the last week. Fishing below the North Fork will be the most productive section of the river with most of the anglers concentrated there also. Downstream of the Middle Fork fishing was 31 hrs per steelhead caught. Upstream in section 15 the avg was 31hrs per fish. There has not been very many fisherman above, so there have not been any reports of fish being caught in section 16 and 17. River levels are low so stick to smaller flies and floating lines. Lure fisherman should stick to 1/2oz lures and smaller. The water temps have been in the low 50’s.

Trout fishing has been good on the upper Salmon . The October Caddis has been out and fishing with a size 10 or 12 Stimulator has been working.



Salmon River Fishing Report



Everyone is waiting on the Steelhead and reports are there are a few below the Middle Fork that have been caught. Things should be picking up with the recent rains and more in the forecast for this coming weekend to bring the river up a little more.

Trout fishing has been great on both the main Salmon and the smaller streams. Look for the October Caddis as the day warms up. Orange Stimulators in sizes 12 and 14 work well for an imitation. Hoppers are still effective mid-day. Streamers, stonefly nymphs(8-10) and standard beadhead nymphs (Copper Johns and Price Nymphs and Hare’s Ear) are also productive.  For streamers try fishing an olive Matuka, Clouser , G’s Catche’m All or S-3 Sculpin. Late in the evening there has been a cream midge coming(18-20) off that has been bringing some fish to the top also.


Salmon River Fishing Report

Salmon fishing has continued to improve on the Salmon River around Challis, Idaho. As of 6/27 there were 232 fish in the Pahsimeroi Hatchery and 455 fish at the Sawtooth hatchery. it appears there are a lot more fish heading to the Pahsimeroi than originally expected, which it is a good thing. They expect to meet there broodstock need. With all this information., it looks like we may have a few more fish to catch also. The upper Salmon River continued to fish the best this past week.  Anglers harvested an estimated 28 hatchery adult Chinook in location code 17 which produced a harvest rate of 59 hours per Chinook kept. Near Challis, in location code 18, anglers harvested an estimated 71 hatchery adult Chinook and 13 hatchery jacks which produced a harvest rate of 26 hours per Chinook kept. Anglers upstream of the East Fork in location code 19 harvested an estimated 138 hatchery adult Chinook and 56 hatchery jacks which produced a harvest rate of 32 hours per Chinook kept.

This weekend is expected to have some heavy fishing pressure between Challis and Stanley a probably a fair number of fish will be caught. We are hoping to squeeze a week or so after the 4th before the season is shut down. Now is the time and your best chance catch a salmon.

LC 17 – Lemhi River to Pahsimeroi River

LC 18 – Pahsimeroi River to East Fork Salmon River

LC 19 – East Fork Salmon River to Sawtooth Hatchery

Thanks to Greg Schoby our Regional Fisheries Manager for the continuous updates!

The Salmon River has also been fishing well for trout. Try fishing with Stimulators, Stonefly patterns and Caddis. Prince nymphs, Bitch Creek nymph, Copper Johns and Caddis pupa imitations have been working for under the water.

Tight Lines and Big Tugs,

Greg W



Salmon River

The Salmon are here! Salmon season opened up on the upper Salmon today and few fish have being caught. The water has been a little high but clearing up and dropping fairly quickly. The river flows are around 1600cfs(dropped 800cfs in the last 4 days). I wouldn’t fish any higher up river than East Fork for now. The Pahsimeroi  has 54 in the hatchery so far. Herring, tuna balls and roe are all being used for bait. For lures try Mepps Fly C’s (7/8oz),,K.O.Wobbler (3/4oz), Blue Fox Vibrax (7/16oz). or Kwikfish K-15’s.

These Salmon will take flies, so you might want to try swinging a few and if you hook one, Hold on!


Salmon River Fishing Report 4/19/2016


Looking upstream fro Challis Bridge

Looking upstream from Challis Bridge

The water levels have dropped significantly since last week. On the 14th water levels were around 3100cfs. Current readings show about 2170 cfs down or 6.1 ft. The water has cleared up some, but the higher water with the reduced visibility has made fishing difficult. Most up the fishing for steelhead now is up around Stanley. Dead drifting egg patterns and big nymphs is still working. With the lower visibility in the water, larger patterns in #2 and #4’s that are darker are producing fish also. You might try some with a little chartreuse in them..

Spoons sizes 1/2oz and 3/4oz in copper, blue , gold/fl orange, or green are a good bet also.

Salmon River Fishing Report 4/12/2016

20160412_110836                             View at the BLM boat ramp at the Challis bridge 4/12/2016


The Steelhead fishing around Challis has slowed down considerably this past week. The warm temperatures have brought the river up to 2300cfs (5.3ft) and pretty much made it muddy. There are a few anglers that have picked up fish over the weekend around Ellis just below the Pahsimeroi River, but most anglers have relocated up around Stanley for clearer water. There are still fish coming into the Pahsimeroi Hatchery, but the water clarity has really put a stop on the fishing.

Fishing egg patterns and and brighter steelhead patterns will work best for the fly fisherman. Spoons in copper, blue, fl orange, chartreuse or green are also working for the spin fisherman.

20160412_111115                                                   View looking up river from Challis Bridge



Fishing on the Salmon River has slowed down for most fisherman. There are still lots of fish around but the bite has definitely slowed down . The water is green with a slight dirty color to it presently. Run off from this weekend caused to flows to to increase almost 450 cfs. Since last night the river has dropped 100cfs but the water has not cleared up much. Flows presently are 900cfs at the gauge above Clayton. Visibility is about 2-3ft depending where you are on the river.

Colors of flies and lures has been all over the board. With the water being a little off color, darker flies and lures have been best. Flies working are egg patterns , stonefly nymphs amd larger articulated flies.

We have had the lure fisherman using everything from white twistertails to copper, blue or green spoons. Gold corkies seemed to be working best for the drift fisherman, with shrimp or dark rabbit strip leaches following.

As far as the weekend goes, it’s anyone’s guess. Still some below freezing temperature in the nighttime up in the higher elevations. Temperatures are forecast to be in the mid 60’s to low 70’s by the weekend. We will just have to wait and see what happens, but I suspect the river will start rising pretty good.

Salmon River Fishing Report 3/26–/2016

Steelhead fishing on the Salmon River has improved the past couple of days even though the nighttime water temperatures have dropped to mid 30’s and daytime temperatures are only reaching up to the high 30’s. Water levels have dropped down to 2.1 ft compared to 2.4 ft yesterday (25th) and water clarity is good.

Fish are being caught throughout the system, but I think the better fishing is from town and going downriver to Salmon where fishing was good there yesterday also. There are still more fish moving up from below North Fork so fishing should start to be fairly consistent.

Swinging flies in the afternoon and evening has been  productive. Try Senyo’s A1 Intruder(copper or blue),and articulated leeches like Chain-Reaction Leech but nymphing has been the best way to go. For egg patterns  try the Psycho Spawn(in orange or pink), or Trout Beads. Stonefly patterns working best are the Hot Butt Stones and  Steelhead Hammers.

Copper, Blue, and Green has been the best color for spoons. Lots of success Friday with 3″black or black and chartreuse Mr. Twisters. Pink/white , orange/white , and other bright variations of 1/4oz jigs Aerojigs have also been working.  Berekley Gulp 3″Black Leaches will work great also. Roe and shrimp are still very productive.

Dustin caught this 25″ fat hatchery male below Deer Gulch on Thursday, March 24.



Corey caught this 33″ wild fish somewhere below Challis.

Salmon River Steelhead,Steelhead Fishing,Challis Idaho

Salmon River Steelhead