We were up on the Salmon River last week steelheading just in time for gale-force winds, rain and muddy water. I know, excuses, excuses, excuses. I did see fish rolling. But, when you plan your fishing vacation several months in advance, you have to take what you get.
Last week, diligent guides were still putting their customers into fish despite lousy conditions. The fish are in the river and you’ve just got to hit a good day — no wind, clear river and fish on the move. The weather did put a damper on fishing. Idaho Fish and Game reports for the period ending Oct. 22 showed that the catch rate was 45 hours per fish from White Bird to the Little Salmon River. That’s not good to say the least. Officers checked 61 anglers with four steelhead kept and four released.
With steelhead fishing, you’ve got to keep tabs on the river and weather and hopefully you can break away when the action gets good. It’s really going to be important this season because of all the wildfires along the tributaries of the Salmon River. Burned ground means blow outs and muddy water when it rains. Burned hillsides can’t hold the water back.
When conditions are right, beam me up to the Salmon River, Scotty.
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Image courtesy Pete Zimowsky