FISHING -- The first coho fishing season on Idaho's Clearwater River has been capturing a lot of attention this weeke, but fishing guides correctly point out that steelheading -- the bread and butter of late fall fishing in the Snake and Clearwater rivers -- is doing just fine.
Here's the latest report from Toby Wyatt of Reel Time Fishing based out of Clarkston:
The Clearwater has been kicking out a lot of nice big B-run fish ranging anywhere from 12 to 18 pounds. This time of year these fish are hot and make some line screaming runs and acrobatic leaps. Dam counts are looking excellent for a great season. An email from Joe DuPont, IDF&G Clearwater Fishery Manager states that as of 10/7/14, over 9,000 hatchery Steelhead have passed over Lower Granite Dam (based on detected PIT tags) that are destined for the Clearwater River. This is about triple of what we saw last year at this same time and 30% more than we saw 2 years ago.
One of the exciting things about the run this year is the vast majority of them are the larger 2-ocean fish unlike last year when many were the smaller 1-ocean fish. To date, over 25,000 Clearwater River bound hatchery Steelhead have passed over Bonneville Dam, so there are still a lot on their way. This means there will be no need to for emergency rules like we implemented last year to protect brood stock. The limit on the Clearwater for steelhead is 2 per day with no size restrictions.
Another exciting development on the Clearwater is that with combined efforts from the Nez Perce Tribe and IDF&G, we are allowed to catch and harvest Coho Salmon. This is the first time in the history of the State of Idaho where sportsmen are able to harvest Coho. The limit is 2 per day and the season is open until November 16th, 2014. Our boats have been landing a few Coho’s a day while targeting Steelhead, which is a nice added bonus to the day.
Fishing should continue to pick up from here on out.