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Steelheading hot on Salmon River near Riggins

STEELHEADING — Steelhead fishing on the Salmon River turned on recently and has been incredible the past week with lots of double digit days, reports Amy Sinclair of Exodus Wilderness Adventures based in Riggins, Idaho.

For the week of Oct. 23-30, she said her boats guided 91 anglers who hooked into 210 steelhead and landed 141.

The longest steelhead was 35 inches.

“Cooler fall nights and beautiful fall days have the current water level at 5,310 cfs and water temperature at 44 degrees,” she said. “The river is clear with amazing visibility and the weather forecast for the week shows a chance of rain this weekend with cooler day and night temperatures throughout the week.”

Salmon River anglers expecting steelhead surge

STEELHEAD FISHING — The march is on for steelhead making their way up the Snake and then up the Salmon River into the Riggins area.

More than 360,000 steelhead have crossed Bonneville Dam in the lower Columbia.  More than 130,000 of those fish have made it past several dams, gillnets and many hooks to cross up and over Lower Granite Dam on the Snake downstream from Lewiston.

Now the fish are moving up the Clearwater, Snake and Salmon rivers.

Prime steelheading in the Riggins area generally is from mid October until early December, said Amy Sinclair of Exodus Wilderness Adventures

Prime winter steelhead fishing on the Salmon River in the Riggins area is from late January-early February to early March, she said.

 The daily limit is three hatchery steelhead.

Chinook fishing to close in Idaho on Wednesday

SALMON FISHING — Spring and summer chinook salmon seasons across Idaho will close at the end of fishing hours Wednesday.

The closure affects the main stem of the Clearwater River, the Middle Fork Clearwater River, the South Fork Clearwater River, the Lochsa River, the Snake River downstream from Hells Canyon Dam, the Little Salmon River and the upper Salmon River.

“This has been one of the longest Chinook seasons we’ve had in recent years,” said Pete Hassemer, Idaho Fish and Game’s salmon and steelhead manager. “By this time of year, most of the Chinook have passed through the areas open to fishing on their way to hatcheries and spawning grounds, and the success rate is slowing down.”

Idaho sets fall chinook fishing seasons

SALMON FISHING — Although Idaho steelheaders are likely to feel the pull of a few chinook salmon this month, the season won't open open until Sept. 1 on the Snake River from the Washington-Idaho border upstream to Hells Canyon Dam and in the Clearwater River from its mouth upstream to the Memorial Bridge.

Read on for the fall chinook season details set by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission last week.

Chinook fishing closes Sunday on lower Salmon River

SALMON FISHING — Chinook salmon fishing will close at the end of fishing on Sunday in the sections of the lower Salmon River from the mouth of Shorts Creek upstream to the uppermost boat ramp at Vinegar Creek, and from the Rice Creek Bridge upstream to the U.S. Highway 95 Time Zone Bridge.

The two sections are being closed to reduce the catch of fish headed upstream to the South Fork, Middle Fork and upper Salmon rivers.

Remaining open is the Park Hole section of the lower Salmon River, from the Time Zone Bridge upstream to the mouth of Shorts Creek, and the Little Salmon River. The daily bag limit remains six salmon per day, no more than three of which may be adults; the possession limit remains 18 salmon, no more than nine of which may be adults.

Salmon River anglers bagging spring chinook

SALMON FISHING — This year's huge and prolonged runoff down the Snake River system has dealt Salmon River fishing guides a tough hand  — until this week.

“Salmon Fishing is on!” reports Amy Sinclair of Exodus Wilderness Adventures in Riggins. “We are done singing the High Water Blues. Salmon River flows have receded to the 30,000 cfs mark and now is the time to book a trip.”  Email: riverescape@frontier.com

This week's Idaho Department of Fish and Game's regional fishing report concurs:

“Without a doubt the highest catch and harvest rates are around Riggins averaging 4-5 hours per fish kept,” the report says. “Last week (July 4-10) an estimated 2042 adults were harvested in the Salmon and Little Salmon rivers combined. This leaves around 4,000 Rapid River adults to harvest so go put some notches on your permit.”

See the IFG fish planner salmon map for season details.