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FISHING — According to unofficial results released Saturday (Nov. 24), a Clarkston man won the $2,000 grand prize at the the annual Kendall Subaru Clearwater Snake Steelhead Derby that's been held Nov. 17-24 based out of Lewiston and Clarkston.
John White of Clarkston caught a 20.07-pound steelhead on Day 2 of the derby to claim the overall winner title. The fish topped a total of 245 steelhead weighed in during the eight-day event.
Bass caught the second-largest overall steelhead — 18.6 pounds — on Day 1 of the derby, then another 18-plus-pounder to win the daily prize for Day 3 and a 14.8-pounder to with the Day 5 daily prize.
Fishing and fishing conditions deteriorated during a week of storms and participation fell off some during the big holiday weekend. The number of fish weighed in steadily declined during the wee with a high of 65 fison on Day one to a low of nine fish on Saturday, the last day.
As I noted in a pre-event story, the derby was extended include the Thanksgiving holiday this year as well as being expanded to include Washington waters.
FISHING — Rain has fouled most of the region's rivers, setting anglers back a bit until the waters clear.
But the fish were there over the weekend before the flows picked up, and there will still be plenty of fish around when flows ease.
Here's a weekend Grande Ronde river drift boat report from angler Jeff Holmes:
15 takedowns for 6 fish Saturday, 5 wild. Another fish, probably a big wild one, fried my drag and broke me off! Pretty good action on 8-pound average fish. Hatchery fish was a nice 8 pounder, too.
Dying spring chinook are VERY. Numerous, much more so than in past. (Washington Fish and Wildlife Department biologists) say there may be a season soon.
Meanwhile, at the Clearwater Snake River Steelhead Derby, only 28 steelhead were caught today, Day 4 of the event that runs through Nov. 24. That's down from 62 on Saturday, the first day of the event, 50 fish weighed on Sunday and 35 fish on Monday.
By the way, angler Robert Bass of Deer Park, continues to be a regular fixture at the top of the daily money winners — as he has for years. He's already weighed-in two steelhead over 18 pounds. Bass is a steelheading stud.