Still Catching Steelhead

“That kid who works here”- Dustin, caught this beautiful steelhead yesterday below Deer Gulch swinging a black egg sucking leech. Fisherman are still catching steelhead from below the Pahsimeroi all the way up to the Stanley hatchery. The river is running just a bit high but is in great condition clarity-wise. Come on out and enjoy the last two weeks of the steelhead season- the weather is supposed to be good, but no too good!

Lots of folks are fishing the golf course pond and catching the big trout and steelhead that have been stocked in there.

We haven’t had any reports on the mountain lakes, but as cold as the nights have been, they probably still have ice. Mackay reservoir is ice-free and should be fishing well right now.

Salmon River Fishing Report

Fishing on the Salmon River for steelhead was still good the week even though we had some tough weather off and on. High water created problems for a lot of fisherman, but those who kept fishing prevailed.  Above East Fork was the best fishing (section 19) with the next best below the Pahsimeroi (section 17). Section 18 was slow but a few fish were caught. The water is still high but clears up in the morning and stained in the afternoon but is still fishable. Water temperatures go from high 30’s just below Stanley to low 40’s below Ellis.

Swinging flies are catching some fish,Try flies with blue/black,orange, or copper) along with nymphing which is more typical this time of year. Drift fisherman are using bait mostly, but spoons are also working.

Salmon River Steelhead Fishing

The cold temperatures earlier in the week have lowered the water and cleared it up considerably. We’ve had reports from below Pahsimeroi all the way up to Stanley of people catching fish. The folks I’m talking to today are using cured eggs, and the fly fishermen have been catching fish on egg patterns. Everyone we talk to is reporting that the fish being caught are nice, big ones. The Pahsimeroi hatchery is still getting fish in good numbers and have close to 2500 fish, and the Sawtooth hatchery has over 1,000 fish.


The Salmon River has dropped at the Clayton gauge from 2000 cfs on the 23rd to 1400 cfs today(28th), the water has cleared and steelhead are being caught. The stars have all aligned and it’s time to go fishin’! Fishing improved throughout the weekend with fish being caught upstream and downstream of Challis. The water has cleared all of the way down to below Salmon so you have a long stretch of river available to fish. Right now, patterns for flies pretty much run the gambit from black and purple and blue to bright egg patterns and everything in between. Skunks, rabbit leeches, stonefly nymphs,and intruder style of flies should work if you can get the fly in front of the fish. Try to keep it slooooow to entice the fish. The water temp is running on the cool cool side around Challis-low 40’s.

Drift and spin fisherman should  try copper, gold, blues and greens for spoons and spinners,roe and shrimp for bait.

Photos are below the Challis Bridge today

Salmon River Fishing Report

Below Challis Bridge 3/22 in the morning

The Salmon River’s flows have increased over the past few days contributing  to the low visibility of the river. Yesterday afternoon the river had cleared significantly but the flows increased due to the  temperatures later. Right now the clearest water seems to be in the afternoon and in the morning green. The river peaked early  this morning at a little over 2000 cfs at the Clayton gauge but has dropped to 1970 cfs  and is still dropping. Hoping the cooler weather will slow all of this down. The fish are showing up with the last report at the Pahsimeroi Hatchery showing 788 fish on March 20th.  Fishing has remained slow but hoping it will get better by this weekend.

Salmon River Fishing Report

Steelhead fishing is still slow on the Salmon River but fish are being caught upriver of Challis. Your best bet for now is fishing above the East Fork where the water is clearer. The current flow at the Clayton gauge is 1690 cfs. A few fish have been caught nymphing steelhead stone patterns and bunny bug style of flies. Roe and shrimp are the best bet for the drift fisherman.

Salmon River Fishing Report

The Salmon River is still flowing above average and has very low visibility. Night time temperatures are going to be dropping so we expect to see some clearing of the river in the next few days. Fishing has been slow due water clarity and fish just now moving into the upper system. At last report there were 106 fish at the Pahsimeroi Hatchery.

Salmon River Fishing Report

Steelhead fishing on the Salmon River was slow this weekend due to higher flows and muddy river conditions. As of this morning the river has cleared and dropped significantly with at least 3 ft of visibility. Fishing should pick up as long as the clarity of the river does not change much. The flows at Clayton are 662 cf, and Salmon 1570 cf.  There is still a 6ft to 7Ft ice shelf at Penal Gulch so about the only way to access that part of the river is Challis Hot Springs. The Hot Springs charges $5 a day for use of the ramp and free if you are camping there. The main bridge boat ramp at Challis will not be accessible this spring due to ice jams causing a channel to cut through and down the boat ramp road and over through the parking lot area. Watts still had a little ice and snow but is usable and melting daily. From Watts Bridge down river the ramps are clear. Nymphs and big streamers have been working for flies when the water is clear enough. Otherwise Spoons, roe and shrimp are the most productive for regular fishing. This photo is just above the big bend below the Challis Bridge boat ramp. You can see the bottom this morning.




Salmon River Fishing Report

The river conditions on the main Salmon River is still good. The water clarity is good at Challis and Salmon, and water levels show a slight increase. Water clarity is cloudy below Deadwater. The river dropped from approximately 567cf down to about 460cf last night but is currently at 489cfs at Clayton and rising with temperatures around 36 degrees. Flows at Salmon are 1360cf and water temperature around 40 degrees.  Deadwater is still frozen, and the ice jam there is up to Bobcat Gulch. Fishing pressure has been light, and Steelhead are being caught.  Intruders , larger streamers and nymphs have been catching fish around both Challis and Salmon. Working spoons and  KastMasters slowly through the deeper holes have proved productive for the spin fisherman.There are not many ramps open presently do to snow so you have to slide your boat in on most. Make sure there are no ice jams in between. For updates when they plan on clearing the ramps try calling the Fish and Game or BLM offices.

The Salmon BLM is 208-756-5400   The Challis BLM is 208-879-6200
The Salmon IDFG is 208-756-2271

                                                                     McNabs last week



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.