This is the first upper Salmon River weekly steelhead fishing report for the spring 2017 season. Reports will be issued each Monday through the end of April.
Steelhead fishing effort up to this point in the year has been low compared to past seasons due to ice jams and poor road conditions on the upper Salmon. Over the winter, the Deadwater ice jam extended upstream to approximately 12 miles above the town of Salmon, ID. It has receded considerably over the last week and half, but as of today it is still upstream of North Fork near 4th of July Creek. Additionally, the Salmon River road downstream of North Fork is closed until March 1st with the possibility of an extension due to the danger of snow and rock slides. The river between Ellis and Salmon, ID is open, and anglers were fishing this area over the past week. The boat ramps at Colston, McKim Creek, and Kilpatrick are also open.
Due to the poor conditions in other areas of the river, the majority of angling effort over the past week was located in location code 17 between the Lemhi River and Ellis. Anglers in this area averaged 24 hours per steelhead caught and 49 hours per steelhead kept. A small number of anglers were interviewed in location codes 16, downstream of the Lemhi River, and in location code 18, upstream of the Pahsimeroi River, but these anglers did not report catching a steelhead. Where open, the river had cloudy visibility, and water temperatures were in the mid-30s.
(Report via Brent Beller – Idaho Department of Fish and Game – Region 7)